Search Engine Alternatives

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Snorkasaurus
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Search Engine Alternatives

Postby Snorkasaurus » 12 Jun 2014, 20:26

Greetings Earthlings,

I [mostly] gave up on Google back in May 2010 when I started using DuckDuckGo, and eventually I switched to Startpage/Ixquick in June 2013. I still found myself using Google for a few things like maps and images, but I avoided The Big G as much as I could. My reasons for wanting to avoid Google are tracking and bubbling... anyone not having a clear understanding of what I mean by these things should make serious use of a good search engine to find out. Today I decided to try again to find a suitable search engine, and I thought you folks might be interested in the results. Here is what I came up with:
Bing
Bing is owned by Microsoft and is subject to the same privacy issues that Google suffers from, there is no way I would use this search engine.
Blekko
Wikipedia says that Blekko is "a company that provides a web search engine with the stated goal of providing better search results than those offered by Google Search" but when I typed in snork.ca (a domain name that has been actively populated for well over a decade) it didn't find me. In the right hand margin of the search results were "images for snork.ca" which included images that I have never posted to snork.ca ever and had nothing to do with Flintstones, Snorkasaurus, or even the Snorks cartoon. There is no way to customize your search preferences such as whether or not to include previews or whether or not to filter adult material, whether to show search suggestions, or what location/language you want. When I searched for "Democracy Now" I was presented with a results page that has HUGE sections for each resulting link, there is simply no need for this and no way to turn it off as far as I can tell.
Image
Boardreader
This one is supposed to specifically be for forums, so I was pretty sure that it wouldn't be of much use to me. So I searched for "automagically download their list and block spammers" which I lifted directly from this forums post which was posted almost three months ago... but it did not find the post for me. Fail.
Just before I moved on to my next engine I decided to type in snork.ca (seriously the second thing I ever typed in at boardreader.com) to see what I got and it was the URL http://boardreader.com/banned.html and this content:
Image
BuzzSumo
The main page says in oversized font: "Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find the key influencers to promote your content". This just screams of SEO, advertising, marketing, tracking, and general scuminess... I didn't even type in a search query.
CC Search
This does nothing but redirect you to other sites such as Google and YouTube so it is essentially just a "search engine selector" rather than an actual search engine.
CrunchBase
This is just a database of company related material such as "startups" and "net worths". Useless as a search engine.
Quantcast
Demographics, marketing, advertising, SEO, scum, and junk.
SocialMention
The following picture is on their main page... nuff said.
Image
Technorati
The biggest and most prominent thing on their main page is a link to a story about "The 5 Facebook advertising tools every marketer needs". Junk.
Topsy
This appears to be a site for searching just social network junk, which I have very little use for. Their main page also did not render properly in my browser (yes, with adblocking turned off).
Wolfram|Alpha
This one doesn't seem to be a search engine and doesn't seem to work very well anyways.
Factbites
Searching for snork.ca got me some results about the cartoon The Snorks but not the actual domain name. Searching for DemocracyNow yielded no results at all.
Webcrawler
Had better results than many but their privacy policy wasn't so great. There is no way to customize your results page and the image search feature is pretty weak.
Yahoo
I hope viking60 is pleased about how I hid this one way down here. :-)
Image
Quitura
This just redirects to quinturakids.com - sorry, you lost me at "filtered".
Yippy
Strange, when searching for "Democracy Now" it found Amy Goodman in the left margin over there but they didn't get democracynow.org in the first three results... how can that be right?
Image
Clusty
This appears to be the exact same as Yippy.
Dogpile
Couldn't find snork.ca, but could find democracynow.org. Then I tried "automagically download their list and block spammers" again and it had a lot of ads but didn't actually find the bjoernvold.com post. This one seems to behave a little strangely and will require more testing.
Gibiru
I wish they didn't have to include all that extra crap below the search results (toolbar download, copyright crap, rant, etc.) and I wish they would give you an option to remove the page previews in results... but I may test this one some more too.
Scroogle (scroogle.org)
This one let me search but just gave me a big empty hole instead of search results.
Scrooglescraper (scrooglescraper.com)
This one does not work either.
Exalead
This one seemed to kind of work but I really wish I could turn off the page previews. Why are people so fascinated with seeing previews like that? Too much Facebook use? It came up with these awful search results for "whois 24.44.56.78" Anyways, I may not completely understand this one and may have to test it a little more as well.
Image
Keyboardr
Page loads, search box gives suggestions, but I can't actually get it to search.
Reloado
Searching for snork.ca finds only me and no other links at all. Searching for "Democracy Now" has the official site listed fourth (and it is the "about page" rather than the root page). Removing the space and searching for DemocracyNow puts the official site fifth (and it is a story from 2012 rather than the root page which is actually listed eighth). These guys have some serious ranking issues, and their map search shows a blank page.

Conclusion
Frankly, none of these even come close to DuckDuckGo or Startpage/Ixquick. If anyone else has any search engine alternatives they they use I would love to hear about it.

S.

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viking60
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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby viking60 » 12 Jun 2014, 20:50

Great stuff :s Keep it coming.
I fear I have to agree with you - but my check on Gibiru seemed to deliver fairly good results.
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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby Snorkasaurus » 12 Jun 2014, 21:04

I guess I should also mention that I have been emailing back and forth with the folks at Ixquick lately about the way their search results treat "Official Site" links. If you look at these search results
Image

You will see that democracynow.org is listed as being the "Official Site". Even though I have set a cookie preference (and also tried URL preferences) to NOT open links in a new window, the Official Site will open in a new window while subsequent links will open in the current window as expected. I alerted them to this ten days ago and have only received requests for more information. Clearly this is not a major operational flaw but I would like to think that ten days is enough to tackle something so trivial.

Startpage.com does not seem to have this issue.

My 3¢
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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby R_Head » 17 Jun 2014, 15:14

Have not used it in ages but http://WWW.Lycos.com still around.

I think was bought by the Chinese, not sure about that.
Last edited by R_Head on 17 Jun 2014, 17:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby Snorkasaurus » 17 Jun 2014, 16:07

Lycos About Page wrote:Company Overview

Lycos is a survivor. Established in 1995, we were originally a search engine — before most people even knew what a "search engine" was. Times change, and Lycos has changed with them, evolving from a single search engine into a focused network of community and social sites that include Gamesville.com, Tripod.com, Angelfire.com, and of course, Lycos.com.

How has Lycos managed to survive so many market changes while others have perished? The key to our longevity is diversity; we have integrated and fostered different brands, sources of revenue, and meaningful online communities for over 15 years.

Bringing people together to interact, have fun, and experience the best the web has to offer is in our DNA. It's who we are, and it's something we're happy to offer now, and forever.

Lycos is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ybrant Digital, the end-to-end global digital marketing company. Lycos is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Ybrant Digital is headquartered in Hyderabad, India and has a global presence with offices in 20 countries.

Wow, I totally would not have guessed that one... thanks for the link eh! :s

S.

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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby Snorkasaurus » 17 Jun 2014, 17:10

Lycos.com Privacy Policy wrote:Lycos uses the information collected (both anonymous and personal) to personalize and enhance the content you see on the Lycos Network, such as news, stock portfolios, weather reports, sports scores, horoscopes, advertisements and more.

Lycos.com Privacy Policy wrote:Lycos collects anonymous data and shares it with third-party advertisers in an aggregate form.

Lycos.com Privacy Policy wrote:Lycos sometimes uses an individual registered user's data to "pre-populate" online forms that are displayed for the purpose of collecting additional individual data by the Lycos Network, selected third-party sites, and/or sponsors and advertisers.

Lycos.com Privacy Policy wrote:Lycos may disclose information about individual users to third parties who agree to provide services to Lycos and who agree to maintain the confidentiality of such information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. These third parties may provide a variety of services to Lycos, including, without limitation, processing and storing user information, helping to create new content and promotions for the Lycos Network, sending or coordinating the sending of marketing communications that users have consented to receive, and targeted advertising.

Lycos.com Privacy Policy wrote:Lycos works with third-party ad serving companies, including but not limited to, Right Media, Inc. ("Right Media"), OpenX Technologies, Inc. ("OpenX"), LiveRail, and Adap.tv.

Lycos.com Privacy Policy wrote:Personal information collected by Lycos may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Lycos or its agents maintain facilities. By using the Lycos Network, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country.

Yikes, there a couple of those that don't sound so good... I'm still testing them though since the queries I have tried so far have produced decent results.

PS: I was going to sign up for a Lycos mail account, but it requires a cellphone/SMS verification.

PS2: Strangely, the recaptcha for their chat site is [sort of] in Russian. Don't get me wrong, I love Russia as much as the next guy (Kola borehole, SKS, and Tsar Bomba) but they do a have a bit of a digital reputation.
Image


S.

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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby R_Head » 17 Jun 2014, 17:10

Another one was called Ask Jeeves but changed to http://www.ask.com

That one in particular you had to search on a form of a question.

Is not that bad.

On Lycos I remember the TV Ad with the Black Labrador and was a fairly decent search engine.
Kind of feel from the face of the planet but they still around.

Is nice when you do research to use different Search Engines; some gems pops here and there.

I love on how they use the word "MAY" +1

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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby viking60 » 28 Jun 2014, 10:50

have a look at http://kvasir.no
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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby Snorkasaurus » 28 Jun 2014, 11:32

So does kvasir.no basically anonymize Google results? Well I guess it would essentially "melt together" the profiles of different users... so it is not direct unbubbling, but with a very large number of users it would be very close. Does it have a way to switch the locale to Canada?
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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby viking60 » 28 Jun 2014, 11:42

I am not sure since it is a Norwegian search engine. They seem Google independent but use info from the yellow pages here. They claim to take care of privacy and they are only one of four national search engines. So they are targeting Norwegians - but the international searches seem to give fairly good results.

So maybe that is an alternative outside the US and Google dominated search engine market. I guess the price is to live with Norwegian but pretty much everybody knows how to use that search field anyway.

But it was based on Yahoo back when it started so it is probably utter crap.

Edit:
I just read that Kvasir changed their indexing from FAST to Google in 2003 - so this is probably a spy too.
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Bang! DuckDuckGo

Postby viking60 » 16 Jun 2016, 10:42

Long time gone but the two engines that are best in therms of privacy are still startpage.com and DuckCuckGo.

Startpage is playing tricks on me with VPN and won't always load so I checked out DDG again and particularly the Bangs!

A Bang is an autocompletion system that search any site you want by putting a :!: in front of the search.

Try this:

!bjoernvold.com/forum private browsing

It will put the content from here right up there.
(While you can do host:bjoernvold.com/forum inxi in the startpage search it will not give many results on other topics here.)


If you need a wiki on the subject:

!w private browsing

But then again; you sometimes need the great Google results (with the less than great privacy issues) - and you can have them too:

!g private browsing


You can even do a:

!g bjoernvold.com/forum private browsing

This makes it easier to switch to DDG as your default search engine, because you have the flexibility. I am not sure that this will work wonders for your privacy but maybe it is better than searching Google directly. :confused

To search the Arch wiki

!aw inxi

The top sites do have short names but you can always use the full name from any site:

!mageia inxi

Oh and lets not forget those shoes that you need from Amazone.com

!a shoes

What I really like is the "we don't track you" message on the top right after every search!
You can also customize it:
:A
https://duckduckgo.com/settings

Now this does mean that cookies are saved but they never contain anything about search results (and you can turn them off).

5 reasons to trust duckduckgo
This is great geek stuff so I think I will set my default search engine to DuckDuckGo now...

Did a

Code: Select all

!g bjoernvold.com/forum private browsing
in the Tor Browser to check out security and here is what Google had to say:
Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network. This page checks to see if it's really you sending the requests, and not a robot. Why did this happen?

IP address: 166.70.207.2
Time: 2016-06-16T11:05:45Z
URL: https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl= ... 20browsing

..and I had to fill out a captcha.

YesI bet it was unusual not being able to track me.
This indicates that if you use the !g Bang then Google will treat your privacy as usual.
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Rockalbert
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Re: Search Engine Alternatives

Postby Rockalbert » 14 Mar 2018, 00:38

Are these Search Engine Alternatives enabled in china territory?
ClitoromegalyHyperspermiaProstatomegalyDermatophagia

infantigo
Last edited by Rockalbert on 06 Sep 2018, 20:52, edited 3 times in total.


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