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Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths

Posted on • Originally published at stegriff.co.uk on

Very Alternative Search Engines

I think a lot of you already know about the usual alternatives to Google like Ecosia (the search engine that plants trees) and DuckDuckGo (the search engine that doesn’t track you).

I’d like to explore some very alternative search engines that I’ve found recently.

These are good when you’re looking for niche results that are too hard to find with the usual suspects.

In no particular order:

Mojeek

https://www.mojeek.com/

Mojeek is UK based, human-centric, tracking-free, and they have their own crawler (contrast to DDG which piggy-backs off crawlers like Yandex)

Mojeek search results

It seems fine. It finds this site so I’m happy 😁

MillionShort

https://millionshort.com/

Search the web without the top n websites (where n is 100 to 1 million). Super useful when you want to find something that’s not on Pinterest, Amazon, Buzzfeed, or one of the other Big Content Walled Gardens.

You also get more filtering tools after search, like Date and Location, and you can re-introduce domains one-by-one if you think they may have relevant results.

This helped me find the Common mistakes in English site after I lost it for a few years.

Marginalia Search

https://search.marginalia.nu/

Just found this one today and it prompted this post. It has its own crawler, called Edge (lol).

“The search engine calculates a score that aggressively favors text-heavy websites, and punishes those that have too many modern web design features.”

However it does that, I’m pretty sure it excludes this website. Which is weird because it’s pretty text heavy and not that modern, and Marginalia happens to include a few WordPress sites (which seem to be a counterexample of the above).

Marginalia search results

I searched for “yamaha pss a50 fix” and it returned one result, which was some poor .inf file from somewhere.

Widening the net to “yamaha pss a50”, we get results from sandsoftwaresound.net (no complaints from me) but this site is excluded. I repeated the experiment with some other niche search terms which historically drive traffic to this blog and didn’t see myself. No offence taken, just… curious 😅

Wrap up 🗞

Isn’t it weird that all three of these begin with ‘M’??

Anyway, more niche search engines are a good thing! Tools for the job, fighting back against monopolies and hegemonies. That’s good stuff.

Have you got any suggestions? Lmk in the comments! 👇

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