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Mojeek Vs DDG, Startpage and Other Privacy "Search Engines"

josh

27 April 2022

3 min

MojeekBot with a sword

How does Mojeek compare to [insert name of another search "engine" here]?

Before we start it's worth pointing out why "engine" above is in quotes and what the big difference is between Mojeek and most other "search engines". Most others are in fact metasearch engines (as they only have access to metadata) or more aptly search proxies (as they act as an intermediary between you and another search engine).

DuckDuckGo and Ecosia retrieve their organic search results from Bing and Startpage get theirs from Google. These search proxies do not have their own "engine", they rely upon someone else’s engine in order to generate the results that you see when using them; let’s have a look at Mojeek vs these proxies.

How do Mojeek's results compare to DDG, Ecosia, Qwant, etc?

If you are looking for results very similar to what the Big Tech search engines return, i.e. Google and Bing, then this is undoubtedly a plus for the search proxies (although Mojeek's results are not far behind and we are constantly working on improving them!)

Mojeek ✘ Proxies ✔

If you are looking for truly alternative results that offer a different perspective, without bias towards one particular point of view, characteristics of yourself through personalisation, or the downranking or removal of things some might consider “fake news”, then this is certainly a tick for Mojeek and its independent index.

The independent index also means that if you just like to discover new information that might otherwise be buried elsewhere, Mojeek is a great tool for that job.

Mojeek ✔ Proxies ✘

How does Mojeek compare on privacy?

Search engines should support people's right to seek information without being tracked, and this should always be evidenced by a strict and clear no-tracking privacy policy. Most search engines who state that they do this, including Mojeek, have very similar policies. Some are better than others, but presuming good intentions we can only proclaim privacy to be a draw - unless you’re looking for privacy policy brevity, in which case we’re a bit shorter than most.

Mojeek ✔✔ Proxies ✔✔

So what's the answer, how does Mojeek compare? It depends. If you're looking for Big Tech search results with some element of privacy, then the proxies are probably for you. Mojeek vs DuckDuckGo is really just Mojeek vs a private version of Bing, so if you're looking to escape Big Tech, support an alternative, or discover those hidden gems (with privacy of course) then Mojeek is the better choice.

A true alternative in search means that you have to do the hard work of building our own engine, with its own algorithm, and with no reliance upon another company in providing organic search results. Independence is a difficult path to follow, but it offers freedom from being impacted when other search companies decide that they want to censor results, or engage in invasive user tracking.

This being said, using a variety of search engines to seek alternative information or points of view can only be a good thing, and will help ensure our collective ability to shop around and seek different perspectives remains. Tools like Search Choices, a set of buttons that you can click in order to quickly repeat your search on another engine or proxy, can help to break these down.

josh

27 April 2022

3 min

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