A not-for-profit search engine that serves up a privacy-friendly version of Google has been out of action for much of today. Scroogle, which has routinely been scraping the Chocolate Factory's search results since 2002 in very workmanlike fashion, sported an error message announcing that it was down for most of the day. " …
Why bother even mucking about with anything connected to Google anymore, just use DuckDuckGo.
Moved over and don't think I'll be going back.
Only trouble is, DuckDuckGo sucks. It relies too much on scripts, doens't work properly on older browsers, and defaults to obnoxiously heavy censorship (try searching for "sex").
'try searching for "sex"'
Erm, works fine once you turn off safe search? (which they suggest you do when you search for "sex")
Also you can do it via the (great) control panel: http://duckduckgo.com/settings.html
This lets you customise most things, including turning off the few ads they run (and they suggest an alternative way of supporting the site). Google could learn quite a bit about "personalisation" from that alone.
So no, it doesn't suck.. really. What older browsers are you using anyway?
Your learning curve is a bit flat mate.
startpage.com. It works with Google, but keeps your details from them.
How does it preserve those settings changes between sessions?
Seems they have everything thought out and you have a choice of using a cookie for settings or not.
Re: 'try searching for "sex"'
First of all, searching for "sex" turns up absolutely nothing. Not not sex education sites, not the Wikipedia article, not a dictionary definition, nothing. Which frankly, is just stupid. I could forgive that if it wasn't the default, or even if the censorship was easy to turn off. But no...
Yes it's possible force it with a URL parameter, but that's already getting kind of ridiculous, and to top it off it won't even remember that setting from one search to the next.
So yeah, it sucks.
I emailed your news-desk about this over a week ago!
Obvious icon is obvious.
Wouldn't be much easier for Scroogle
to build their own search engine and offer those results without having to rely on Google infrastructure ? Why be afraid, Google started small, in a garage and look where they are now. Scroogle could then design and impose their own privacy policies and other stuff like that.
Alternatively, why not pay Google in exchange for the permission to do just that, repackage their search results.
I guess the whole point is to deliver the same results as Google without all the crap.
Though lately I'm having a hell of a time thinking of reasons why delivering the same results as Google is even a good idea.
"build their own search engine"
Any budding search engine will find it immensely hard to compete with Google's vast amount of users across all their products essentially crowd-picking the most relevant links.
So many crowdsourced metrics for the picking: most clicked link in search results, most +1'ed, most starred in Google reader, most shared in Gmail/Gtalk just to name the most obvious....Plus they have direct Internet peering across most parts of the world.
Let's be honest, short of changing search itself no garage company is going to improve on this. If one merely hints they could do so, Google would buy them up anyway - as reported, they are buying a company a week these days.
Facebook could, but I guess they're not going to release some half baked "beta"solution, when they do release it it'll be straight to the jugular. This thought must keep some Googlers awake at night, hence the whole "put them into Google+ whether they like it or not" approach.
b/c creating a search engine and having the resources, incl. hardware is very far from trivial job.
Working as proxy is absolutely trivial and embarrassingly easy to scale type of job.
@much easier for Scroogle to build their own search engine....
but they strip out all sponsored results and advertising...
so you goan send them 10 cents for every search you conduct?
They live off donations
@stanimir - So you suggest pirating Google's search
is the way to go ? Can this be sustainable ?
@AC - Feb 14, 21:11GMT
Why call it pirate? The search result is free of charge and publicly available, it's just a representation difference + anonymity.
The former can be addressed by a client modification and it's quite an easy job, disable ads, skim what part of the interface you deem superfluous etc. I practically do not see any ads, blocking ad sites is simple.
The latter, however, is a hard nut to crack, mostly b/c google can keep you tracking w/ or w/o your consent - cookies, IP, "clicks", view. Cookies can be mended just as well, but the IP requires an external proxy and/or large scale organization to cover multiple persons/users under a single (or multiple) IPs.
Is there some kind of hidden agenda going on here, with regards to DuckDckGo? Every time El Reg prints an article which references search engines, two or three people always pipe up to claim they've switched to DuckDuckGo and it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I find it strange, because I've only ever heard of DDG or heard people mention DDG on here.
I'm not saying DDG is a bad search engine. It seems to work OK. But there are dozens of other search engines, which aren't Google either and which also work OK. The honest truth is that most search engines seem to throw up pretty much the same results, give or take a bit of ranking shuffling. The cynic in me thinks that they're all scraping the same database for their results. Someone enlighten me as to why DDG seems to have become the poster child for ad-free and tracking-free searching?
Maybe people are just sick and tired of Google.
I got my pointer to DDG from Linux Mint. They changed to make it one of their intial list search engines and then promoted it to pole position bacause they liked the philosophy behind it.
It's just possible that it gets mentioned so often because it does the job it needs to without any fanfare or tracking. The other front-runners are either stuffed with ads/Sponsored results (yes I know those are the same thing) or else track everything you do 'to help you search better'. Even I don't know what I am going to be looking for next and if it is similar to something I have already looked for then why would I want the same results pushed back at me 'to be helpful'.
Don't think there is an hidden agenda.
I started using DuckDuckGo and genuinely like it, especially all the integration with things like Wolfram Alpha, Wikipedia, etc.
With Google's recent turn for the worse I was looking at other search engines and to be honest only got along with DDG.
The results seem positively better than Bing (and Google) and the bang syntax let's me quickly try out other sources without leaving the same screen. What's not to like, really.
I guess if you like something it's only natural you recommend it? It's also similar to how Google got started.
Word of mouth, innit
How Google originally spread
And there aren't too many options when it comes to tracking-free searching, as far as I know your choices are Scroogle (broken), Startpage, and DDG.
SICK TO DEATH OF GOOGLE
I second this post!!! I am so sick of Google I could PUKE!!!! Their loser hackers hack our business from two houses down. Apparently the OBLAHBLAH administration, along with Chase Bank, put them there to run us out.
OBLAH has already put a friend of mine out of business. She owned a small convenience store/gas station in Austin, TX. Put her out of business in a matter of months so they could turn the company over to a USED TIRE GHETTO SHOP!!!! MAkes me SICK!
Get this freak out of office and GET GOOGLE OUT OF MY BUSINESS....
Re: SICK TO DEATH OF GOOGLE
Pretty sure you're supposed to take those pills TWICE a day.
you can get all the search you need
I blocked Cuil from crawling all the websites I manage yonks ago.
It's no more, and went down in the shittiest of ways too: "PC Magazine reported that on the morning of September 17, 2010 "employees were told about Cuil's demise [...] and the servers were taken offline five hours later." Laid-off employees were told they would not be paid. The shutdown reportedly came after an acquisition agreement fell through earlier in the week."
Biggest hype turned shit that ever was. What else would one expect from an alternative search engine built by two ex-Googlers anyway: once a Googler always a Googler - sheltered pompous lot they are.
the thin end of the wedge
I find it alarming that Google has made scroogle.org disappear from search results. Try a search for 'scroogle'. Nothing. Google's job is to provide search results, not alter reality to suit its business. What will we see next? Will Adblock Plus one day silently disappear from search results because it makes a dent in Google's ad revenue?
Google is already pissing around with search terms, offering up what it thinks you probably meant, such that you have to click the Verbatim link to search for what you *actually* typed. It's becoming a bit too much like hard work to get what you want from it, and now this.
Next they'll show Adblock Plus to you, because they know if fits your profile and you'd be angry if they didn't.
But they won't show it to the average non-techy Joe, with the excuse that it doesn't fit within his interests.
Welcome to Google Search 2.0, now with added evilness, already here today.
Make sure you at least have opted out of targeted profiling via
http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/view or just use a more consistent search engine.
Don't be evil
Making "scroogle" blatently not show up in the search results is "Evil" by any definition I can think of. A lot of what they have been doing has been "well, not actually Evil, but certainly not honorable", but failing to list Scroogle when directly searched for is clearly over the line.
Google messing around with search terms
@Chris 68: "Google is already pissing around with search terms, offering up what it thinks you probably meant..."
They've been doing that with my family name for a year or two now.
It's bloody annoying to be told that you don't really mean your own name.
And this morning Gmail started giving me personalised ads:
"This ad is based on emails from your mailbox. Visit Google's Ads Preferences Manager to learn more, block specific advertisers or opt out of personalised ads".
Er, they've based that on a total of 4 outgoing emails, all to the same person :-)
"They've been doing that with my family name for a year or two now."
Let me guess, loads of results for a well-known dairy product made in Yorkshire?
I remember now! :)
"Its traffic is nearly always boosted when there's a public outcry about Mountain View's handling of data and privacy online..."
I heard something along the same lines a looooong time ago, when Google was that small search engine trying to challenge.... what was it.. Yahoo probably... w
hey, what did people use before google to find stuff?! I honestly don't remember for sure! :(
"Funny", how google can embed itself as THE search engine.
Really? We used Altavista, Excite, Lycos, HotBot, Yahoo and my favourite Alltheweb.
At first Google's results were as - or more - shitty as the others, but a lot of people started moving because the UI was very clean and the ads were very light..
In the meantime Google forgot to keep it that way.
"a lot of people started moving because the UI was very clean"
Don't forget the enormous advertising campaign. I think that was the first time I ever saw a pure internet technology advertised at a bus stop.
And when I say "a bus stop", I mean "every bus stop".
"...hey, what did people use before google to find stuff?! I honestly don't remember for sure!..."
I used to use Alta Vista, back in the years BG [before Google]. One of the reasons I switched to Google was that [back then] Google offered a simple, no-nonsense search; one search box, with advanced options, if you needed them. A lot of the other search engines were, at that time moving towards the DMOZ [i think it was called] model of "human curated" search directories, which I always found a complete pain in the arse, as you had to hoke through a zillion categories and sub-categories to find anything.
The irony is that nowadays, having seen off the competition, Google's search results are becoming almost as unhelpful. This time requiring me to wade through zillions of ads, sponsored results, "did you means..."?, link farms and other crap.
Hidden agenda, or no, it might be time to give the duck a whirl.
So Google is blocking a site that scraps it's content, removes it's sources of revenue and then makes it available? What's the problem with that? Google is a profit making company not a charity.
what we need...
Is a system that filter's out the incorrect apostrophe's.
(Wonder what effect that will have on the use of emoticons, though)
"a site that scraps it's content, removes it's sources of revenue and then makes it available"
Sounds a lot like what Google also does, except Google even puts their own ads on top.
When it's done to them suddenly it's wrong? Do no evil, indeed.
.... works just fine.
Startpage.com - Ixquick Google scraper also seems to work fine. Never could get on with DDG.
Following a comment on this very site a week or two ago, I verified that Startpage poos a Google cookie onto your machine when you visit it. Ixquick doesn't. Startpage is no longer welcome on my pc after such misbehaviour, and google.com is now blacklisted on my cookie filter.
Can't reproduce it. It's either been fixed or it's a problem restricted to one server.
Thanks for that - it definitely did happen when I tried at the time. That's the trouble with casting sites into the outer darkness for ever - you never know when they repent.
Ixquick doesn't scrape anyone, AC
Ixquick is simply an alternative search engine based in the Netherlands who gathers its own results.
Strange, i just flipped over to the great satan of search, and got over 644000 results for "scroogle"
Then I flipped back to seeks search
However, the "google hates us" message has been there on scroogle for about a week.
Indeed, but what you won't be seeing (at least in the first few pages I checked) is a link to scroogle.org (even if you actually search specifically for that).
Re: oh noes
So did I.
However, none of those results are actually for scroogle...
Even searching for scroogle.org or site:scroogle.org doesnt show anything, not so much a search engine as an advertising platform.
What you mean you didnt realise this?
Google is your friend.
Google loves you.
Google is doing it for you.
Google keeps you safe.
Almost reminds me of 1984...
Do you see a link to the site? Well, you don't.... now you know.
I "Binged" it, and found the site.
My enemies enemy and all that?