Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Better Search Engines

Remember search engines?  Google wasn't the first and certainly isn't the best.  So many people now use phones with the Android operating system that google has become almost ubiquitous. as it comes preloaded.  If that is the case for you, and you are beginning to notice that google simply can't find what you want, you should probably try another search engine.

Maybe you've also noticed that the top results on your google search were retailers or some other sales pitch.  Well, you're on to something.  Google sells results.  Sometimes the first few pages will be filled with results boosted to the top by a combination of your previous searches and the amount of money an advertiser has paid the google crew.  Those results rarely contain the information you want, especially if the topic is relatively obscure, which most of the searches for information you don't already know tend to be.  Paid results would rarely supply you with your desired knowledge.

Thankfully, there are many other options to find this data.  Some of them don't even track your searches the way google does.  These give you accurate results without trying to figure out what you would buy next... and there are several good ones.  This makes for a plethora of non-sales results.

Among the best-known is duckduckgo.com.  It is a fine search engine.  It will give a line or two of ads, related to your result, but not disguised as a search result, like google does. 

This man's personal favorite, though, is ixquick.  Ixquick's tag-line is 'the world's most private search engine'.  I don't know if that's true, but they really do serve up some of the best results.  It is actually a meta-search of several search engines, parsed merely by your search terms. 

Don't waste your time with ixquick's sister-site, Startpage, which merely uses google search results gained anonymously via proxy.  They are so screwy as to barely resemble the search terms you've entered.  Maybe Startpage will come to their senses and ditch google if people simple stop using it.

Sadly, the .com version of Ixquick now utilizes google results.  You can still find the original Ixquick results at the .eu site, but load times may be slower.  Even with a second or two wait, the ixquick.eu results are still more accurate and waste less time than wading through the google paid-result quagmire.

Ditch google.  Yeah, it's easier to use the google voice search, and other google crap that comes pre-loaded on your phone.  You will find, though, when you try another search engine, that the amount of information other search engines can find that google can't is tremendous.