back to article Google shamed by Low Countries search

As Google and Yahoo! play Privacy Theatre, at least one search engine has realized your personal data is not a toy. Today - aka Data Privacy Day 2009 - Netherlands-based search engine Ixquick told the world it will no longer log user IPs. In the past, the privacy-obsessed outfit stored IP addresses for only 48 hours, but it …

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  1. Steve Roper
    Thumb Down

    Not a search engine

    After reading this article I went and checked out Ixquick. Firstly, it's not a true search engine in the sense that Google, Yahoo, MSN et al are. It's more a of a scraper, like Scroogle, that appears to submit your search queries to the first-tier search engines (amongst which Google is conspicuous by its absence!)

    While it was refreshing not to have Whackypedia articles coming up as the first page worth of results in response to scientific queries (eg "sidereal period of Jupiter"), the results that did get returned seemed to point to mostly commercial sites trying to sell me telescopes or magazine subscriptions or something similar (and that was not from the "Sponsored results" on the page). Likewise, technical/programming queries (eg "php mysql functions") did not lead to php.net, as one might expect, but instead gave me back a page full of links to sites offering PHP solutions for my business at low, low prices.

    A few runs with a few different types of search queries produced much the same kind of result. Whether it's because Ixquick is being paid by sites for placement order, or simply because they are using every search engine EXCEPT Google for their results and thus getting the load of commercial trash that most of those search engines dish up, is immaterial. Whether you love or hate Google, its results are still the most useful and relevant of the major search engines.

    As for the privacy bonus, that's also provided by Scroogle, which gives you the benefit of Google's relevant search results without the tracking. Scroogle lags behind Ixquick for privacy only in that it only deletes its logs "within 48 hours", rather than never recording the IP at all, as Ixquick does. So if I want to search for something and don't want Google to associate that particular search with my Google account, I'll keep using Scroogle - and I'll be firing off an email to the good Mr. Brandt advising him of Ixquick's no-record policy and suggesting he adopt the same for Scroogle.

  2. John McNeally
    Flame

    What a pitty...

    Is really shameful that Cade Metz is always bashing google for everything that google does.

    I saw in cranky geeks how the hatred towards the company is visible.

    Is it because you are not successful in your own field that it's easier to bash other companies or your search agreement for this site with microsoft?

    Grow up to be more impartial. If anyone reads this guy's columns will see what I'm talking about. The worst thing is that you make google sound so bad, even though it isnt the worst company around, and your arguments are so pathetic that when I read your name in any column I close the tab and move on.

    ps. I had the urge to finally create my account just to comment here.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    At least...

    ...my searches for cheap smoke will be anonymised now :) Ialways knew the Dutch would be good for something.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No nijntje?

    Just tried Ixquick, find picture of nijntje.

    After 30 seconds it stated that no results were found.

    Repeated the search on Google, and within 1 second the screen was filled with pictures of nijntje.

    If Ixcuick cannot search pictures it should not include such an option.

  5. John Bayly

    @Steve Roper

    Honestly, I'm not trolling here, but I quite like Wikipedia for scientific articles, such as your example. The value is returned from the cached Wikipedia article in Google's search results, and if you need to know how it's calculated, follow the link to "Rotational Period". Maybe you chose a bad example, as the value is even cited from a report published by 11 individuals.

    Wikipedia is a decent resource for uncontroversial scientific articles as the people that write them are the kind of pedants that like to get their facts right. If you do find a mistake, (such as an incorrect sign in an equation) you can change it without the original author getting uppity about you vandalising his work.

    I do however take anything written about an individual (or any article that could have a bias) with a pinch of salt.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cookie management

    Thanks for finally giving me a reason to use cookie exceptions in firefox. I now allow cookies for everything but Google.

  7. Matt

    I like it

    The search results seem to be a lot netter than your first commenter appreciates (it's my default search engine so I have a lot of experience with it over more than a year), although I supplement it with Scroogle.

    It is also gradually improving., although I won't stop using Scroogle just yet!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    the sad part

    Is that in reality, no search engine NEEDS to keep your IP address for any reason other than returning results for the current search. There is simply no justification for this for them to sell ads, etc. to third parties.

  9. Dave Morris

    RE: Not a search engine

    ixquick results (ignoring the clearly marked sponsored links) for "sidereal period of Jupiter" : # wikipedia, #2 www.spirasolaris.ca, #3 nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

    ixquick results (once again ignoring sponsored links) for "php mysql functions": #1 www.php.net #2 www.w3schools.com #3 www.phpdig.net

    Those results seem counter to your claim of the results given (even the no whackypedia one....)

    The term for thsi type of search engine is "metasearch" engine. I used dogpile for years, until it's target engines all started to churn the same results, thereby reducing dogpile's overall accuracy. I'm sure, eventually, the same will happen with ixquick, unless they continually update it with as many different search engines as possible.

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