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zhang888

Why we should abandon Google, their services, and broken APIs

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Hello.

This topic is about how Google, that used to be back in the days the fighter for information speech and freedom,

has became a horrible company, with undocumented policies and "all we care about is tracking our users" disaster.

 

As you might noticed, the "Disconnect Search" Google backend has stopped working. So as other engines that used

Google as their backend, like StartPage and Searx.

 

Turnes out, Staring of May 2016, Google has deprecated the custom search API for all of it's partners, meaning that,

as of now, no one can use the Google backend for their search engine/frontend, without forwarding the searches to Google

directly. Of course, despite what they tell in their official blog, the reason is that they can profit better from the direct searches.

 

The "official" community ranting and discussion thread is here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11625633

 

 

This means that Google is taking the steps that Microsoft did in late 90s, showing a big finger to the community and

caring only about it's revenues. Hopefully the community will awake soon and show them the same gesture soon.

 

The only valid alternative for now is DuckDuckGo. Although still in beta, and still not perfect, their mission is clear.

 

TL;DR

No more free Google search API for anyone who doesn't visit Google and accepts tracking cookies.


Occasional moderator, sometimes BOFH. Opinions are my own, except when my wife disagrees.

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I'm confused.  Startpage still searches just fine for me.  But, it's not as private anymore?

I had the same thought ,but perhaps there is now refresh anymore.

Perhaps this is a topic for Steve Gibson...

 

Gr

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DuckDuckGo is great. But do not forget Ixquick. This is the link I have bookmarked for them.

https://ixquick.eu/eng/advanced-search.html?hmb=1

 

The advantage of it is being able to easily search on a domain for exact phrases or search without specified words. (Or any combination thereof.) I think you can do all this with DuckDuckGo, but I do not recall the format for all the options. With this, you do not need to remember any of that stuff.

 

*Edit* And Ixquick *IS* Startpage. This is just the advanced search page.


Debugging is at least twice as hard as writing the program in the first place.

So if you write your code as clever as you can possibly make it, then by definition you are not smart enough to debug it.

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I've come to realize, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland DDG exclusively shows results from Bing, making it mandatory for me to also use other search engines to find more content. Is there a search engine which queries different engines and shows the results from all engines?

 

Second thought: What do you think of YaCy? I tried it in the past but the results were so bad it didn't even show me homepages of some websites... I only let it run for a few hours on my desktop, though

 

The fact I can't find what I'm looking for with DDG renders it more and more useless. I mean, what use is a search engine respecting your privacy if it can't show you what you are looking for?


» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not to be considered official. Only the AirVPN Staff account should be viewed as such.

» The forums is a place where you can ask questions to the community. You are not entitled to guaranteed answer times. Answer quality may vary, too. If you need professional support, please create tickets.

» If you're new, take some time to read LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. On questions, use the search function first. On errors, search for the error message instead.

» If you choose to create a new thread, keep in mind that we don't know your setup. Give info about it. Never forget the OpenVPN logs or, for Eddie, the support file (Logs > lifebelt icon).

» The community kindly asks you to not set up Tor exit relays when connected to AirVPN. Their IP addresses are subject to restrictions and these are relayed to all users of the affected servers.

 

» Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, chances are you will be unique amond the mass again.

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I've come to realize, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland DDG exclusively shows results from Bing, making it mandatory for me to also use other search engines to find more content. Is there a search engine which queries different engines and shows the results from all engines?

 

Second thought: What do you think of YaCy? I tried it in the past but the results were so bad it didn't even show me homepages of some websites... I only let it run for a few hours on my desktop, though

 

The fact I can't find what I'm looking for with DDG renders it more and more useless. I mean, what use is a search engine respecting your privacy if it can't show you what you are looking for?

 

doesn't DuckDuckGo have a location setting that searches for results depending on location?

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doesn't DuckDuckGo have a location setting that searches for results depending on location?

 

That's what in Germany, Austria and Switzerland refers to. I can of course change this setting or turn it off completely. This might increase the number of results but it also might cause a loss on relevance and therefore quality.


» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not to be considered official. Only the AirVPN Staff account should be viewed as such.

» The forums is a place where you can ask questions to the community. You are not entitled to guaranteed answer times. Answer quality may vary, too. If you need professional support, please create tickets.

» If you're new, take some time to read LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN. On questions, use the search function first. On errors, search for the error message instead.

» If you choose to create a new thread, keep in mind that we don't know your setup. Give info about it. Never forget the OpenVPN logs or, for Eddie, the support file (Logs > lifebelt icon).

» The community kindly asks you to not set up Tor exit relays when connected to AirVPN. Their IP addresses are subject to restrictions and these are relayed to all users of the affected servers.

 

» Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, chances are you will be unique amond the mass again.

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This is unbelievable.

Maybe I should check I  understand what's going on here...Zhang888, are you saying that StartPage has been blocked by Google from being able to provide anonymous, private searches to StartPage's users?

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This is unbelievable.

Maybe I should check I  understand what's going on here...Zhang888, are you saying that StartPage has been blocked by Google from being able to provide anonymous, private searches to StartPage's users?

 

No he said the api has been changed, but the searches are still done on the servers owned by startpage meaning no link to you.

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i used to use startpage for quite a while but had to abandon it eventually because it suddenly started asking for a captcha every time i made a query. i asked support for possible ways to avoid this and mentioned that i always use a vpn when i'm on the internet, and all they suggested was to ask my vpn provider for a different ip adress...

so i'm using ddg now too, which is not perfect but decent most of the time, at least for web searches. the image search sucks (bit so did it on startpage), so for images i still gotta use google.

i've tried yacy too, but found it next to useless also, as well as every other engines suggested on prism-break.org that i hadn't tried before.

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I've also abandoned almost all google services. The only ones I still use are youtube (but only rarely) and my Android phone (and it's google account). What's more no facebook, no twitter, no What's App...

 

+1 for duckduckgo, I really like it.

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I've also abandoned almost all google services. The only ones I still use are youtube (but only rarely) and my Android phone (and it's google account). What's more no facebook, no twitter, no What's App...

 

+1 for duckduckgo, I really like it.

What alternative to whatsapp are you using?

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I've also abandoned almost all google services. The only ones I still use are youtube (but only rarely) and my Android phone (and it's google account). What's more no facebook, no twitter, no What's App...

 

+1 for duckduckgo, I really like it.

What alternative to whatsapp are you using?

 

why whatsapp?  it seems to be encrypted such that governments want to ban it.

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why whatsapp?  it seems to be encrypted such that governments want to ban it.

 

it's a disguise. their are still happily farming your metadata. that's all they need. nobody cares about the content of your conversations but very well who you're talking to when and from where and while doing what etc. If you catch my drift. people are killed by drones on the basis of metadata alone.

 

I'd also be interested in how startpage handles it's searches now? It seems to work unchanged at my side?

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it's a disguise. their are still happily farming your metadata. that's all they need. nobody cares about the content of your conversations but very well who you're talking to when and from where and while doing what etc. If you catch my drift. people are killed by drones on the basis of metadata alone.

 

I

Skynet is growing!!! LOL

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It belongs to facebook. I don't feel like handing over my data to a narcissistic billionaire so he can become even more rich and powerful. I used to chat over What's App but deleted my account as soon as they were acquired by facebook. I've not refused to open up a facebook account only to become a "member" through the back door

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I've also abandoned almost all google services. The only ones I still use are youtube (but only rarely) and my Android phone (and it's google account). What's more no facebook, no twitter, no What's App...

 

+1 for duckduckgo, I really like it.

What alternative to whatsapp are you using?

 

why whatsapp?  it seems to be encrypted such that governments want to ban it.

 

Besides whatsapp requires your phone number which if governments wanna find you they can if they see your phone number they can get all your information through the provider and use that to monitor you completely. I did like the Threema one you said it seems to not use phone numbers, that intrigues me.

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Thanks for all the comments,

please let's make this thread focus on the topic.

While WhatsApp and other proprietary communication apps are still a privacy issue, Google is still a bigger fish in our threat scope.

 

 

Some of you mentioned that StartPage (IxQuick) is still working, it does, sort of what it seems.

However, they already clearly stated before that they cache their search terms, and just for the purpose of fine-tuning I went to

search a somewhat unique term on both Google and IxQuick (StartPage).

 

My search term was very trivial, "zhang888+AirVPN". Your search term can be similar, if you want to check the accuracy of

any caching search engine in the future.

 

Here are the results:

 

Google:

 

 

7YtLXUu.png

 

 

 

 

 

StartPage (IxQuick):

 

 

 

N5BMYuU.png

 

 

 

 

Which was exactly the point I tried to make, cached results are good, but they are never going to be similar as the original one.

Note that most of Google bots cached my recent topics from May, while IxQuick was only able to pick up early April threads,

before the API change kicked in.

 

This is the issue here, Google is silently making everyone align with their terms, which is understandable from the marketing

side, but clearly not from the privacy/anonymity side.


Occasional moderator, sometimes BOFH. Opinions are my own, except when my wife disagrees.

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Like I wrote I use duckduckgo and I'm very happy with it. So I couldn't care less for google API changes and changes of their policy. They have turned from "don't be evil" to "don't withhold your data from us" a long time ago. And because there are so many clueless people out there who don't know (or don't care) google has got so much money to burn that they venture into things like self driving cars, somehow they need to make use of all that money earned with all that data. Besides everything they do means more data for them. More data = more control = more power = more money which can then be invested into new services that generate more data...

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so I'm looking at switching to duckduckgo since startpage no longer has the best results.  however, I regularly use startpage's options to search based on time - last year, last week, last 24 hours, etc.  is there a way to do that with duckduckgo?

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so I'm looking at switching to duckduckgo since startpage no longer has the best results.  however, I regularly use startpage's options to search based on time - last year, last week, last 24 hours, etc.  is there a way to do that with duckduckgo?

 

I just checked through DuckDuckGo and no I don't see an option regarding time

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