Ixquick merges with StartPage search engine

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 18, 2016
Internet, Search

Heads up Ixquick users, the company behind the popular search engine announced today that it will merge the search engine with the company's other big search engine, StartPage.

What it means, basically, is that Ixquick will serve the same search results that StartPage provides.

According to the announcement on the official website, this is done in light of changing market conditions, and to combine the two products into one that is more powerful.

A quick of the Alexa ranking of both search engines reveals that StartPage is more popular than Ixquick, as it ranks among the top 4000 sites while ixquick made it barely in the top 10000 sites listing.

The main difference between StartPage and the current version of Ixquick is that the former is powered exclusively by Google search results while the latter aggregates data from multiple search engines to rank them based on factors such as prominence and quantity.

Both search engines are privacy orientated, and the merging won't change the fact. IP addresses are not recorded for instance, and data is not shared with third-parties.

The date for the merging is March 26, 2016. It is unclear right now however whether Ixquick will remain accessible under its current address, or if it will be redirected to StartPage instead.

Starting March 26, you'll receive private StartPage search results on Ixquick.com. We're merging our two search engines so we can focus on fighting Big Brother, rather than maintaining two different brands.

Ixquick has been serving terrific search results since 1999, but when we introduced StartPage in 2009, it quickly grew to become our most popular search engine. In light of changing market conditions, it made sense to combine the two products into a more potent force for good.

StartPage gives you actual Google search results with the full privacy guarantees of Ixquick. Google never sees you – and, of course, neither do we.

What's interesting is that Ixquick's search capabilities will leave on a ixquick.eu which means that current users of the service can use it instead of the .com address to continue using it.

All that is required for that is a change of bookmarks or search providers to use the new address instead of the old one.

Closing Words

Ixquick users who prefer the search engine over StartPage can keep using it, albeit under a new address. It is likely however that a large part of the search engine's user base will migrate over to StartPage.

The move should give StartPage another boost which should be noticeable not only in the site's Alexa ranking but also traffic and word of mouth on the Internet.

Now You: Which search engine do you prefer currently?


Ixquick merges with StartPage search engine
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Ixquick merges with StartPage search engine
Heads up Ixquick users, the company behind the popular search engine announced today that it will merge the search engine with the company's other big search engine, StartPage.
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  1. Anonymous said on November 24, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Ixquick is better when doing video searches you can watch them right in the page without having to go to youtube.

  2. Eddie Blowden said on May 2, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    None of you actually know who you are dealing with at Gaggle-Google. The gogle twin owners are NSA. Do you really believe that those “other” search engines can stop Gaggle-Utoob from knowing who the primary searcher is?

  3. Rich LJ said on April 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Metager now runs an english search engine which is geared towards protecting users’ privacy. Its servers are in Germany, which has strong data protection legislation.

    They can be found at: https://metager.de/en/

    Details of their privacy policy can be found at: https://metager.de/en/privacy.html

  4. Ian Macdonald said on April 10, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Have to say I’m wanting the old Ixquick back.

    Problem with Google, and Startpage since it uses Google, is inaccurate results. Google tries to be ‘smart’ and ‘read between the lines’ of what the user types. It then returns something that’s totally wide of the mark. Infuriating waste of time, because often even the top few results DON’T contain the terms you searched for.

    Ixquick either returns the results that match, or reports that none were found. I call that working properly.

    1. Garth said on April 11, 2016 at 5:47 am

      [quote]Infuriating waste of time, because often even the top few results DON’T contain the terms you searched for.[/quote]
      Absolutely true. Countless times, after searching with the “exact phrase” or “containing all the the words” criteria, they give me irrelevant junk that doesn’t meet the criteria. It makes me angry. No, they’re not helping!

      1. Mr. YumYums said on April 22, 2016 at 12:52 am

        I started using the ixquick.eu search because of the horrible results when using the new ixquick google results. The problem I am having is that WOT doesnt work with the .eu search and the right click context menu search with ixquick uses the new ixquick search tool. I know WOT ratings can be inaccurate but it helped avoid the the really bad links

  5. Stephanoux said on April 5, 2016 at 3:50 am


    It is not a good news as I always found Ixquick results way better than Startpage. Which is strange since the later use Google and therefore, its results are assumed to be better.

    Beside Ixquick, I heavily use DuckDuckgo and sometime Qwant, gave up Google and never looked back again, except for some searches in old news.

    DDG is using hundred of sources (beside having its own crawler) : https://duck.co/help/results/sources
    and I do believe this is the best approach we can think of.

    As users we should also definitely do the same thing, that is, NOT to put our eggs in one basket using one single search engine supposedly the best just because everyone say it is so.

    1. Garth said on April 5, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Just in the last week or so, I’ve started trying to use goodgopher.com for my searches, and found that for my usual technical stuff, it’s worthless. Maybe that will change as it has time to crawl more of the internet. So then I’ve tried duckduckgo, and it has worked well. The info on their pages like https://duck.co/help/company/fact-sheet look a whole lot better than google, but still have a few things I’m not sure I like. I will be watching with interest how all of this unfolds. The only thing I use Google for is the translate, and that’s rare. I used to use Babblefish, but it seems to be gone now. Are there any other alternatives?

      1. Stephanoux said on April 5, 2016 at 5:15 pm
  6. Owl said on April 4, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Sue: What browser, addons are you using? Everything works since merger. Maybe remove from your browser, search for Startpage, and “attach” it to your browser from their site? Maybe someone else has a better idea. It should work ok.

  7. sue said on April 1, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I used startpage/ixquick for a long time with no problem but as soon as they merged—bam— nothing I cant do proxy searches for anything-any subject. I really don’t want to go ‘conspiracy’ here but, as a conservative it ‘seems’ to me there is not anything on the web that is trustworthy to ‘protect our privacy’. Anyone else having this problem? Like what’s with collecting our email???? There goes the privacy right there.

  8. E. Cook said on March 31, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I used the original IXQuick specifically because it did NOT use Google among the search engines it employed. Am disappointed in the IXQuick merger with StartPage. I will not use Google because of censorship, data collection, et al. Not clear whether IXQuick.eu behaves in the same manner as the original IXQuik.com – i.e. still does not use Google? Does anyone know the answer to this? If IXQuick.eu does use Google, then it’s time for me to research other options.

  9. Greg said on March 28, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Have been using Startpage for a few months but only because I haven’t found a REAL search engine that protects your privacy. I used to use Scroogle.com because they really weren’t logging IP’s. But then Google shut them down – because they weren’t logging IP’s.

    Let’s fact it, Startpage operates with the permission of Google. If Startpage was really doing what we want (protecting our privacy) Google wouldn’t let them survive either.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Your comment deals with a question which still triggers me, or less since you bring an answer : why indeed did Scroogle shut down when a similar search engine, StartPage (powered by Google) runs like a charm. You claim that the latter logs IPs (sharing the logs with Google as well would confirm more easily a Google “authorization” I guess).

      This is a rather important statement. StartPage’s Privacy Policy claims “StartPage does not collect or share personal information. We don’t track or profile you.” If your assertion, Greg, is true, then we would be facing an incompatible policy.

      Does anyone have another explanation for the shutdown of Scroogle?

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 28, 2016 at 8:12 pm

        Interesting page, Rocky. It does bring a more plausible answer IMO than that of Greg (no offense, Greg).
        Maybe Scroogle simply refused to pay? Or maybe their comments expressed a philosophy very anti-Google oriented, which is not the thing to do when you offer for free (of logging) a bread baked by the one you denigrate.

      2. Rocky said on March 28, 2016 at 7:52 pm

        Not so much an explanation for Scroogle but a reason why Startpage may be allowed to exist by Google

        Regardless of this I would still feel that if you want Google results then you should use Google search as it seems disingenuous to do otherwise

  10. Garth said on March 22, 2016 at 6:01 am

    This is not very good news. One reason to avoid Google, even using it anonymously, is that they have begun censoring health web pages that go contrary to the profits of the pharmaceutical industry, and censoring other areas too. I’ve been using ixquick, but maybe now I’ll have to switch to something like goodgopher.com. I’m off to do some research.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      What is sure is that Google News for instance (News is not search results, ok) has never censored news with content delivering bad critics about Google itself. My feeling is that Google may be accused of its prioritization process but not of censorship. I frankly don’t believe it is in the company’s philosophy, should this position be led by any approach but moral. Their business attitude is far more nuanced than “hiding stuff”, characteristic of half-full (or half-empty) brains, IMO.
      And I try to be objective, no fan of whatever company nor even of whoever. But, as we say, people often love to hate, Google included. To hate or to criticize beyond facts, unreasonably so to say. And I don’t consider myself above people.

    2. Rocky said on March 22, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      @Garth – do you have sources for the censoring accusation ( I am not questioning you – just wondering where this belief comes from )

  11. RJ said on March 21, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Startpage is pretty cool. Used it off and on for a long time now. But I find that being in the Google universe makes the internet much more convenient to use. I don;t really care how much they spy on me to be honest.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 21, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      I can understand your point. I do care for privacy but not to the extent of loosing usability exaggeratedly. It’s a matter of balance I guess, a “cost of opportunity” every user is ready to pay when he tries to balance privacy and usability. Those not concerned about privacy as well as those exclusively concentrated on their privacy don’t face the dilemma.

      Let’s face it. Google Search delivers the best results and accompanies them with extras which come in handy. The whole thing is darn smart and has so much data that it is and remains IMO the very best search engine. OK, out of the box, with no defense a browser will be quite vulnerable to Google’s data collecting. But if you manage the right way (the “balance” I mentioned) and are aiming to get results, many and fast, Google is the champion.

      I know many are going to believe I may have switched my priorities, but not at all. I mean, it’s the whole point of demagogy verses pragmatism, yet not to the point of “joining them if you can’t beat them” : anyone can avoid the Google Search engines (even if blocking Google system-wide is impossible unless to limit a correct access to the Web to a fraction of its dimension), but if refusing Google Search from a dogma approach you’ll maybe be happy in the depths of your little victory but it will be at the expense of a lost, a lost of data, of speed, of service. Google just happens to be — forget IMO this is admitted by all — tremendously intelligent. Maybe do I admire intelligence more than I deny behavior, maybe. Whatever for the time being, after having tested, used, dived into alternate search engines, I’m back to Google as default search engine : it’s just better.

      I tried Bing, and Yahoo, Qwant : nope. I went on DDGo, StartPage, doesn’t do it, just doesn’t do it. DDGo still doesn’t offer time filters, StartPage is slow before it displays the results it gathered at Google (2 seconds here for a 100 items result page) with plain results only, no extra service. DDGo does offer !bangs which is smart and well done and at least has a specificity SmartPage lacks, it offers a good search assistance including a couple of extra features… but it just ain’t the power of Google so if my quest is tough, few key words, requiring a date filter… DDGo does not have the power, the skill of Google.

      Long live alternate search engines but as far as I’m concerned, no more DDGo as default search engine. Switching to Google so often to narrow the search that I’ve finally abandoned DDGo to call Google first (not to mention that when searching first with Google I’ve never had to switch to DDGo). I remain cautious but I admit a certain fatigue born from what I analyze now as demagogy in my choices. I’m slightly reconsidering weighting.

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 22, 2016 at 10:43 am

        @Rocky, thanks. Advertisement is another topic! Before I adjust my opinion on that problematic “hen will have teeth” as we say in French :) Even if any analyses is never correctly treated with a radical approach. Tough subject which concerns us all. Other topic indeed. Sometimes being radical is as easy as it simplifies complex issues. Believe it or not I keep wondering on that subject but haven’t found yet counter-arguments to those leading my position.

      2. Rocky said on March 22, 2016 at 12:25 am

        Good points – hard to beat Google searches and I admire your ability to change/adjust your opinion on the basis of considered reflection. I too am wondering if it is more effort than it is worth trying to be super-sensitive about ads etc in normal browsing / internet usage.

  12. Owl said on March 21, 2016 at 4:41 am

    David: could you clarify about updating pls? I didn’t quite get what you said. Thanks.

  13. Bill said on March 20, 2016 at 2:15 am

    I find Google is useful for images and translations. For general searches I mainly use google.co.uk so as to get UK orientated results. Reading TJ’s comment re ixquick.co.uk I tried startpage.co.uk The http page looks unconnected with the search engine of the same name, tried https but Firefox wouldn’t connect due to an invalid security certificate. Might give ixquick.co.uk a trial period.

  14. David said on March 19, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Startpage is great, but Ixquick is an important option because of Google’s so called “Truth Filter”.

    Firefox users: Remember when updating your Ixquick Search Plugin to do so via the link on the homepage, and not by Firefox’s built-in “add” function. The former ensures Searchbar queries and subsequent queries are private. The latter does the opposite.

  15. Ray said on March 19, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    If you’re looking for a new meta search engine, you might want to try Searx.me.

    You can configure which search engines you want to use in the settings area.

  16. mur_phy said on March 19, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    while my default search engine is “go ducky”, another one that is quite interesting is


    fast and the clustering capability is useful

  17. GiddyUpGo said on March 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I have used ixquick.com for years.
    So when they merge, ixquick.com will loose the other search engines it uses and will only use Startpage.com google results.
    There seems to be no reason to use ixquick.com after they merge, nor Startpage.com if you do not trust anything google..

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 19, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      @GiddyUpGo, as I understand it from ixquick dot com/eng/ixquick-merging-with-startpage.html :

      – On March 26th ixquick dot com and startpage dot com will merge into startpage dot com

      – Current ixquick dot com will be available at ixquick dot eu , quoting,
      “We think you’re going to love StartPage, but if you prefer current Ixquick search results, don’t worry. They will still be available at www[dot]ixquick[dot]eu.”

      Looks like ixquick dot eu will deliver search results from other search engines than Google, as it does now.
      Slightly confusing nevertheless.

      1. stilofilos said on March 21, 2016 at 10:16 am

        No idea why there is no ‘Reply’ button on our previous posts… , so I used this one again.

        To address your last thought in your reply dated March 20, I guess the blurred view is probably caused by the fact that we just did not know about the existance of their .eu site. I did not try to verify it, but maybe they have even more such sites in other countries as well.
        Of course I can not look into their mind either, and have to guess as well, but I see a clear analogy with how companies are generally merged. Perhaps it can be as simple as this :
        So they have, say, two sites offering the same product. One of them they merge with StartPage, the other not. People who are on the first but want to keep using the same product are invited to just migrate to the second site and keep on with their life as before.
        After the merger, Ixquick.com will most probably keep existing as an empty shell, disappearing from public view, and it would not surprise me if it sooner or later pops up again with a new product.

      2. Tom Hawack said on March 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm

        Confusing unless you read that quoted little sentence on their site, indeed.

        As it appears, ixquick dot com and startpage dot com will merge and both deliver Google search results.
        ixquick dot eu will deliver non Google results as ixquick dot com still does now.

        Will ixquick dot com disappear or will it be the alter ego of startpage dot com?
        Ends up, starting March 26th,
        – startup dot com as it is now
        – ixquick dot com as startpage dot com or closed?
        – ixquick dot eu as ixquick dot com is now

        I find this, if I’m correct, if not confusing at least hardly understandable when to resume ixquick dot com will become ixquick dot eu when it comes to keeping search results other than Google’s. I mean: I don’t get the point when I would if ixquick dot eu was not planned. What’s ixquick’s advantage? They will still have two search sources to manage, that of Google’s and that of other engines via ixquick dot eu …

        Pure geometrical logic : I don’t see the point even if the topology is understandable.

      3. stilofilos said on March 20, 2016 at 2:45 pm

        Confusing ? As I understand it, they have found out somehow that a considerable majority of their users are happy with the google-only results and actually don’t bother about alternatives.
        In that light they can surely avoid a lot of work and related costs when they don’t keep systematically submitting all requests to all engines.
        Thus moving the mass to StartPage for a uniform treatment, not involving the complication where not needed, seems a logical step.
        In general, I use a lot of skepsis about all things www, but after many years of experience with Ixquick, i don’t see any reason to distrust them or to suspect a hidden agenda behind this move.
        Anyway, it’s great of them that they keep their original multi-engine search available for that minority that does care. They could have just closed it down if they didn’t care about users.
        And the little sentence you quote is clear enough for a good understander, no ?

    2. Tom Hawack said on March 19, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      It depends what of Google you don’t trust.

      If you don’t trust Google not tracking you then you can trust StartPage since it claims its calls to Google are anonymous for the user.

      If you don’t trust Google because it handles per-user results based on what Google finds about his history together with what it already knows of the user, then you can trust StartPage because it doesn’t tailor results (as far as I know) as Google Search does

      Finally, StartPage sets a cookie only if you tell it to in the Options page.
      I believe it’s fair, theoretically.

      Now of course remains the fact the only quested search engine’s results will be those of Google. You know, as much I believe in being cautious as much I’m aware of being suspicious to the point of evacuating the good with the bad : inquisition and tracking put aside, IMO Google Search is and remains the best Web/Image/Video search engine. When you use it without it using you it’s just fine, and that happens to be the purpose of StartPage. I hope. I hope doesn’t mean I doubt, it means that nowadays I’d bet on very, very few certitudes, but in terms of probability of being safe(r) with StartPage, I’d figure a 99%.

  18. Tom Hawack said on March 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    ixquick was and remains the parent company and startpage itself calls ixquick.com when it comes to its image and video search.

    Here I use DDGo as default search engine, then Google Encrypt, Disconnect (in case of…) and Qwant (for the sake of what remains of a European patriotism). I’ve just added StartPage (and built a css to make it look presentable) in the perspective of Reunification Day, March 26th 2016.

  19. oz said on March 19, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    The new search engine, Oscobo, that Martin wrote about a few months back might be another good alternative for some users. So far, it seems to remain very privacy-oriented and fast, while maintaining a clean webpage layout. StartPage is still my default search engine, but I’m definitely keeping Oscobo on my list of favorites.

    For anyone wanting to take a look, Martin’s previous article regarding Oscobo can be found here:


  20. Ben said on March 19, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Don’t use either.
    But just going with google results means you get the google censorship.

  21. kalmly said on March 19, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Ixquick has been my main search engine for years. Like stilofilos, I like its results so much better than Google’s. I don’t have to wade through pages of junk to get to what I’m looking for. I go to the Duck when Ixquick’s results are too slim. I hope this change doesn’t destroy Ixquick.

  22. Rocky said on March 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I tried using Bing, DuckDuckGo etc but found that the best search engine ( for me at least) was Google. Startpage is very good but I still feel uncomfortable about the idea of pretending somehow that this is not using Google. I think it is and leaves the same feeling of unease as using adblockers etc.

  23. stilofilos said on March 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I will stay with Ixquick as long as it remains available as it is.
    I feel that its results are noticeably more adequate indeed, with that Google throwing in lots of junk between real results and filtering out results that they don’t judge necessary or suitable to give to users.
    In that respect, switching to StartPage would mean a loss of quality to me. At least as long as there are engines that serve better results… and we are not all forced to bow for that Google.

  24. wybo said on March 19, 2016 at 10:39 am

    As my main browser I use https://www.qwant.com/ For my more American oriented searches I use Duck Duck Go. Occasionally I use Startpage too
    No Google in my house though.

  25. Valrobex said on March 19, 2016 at 2:00 am

    I’ve used Startpage for years and only recently switched over to Ixquick, primarily to remain as “de-Googled” as possible. I’ve liked the Ixquick search results a little better when doing professional research. For consumer purchases I return to Startpage.

    From Martin’s article, it appears that this is a good move by the Ixquick team. Good for them. And it will only be a minor annoyance to be utilizing Google again.

    I’m not concerned about the loss of anonymity as the Startpage/Ixquick team does a good job of maintaining that.

    Returning to Martin’s question: Occasionally, I utilize DDGo but not often. Can’t remember using any other search engine in recent years.

  26. XenoSilvano said on March 19, 2016 at 1:33 am

    I thought they were the same thing given the layout of both.

    So, when this supposed ‘merge’ takes place (sounds more like a kill-off to me) will StartPage present the search results from multiple search engines like ixquick does or will it only show search results from Google?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 19, 2016 at 7:15 am

      March 26 will be the day of the merging. Both will deliver results from StartPage, so only Google results.

      1. ana said on August 11, 2016 at 7:16 am

        What’s interesting is that Ixquick’s search capabilities will leave on a ixquick.eu which means that current users of the service can use it instead of the .com address to continue using it.

  27. oz said on March 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Most of my searches go through Startpage, but I do use Ixquick and Duckduckgo at times. I try to stay clear of all the varied Google mechanisms as much as possible. I’m not certain, but I think this is a good move by the Ixquick team.

    1. svim said on March 19, 2016 at 12:42 am

      If most of your searching is done through Startpage it’s not like you’re actually staying clear of all the varied Google mechanisms. Startpage uses Google’s search engine, its home page even has the little blurb ‘enhanced by Google’. It does anonymize your searches so there is that. As far as I’m aware, both ixquick and Duckduckgo don’t have very extensive search engines of their own and are just search aggregator/anonymizers that include Google as one of their collection of search services.

      1. T J said on March 19, 2016 at 1:26 am


        you can also use https://www.ixquick.co.uk

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