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Author Topic: Alternative Search Engines  (Read 1019 times)
DiffydaDude
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« on: September 06, 2023 @604.17 »

Yesterday, I made the decision to start using SearXNG while hardening Firefox, because Google Search has gotten unbearable. Everytime I search something, I get dumb sponsored results, spiritual health blogs, results with gibberish names and tons of keywords in the site preview text that send you to spin the wheel free phone sites, and random 1800s census results and unrelated science papers that only showed up because they shared one keyword with my search. I also noticed auto-generated searches becoming more prevalent, and they always have incorrect grammar or something that isn't even relevant to the keywords in question.
When I searched something with Sear, I got really good results. I could even get results for typing in gibberish, it's surprisingly good with how it searches stuff.
What are y'alls experiences with the annoying google search engine? Do you use any alternatives? Any y'all would recommend?
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urgellx
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2023 @674.78 »

I use SearxNG since a few months, used Searx before. Sometimes i use DDG to get more specific
results (for example, something related to my hometown) but i end up staying with SearxNG since
i can control what goes on inside the search engine, like automatically modifying a link for
alternatives without any extension. It's really neat overall being able to choose which engine you
use too. I don't know if i'd recommend you run your own instance, but it's really useful to mess
with the different settings.

Have a good day !  :ozwomp:
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jadefyre
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2023 @750.78 »

I've had some decent success with WebCrawler in terms of filtering out the trash, but I'm not well-versed in its pros/cons regarding privacy.
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j
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2023 @824.38 »

i rarely use search engines these days, but these are some of the ones i used to use:

https://farside.link/whoogle
https://farside.link/librex
https://farside.link/4get
http://wiby.me

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starbreaker
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2023 @849.09 »

Marginalia search is interesting. It's basically a DIY project running on a secondhand computer out some European guy's flat, but it's better than you might expect based on that.

https://search.marginalia.nu/
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zawieja
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2023 @938.56 »

I will agree that Marginalia is an interesting project since it would be nice to see less popular non-sponsored websites, but for me, it doesn't work that well... But I'm hopeful for it in the future if it will be developed more.

And A LOT of people noticed the weird gradual shift in Google searches (and Youtube is even worse lol).
But with my weirdly specific searches (I totally needed to know why you cannot breed a donskoy cat  with sphynx!)  nothing else quite keeps up with it. That, and a lot of search engines are very english language focused. Only Duckduckgo and Google seem to understand my specific questions and when I mean a word in my native language and when in english somehow...
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Gans
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2023 @304.48 »

Searching in English really improves the quality of search results. You just get more out of the web in English.

SearxNG didn't convince me, as it's noticeably slower than the other search engines.

My main criteria for a good search engine is that it's functional without JavaScript. And the best one is the lite version of DuckDuckGo (https://lite.duckduckgo.com/lite/).
Political topics might be censored though.

Mojeek (https://www.mojeek.com/) is an independent choice with its own search index.

And Frogfind (http://frogfind.com/) is a web-proxy for old browsers.

Good to have so many options! But a bit complicated at times to pick the right one for the right task...

Edit: Forgot one! Mamont (https://www.mmnt.ru/int/) is an FTP search engine. That's useful if you're looking for one specific file, like a DLL or a driver for example. But you have to know the name of the file in advance...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2023 @309.85 by Gans » Logged
BinaryDigit
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2023 @649.46 »

I've liked https://www.startpage.com/ but they have tons of sponsored links at the top so you have to scroll halfway down for results.
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2023 @741.15 »

I actually found this site indirectly while looking for sites to visit on protoweb. Not exactly an alternative in the sense as a substitute to an everyday browser, but it’s an archive project of the 90s-2000s internet. I’ve heard you can do things like listen to some radio on there and play games, but I’ve only figured out the game part.
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desbest
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2024 @860.79 »

I use Brave Search because I'm sick of all the "thin content" I'm seeing on Google and Bing. Also now that Google and Microsoft both have AI, there's now a "conflict of interest" to prioritise their AI generated answers from some ChatGPT/Gemini chatbot, than to proide organic results. Well Google is already self-preferencing, as they view vertical search websites as a threat.
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jackdunn
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2024 @869.40 »

I'm an Ecosia guy myself. If you don't like major search engines, then you won't like Ecosia - it piggy-backs off other search engines (used to be mainly Bing, until recently) but uses the ad cash to plant trees - and occasionally it'll guide you to more eco-friendly results.

Maybe one day, when the results get bad enough, I'll switch. But for now, maybe I can help stave off the climate emergency.
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2024 @965.97 »

A lot of the ones I know of have already been mentioned here, so I'll drop the ones that haven't!

qwant.com pulls from Bing, has its own index, has relatively little censorship and is fairly private. Good for weaning yourself off of the main search engines!

4get.ca works a lot like SearX, which has been mentioned here. Instead of having its own index, it pulls from many, many others. It's good for research, because it lets you search for answers from different indexes. It's also easy to configure, ad-free, avoids censorship and is very privacy-conscious.

I saw DuckDuckGo mentioned here, but I'd recommend looking into it more before you pick it up, if that's what you decide on. There have been a LOT of scandals in recent years; particularly involving selling its user's data, for a supposedly 'privacy-focused' engine...

Anyhow! For further research, I recommend the Search Engine Map, which shows how different engines relate to each other.

And, in case anyone was on the fence, FEAR NOT! We have the one thing we truly need on our side... An article hosted on a personal website by someone who knows FAR too much about the subject at hand!!! (Which I only say with the upmost respect.) The person behind it seems to have done a LOT of research into it, so I recommend checking it out!
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Paprika
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2024 @599.36 »

I use DuckDuckGo if possible. I like this topic, lots of interesting informations, thanks for everyone that contributed  :4u:
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Marcellus
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2024 @611.12 »

A lot of the ones I know of have already been mentioned here, so I'll drop the ones that haven't!

...

4get.ca works a lot like SearX, which has been mentioned here. Instead of having its own index, it pulls from many, many others. It's good for research, because it lets you search for answers from different indexes. It's also easy to configure, ad-free, avoids censorship and is very privacy-conscious.

...


I was about to mention 4get until I read your reply  :dog:
I really like this one, it's functional, and I feel like I'm supporting the fight of the creator, who's struggling with bot spam. Would recommend if you feel strong enough to complete the daily (goofy) captcha.
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varve
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2024 @220.56 »

*phew* that "digdeeper" search engine expert really reveals their bias a little ways down. Apparently search engines hide "the truth" in favour of misinfo-debunking sites and pointing out that conspiracy theories are not actually factual.

Makes me wonder how they evaluate the accuracy of anything...
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