Scroogle Founder Pulls The Plug, Closes Website

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 22, 2012
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Internet, Search

Scroogle was one of the sites that came up occasionally here on Ghacks as an alternative to Google Search. It basically provided access to Google Search results through a proxy to protect the privacy of its users. In this regard, it was more of a Google proxy than a search engine. Daniel Brandt, the creator of Scroogle, established the service in April 2003, and it has ever since been available online. Things turned for the worse in recent years when Google started to block - and unblock - the search engine from accessing its servers.

Many users suspected foul play here, while Google denied the allegations and stated that automated spam protection scripts were responsible for the blocking. That was unfortunate but a situation that most Scroogle users were willing to live with.

In February 2012, things started to heat up once again when Google started to block the service's access to their servers more regularly. That hurt the service considerably and made it less usable than before.

Scroogle servers on top of that were harassed by DDoS (denial of service) attacks that started back in December. Daniel Brandt decided to pull the plug on Scroogle, and all other domain names he owned, as of yesterday. Domains were not only taken offline content wise, but also in the domain name system (DNS) to protect the server providers from further DDoS attacks on their infrastructure.

Users who try to access the Scroogle website now will receive a site not found error. The other domain names that were taken down are:,,, and

Brandt told BetaBeat that he would have had to close down Scroogle even without the DDoS attacks due to Google's traffic throttling.

With Scroogle being taken off the grid, where should privacy valuing users go to for their searches now? The two search engines that come to mind are DuckDuckGo or


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  1. Harry Won said on October 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I can’t believe anyone pays attention to Daniel Brandt.

    The guy is a childish little prima-donna stuck back in the 1970s, who continues to ran his paranoia to anyone who will listen. Now someone is DDOS’ing him? What, is it the CIA Daniel?

  2. Joe_B_Wan said on March 3, 2012 at 5:39 am

    How about ? Looks cool to me!

  3. JimMtnViewCaUSA said on February 28, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Can we start calling it Googliath now?

  4. Marc said on February 25, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Isn’t there around a browser extension that can automate the process of using a safe/privacy minded proxy for google searches? Similar to scroogle?
    PD: I assume Scroogle SSL search extension is no longer working, since is based in the web service.

  5. Vítor I said on February 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

    You can even make Startpage look like Google…

  6. Jehochman said on February 23, 2012 at 4:04 am
    Reply is an easy way to protect your browsing and searching privacy. There is no need for Scroogle.

  7. ChildOfMidnight said on February 23, 2012 at 2:57 am

    This is fallout from Brandt targeting Encyclopedia Dramatica. Karma, baby

  8. Robert Palmar said on February 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Start Page was once and apparently still is also Starting Page:

  9. Paul said on February 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I have moved over to although I think Scroogle was much better, it was not limited by default to 10 items per search page nor was there any need to keep cookies to get more than that each time without resetting.

    I know that a lot of people prefer DuckDuckGo but even if you ignore the name I feel more comfortable with https.

    There are several other SSL search engines but I have yet to find one as good as Scroogle, which I suspect will be missed by a lot of people.

    R.I.P Scroogle.

    1. GiddyUpGo said on February 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      Startpage can show up to 100 sites at one time over the default 10.
      just go to settings after you open Startpage and set up the other options as you like.
      I use the Generate URL, save that URL to open Startpage everytime without saving cookies.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on February 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm
  10. punk bass said on February 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    i hated google before it was cool

    1. oyvey said on March 7, 2012 at 4:44 am

      I liked Google before I found out it spies on you and is a c|a black company

  11. Wolf said on February 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    An additional alternative private search option: (p2p web search)

  12. jazzyjeph said on February 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Will you news sites stop revealing all this stuff about Google please, they used to be my hero’s back in the day’s of “Portal” homepages there minimalist Google search page loading so quickly compared to the “portal” pages, they were a genuinely “good thing” and now look at them a multi-million pound empire intent on world destruction (sigh)

    1. Jim said on February 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      This is what happens when they get $$$ in their eyes and go public. At that point they turn over control of their baby to the shareholders and profit becomes the motivation behind everything. Altruistic mottoes are trumped by the next quarterly earnings report. Wait and see what happens to FB.

      1. noName said on April 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm

        You do realize this isn’t about profit. The shareholders actually aren’t making anything on Goog yet. No money has been given back at all and won’t for some time. This is all about Google taking over and sucking up all and it can from each and every person on the world; until one day; it does run everything.

    2. anon said on February 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      “I liked Google before it was cool”

  13. Matt said on February 22, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I hope this same fate does not befall, which I have been using almost exclusively since I saw it mentioned on ghacks recently.

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