For years, I was happy using DuckDuckGo as a search engine.
Right up until I wanted to exclude a particular site - LinkedIn - from my search results, and I found that I could not, without resorting to a browser extension approach which caused me some other problems, do so.
That prompted me to give some other search engines a try, to see how I’d fare.
Mojeek didn’t last long
I first tried Mojeek, as I liked the ethos.
Unfortunately, for me, the quality of the search results just wasn’t up to the task. When compared with DuckDuckGo, the results for the same queries were less relevant to what I wanted.
That doesn’t mean that it is bad, as this is such a subjective thing, but, for my needs, Mojeek just didn’t deliver.
(I was sure that I had kept some screenshots/examples of this, but I can’t find them currently.)
So I only spent a couple of days with Mojeek.
Kagi lasted longer
After that, I tried Kagi.
Kagi is a subscription-based search engine and, around the time I was looking to try it, Kagi launched a $10/month “all you can eat” model.
My search usage was:
- Dec 2023: 417
- Nov 2023: 849
- Oct 2023" 820
So, on average, across those three months, about 1.4p/search, assuming that my dodgy maths is correct. So not too bad at all, financially, to my mind.
But still I’ve stopped using Kagi, for two reasons.
First, I found the quality of the results to be higher than Mojeek, but only on par with DuckDuckGo.
Second, I found this thread about Kagi’s use of the Brave API disconcerting and uncomfortable. Their choices are up to them, sure, but Kagi’s stance disappointed me, and gave me the push I needed to cease to remain a customer.
I’ve no objection to paying for search, I discovered, just as I’ve no problem donating to Free software, but I care about more than just the tech.
Back to DDG… for now?
So I am back to DuckDuckGo. It is not without its frustrations, but it feels like a sensible default option.
I might give searx a try. I ran a searx instance a few years back, and gave up doing so - results were disappointing - but perhaps things have improved since then.
Otherwise, well, I’m kind of out of ideas. Obviously, I’d love to run my own search engine, but that just doesn’t seem realistic.
Perhaps Quant? StartPage?