StartPage beats Google Search in test. Reason? Privacy - gHacks Tech News

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StartPage beats Google Search in test. Reason? Privacy

When you asked a representative number of Internet users about the search engine that they prefer, you'd probably end up with Google at the top as it is the most widely used search engine in the world (with the exception of some regions).

The result would be different if you'd ask a group of privacy conscious users. Back in 2013, I proclaimed that it was time to switch to the search engines DuckDuckGo or Startpage.

The German customer tests behemoth Stiftung Warentest tested search engines in its latest print issue and concluded that Google provided the best search results. Google's search engine did not come first though as it was surpassed by Startpage. The test focused on German language versions of search engines.

I bought the (German) test online to find out more about test criteria and how individual search engines fared in the test.

search engines test startpage

First, the basics: ten search engines were analyzed by Stiftung Warentest including Google Search, Bing, Qwant, DuckDuckGo, Startpage, and Yahoo Search. The testers analyzed the quality of search results, usability of the desktop and mobile website, and privacy.

The testers ran 50 searches on each search engine divided into 26 general searches, 8 trending searches, 8 image and 8 video searches. Searches included phrases with spelling mistakes and words with different meanings. Usability on desktop computers and mobile devices was analyzed next to that.

Search quality made up 60% of the score and usability 40%. Critical privacy issues, e.g. the sending of data irrelevant to searches on mobile devices, or issues in the privacy policy could impact the overall score negatively (but not positively).

The result

Startpage came in first with a grade of 2.3 (good) using a grading scheme that starts at 1.0. Google Search came in second with a score of 2.7 (satisfactory), followed by Ecosia with 2.8. Qwant managed to get a score of 3.2, Bing a 3.3 score, and DuckDuckGo a score of 3.7.

Looking just at the search related criteria, Google managed to beat all other search engines. Google Search scored best in search quality (1.9), desktop usability (0.9), and mobile usability (1.9). Startpage managed to get 2.5, 2.0 and 2.4 respectively in those categories.

What broke Google Searches' neck was the company's privacy policy and data sending, e.g. location-based data, of the company's mobile search experience which the testers found problematic.

DuckDuckGo users may wonder why DuckDuckGo came in second to last in the test. Search results and usability were not as good as Google's or Startpage's for the most part but not nearly as bad as the end score reflects. What broke DuckDuckGo's neck was the fact that its privacy policy was not available in German.

Closing Words

Privacy played an important part in the test; deficiencies cost Google Search the first place and pushed DuckDuckGo to the end of the listing. It would be interesting to see this test repeated for English results.

Startpage is my favorite search engine; it is not perfect, but it is my go-to search engine. I still have to use different search engines, e.g. Google Search, for some queries if Startpage does not return satisfactory results. Does not happen too often but it does happen.

Here are a couple of guides to get you started with Startpage:

Now You: what is your favorite search engine currently, and why?

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StartPage beats Google Search in test. Reason? Privacy
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StartPage beats Google Search in test. Reason? Privacy
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The German customer tests behemoth Stiftung Warentest tested search engines in its latest print issue and concluded that Google provided the best search results.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. crambie said on March 28, 2019 at 11:32 am
    Reply

    Startpage is my default. Far better results than DDG but their fans still deny it saying it’s as good if not better than Google. Yet they admit to using !g to search using google a good percentage of the time which defeats the point. Having said that I think Google’s and therefore Startpage’s results are slowly going downhill. It’s not uncommon now to not easily be able to find what you’re looking for. Often when swapping to Bing via Searx in those instances it’s in the first few results, however generally I don’t like Bing.

    In theory Searx is the ideal one as you can pick which engines to use however it seems much more flaky these days.

    1. Franck said on March 28, 2019 at 8:07 pm
      Reply

      Thanks a lot for mentionning SearX, I tried it and it gave me very accurante results !

  2. John C. said on March 28, 2019 at 11:58 am
    Reply

    Thanks very much for mentioning this, Martin. I’d forgotten all about Startpage. And to make matters even better, they have an advanced search page, too! Searching for “Startpage advanced search” (without the quotes) will provide the link to it.

  3. John IL said on March 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm
    Reply

    Giving the strangle hold Google has on search, I really don’t think users care that much about privacy. I think this ideal that everyone is in a panic about privacy is greatly over sold. Users seem content mostly with giving up privacy for some free service that Google offers, the convenience of syncing personal data and this would also apply to Facebook as well. For myself a slightly slower search result doesn’t concern me, its more about which search engine provides me with the best relevant results. Sometimes the best results are because I share a bit more information to Google.

    1. crambie said on March 28, 2019 at 1:38 pm
      Reply

      Don’t you just love it when someone acts as the spokesperson for everyone. Some users have shown they don’t care about privacy however plenty have shown they do.

    2. John Fenderson said on March 28, 2019 at 3:56 pm
      Reply

      @John IL:

      Certainly, some users don’t care about privacy. But I think the majority of users don’t understand the extent that they’re giving it up. The vast majority of people don’t follow these issues at all. Ignorance is different from not caring.

  4. y0himba said on March 28, 2019 at 1:11 pm
    Reply

    How does Startpage compare to DuckDuckGo?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 28, 2019 at 1:37 pm
      Reply

      In what regard?

  5. Ray said on March 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm
    Reply

    I wish DDG had better search results too. I know they’re bad but I can’t get away from the !bang feature. It’s so darn useful I always just end up typing !sp “xxxx” instead of searching through DDG, but that little added step is annoying. I wonder if there’s a way to make it always default to that bang?

    1. ShintoPlasm said on March 28, 2019 at 2:27 pm
      Reply

      DuckDuckBang! is a Firefox add-on which allows you to use DDG bangs even if your standard search engine is Google/Bing.

      1. Ray said on March 29, 2019 at 1:36 pm
        Reply

        That’s awesome, thank you!

  6. Robert said on March 28, 2019 at 1:33 pm
    Reply

    Startpage is my default search engine with a customised homepage with preferences in Firefox. I also have a premium email account through Startmail for four years now.

  7. Tom Hawack said on March 28, 2019 at 2:46 pm
    Reply

    Interesting test, interesting article.

    I never call Google for Web search, occasionally for image or map search. Google is not even my tailored list of Firefox search engines.

    I use DuckDuckGo, Qwant, SearX and Startpage as general web search engines. The one among these that I set as default varies, but remains mainly DDG.

    DDG includes several tools and has infinite scrolling for the results (not Startpage with 20 results max/page, a pain). Unfortunately it doesn’t provide year for the time filter (but Startpage does). Yet, in terms of privacy alone, I have more confidence in Startpage because there’s something with DDG that bothers me, and its too tied to Amazon… but I may be mistaking, haven’t tested thoroughly, nothing truly scientific in my suspicion…

    Qwant indeed is not a genius yet provides quite good image search results even if I’ve been slightly disenchanted recently when I noticed that Qwant Image search would provide too often porn images when the query was totally free of explicit or implicit terms. Porn when not searched for is a pain (in the neck, of course); some say it’s always a pain, but that’s another topic.

    SearX search engine is a meta-search engine and includes a a user’s options many search engines.

    Bing, Yahoo? I block all Microsoft and Yahoo services, the former since a long time, the latter when I discovered the shocking way the company deals with GDPR : accept their conditions or no Yahoo leads to no Yahoo here. Cheap company, cheap standards, I wonder how it’s still alive (survives, IMO, pure trash).

  8. Emil said on March 28, 2019 at 3:20 pm
    Reply

    I thought DDG pulls its results from a number of different engines while Startpage is simply a repackaged Google nowadays. The main negative point about Google is the results are heavily weighted towards providing a filter bubble based on what G knows about the user. Typical for Stiftung Warentest to get hung up about a formality like privacy statement not available in a certain language and thus skew the result.

    1. foolishgrunt said on March 28, 2019 at 3:56 pm
      Reply

      DDG has never aggregated search results, as far as I know.

      Maybe you’re thinking of ixquick? Formerly an alternative service from Startpage’s parent company.

    2. John Fenderson said on March 28, 2019 at 3:57 pm
      Reply

      @Emil: “I thought DDG pulls its results from a number of different engines”

      They do, as well as using their own crawlers. But it looks to me like the results DDG provides mostly come from Bing.

    3. Hy said on March 29, 2019 at 2:25 am
      Reply

      John Fenderson said: “it looks to me like the results DDG provides mostly come from Bing.”

      It looks that way to me, too, that DDG’s search results come mostly from Bing. On the rare occasions I use DDG for a second opinion following a StartPage search, if I compare them to Bing’s results, the results are virtually the same.
      I thought it was already established quite some time ago that StartPage’s results come from Google, and DuckDuckGo’s come from Bing, and perhaps still Yahoo?

  9. Apparition said on March 28, 2019 at 3:27 pm
    Reply

    I use a combination of Startpage and DuckDuckGo. Startpage is my primary, but for whatever reason DuckDuckGo does a *far* better job searching through the various web forums. For example, I’ll do a search:

    site:webforum.com howdy

    And Startpage will show me 0 results, while DuckDuckGo will give me a dozen or more, all relevant.

  10. Allwynd said on March 28, 2019 at 3:48 pm
    Reply

    I want to escape from Google Search, but damn, if they don’t provide the most relevant results… Startpage and the others are nice, but when I can’t find what I’m looking for it really sucks. And knowing that I could if I used Google Search, that stings even more.

  11. Alby said on March 28, 2019 at 4:03 pm
    Reply

    The reason I use DDG most of the time rather than Startpage is because WOT (Web Of Trust) works with DDG and not with Startpage.

    Not that you can blindly rely on WOT. For example, I used to use WinPatrol, a security program that’s been around for 19 years. I went to Major Geeks recently to download the latest version. To cut a long story short, WinPatrol’s website has not been active since mid 2017. I managed to download the last version of WinPatrol however and ran it through VirusTotal with 5 engines detecting malware. I did manage to get into the website but most of the links inside are blocked by Firefox. The Florida Department of State, with whom the publishing company of WinPatrol is registered as a business show a status of “Inactive” for the company. The company Facebook and Twitter pages are also “dead”.

    Yet WOT still shows a green circle, based on user input over the years.

  12. Jan said on March 28, 2019 at 4:31 pm
    Reply

    QUOTE DuckDuckGo users may wonder why DuckDuckGo came in second to last in the test. Search results and usability were not as good as Google’s or Startpage’s for the most part but not nearly as bad as the end score reflects. What broke DuckDuckGo’s neck was the fact that its privacy policy was not available in German.UNQUOTE

    It is about time that all Germans learn and can understand ENGLISH; right?

    1. Übermensch said on March 29, 2019 at 12:29 am
      Reply

      Jan said “It is about time that all Germans learn and can understand ENGLISH; right?”

      Boy that’s obnoxious. The English punctuation mistake is funny, too. Jan, it’s about time you learn and understand ENGLISH. In fact, it’s about time Jan and all English-speakers learn and can understand GERMAN; [sic] right?
      Signed,
      A native English-speaker

      1. Jan said on March 31, 2019 at 3:49 am
        Reply

        The native English-speaker: are you an Übermensch with the right punctuation?

      2. Tom Hawack said on March 31, 2019 at 7:58 pm
        Reply

        We should all speak Esperanto. Personally I accept the idea that there is no reason to accept a language which is not mine natively on the ground it is the most spoken. Many sites in Germany for instance are written in German with no English option : it may bother me but it doesn’t revolt me, a country and its inhabitants have the right to speak their language and others have the right to learn it. By comparison I get fed up here in France by smart heads continuously using anglicisms and “franglais” (a blend of French ‘Français’ and English ‘Anglais’), who sing in English, who create a site in English … Hey, English, the language, is not a credo.

        I must and will improve my German (“Ich kann nur ein wenig die Deutsche Sprache”), I should learn Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabian (so many different, let’s say Academic Arabian), and I won’t yell after those who refuse a language’s omnipotence.

      3. Jan said on March 31, 2019 at 9:30 pm
        Reply

        My dear Tom Hawack. I know you are French and your writings reflect that to some degree. Reading your dissertations I am sometimes amused, sometimes puzzled. Sometimes you shoot with a sharp mind at a ghost target, as is the case in this instance or you go off on a tangent.

        The issue at hand is: What broke DuckDuckGo’s neck was the fact that its privacy policy was not available in German.

        DDG missed the first place (as the best) due to this language issue which in my opinion is a “non-issue” and prompted my remark that it is about time for Germans to learn English.

        Your comments (to which one can agree or not) do not address that point and therefore are concerning the issue at hand not relevant. Bonsoir et a bientot.

      4. Tom Hawack said on April 1, 2019 at 11:55 am
        Reply

        @Jan, there are two points, one is as you recall it, the issue at hand which is indeed “What broke DuckDuckGo’s neck was the fact that its privacy policy was not available in German.”.

        The other is, a wide approach which seemed to me the case when you wrote “It is about time that all Germans learn and can understand ENGLISH; right?”. That’w what my comment above targeted. I could and perhaps should have added that nevertheless my comment didn’t extend to be an argument if favor of discrediting DDG on the basis that its privacy policy was not available in German.

      5. Clairvaux said on March 31, 2019 at 9:39 pm
        Reply

        “We should all speak Esperanto.”

        Okay. You start.

      6. Clairvaux said on March 31, 2019 at 9:43 pm
        Reply

        “DDG missed the first place (as the best) due to this language issue.”

        Not really. It ranked behind Startpage on search, which is, arguably if not definitely, the numero uno characteristic upon which a… search engine should be judged.

      7. Tom Hawack said on April 1, 2019 at 11:58 am
        Reply

        @Clairvaux, I’m surprised such a brilliant mind as yours didn’t perceive the second degree irony, perhaps blended with a touch of regret when I evoked Esperanto :=)

      8. Clairvaux said on April 1, 2019 at 12:29 pm
        Reply

        Yeah, Tom Hawack, I know the drill : say something silly, get a gentle remark about it, then get on your high horses claiming it was only irony, and you’re being ignored as a second-degree genius. Works all the time in France, but not everybody in the world is French.

        You seem to have missed my irony. Apparently, yours works only one-way. So what was it ? Irony or regret ? Can’t be both.

      9. Tom Hawack said on April 1, 2019 at 6:15 pm
        Reply

        @Clairvaux, you’re so complicated! I was only surprised to read you focusing on Esperanto when my comment was elsewhere! No need to elaborate on theories, sociology. Concerning France as any other country or community be aware that generalizing remains the truth of narrow minds who need anchored definitions to understand the world. What you mention does exist (flipping the intention on the basis of the reaction), not only in France and not always in France, but maybe haven’t you traveled abroad? Never too late my friend :=)

      10. Clairvaux said on April 1, 2019 at 7:24 pm
        Reply

        Sure. It’s you who usually write convoluted, lengthy and mostly nonsensical comments (here is another one), and it’s me being complicated.

        Now we also have the cookie-cutter leftist French retort of “don’t generalise”, and “you haven’t traveled abroad”. Abroad of what ? How do you even know what country I’m in ? Projecting much, eh ?

        Now what does that have to do with Duck Duck Go being badly ranked because its privacy policy is written in German ? I don’t know about “not always in France”, but I sure can see how you move from the subject at hand to personal attacks and sneaky innuendo.

  13. Clairvaux said on March 28, 2019 at 5:12 pm
    Reply

    Great article. All the reports I read about that test just said that Startpage was “best”, strongly implying it had the best search results. That’s what I had understood up to now.

    What you explain here reflects my experience of Startpage, which is my default. Yes, Startpage has better results than DDG, but I do have to use Google once in a while when Startpage won’t find what I’m looking for.

    I’m not sure the testing party should have devised an all-including ranking. I realise it’s necessary in order to get marketing buzz, but mixing results and privacy is meaningless. The proof is the thrashing of DDG, because its policy is not available in German, which is arbitrary and ridiculous.

    Now readers all over the world have understood that DDG has rotten performance and possibly privacy, in spite of the fact that next to 0 % of them speak German and need their privacy policies spelled out in German.

    I’ve already read dozens of comments (on other sites) to the tune of “You see, that proves that small and privacy-minded can be better than big and data-slurping”. Well, it’s not better. It’ just adequate, and a good compromise.

  14. VioletMoon said on March 28, 2019 at 5:14 pm
    Reply

    “Relevant results?” It is tempting to assume that usage of one search engine provides more relevant results with privacy intact than the usage of some other search engine; however, it’s been my experience, pseudo-scientific causation, that the formation of the search query provides more desirable/relevant results than the search engine used.

    I’ve also found using a VPN, Tor or a different DNS resolver usually results in major changes in search results. And searching in a different language provides different results.

    [SearchEncrypt–great tool!]

    There are so many variables involved that an objective assessment is impossible to determine since even the subject of the search is contextually variable and the “observer effect” always skews results.

    Note: For me, having to purchase the entirity of the results = a complete “devaluation” of the results.

  15. 11r20 said on March 28, 2019 at 5:16 pm
    Reply

    without sounding like a broken record, uBlock
    original blocks/strips out unnecessary requests
    to DDG, metager as well as the rest…that bein said startpage is my go to search engine because it handles url’s/addresses quickly.

    I block all known goolag services
    and that includes youtube as well as any IP that remotely connects to em ‘period’

  16. NoSpies said on March 28, 2019 at 6:04 pm
    Reply

    Startpage/Ixquick has been my sole search engine for years and years, and I also signed up for Startmail when it first came out. I’ve been very happy with them, and grateful.

    As for Google, I use NoScript to ban it and every one of its “services” from running in my browsers. Guess what? Sites still work just fine.

  17. AnorKnee Merce said on March 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm
    Reply

    Free Google Search service gives the best and most relevant results to users, in return for the users being “anorknee-merce”ly tracked by Google Inc, so that Google can display her targeted ads along with the users’ Search results. Google is an ad-based business. This is a fair trade/deal, similar to free-to-air ad-filled TV service, eg ABC, CBS, FOX, etc.
    ……. Same for Google’s free Youtube service, Chrome browser service, etc.

    Google is not interested in the users’ private identity or private business ala NSA/FBI spyware(= Win 10.?). Google Inc just wants to dish out targeted ads to everybody = ad revenue = kaching.! US$$$ billions.

    Some users can’t stand seeing ads, so they avoid some of Google’s free services, similar to those who opt for costly Cable TV service.

    So, users need to know what privacy invasion really means, eg what kind of user-data does Google actually collect from her free services; what kind of user-data does M$ collect from her non-free “Windows 10 as a service”, etc.?

    1. supergirl said on March 29, 2019 at 1:32 am
      Reply

      @AnorKnee Merce

      Google is not interested in the users’ private identity or private business ala NSA/FBI spyware(= Win 10.?). Google Inc just wants to dish out targeted ads to everybody = ad revenue = kaching.! US$$$ billions.

      So, users need to know what privacy invasion really means, eg what kind of user-data does Google actually collect from her free services; what kind of user-data does M$ collect from her non-free “Windows 10 as a service”, etc.?
      ——————————————————

      Are you Sure?
      As far as I know Google collects & keeps EVERTHING they can get on You.
      Forever.
      They do this in an underhanded manner & sell it to A N Y O N E ……
      this would probably include people who are shadier than they are.
      I remember from my youth some PI or Lawyer saying if given enough info on ANYONE I can convict them of Some thing.
      That was before the internet.
      After 9-11 I looked in on bomb making & jihadi websites…..Just out of curiosity. You know, know thine enemy.

      What if alla those annoying browser malware pop-ups we all get go to Kiddie porn websites?
      WHat if someone out there COULD make it look like you went to kiddie porn websites in your browser history …hidden up on a Gargle server somewhere.

      Dont be so keen to just pooh pooh this away.
      We dont know WHAT “they” have on us & we dont know the veracity of any of it.

      I have been the victim of strangers in positions of power over me in business & govt & on the web doing really really Shitty things… because they can.

      Think of the foulest person you ever met & imagine Them knowing all about you.

      1. AxMi-24 said on March 29, 2019 at 8:56 am
        Reply

        To be honest I do think there is a difference between google and MS. Google is not so interested in the content as in data that helps sell adds while MS is a complete NSA supporter as evidenced by skype and spyware10.

        More OT I use qwant and it works well enough (switch to google maybe once a week mostly due to month being longest time period for qwant). I like that qwant is european so safer from NSLs for now.

      2. Anonymous said on March 29, 2019 at 12:41 pm
        Reply

        supergirl said: “Think of the foulest person…”
        Couldn’t even finish the sentence without his hideous orange face immediately coming to mind! ;)

      3. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2019 at 1:00 pm
        Reply

        supergirl said: “Think of the foulest person…”

        In the narrative of the conquest of Earth in the Book of Hawack, the Battle of the NSA is the first battle that is described. According to Hawack, the walls of the planet fell after intelligence armies scanned the globe blowing their trumpets. Excavations at NSA’s headquarters, the modern Jericho, have failed to produce data to substantiate Hawack’s story, and scholars are virtually unanimous that the Book of Hawack holds little historical value.

        Who’s blowing who? :=)

      4. Supergirl said on March 30, 2019 at 6:52 am
        Reply

        Thanks you 2.

        Yeah this is something I feel strongly about.

        Its not actually the Govt Im so concerned about…..
        They have rules & laws they have to follow.
        And where they dont… we can elect people who WILL make good laws.
        Its the Money Grubbing Scum…..that bother me.

      5. Supergirl said on March 31, 2019 at 7:21 am
        Reply

        @ FAKE —> Supergirl said on March 30, 2019 at 6:52 am

        Either that or I have multiple personalities…….

        I so totally didnt write whats above this.

        I think Ill stop using this handle as this mailbox is full now anyways.

        After 9-11 I looked in on bomb making & jihadi websites…..Just out of curiosity. You know, know thine enemy.

      6. Martin Brinkmann said on March 31, 2019 at 8:05 pm
        Reply

        Send me an email and I create an account for you so that we can easily distinguish and remove the fake comments (martin@ghacks.net)

      7. supergirl said on April 2, 2019 at 4:12 am
        Reply

        @ Martin Brinkmann

        Send me an email and I create an account for you so that we can easily distinguish and remove the fake comments (martin@ghacks.net)

        How can it be a fake comment when i said that here Martin Brinkmann?!?!

        You don’t think i said this:

        supergirl said on March 29, 2019 at 1:32 am
        “After 9-11 I looked in on bomb making & jihadi websites…..Just out of curiosity. You know, know thine enemy”.

        What’s in your Web Site Privacy Policy, about to “Censorship”?!?!?

      8. Clairvaux said on March 31, 2019 at 6:54 pm
        Reply

        Okay, that’s one more troll faking my identity and writing under my alias things I never say.

        “Clairvaux said on March 31, 2019 at 12:44 pm” is certainly not me.

        I have an account here, so Martin can easily confirm this. Please stop this nasty behaviour immediately, whoever you are.

  18. ULBoom said on March 28, 2019 at 7:35 pm
    Reply

    DDG has been our homepage and new tab page for a few years. Startpage is also bookmarked and does seem to give somewhat better results. It does now, when we selected DDG, it didn’t by a long shot. DDG seems to give worse results than say, a year ago. All of that is subjective of course. Probably will swap Startpage as a default for a while to see how it goes.

    DDG is more customizable than Startpage in terms of page color, etc., but that’s not a big factor. Don’t care which one we use too much.

    Agree that google usually gives the best results but so sorry, no google allowed here except when desperate. Yahoo is completely banned, even yahoo mail, absolutely do not trust them even now. Marissa Eyecandy really blew it at yahoo.

    Used to be a bazillion search engines, I wonder how many exist at all today? The ones I remember:
    Dogpile
    Lycos
    Excite
    Ask Jeeves
    Alta Vista
    Infoseek
    Netscape
    HotBot
    MSN Search

    Now we have:
    google
    and “other.”

    Time to break up the big guys, the companies that exist to serve themselves vs. their customers.

    1. Hy said on March 29, 2019 at 1:40 pm
      Reply

      ULBoom said: “Used to be a bazillion search engines…”
      I remember those days and those engines. Then Brin and Page came along and built a better mousetrap and the rest is history. Of course I agree with most all of the criticisms of Google, and I’m thankful there are engines now like SP, DDG, Searx, Qwant, etc., even if I don’t use some of them. I knew of no privacy-respecting search engines until I discovered Startpage/Ixquick less than a decade ago.

      I was surprised and saddened to see that Unbubble has just closed! I often had quite good and interesting results with them.

      https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/unbubble-brings-neutral-uncensored-web-search-1.2211056

      https://unbubble.eu/

  19. cowsay said on March 28, 2019 at 8:15 pm
    Reply

    If the Startpage will be problem for Google’s business, they can shutdown it at any time.

  20. Anonymous said on March 28, 2019 at 9:27 pm
    Reply

    I use DuckDuckGo as my default, because I find its search results sufficient for most every-day-searches and because the !bangs just speed up my browser usage.

    Yes, I could set up keyword-searches in my browser, but it being set up by default is worth a lot, as I can usually guess the !bang even for services that I rarely search through, and it also means that I don’t have to set this up anew every time I reinstall my browser etc.

    If DuckDuckGo’s search results don’t suffice, I usually resort to SearX, which I’ve found to have the most results (which kind of makes sense with it being a meta search engine).
    Not necessarily of the highest quality, but if I need to resort to it, I will gladly look at anything it throws at me, because it is anything at all.

    Qwant is also a really interesting contender. It breaks up a lot of the classic search experience and I could definitely see it being useful to many people, especially more novice internet users who don’t yet know their way around the internet and could benefit from Qwant acting like a hub for all kinds of content.

    Unfortunately, for me personally, these extra offerings don’t add that much and then the tiny drawbacks, like its !bangs not being as extensive as DuckDuckGo’s, make me prefer DuckDuckGo.
    Having said that, it’s been a few months since I’ve last tried Qwant and I’ll be giving it another shot for the next few days.

    1. Clairvaux said on March 28, 2019 at 11:24 pm
      Reply

      “…Because the !bangs just speed up my browser usage.”

      Whaaat ? Why can’t people speak proper English (or Chinese, never mind the language) ? What the f*** is a “!bang” ?

      Appropriately enough, I did my own search engine test on this one, and neither Startpage, nor Qwant, nor Google, nor Bing, had the slightest idea of what a “!bang” is. Not on the first few pages, anyway (I’m not going to click through to the 10th page).

      Only DDG did — and for good reason, since it’s DDG lingo. That’s search engine “neutrality” for you.

      1. ShintoPlasm said on March 29, 2019 at 9:20 am
        Reply
  21. Paul(us) said on March 28, 2019 at 10:15 pm
    Reply

    Watch out to run this add-on (program) together with the program Fireman 6.2.3.5060 (portable & installer version available) (its a memory leaks fixer) because then your system will crash.
    At least one mine system, with Win10 pro and Firefox 66 with lots of add-ons installed, even with only 5 pages open, it does.

  22. alan1 said on March 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm
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    google search peaked around 2007. You could find just about anything you were looking for in one or two searches no matter how obscure. Privacy issues and now the political bias has pushed it off a cliff. I primarily use ddg, if I come up empty i switch to sp or searx. I miss the pristine days of the internet when it was pure data. Its going to get worse as governments around the globe try to control the dissemination of information and the formation of opinion. We need Tron to destroy the MCP once again and allow the free flow of information.

    1. Jozsef said on March 29, 2019 at 8:25 am
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      I’m glad at least one other person noticed! Pre-Google search engines were very poor and now we’re in a similar situation since they ignore search terms at will, even if you use advanced search that explicitly says all entered terms will be incorporated. Search is a nightmare these days because the systems assume they know what you really want to see irrespective of what you type. I dread every web search now because it often entails endless rephrasing of the query, presumably because all searches are assumed to correspond to what is typically sought, although I’m speculating about that. I have tried to find some way of getting a simple, pure Boolean search but have not found it as an option anywhere. That is my dream these days.

      Last summer provided my favorite example of Google’s shortcomings when searching for “1996 Toyota Camry front suspension struts” and the first item returned was “2016 Dodge Ram front suspension struts.” Yes, really, and this is not a remarkable occurrence although more blatantly absurd than most.

      I normally use Startpage but I hate all of them. Yes, Google search is less bad than the others but the tracking is a serious concern. Heaven help us.

      1. Clairvaux said on March 29, 2019 at 2:32 pm
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        I agree. Search has become increasingly unefficient. I’m not sure it’s about political bias, though.

        The need for bookmarks (good old bookmarks) is growing, at the very time browser publishers are treating them as redundant and obsolete. Because search is supposed to solve all problems. Which it doesn’t, by far.

      2. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2019 at 2:54 pm
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        Agreeing (continued) : and I agree with Clairvaux’s comment above. I’m afraid bookmarks are becoming obsolete for many users who even get for some of them to set as their browser’s homepage a search engine, be it Google, DDG, Startpage, Bing, Yahoo! etc. : rather than bookmarking a page of interest, next time they wish to get back to it they search for it again….
        Odd.

    2. alan1 said on March 29, 2019 at 8:30 pm
      Reply

      Um, yeah… fully 100% political in its search results, verified, certified, fact checked and written about several times by journalist and news commentators.

      1. Clairvaux said on March 30, 2019 at 12:45 pm
        Reply

        @alan1

        Would you have a link to support the “fully 100 % political” assertion ? I never came across such an article. And I read quite a lot on the issue.

      2. Better late said on April 12, 2019 at 11:26 am
        Reply

        Are you sure you didn’t search the subject on Google or Startpage?
        It’s been all over the news. I mean on the news outlets all removed from Google.
        If you’re really interested try searx you’ll be surprised.

  23. TairikuOkami said on March 29, 2019 at 12:41 am
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    I prefer DDG, because it does not censor searches, like SP does for some time now. If you are looking for really private searches, a questionable stuff and etc, than DDG is the way to go for sure.

    1. Hy said on March 29, 2019 at 2:30 am
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      TairikuOkami said: “I prefer DDG, because it does not censor searches, like SP does for some time now. If you are looking for really private searches, a questionable stuff and etc, than DDG is the way to go for sure.”

      Startpage censors searches? Never heard this. Do you have any evidence for your claim? If you are going to make such claims pls provide evidence.
      “If you are looking for really private searches…DDG is the way to go for sure.” Really? You trust an American company subject to US laws and surveillance and run on Amazon to be “really private?” Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick with Startpage in the Netherlands.

      1. TairikuOkami said on March 29, 2019 at 6:43 pm
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        I used SP before it started censoring, about 2 years ago. There are about 50 “private” search engines and only 2-3 do not censor results. Search engines should not do it, that is not their job. By the way, you are clearly not interested in any evidence, you just refuse to believe it, so it does not matter, what I would say, not like I could post it here anyway, ditto private.

      2. Clairvaux said on March 29, 2019 at 7:07 pm
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        Oh, so Startpage censors results, but I can’t tell you about it, because it’s really top secret stuff, and you wouldn’t believe me anyway. Typical conspiracist derangement syndrome.

      3. Hy said on March 30, 2019 at 4:20 am
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        @Clairvaux: Well-put and spot-on, and humorous, too. Thanks for that! Always enjoy your comments (and the moniker–makes me think of Bernard every time)…

      4. Clairvaux said on March 30, 2019 at 12:20 pm
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        @ Hy,

        You’re welcome. There’s a whiff of Bernard, indeed…

      5. TairikuOkami said on March 30, 2019 at 11:22 am
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        You clearly fail to understand the point of the PRIVATE search.Well, whatever works for you. :P

    2. Supergirl said on March 30, 2019 at 6:48 am
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      Ok as stated above I agree Search IS getting worse…..I dunno why.

      @ TairikuOkami Startpage censors your search.

      If you look in the upper right of thew Startpage website you find settingds!

      this allows you to alter MANY variables of startpage…

      I use the Do not Filter, the Night color scheme & the no cookies URL & more

      This is MY SP URL.

      https://www.startpage.com/do/mypage.pl?prfh=enable_stay_controlEEE1N1NsuggestionsEEE1N1Ngeo_mapEEE1N1Nwikipedia_iaEEE1N1Nother_iaEEE0N1Ndisable_open_in_new_windowEEE0N1Ndisable_video_family_filterEEE1N1Nenable_post_methodEEE1N1Nenable_proxy_safety_suggestEEE0N1Ndisable_family_filterEEE1N1NsslEEE1N1Nlanguage_uiEEEenglishN1NlanguageEEEenglishN1Nwt_unitEEEfahrenheitN1Nnum_of_resultsEEE20N1Nlang_homepageEEEs/nite/en/

      Se if you like this better.

      Oh I never answered the Question.

      I use Startpage as my primary, searx.me, DDG then Bing…..

      There is a File-share type of search engine… that Im going to try out eventually.
      Also some kind of fileshare style DNS……???

      1. Clairvaux said on March 31, 2019 at 7:48 am
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        Don’t get me started on this. My bank is asking for Flash in order to let me change my spending limit on my credit card. I thought people used to be shot for such security lapses ?

        Also, it’s funny how some of the very worst offenders in the realm of Internet security are major government sites, which millions of tech-illiterate people are forced to use, and which hold extremely sensitive, personal information, the type that hackers would love to get their hands on in order to impersonate you or otherwise harm you. (I’m not in the US.)

        My favorite trick is running an SSL Labs test on them. The results are sometimes so appalling as to be laughable.

      2. Clairvaux said on March 31, 2019 at 6:46 pm
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        Is someone trolling me here ? I never posted that comment beginning with “Don’t get me started on this.”

        That was an old comment of mine, on an other thread, completely irrelevant to the subject. Is someone copy/pasting my own comments, and faking my alias ?

  24. Gerard said on March 29, 2019 at 1:20 pm
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    But: “You can’t beat Google when it comes to online search. So we’re paying them to use their brilliant search results in order to remove all trackers and logs.” (Startpage.com).
    Why does Google let Startpage do this? Google doesn’t need Startpage’s money. It won’t be a huge amount anyway, as Startpage isn’t a large, rich corporation. So, why?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 29, 2019 at 2:22 pm
      Reply

      Probably because it is irrelevant and an argument against a Google Search monopoly.

    2. Tom Hawack said on March 29, 2019 at 2:39 pm
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      To prolong Martin’s comment, also because, once competition is irrelevant there’s but advantages to avoid being hated, which would be more likely if a company such as Google got excited on the shapes of monopoly when it controls the core.

  25. Christian Marquette said on April 9, 2019 at 4:35 pm
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    I think using a private search engine is essential, not just better than Google. Using Google freaks me out because the ads that I see are so targeted that it’s creepy.

    I use Startpage and Search Encrypt interchangeably and have had good results.

  26. Dave said on April 22, 2019 at 6:51 pm
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    Google is useless to me as a VPN user. It throws a captcha in my face anytime I try to do a search.

    Bing does not, so I use it. I like the image search better on Bing anyways.

    I use DDG on TOR ofc as it’s the default.

    I’d never heard of Startpage, just set it to Default on FF to try it out.

  27. BS said on May 18, 2019 at 12:04 am
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    Years ago, I went to Scroogle (from Yahoo, Google and others). This went down. When I noticed it existed, I went to startpage (and Metager).
    Coded startpage URLs are not stable over several years. It takes much time to get new ones, depending on your preferred search parameters (I don’t like cookies, I don’t like any filters/censonship). Thus, I looked for alternatives.
    Today, I use equally startpage and DuckDuckGo (with js, as this is the only way to get not filtered results). And sometimes Metager.

    At last: These are the .onion adresses:
    DuckDuckGo: https://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/
    Metager: http://b7cxf4dkdsko6ah2.onion/
    ;-)

  28. andrew said on May 31, 2019 at 11:13 pm
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    I get vastly different results when searching Startpage vs Google, and it seems it should be the same results. For instance, I searched for the string:

    tmobile, “enhanced caller information”, “visual voicemail”

    on both search engines and get 3 results on Startpage, and 137 results on Google. If Startpage is just repackaged, private Google searches, then why the difference?

  29. BS said on June 15, 2019 at 4:57 pm
    Reply

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