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posted by martyb on Saturday March 02, @12:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the you-can't-get-there-from-here dept.

How do you find information online?

There are Lists of search engines.

But, which one(s) do you use and why?

Do you use just one search engine? Do you have one primary search engine and another one that you use only when your primary fails? May you use multiple engines depending on whether your search is on your desktop, mobile, or TV?

How do YOU choose?

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mrpg on Saturday March 02, @12:36AM (6 children)

    by mrpg (5708) Subscriber Badge <{mrpg} {at} {}> on Saturday March 02, @12:36AM (#1347028) Homepage

    Just one. is a search engine that emphasizes user privacy. It claims to deliver Google Search results without collecting any personal information or search history from users, and it anonymizes search queries before sending them to Google.

    Here are some key points about Startpage:

    * **Focuses on privacy:** Startpage does not track users, store search history, or sell user data.
    * **Uses Google Search results:** Startpage pays Google to access their search results, but they claim to anonymize all user data before sending it to Google.
    * **Offers additional privacy features:** Startpage has an "Anonymous View" feature that allows users to open search results in a privacy-focused proxy.
    * **Available in multiple languages:** Startpage supports searches in over 80 languages.

    If you are concerned about online privacy and want to use a search engine that does not track your activity, Startpage could be a good option for you. However, it is important to remember that no website is completely anonymous, and there are always risks associated with using the internet.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, @01:00AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, @01:00AM (#1347031)

      I tried startpage when I first heard about it, must have been 5+ years ago(?)
      It never seemed to find the things that I could find with Google, so I gave up...but I never really investigated, that was just the impression that I got after a week or two. Maybe there is more to it that I didn't discover?

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Saturday March 02, @02:29AM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday March 02, @02:29AM (#1347037)

        Google user tracking and profiling also shapes search results. In other words: if you and I put in the same search terms, we may get different results, and different still from anonymous searches.

        Or at least they used to a few years back when I checked it. Algorithms change all the time.

        🌻🌻 []
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mcgrew on Saturday March 02, @06:41PM (1 child)

          by mcgrew (701) <> on Saturday March 02, @06:41PM (#1347107) Homepage Journal

          Algorithms change all the time.

          Indeed. Two decades ago, add -Trump to a Google search and none of the results would contain the word Trump. Now, every single result is primarily about Trump.


          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, @10:46PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, @10:46PM (#1347146)

            :-) You said his name three times.. did he appear?

            Maybe you should add -politics to your Google search, if you really want to avoid him.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by KritonK on Saturday March 02, @09:48AM

      by KritonK (465) on Saturday March 02, @09:48AM (#1347058)

      And one more point: it filters Google's results, making a decent job of producing relevant results, instead of producing tons of useless results that may or may not contain some of the terms for which you searched. This is the main reason I switched to startpage.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Common Joe on Sunday March 03, @11:00AM

      I don't trust StartPage. They are owned and funded by a publicly traded ad company. I've seen too many times how that goes.

      Here's a link to Reddit [] from four years ago and a current link to StartPage's FAQ [] with the relevant information.

  • (Score: 2) by Snospar on Saturday March 02, @01:10AM

    by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 02, @01:10AM (#1347033)

    Well, says that choice is (simply) "the choice between good and evil". I'm not sure we need an engine to decide that. We can simply use the precious grey matter we have between our ears and hope that it makes the right choice (and not the evil one). But... look around you

    Huge thanks to all the Soylent volunteers without whom this community (and this post) would not be possible.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Saturday March 02, @02:05AM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday March 02, @02:05AM (#1347035) Journal

    I'd like a search engine that doesn't harvest clicks. Long ago noticed that the link Google displays is not exactly the link you go to if you click on it. You are sent there, but Google first serves up a little man-in-the-middle redirection. Obviously they are harvesting data. Maybe asking that they not do that is asking too much, because search engines have to make money somehow.

    I think there is a browser plugin to strip redirection from links. But, IIRC, the search engines changed their redirection mechanics to nullify that plugin.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, @04:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, @04:42PM (#1347090)
      Well if they do things right they might use the clicks to help figure out which results are actually interesting to the user and improve their search.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by hendrikboom on Saturday March 02, @02:14AM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 02, @02:14AM (#1347036) Homepage Journal

    I just use duckduckgo.

    That said, my personal bookmarks page has this, i case I ever want another:

    ## Other search engines

        * [Lost something? Search through 91.7 million files from the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s]( article about this search tool

    * [Our 7 best Private searh engine recommendations]( (recommended by avoidthehack)
        * Mojeek
        * [Startpage](
        * SearX
        * Whoogle
        * Brave Search
        * DuckDuckGo
        * Metager
        * Criteria for private search engine recommendations
        * Final thoughts

    * Specialized search engines. I no longer know know where I got thi list.
        * - Academic Resource Search. More than a billion sources: encyclopedia, monographies, magazines.
        * - a search for the contents of 20 thousand worldwide libraries. Find out where lies the nearest rare book you need.
        * [] - access to more than 10 million scientific documents: books, articles, research protocols.
        * is a library of scientific bioscience journals published in developing countries.
        * [] - volunteers from 102 countries have collected almost 4 million publications on economics and related science.
        * is an American state search engine on 2200+ scientific sites. More than 200 million articles are indexed.
        * is one of the most powerful researches on academic studies texts. More than 100 million scientific documents, 70% of them are free

    * [Ungoogled Chromium]
        * [on Wikipedia](
        * [How to Install and Configure Ungoogled Chromium](
        * [on github](
        * [ungoogled-chromium-debian](

    * Purely local search
        * [mairix](
        * [recoll](

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Tork on Saturday March 02, @02:49AM (1 child)

    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 02, @02:49AM (#1347038)
    Google is a strong reflex of mine, it'll be a long time before I'm done using it. However, Google has done something that is making that happen faster. I run mostly Apple stuff at home and one of the features they added is... well it's not a VPN per-se but you can enable a browser feature that routes my traffic through a 3rd party before it goes out to the net. It's kinda like a VPN but only the Safari browser is affected. And ya know what? Google fucking HATES that. I don't have any real stats on me but it feels like half my searches get a response from Google that says "you suspicious, prove you not bot."

    So here's a question: Is this Google detecting a bunch of traffic from a single source and its automatic defense systems have been activated, or is this Google baring its teeth at Apple and betting that I'll turn that feature off before I move off of them? I wonder if Google knows that showing me they don't like it is encouraging me to keep using it? Heh.
    🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, @06:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, @06:23PM (#1347230)

      It is almost certainly because a lot of different machines go out via the same IP address. The company I work for gets the same prove-that-you're-not-an-AI-response, as everyone in the company (which are a lot of people spread around the country) go out via the same IP address, even when working from home. The first thing that starts on the machine is the VPN connection.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, @03:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 02, @03:16AM (#1347042)
    Google as default. Yandex for when Google fails (for web/image) or for some image searches. Google image search has improved recently though - it used to be OK then became bad (maybe due to copyright/censorship issues?) and now has improved.

    For my searches Google search has become worse over time, but DDG and Bing have not caught up. I guess Microsoft's AI goal with Bing is to gaslight people into preferring the AI's results whatever they were originally searching for. That said it's hard to figure out whether it's incompetence and/or malice given Microsoft's abysmal track record with search (Windows, Teams, Outlook, Bing etc).
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by thisisme1234 on Saturday March 02, @03:25AM (3 children)

    by thisisme1234 (43370) on Saturday March 02, @03:25AM (#1347044)

    Imagine the FBI shows up at your door.

    Imagine that they're talking a ways off, and say things like "The Google profile sez..."

    Imagine that the "free" search engine service that you have used, which sells your tracking data to *all* bidders low and high, is now costing you $30,000 in legal defense.

    Imagine. Imagine better alternatives.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ShovelOperator1 on Saturday March 02, @10:03AM

    by ShovelOperator1 (18058) on Saturday March 02, @10:03AM (#1347059)

    Google for general, however as GMaps fail on non-Chrome more and more I go with OSM for maps. I slowly drift away from Google to Searx as they are quite more sane showing pages, not ads.
    OSM is very good in cities which are mapped quite quickly (I also add some info), very, very good at a wilderness, where lots of (motor)bike trails and footpaths are shown, but awful and terribly incomplete between.
    For images, Bing was my go-to engine, but recently they got worse. Still looking for some.
    For resources, it's Yandex. Lots of things censored in Google still shows up in Yandex.
    For BT hashes, it's BTDig as there's no alternative which does not nag for registration.
    For small personal websites and problem solving it's Wiby - I don't know who made it and on which license, but it's quite good for these small website searches, showing results that are unobtainable in other search engines because these results aren't products which can be advertised.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by DadaDoofy on Saturday March 02, @04:36PM

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday March 02, @04:36PM (#1347087)

    If you're tired of the heavily biased perspective you get from the Googles, Bings and Yahoos of the world, try Freespoke. Not at all surprised to see it missing from the list on CIA-run Wikipedia.

  • (Score: 1, Redundant) by DadaDoofy on Saturday March 02, @04:42PM

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday March 02, @04:42PM (#1347091)

    If you're tired of the heavily biased perspective you get from the Googles, Bings and Yahoos of the world, try Freespoke. Not at all surprised to see it missing from the list on CIA-run Wikipedia

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by fab23 on Saturday March 02, @06:12PM

    by fab23 (6605) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 02, @06:12PM (#1347099) Homepage Journal

    For search I had used DuckDuckGo a long time, but about a month ago I started the trial with Kagi Search []. It seems that I do not search that often, as I still have close to half of the 100 free searches left. It is a payed service, but the search results are much better. I even found a bug report which helped me to solve the problem I had searched before with the error message and DDG did not show it (the report was older then my previous search). So for me the Starter subscription will be worth it. I had hints for it a while ago, but then the recent posting Tim Bray: ‘Mourning Google’ [] from John Gruber pushed me in trying it. Also their blog posting The Age of PageRank is Over [manifesto] [] helped.

    What I also like about Kagi is their open communication, like a public Changelog []. When I looked into the details of the Automatic Kagi Status Page Updates #2914 [] entry, I also spotted comments from vlad the founder and CEO of Kagi. Also the changelog and status site have RSS feeds available.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mcgrew on Saturday March 02, @06:58PM (1 child)

    by mcgrew (701) <> on Saturday March 02, @06:58PM (#1347111) Homepage Journal

    I've actually thought about creating it. It would search based on the metadata supplied in the HTML, look in the first paragraph, and have fields for title, author, description, a date range, and would obey all the old Google flags like the minus sign. Unlike Google it wouldn't care about popularity.

    There are a lot of tools in my web host's toolbox, I wonder if they have a spider? I wonder how big the database would be and if I could afford to do it?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Common Joe on Sunday March 03, @11:30AM

      Save your money. Alta Vista did this, trusted the content on the page, and it was gamed to death.

      There are two problems with your suggestion. First, if I wanted to be a bad guy, I'd get a website that was nothing but many, many pages with pretty much nothing but ads which sleazy companies would pay me for. I would game your search engine by making the metadata and the first paragraph of each web page would change based on what common searches are being made and it would have nothing to do with the ads. For instance, one page would start off with HP laser printers, another with HP ink jet printers, another with Brother laser printers, another with multi-function, another with color vs black and white. And that's just for printers. I could create an army of webpages for every item imaginable -- printers, snakes, farming, Git. And once you blocked that website, I'd have a thousand other websites waiting to take over.

      Second, your search engine would not like my Git Glossary []. The first <div> tag says "Glossary, Alphabetically Sorted" but doesn't mention anything about Git. My first actual <p> tag says "Return to the Introduction (Click here to go to one level up)". Again, nothing about Git. If you look at the glossary itself, it's very clear that this is a Git glossary. Even better, it's a glossary built upon simplicity, elegance, and speed. No ads. You don't have to watch 10 minutes of video to get a definition. If you click on a definition, it doesn't even have to reload because it's all on one page. And the whole page is 84 kilobytes. It is very epitome of how most websites should be constructed... but your search engine would miss it.

      You know, my comment sucks because I would love to have an Internet that would allow your search engine to work. The world would be a much better place.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by BlueCoffee on Sunday March 03, @01:17PM

    by BlueCoffee (18257) on Sunday March 03, @01:17PM (#1347206)

    I am talking about Google and Bing since most independent search engines are just front ends that run off them, including DDG (Bing) and Startpage (Google). I prefer to use DDG and SP for privacy reasons.

    Search engines suck today because they, especially google, seem to randomly ignore search terms, or OR instead of AND search terms, and even more frustrating they randomly ignore +- operators. I think they think returning 40000 results that contain 1 out of 5 search terms on each page is better than returning 40 pages with all 5 search terms. 40000 is larger than 40, so it must be better right? Not!

    On top of that they remove old results thus a lot of the history of the www had disappeared. Thankfully there is the Internet Archive.
    Too be fair, it's is probably not completely the engine's fault that result quality is declined. Webpages today are not easily indexed html, text, and images, but instead they get rendered by thousands of lines of machine generated css and javascript gobbledegook which poses significant indexing challenges to sorting out the wheat from the chaff.

    Brave search created their own search engine; they don't use Google or Bing. Just started using it this week-trying it out after Google's "google doesn't allow results that contain white people" hate scandal. Haven't directly compared it to Bing or Google but I so far I am happy with it and I find what I am looking for, except for pictures results which can be sparse. Brave has a useful page summarizer that will condense long topics for you, and I have found their AI Assist to be helpful in solving for coding issues-it'll write the solution in front of your eyes in three seconds.

  • (Score: 2) by corey on Monday March 04, @09:02PM

    by corey (2202) on Monday March 04, @09:02PM (#1347355)

    I was supposed to reply to this yesterday but I forgot and left the tab open. I guess the wave of eyeballs is now gone and none will read this. 🙂

    Anyway, I have been using Ecosia, who claim to plant trees using ad revenue. This is a plus for me, which outweighs the badness of ads. Works well on my phone and desktops. But the results are not as good as others, but usable for most daily use. I will use Google for things I can’t get good results for.

    I’ve also been retrying Qwant, which is a French privacy focussed SE. They are very good from that aspect and are transparent about their mission and company. However I find often their search actually breaks on the mobile interface and it says no results and that I said try reloading. But that doesn’t work either. I might write to them about it because I like them. The other negative for me is that it’s slightly slower than others including DDG. But I will keep using them on the desktop.

    A feature I like about the big guys like Google and DDG is conversions just work eg. “1 usd to AUD”. Or “1 mm to mil“.