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Tag Archive for ‘Web Search’

Brave Debuts Goggles Feature ➝

From Brave’s announcement:

We’re excited to announce the long-awaited beta release of an innovative new Brave Search feature: Goggles. Goggles will enable anyone, or any community of people, to create sets of rules and filters to constrain the searchable space and / or alter the ordering of search results. Anyone could then choose to apply a Goggle—or extend it—to their view of Brave Search results. Essentially, Goggles will act as a re-ranking option on top of the Brave Search index.

This sounds pretty cool.

➝ Source: brave.com

DuckDuckGo Removes Pirate Sites and YouTube-DL From Its Search Results ➝

Ernesto Van der Sar, writing for TorrentFreak:

Privacy-centered search engine DuckDuckGo has completely removed the search results for many popular pirates sites including The Pirate Bay, 1337x, and Fmovies. Several YouTube ripping services have disappeared, too and even the homepage of the open-source software youtube-mp3 is unfindable.

Lame.

Update 3/18/22: A spokesperson for DuckDuckGo, speaking with BetaNews:

After looking into this, our records indicate that YouTube-dl and The Pirate Bay were never removed from our search results when you searched for them directly by name or URL, which the vast majority of people do (it’s rare for people to use site operators or query operators in general). Most everyone searching for these sites were finding them without interruption.

We are having issues with our site: operator, and not just for these sites, but now at least the official site should be coming up for them when you use the site: operator for them. Some of the other sites routinely change domain names and have spotty availability, and so naturally come in and out of the index, but should be available as of now.

I originally wrote this on Friday and couldn’t get results from youtube-dl’s website or The Pirate Bay, regardless of whether I used the site: operator. I’m able to get results from both of them now. Perhaps this was simply a temporary issue without any intent to remove the aforementioned sites or maybe this is just a convenient excuse after they saw a bit of backlash from the removal.

➝ Source: torrentfreak.com

DuckDuckGo Down-Ranking Sites ‘Associated With Russian Disinformation’ ➝

Tom Parker, writing for Reclaim the Net:

The founder of DuckDuckGo, a Google-alternative search engine that has touted its “unbiased” search results for years, has announced that it has started down-ranking sites based on whether they’re deemed to be associated with Russian disinformation.

This piece does a pretty good job of pointing out the concern with this change where most others have missed the point. We want search engines to rank results based on relevancy and that can be determined by numerous factors. That’s literally what search engines do. But they’re making a determination as to whether or not a piece of content is “disinformation” and then down-ranking content based on that. That’s an editorial decision.

And what if they’re wrong? What if they down-rank content that is later found to be true? What if someone is specifically looking for “disinformation” content for research purposes — to see what the opposing perspective has to say in order to better form their opinions or to point at the absurdity?

While this certainly isn’t the end of DuckDuckGo, I wouldn’t consider it to be a positive change. It’s one of the reasons (along with privacy concerns and a dislike of centralization of power/influence) that I moved away from Google so many years ago. I would prefer to make my own decisions on these types of matters.

I don’t use DuckDuckGo directly anymore, that changed last year when I started self-hosting SearX. But I still use DuckDuckGo as one of the search engines powering SearX’s results. I don’t expect this news will change that because the results I get are still much better with DuckDuckGo included than without them.

I still have my eye on Brave Search, though. 92% of their results across all users comes from their own index and they don’t filter results for editorial reasons. I’m not sure if I’m ready to switch to them, but I like a lot of what they’re doing in this space.

➝ Source: reclaimthenet.org

Google Search Is Dying ➝

I haven’t used Google as my default search engine in many years, but every time I do, it’s a disappointing experience. But I would add that web search in general is in a pretty poor state. The web is filled with sites that spend more time on SEO than they do on content and the quality of search results reflects that.

➝ Source: mjtsai.com

Brave Search Beta Now Available ➝

From Brave’s weblog:

Starting today, online users have a new independent option for search which gives them unmatched privacy. Whether they are already Brave browser users, looking to expand their online privacy protection with the all-in-one, integrated Brave Search in the Brave browser, or users of other browsers looking for the best-in-breed privacy-preserving search engine, they can all use the newly released Brave Search beta that puts users first, and fully in control of their online experience. Brave Search is built on top of a completely independent index, and doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks.

It seems like a competent search engine, but I’ve been using SearX lately — a self-hosted meta search engine — and haven’t found many reasons to look elsewhere.

➝ Source: brave.com

Brave Acquires Tailcat to Power Privacy-Focused Search Engine ➝

From the announcement:

Under the hood, nearly all of today’s search engines are either built by, or rely on, results from Big Tech companies. In contrast, the Tailcat search engine is built on top of a completely independent index, capable of delivering the quality people expect, but without compromising their privacy. Tailcat does not collect IP addresses or use personally identifiable information to improve search results.

I signed up for the waitlist. I’ve been using DuckDuckGo for years and have been very happy, but I’ll still give this alternative a try to see how it compares.

➝ Source: brave.com