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the problem with Google is not exactly that they favour their own services in search results, but that they have the ability to not show results linking to preceived(!) competitors. And "perceived" is meant to state that not only does Google not have competitors, it also can be arbitrary in that Google can make the choice of which company / website it doesn't like on its own. Case in point: FoundEm.
The problem for world at large, then, is that a virtually unbeatable marketing trendsetter cannot be trusted to behave fairly to all parties interested in reaching the same audience, because it has stakes for itself in reaching these audiences.
The only way out of this conondrum would be to find a not-for-profit organization that builds up and maintains a search engine to the same quality standard that is being displayed by Google. That would require massive private donations whereby entities that have vested business / political interests would not be allowed to donate (thereby missing quite a big chunk of available money).
Any for-profit organization building up a new and better search engine would seek to profit from it at some point in time. The only way to do that is by data-mining searches and connecting them to web behaviour from searchers so that, ultimately, targetted advertising becomes a possibility. And then the world at large ends up with Google II, which is no solution, as it will be the same "do no evil" Godfather that Google already is.
ITPassion would be willing to step into this market, provided, as a start, all ElReg readers donate £2 per month, so that:
a) a tier 1 CDN can be build up across the globe;
b) quality software (crawlers, indexers, crossreferencers, result rankers) can be created;
c) a database CDN can be setup and operated on the required scale;
d) public facing webservers can be setup to provide result showing capabilities.
ITPassion will guarantee, in return for the mentioned £2 / month from *every* ElReg reader, that this search engine will never ever track your IP address, online behaviour, or other useful bits that enable it to present targetted advertising. The only thing the search engine will track is click-through behaviour to favor search results that people clicked on, so that they get a crowd-pleasing factor in the rankings; all this withou knowing *who* clicked-through.
Open the email floodgates, I am more than happy to provide donation details to all interested parties.