I am not familiar with Baidu, Ecosia, Startpage or Gigablast. I use Google for technical information about programming, nothing else. Brave is same as Google without tracking, but still returns censored manipulated results. DuckDuckGo is Google lite, another deep state operation. Bing just plain sucks, like most other Microsoft products. Since Yandex is Russian, they are not controlled by our deep state - no motive to censor and sabotage events like the Canadian trucker protest. So I consider Yandex the most reliable for most stuff that I search for.
Thanks @floughry for sharing your thoughts. DuckDuckGo is actually “Bing” lite; they have never used the Google API as far as we know. They started with Yahoo! but they abandoned their independent search engine and now also use Bing. DuckDuckGo also used Yandex at some point but I don’t think they do so now and exclusively use Microsoft Bing and Azure. The do have their instant answers using verious APIs and some indexin, but predominantly they send search queries, at least and $ for the Bing API calls and get back results and Ads.
As it happens we have just launched Search Choices and you’ll be pleased to know we included Google and Yandex.
Search Choices are now launched. Many thanks for your inputs. I think we have covered all the options mentioned here offering a choice of 8 search engines and services, all under your control and as shown below. You can read the details and how to use it here.
As others have noted, I am averse to using Bing, Google, Yandex or any other that collects or guides more than necessary…especially since we now have real choices. I would add two seach engines: Swisscows and Qwant.
Personally, there are enough healthy alternatives that Mojeek does not have to indiretly support the likes of Bing, Google and their ilk.
Thank you for giving us real options in the crawler/search department.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Last time we checked Swisscows and Qwant are largely a search proxy for Bing. So they are not really search engines but search services; the data and $ sent, results and ads from, Microsoft are thus largely determined by their respective syndication arrangement. We decided to include at least intially Ecosia and DuckDuckGo as the Microsoft syndication partners in the Selection list; similarly Startpage as the search proxy for Google.
We have had varied views on whether we should or not support Google, Bing and Yandex; so we decided to not make them part of the default list of four, which provide some diversity of sources and a healthier attitude to tracking.
Taking into account other inputs we’ll consider what we might add in an next update. We note your suggestion of Swisscows and Qwant, and Metager above from @Brad. In case you don’t know we maintain this https://www.searchenginemap.com/ although it needs an update and works well only on desktop.
Thanks @Colin; yes, they are proxies but they do not share my personal info :). I rather go to those two than directly to Bing, Google, or Yandex directly. Ultimately, I prefer to use Mojeek and only when forced too far off the beaten path do I go to Swisscows and Ecosia…I do use Peekier from time to time as well…getting more comfortable with the format.
Thank you for everything you and the team are doing. It is greatly appreciated. Wish I had found you sooner.
Qwant is actually a hybrid. It’s one of two engines I know of (the other is Neeva) that managed to get permission to modify results fetched via the Bing API. It combines its own results with Bing’s.
IME, the results are somewhat Bing-flavored, but they are definitely not the same. Some results are unique and some results on the first page would be buried five pages deep in Bing; however, the top couple results are typically Bing-identical. I recently had to amend my search indexes article to reflect that.
@seirdy thanks for the comment and for your brilliant article; possibly the best in-depth and most accurate review of the search engine market. It’s hard to follow what Qwant and Neeva do; rather opaque. When I spoke with Neeva it was only Bing but they had intentions to do some indexing. As for Qwant, the last we understood was that they index just French sites. But the company has changed recently and is now partnered with Huawei too, so who know? Anyway yes, you might say hybrid; as indeed you might about DuckDuckGo, and others, if you consider isntant answers and similar. No one I have spoken too, or read content from, externally knows whether DuckDuckGo and Ecosia, to name two, have permission to modify Bing results. Perhaps you can know or can find out. How you would combine results from two indexes without access to the inner scorings/working of the external index is a huge issue; but I’m sure Microsoft don’t give those so I wouldn’t call it a hybrid. I’m sure there’s a better word to use; but for now how about cocktail?
Their integration of their own index was fairly recent when I added them. I’m not able to give details.
I’ve been thinking about splitting up the “semi-independent” section up to distinguish Brave and Kagi from Qwant and Neeva. Rationale:
Brave does have a truly independent index, but it’s designed to be extremely similar to Google. They published a paper on “goggles” to allow users to skew ranking behavior for different purposes. I think these two facts really do make it much more independent than Qwant and Neeva. I’m also tracking certain queries to see how SERPs change with time compared to Google, and have seen a few positive results.
Kagi is actually super interesting, and I think it offers the most unique results in the “semi-independent” category with its non-commerical index and bias: results from its independent sibling Teclis engine do show up, and they’re quite relevant. Kagi also offers “lenses” similar to Brave’s upcoming “goggles”, and its “non-commercial” lens is really quite something. I’m not sure I should give more details, but suffice to say that it really does go out of its way to properly integrate both mainstream sources and its Teclis index, rather than just inserting them randomly.
I should also add that reverse-engineering Google and Bing is something that lots of these engines engage in. Not receiving scoring data hasn’t stopped Brave (well, Cliqz at the time) and at least two other engines from coming up with their own way to determine ranking factors at play. A common strategy is to compare changes over time between their own SERPs and GBY’s and monitoring pages for changes that could trigger them, feeding these “change signals” into their own models. Cliqz’ tech blog detailed something similar: https://www.0x65.dev/
Whoops, that went off-topic. I’m not sure Kagi could work well for “search choices” since it requires logging in; perhaps integration in the opposite direction (i.e. a Mojeek “search choice” visible on Kagi) is a better option.
A search-choices initiative across multiple search engines with unique-looking results could be mutually beneficial. If multiple independent indexes can share some information/integration, it could allow them to collectively improve enough to gain some mindshare. This might not be a zero-sum game because most players don’t have much to lose.
A simple set of links to other engines at the bottom of the SERP is a good starting point.
Other engines I’d like to see featured: Right Dao, and some language-specific options depending on the user’s locale (e.g. Seznam, Naver, Baidu, etc).
@Seirdy, I think you are either in a pretty small group or wholly unique in this respect; please don’t hesitate to share whatever you write on this when you do here, I’d be extremely interested to read it.
On digression, no worries at all, that contribution is very valuable. The need to be logged in for Kagi would definitely mean that it’d be an inclusion that would result in some dissatisfying journeys for a lot of people, we should look into the others though.
Hi @Seirdy, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your points understood and well made. I think the solution is probably to have an option in Search Choices where you can define any search URL (and icon URL). This would provide both flexibility and user control at the expense of reduced user accessibility, for some.
It’s been enough time using this I’ll offer some feedback.
Best thing ever. Before, when I was about to do a search and Mojeek was my default, I would self censor some searches that I thought would be too complex for Mojeek and send those to DDG. Because of time constraints. Now I just throw everything at Mojeek first because there is backup.
Rabbit hole. This may only be me, but Search Choices is like putting a flight of micro-brewed beers in front of me. I now do the Mojeek search, but then I just have to compare it to a couple of others which leads me down a rabbit hole. Great fun exploring but man can I waste time.
I do the same thing where I now start on Mojeek and use DuckDuckGo as my alternate. I use this especially when playing
freerice.com on hard.
This is great to hear; if anything comes up around Search Choices which anybody thinks would make it better, add more functionality etc. then please don’t hesitate to share.
Does Mojeek want to add mapping in the future?
It’s something which has definitely been discussed, I’m guessing that would be a very useful one for you @mike?
I don’t use maps often. But one of the reasons I leave Mojeek is for map data.
Same here. It’s the one reason DDG is default on my smartphone. It’s just handy to see where a business is located on a map yet I don’t need turn by turn navigation since I already have that with an app that came with the phone.
- Right Dao - a centralized index
- YaCy - decentralized index with a demo available
- Alexandria - a very new, centralized meta/index - i contacted them and you can read our exchange here
none of the above offer great results at the moment, however i think they are all worth watching - at the least i think Right Dao would make a decent addition to the current 3rd party options