Congratulations on finding this article. Now that you’re here, you can take the blue pill and go on using the top two search engines that mine your data, target you with ads, censor your results, sell your profile to third parties, and are run by corporations that have been convicted of violating antitrust laws. Or you can take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes… into a side of the web you never knew existed!
This is one search engine where your data is safe. DuckDuckGo collects no data from its users. It’s a meta-search engine, which means it gathers query results from other search engines and aggregates them to serve them up to you anonymously, in a simple, no-frills results page just like it used to be. DuckDuckGo was one of the original engines to answer the Internet call for a data-safe search engine.
Gibiru is another private browser, which also specializes in raw, unfiltered search results. Using their own crawlers and algorithms, they return result pages which the other engines miss. You’re on your own when it comes to trustworthy clicks, but at least this engine leaves the decisions to you like an adult.
On the flip side, HotBot respects your privacy by not mining your data, and works to sanitize your results to protect you from malware and spam. For those of you who want a secure experience even after you click though a result, HotBot is a worry-free engine with a friendly, informative blog about user privacy on the side.
Tired of the heavy Internet players dominating your results? Want to get your news from smaller, independent resources? MillionShort is like other search engines, except it crops off the top high-traffic sites as determined by ranking algorithms. It trims up to the top million results off, returning the lower-ranking sites for when you need to hear what the smaller sources have to say.
Do you ever search the web for porn? Don’t answer that, because it’s nobody else’s business but your own. Hot.com is a privacy-focused search engine that screens out everything but the adult-themed results. That can be sexual wellness resources, parenthood planning information, or it can be escort services and steamy dating sites. Everybody wants to be discreet at a time like this.
We hear enough from the Internet hierarchy – what do the common users have to say? BoardReader indexes only forums, message boards, and social media. Instead of articles, it comes back with comments and discussion threads. Sometimes the best answer comes from the most independent voice: our own.
Wolfram Alpha is a different kind of search engine, which tries to answer queries directly. It’s actually more of a problem-solving engine for students and researchers, answering queries that leave the other engines stumped.
Do you miss sites like Geocities and AngelFire? Wikia largely takes their place, being a collective of fan-created sites for all kinds of media. Find Wikis devoted to your favorite games, TV shows, authors, bands, artists, hobbies, anime, and more. It’s a collective fan hobbyist site with an inclusive niche for anything and everyone.
With just a few mega-corporations in charge of such a large chunk of the Internet, many of us have no idea what we’re missing out on. The World Wide Web is much bigger than a few sites, yet the majority of users hover around one portal and stick there. The enlightened few know the other portals of the Internet, and even switch between them once in awhile just to keep it interesting.