DuckDuckGo, the privacy focused search engine, has acquired Duck.com from Google. Responding to rumors from a few days ago, CEO Gabriel Weinberg said that the new domain would make it easier for people to use the company’s search engine. The Duck.com domain was previously owned by Google, after it acquired On2 Technologies back in 2010.

Like: Google relents and transfers Duck.com to DuckDuckGo – The Verge

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LONDON — In the battle for online privacy, U.S. search giant Google is a Goliath facing a handful of European Davids. The backlash over Big Tech’s collection of personal data offers new hope to a number of little-known search engines that promise to protect user privacy. Sites like Britain’s Mojeek , France’s Qwant , Unbubble …

Like: European privacy search engines aim to challenge Google – 570 NEWS

Privacy is important. You don’t have to put up with losing it to your search engine.

This is a really good article because it sheds some light on the Euro search engine scene and provides some details.

Read the article but here are some of the things that it clarified for me.

Highlights:

Qwant:  Growing. The substantial index they are building is of French, German and Italian pages. That makes sense, focus on your core niche.  Great news.

Mojeek: keeps growing in usage. Especially over the last year.  I’m liking this.

Swiss Cows: has it’s own German language index, for other languages it serves sanitized Bing.  Another win.

There’s more in the article.

This addresses some of my concerns about lack of EU and UK based search indexes.

 

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Source: European Search Engine: neutral & confident – US Version

This is a quickie, first impressions introduction.

Unbubble bills itself as a European meta search engine, based in Germany with all other operations based inside the EU.  Normally I don’t get too excited about meta search engines but this one caught my eye for a couple of reasons:

  • One of the search engines it uses is my favorite: Mojeek
  • Exactseek is used. Exactseek’s search results are actually pretty good, but given the nature of the Exactseek parent company I wouldn’t exactly associate it with privacy. Hmm.
  • EU privacy laws.
  • Unbiased results by using many different search sources. Yeah I like.

The meta search engine for the US mainly pulls results from Exactseek, Mojeek and Yandex as the heavy lifters. That’s a pretty good trio because just those three blended can produce a very good search result.  But add in Qwant, Faroo and some others and the results get even more interesting.  Unbubble specifically talks about “directories” as being providers and I like the sound of that.

Search results pages are clean and neat without too many distractions.  Search results are very good, although sometimes the search is a bit slow.  The pages use a lot of JS so that might be the cause.

There is a search plugin for Chrome (why TF are you using Chrome?) and also an assistive search installer for other browsers that may not normally allow you to add search engines.

How Private is Private?

Unbubble makes it clear that they don’t share information other than the search keywords with any third party.  I’m a little blurry on if Unbubble keeps any personal tracking info on you for themselves.  If they do keep any identifying info, it’s protected by EU laws.  And maybe I need to read the privacy policy again.  In any event, Unbubble appears to be way more private than Google and Bing which is still a major plus.

Bottom Line:

Unbubble is definitely worth trying.

 

Notes on Exactseek:

  1. Their search results are really quite good.
  2. They claim to be a directory, but their search result algo is way better than any directory I have ever seen.  And they must have a huge index.
  3. They are owned by Jayde Online Network. Which is a marketing firm.

This was also posted to
/en/search-engines.

 

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RIP Findx.  I came across the announcement just now while investigating why searches were not working with them.  I just discovered FIndx about a month ago and now it’s gone. This makes me sad.

You should read the announcement above.

Some takeaways:

  1. The open source Gigablast search engine script is not up to the job, they say.  Good to know if you are starting up a search engine project.
  2. It is very hard to get people to switch away from their preferred search engine.
  3. Too many major sites block small legitimate search engines by default.
  4. The web is awash in a sea of spam and it’s very hard to sort that out.
  5. Crawling the web, building your own search index is very expensive.
  6. Building a competent crawler is very hard.

To the Findx team, goodbye and thank you for trying.

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The video below is of interest to SEO’s, webmaster’s trying to create their own informational websites, and the Indieweb.  The video, featuring Rand Fishkin, is 32 minutes long but packs a lot of current information.  I agree with Rand through the first 2/3rds of the video where he is making his case. I disagree with his conclusions in the last third because I’m not an SEO, I don’t have clients that are trying to sell things and I’m not trying to sell things.

via The Future of SEO is on the SERP | BrightonSEO 2018 – YouTube

Why this matters to:

  1. The Indieweb: Rand touches upon the social network silos, and how they are increasingly not linking out. They want to keep your content within their walled gardens.  Google is now doing this too, especially in mobile search.  This is not by accident but by design.  This is why I keep hammering away that Google is one of the the bad silos that the Indieweb should be concerned about, especially with Google controlling 90% of search traffic.  When the social network silos implode we will still be left with Google as the Gatekeeper.
  2. To Content Websites and Webmasters: we see in the video, that on the mobile SERP, Google is just posting their own information or information scraped from our sites and reused as their own without providing any click through links to the originators. eg. weather, celebrity news, sports, travel and tourism, food and dining via Google maps, accommodation etc. and its growing.  Commercial content websites which rely on ads to pay the bills are not getting many ad impressions if Google borrows their content or or otherwise fails to provide click through traffic.  As Rand points out the tacit agreement with search engines (I call it the Search Contract) is that in return for providing content and letting search engine crawlers use our bandwidth to index our sites, the search engines supply traffic.
  3. Commerce Websites: This is where Rand and I part ways.  His conclusions are probably realistic if you are trying to market a product because Google, the social networks and Amazon are all putting you in a squeeze play.  It’s the money making sites that hire SEO’s and good SEO’s have to do what is in their client’s best interest.  In this instance you have to play the game, when your business depends upon sales, it is probably not the best time to launch an anti-Google crusade.

Conclusions

Watch the video, you will learn something even if you are not an SEO and don’t care about search engines.  Rand’s presentation and the slides are telling.  Or at least watch the first 2/3rds until he gets to the recommendations for SEO’s.

It explains why I think decentralized search is so important for the Indieweb and the general health of the web and why we need guerrilla search solutions.

robots.txt

BTW Rand mentions one clear solution for content sites early on:  if, over time Google is not sending you traffic, bar Googlebot via robots.txt.  Give Bing and the smaller search engines an exclusive, if they are smart enough to take it.  If Google is not sending traffic you are not out anything.  I say this as someone who has just launched a web directory.  I don’t know how Google treats web directories anymore and I guess I will find out.  But if after a year or two, I’m not getting any traffic or appear to be penalized by Google, I have no problem barring Googlebot from the site.

 

This was also posted to
/en/indieweb.

 

Also on:

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The Wiby search engine is building a web of pages as it was in the earlier days of the internet.

 

 

Wiby.me  is currently dressed for Halloween with a black and orange theme.  Normally it’s plain old black on white.  The costume is good because it shows that somebody in minding the store at the Wibyplex and perhaps is an homage to the old days when webmasters dared to use black backgrounds.

Wiby is a search engine for HTML pages.  The way web pages were coded before CMS’s and Javascripting everything took over.

 

Search engines like Google are indispensable, able to find answers to all of your technical questions; but along the way, the fun of web surfing was lost. In the early days of the web, pages were made primarily by hobbyists, academics, and computer savvy people about subjects they were interested in. Later on, the web became saturated with commercial pages that overcrowded everything else.

So that is the mission of Wiby.  And you know what?  I like it.  You can find a rabbit hole full of fun stuff on Wiby.  The interface is clean, not overly slick, no advertising and the results are not bad considering the limited size of the index.  This is a great, bored in your cubical in the cube farm at lunch time chomping on your PBJ sandwich, entertainment web search engine.  Yeah it’s got serious stuff too but the entertainment is in seeing the old web pages.

Try it.

H/T to Kicks Condor for finding Wiby.me and sharing.

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Findx – a privacy-by-default search engine. No logging. No tracking. Transparent algorithms. Hosted in Europe. Users like you help shape the results.

Bookmark: findx — keep searching, in private

Currently in beta.  I literally found out about this 15 minutes ago so I have not had time to really look it over.  Based in Denmark, Findex is an open source fork of Gigablast.  Hopefully they will improve on Gigablast’s algo.  Good news on the decentralized search front!

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via Million Short – What haven’t you found?

This is a search engine that lets you  dig deeper into the search results.  It lets you exclude the top 100 to 1 million most popular search results, getting you into the deep meat of the web.  The Wikipedia page on Million Short is also of interest.

I really like this!  Note, they seem to be using their own crawler, this could get even more interesting in the future.

Source: by Hope Thanks!

 

This was also posted to
/en/search-engines.

 

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