Patterico's Pontifications


Alternatives to Google

Filed under: Civil Liberties,International,Scum — Patterico @ 2:12 pm

By now you’re all aware that Google is cooperating with China in censoring search results for Chinese citizens. As detailed in this article, searches for “independence Taiwan” reveal no sites supporting the Taiwanese government, and searches for the names of imprisoned cyber-dissidents reveal no results.

I don’t have Google Ads because they don’t pay, but even if they did pay, I’d take them down. But I want to extend the boycott.

What is the next best search engine out there?

34 Responses to “Alternatives to Google”

  1. I have heard good things about Teoma. I have not used it much, but plan to start.

    DJH (2a76e3)

  2. I have been using Teoma ( for several months having ditched Google last summer. It’s index is smaller so for real obscure searches I still use Google, but for everyday research I use Teoma and am happy with it. It is also a division of Ask Jeeves I believe, or at least affliated with it in some manner.

    I chose Teoma after doing research against many of the other major search engines in which I came to the conclusion that Teoma, while smaller, has the greatest growth potential.

    dkm (8c6174)

  3. Damn, beaten twice by Teoma.

    I still use Google. As was once noted, these concerns are the result of “useless propagandist journalism that reports alleged violations of human rights (we all know they wouldn’t have been punished if they hadn’t been doing something wrong).”

    (yes, that quotation, taken from Bad Religion’s “The State of the End of the Millenium Address” is sarcastic. I’m looking at you, actus, with this disclaimer. I’m sure that had I not added it, you’d pop up and try to play “good job not getting that the thing is satirical” with me.)

    Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  4. I’ve got a different approach:

    Use their CPU power
    Use their bandwidth
    DON’T click on their ads
    DON’T click on their sponsored links

    Now, it might not be much as an individual, but if a large number of people only used the search part and kept OFF the links that bring revenue to Google — that’s both being an economic burden and a boycott of the revenue stream.

    I’d be glad to hear of any holes in this argument – and yes, I know it would require a large mass of users to effect this result.

    Cruising Don (b16110)

  5. I use Yahoo but I am told that Yahoo Googles. I blog through Blogger. I like them and I’m not going to change. But why the secondary boycott. DON’T BUY CHINESE PRODUCTS. There’s nothing made in China that isn’t made better somewhere else.

    nk (d7a872)

  6. Well if you’re going to boycott Google for cooperating with China’s censorship, why stop there? How many American businesses have ties to China? How many items at Wal-Mart are made there? Other businesses may not be tailoring their products for Chinese censorship, but as long as these corporations are grabbing a buck via China despite their evil ways, there is little moral difference there. I think that if you boycott Google, every other business that has ties to China should be boycotted too.

    Or are you really dissing Google because they snubbed Dubya?

    Psyberian (1cf529)

  7. Psyberian is such a dolt. But then again, given that he is a liberal and their track record on human rights in China have been abysmal for 60 years, is it any wonder that he and his friends continue to side with the Communist dictatorship there rather than support grassroots efforts in the US to help the people of China.

    I, for one, am not surprised that the American Left continues its support of their comrades in Beijing.

    politicaobscura (2a564b)

  8. Politicaobscura, the silence on the right about American businesses profiting from China is relevant here. But you simply choose to ignore that for your own partisan mindlessness. Neither party actually likes how the Chinese are treated.

    Psyberian (1cf529)

  9. I am not a liberal and I boycott Wal-Mart as Psyberian recommends because I don’t like their Chinese-made junk. Not for politics. Maybe we should boycott the United States Treasury too. China is the biggest holder of U.S. Bonds. (And I don’t mean the singer). Don’t get a FannieMae/FreddieMac mortgage. You’ll be sending part of your interest rate to China. Go ahead and pay 11% interest for a portfolio loan. “So for a dish of potage Esau gave away his inheritance”.

    nk (32c481)

  10. Uh, I think that it’s a pretty good point that Psyberian has, bucko.

    I think that one could reasonably distinguish between companies based on their activities and involvements.

    For example, I wouldn’t boycot a financial company with a lot of ties to Hong Kong. Likewise, I don’t think that companies taking stakes in Chinese businesses are morally suspect, assuming that those businesses aren’t using prisoners as forced labor (as happens from time to time in Red China).

    Indeed, engagement with such things can be useful because it gives future leverage to American efforts to get the country to chill out a bit, and otherwise creates a web of self interest between two countries that have long been warily watching each other.

    However, Google’s actions are, in a sense, different. They’re actively aiding the Communist Party’s efforts to repress the populace. Similarly with Cisco’s sale of a large number of routers that serve as part of the hardware basis for the firewall.

    Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  11. P.S. Sorry for the rant. Just to make it clear I’m on the side of Psyberian. We did not buy $400.00 Kruegerands and we should not buy $1.00 Chinese pliers. Seriously, why is the economic boycott against Cuba more justifiable than an economic boycott against China? Is Cuba that much more a threat against the United States? A much bigger executioner of 20,000 people a year for the harvesting and sale of their transplantable organs? Or is it that the way our economy has evolved, an economic boycott against China will result in not being able to buy a “Vendi” at Starbucks. By people not in manufacturing jobs but in “service” jobs. Like us. Who depend on others to make the things we need and we “service” within all the connotations of the term. Oh, gee! Sorry! This turned into a rant too.

    nk (32c481)

  12. One could far easier drop gmail than Google.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  13. Then again, if people feel strongly enough about it, it souldn’t take all that many computers banging on their servers as fast as possible to make them feel pain. The “sit in” principle impies that thousands can do what is illegal for one person to do.

    Me I just Google “Falun Gong” once per Google session.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  14. Politicaobscura, believe it or not, there is a sense among many on the centre-left that long-term conflict with China is likely if not unavoidable, and there has been much head-scratching in the academic political science community about what to do about it.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  15. I use “Mamma, The Mother of All Search Engines” and have no difficulty.
    As far as Walmart goes, and since we from Texas(an open workplace, i.e. you are not forced to join a union in order to make a livivg,) we buy our food at Walmart.

    Paul Albers (7494b1)

  16. There is a difference between buying products made by Chinese workers and protesting efforts by the Chinese government to censor the internet and I’d think most people would be able to see that.

    Frankly I don’t think they’ll be able to continue for long as an oppresive regime while liberalizing their economy anyway. But there I go having faith in freedom as a force for change again.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  17. I use Clusty –

    If you’d like to use Google anonymously see –

    And for more on Google see –

    max (23aaed)

  18. Stop watching foxnews. Look up murdoch’s ties to china.

    actus (85218a)

  19. actus,

    There’s a great comment thread you should check out, here.

    Patterico (929da9)

  20. nk, Yahoo is NOT a better alternative. At least Google hasn’t actually told the Chinese storm troopers where to find offending dissident bloggers. Yahoo has done this, it seems, leading to a prison term for one brave man. Sebastian Mallaby has an interesting column in today’s Washington Post, in which he takes an unpopular position, defending Google (sort of). It’s worth a read (click on the link below).

    TNugent (6128b4)

  21. There’s a great comment thread you should check out, here.

    Done. Let me know what alternatives to FoxNews you recommend. I need some, because I don’t want to enrichen a China-Appeaser.

    actus (ebc508)

  22. I’ve been using All the Web for years. It’s just as good as Google, without all the left-wing political crap going on behind the scenes.

    Van Helsing (e1defa)

  23. I guess I’m weird. I’ve never used Google, except on occasion. My primary search engine is Altavista. I’ve been using it for years, because, when you quote your search terms, it’s very accurate.

    antimedia (c4775e)

  24. I agree with this, and I’m reluctant to join the beginnings of the Alliance.

    So to answer Patterico from behind and ahead of Teoma: AlltheWeb was thought very highly of before awareness of it vanished in a wave of Google-hype;
    Previewseek is a new search engine in beta, and makes some interesting claims for itself.

    On the other hand, according to Alltheweb’s “About Us” section:


    Previewseek is another matter altogether:

    “Previewseek Limited is a privately held, UK based company that provides the most advanced Internet search engine available on the web today. Based in London, Previewseek Limited was founded by leading entrepreneurs, computer scientists and advisors with both a strong demonstrated track record of success and a true personal passion for Internet search.”

    It claims to be superior to Google in several ways. I have used it, though not yet extensively, and I’ve been able to do some very precise searches I couldn’t do on Google.

    Anthony (ebd576)

  25. That’s what I get for “multitasking”–it doesn’t really work.

    I seriously screwed up the two links. Almost all the stuff about Previewseek is a link to AlltheWeb, and my name is a link to Previewseek.


    Anyway, if it’s too confusing:


    Anthony (ebd576)

  26. I also left out the stuff about AlltheWeb, which is good, but if you read the “about” section it’ll tell you about its heavy involvement in Yahoo.

    More apologies.

    Anthony (ebd576)

  27. I wonder if Google will get all the more use since defying the GWB. I hope so.

    blubonnet (86405d)

  28. I can recommend – I especially like that you can display the results by Topics, Sources or URLs.


    plainBill (df55ff)

  29. Just learned about Teoma and Previewweek, and bookmared them. I also like Gigablast. Like the others it also groups results into categories.

    But, the search engine (a “metamouter recherche” really) I prefer is Kartoo.

    Kartoo is French, consults a number of search engines, and presents it in a manner different from the usual lists. You get “maps” showing related sites and their associated terms, as well as a list of subjects you can add to narrow your search.

    It does have one drawback, it requires the Flash Player. On the other hand, it does produce results Google does not. For example, I tried searching, using Google, for a word that I had found in an incomplete manuscript I got from a friend (The Phæree Bestiary if you’re wondering). Using Kartoo I got results and learned that in the real world it’s the name of a West African tribe. As you can see, Google misses a fair amount of the stuff out there on the web.

    Alan Kellogg (565f63)

  30. Follow Up

    The word is “Aizi”. The results are listed below

    Google Result: The Aizi people are #3 on the first page.

    Gigablast Result: This time they’re number two.

    But for some dang reason I can’t get the Kartoo result page. Guess you’ll just have to go there and look for “aizi” yourself. A definite drawback when you want to show what you got on a search.

    Alan Kellogg (a261f2)

  31. […] FOLLOW-UP III: Patterico asks his readers for alternatives to Google and his readers’ comments are very interesting. […]


  32. I realize that I’m putting in this late, but consider Clusty. It clusterizes your searches nicely, better than Dogpile does which uses Google anyway. If you still want Google’s results, consider scroogle.ORG (NOT — that’s a risque porn site). is a non-profit site that runs a Google scraper. It accesses Google’s database without the annoying ads and without setting that year 2038 cookie that tracks your searches. Google can’t tell who you are, so it can’t track your searches. Also, don’t use Google Docs or Google Desktop Search; it puts your personal files on THEIR servers — easily accessible by snooping Big Brother & by Google goons.

    R Eccles (3f972f)

  33. I use and have had no problems. I checked AllTheWeb and it is Yahoo. GigaBlast has no privacy policy yet(coming soon?). So, I will stick with Clusty

    P Bulger (a273a1)

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