StartPage & IxQuick.



  • My default search engine has been DDG for many years, but today i decided to play around with StartPage & IxQuick to see if either might be worth changing to instead [side-note; yes i know that notionally these are supposed to be identical these days, but there must be still some differences somehow, coz SP found an extra page of hits for my test search string than did IxQ, with same settings].

    Would other users pls share their experience of these two search engines, wrt the following whinge?

    My initial interest in the potential of both these, given that they both found many relevant hits more than DDG did for my test string, seriously evaporated once i lost this fight with them... pages of promising-looking hits were just frustrating once i found that irrespective of my settings, every attempt i made resulted in each hit [once followed from the initial results pages] launched NOT to the actual original website, but via the SP/IxQ proxy site. Consequently, this proxy broke one of my important extensions [AutoScroll; thus middle-click scrolling would not function on any of these pages], & also interfered with V's password manager [none of the sites whose passwords ARE in the manager, would log me in whilst in the proxy]. I also noted various subtle cosmetic alterations to some of the pages, when in the proxy. None of those hassles manifest[ed] when i reverted to DDG.

    I tested this with latest V SS direct in my OS, another instance in one of my VMs, & also with Firefox [yikes]... all misbehaved the same way. It's like ticking or unticking the Proxy box in SP/IxQ's Settings is completely severed from any actual underlying code.

    What say you pls?
    ...........................................................................................................
    Tower's SSD = Linux Maui 2.1 "Blue Tang" x64 Plasma 5.8.4.

    PS - Oh yeah, also, i seemed to get variable results to POST vs GET ... in Settings i'd ticked POST, but sometimes results seemed to still be GET [judging by search strings still appearing in the address bar].



  • @Steffie said in StartPage & IxQuick.:

    pages of promising-looking hits were just frustrating once i found that irrespective of my settings, every attempt i made resulted in each hit [once followed from the initial results pages] launched NOT to the actual original website, but via the SP/IxQ proxy site.

    I'm struggling to understand what you mean by this.
    How do I replicate your results and what should I be looking for?



  • From what I hear, StartPage gives Google-powered results, so your results on StartPage should be identical to Google search's results, but with SP's privacy. I think that's a great idea of you like Google's search results but not the spying.



  • After having another look I now see the proxy links.
    I think your issues may be explained by the additional notes on their help page.

    Additional Notes and Restrictions:
    For security reasons, you cannot use the proxy to fill out forms with text input.
    The proxy removes the "javascript" code of visited sites, so some features may not work.
    The proxy will not load frames that reside on a different external domain than the referrer.
    The proxy service currently doesn't extend to full image or video searches yet.
    For even further protection, you can disable scripts from ixquick-proxy.com with the Firefox "NoScript" plugin.

    I only get the ixquick proxy when I click on the "Proxy" link, and yes once on the proxy page subsequent links remain on the proxy.
    Isn't this what you would expect?



  • @D0J0P -- Thanks, yes, correct. I abandoned Google Search many years ago [having been an early adopter of it back in the early-mid 90s, when the "premier" search engine was Alta Vista [= total joke; it & its competitors' results usually seemed to exhibit bugger-all relationship to my search strings; more like random number generators for words], as soon as i discovered the company's motto "Do no evil" was a lie, & they logged & tracked everything [i continue to be gobsmacked that Google (search & browser) remain so popular; most people seem to be lazy dimwits].

    It was back then, researching my alternatives to Google, that i discovered DuckDuckGo [before it took off], loved it, & immediately switched to it. In more recent years, my perception is that DDG's results have been getting poorer [catching the Alta Vista disease?], & when i did my hours of DDG vs SP vs IxQ tests yesterday i was really shocked at how poor DDG emerged. SP was more accurate & thorough, IxQ next, DDG distinctly last [didn't used to be this way; i did a similar comparison some years back & then DDG beat both those].

    Hence i decided i'd like now to switch over to SP as default, only its Proxy misbehaviour was unacceptable [now solved; see my next Reply, below].



  • In my experience, neither SP nor IXQ fare very well against either Google or DDG when it comes to returning relevant results:

    alt text

    alt text

    alt text

    As you can see, the results are very far from being "identical" to those returned by Google. I would say that their proxy is the best thing they have going for them, because despite being "powered by Google" in the case of SP, the search just is not very good. And that's why I stick with DDG.



  • @CantankRus -- Thanks for your kind testing & helpful comments. Having read your info i was rather shocked, & wondered if my sanity has dipped down to even lower levels than i'd already imagined. It was bugging me, so today i've spent more hours investigating, testing, & happily eventually solving the mystery.

    To your "I only get the ixquick proxy when I click on the "Proxy" link, and yes once on the proxy page subsequent links remain on the proxy. Isn't this what you would expect?" i answer that Yes that is exactly what i also would expect, BUT... it is NOT what was happening for me. In fact, irrespective of selecting the Proxy link, or the "real" link, every time my resultant page was channelled through their proxy ... to my increasing exasperation & annoyance, i might add.

    Today i eventually found the cause, & stopped it. In SP's Settings [would equally apply to IxQ], without me having earlier fully understood the consequence, i had selected the option "Automatic highlighting". Doh! In retrospect it makes total sense, but yesterday & initially today i was too stupid to realise... of course that option could only possibly work within their proxy environment, not on the "real" websites. In other words, though their guide notes at the rhs of this option in Settings doesn't mention it [curses], as soon as i ticked that box & saved, i condemned myself to all results going via their proxy without regard for if i clicked the proxy or real link.

    Once the penny dropped today & i unticked it, SP behaves correctly, i'm a happy camper, & it's now my default search engine. Phew, what a waste of time & energy.



  • @purgatori -- Oh golly! Yes, that is bad [to the point of hilarity]. Well, if over coming days SP begins to be as useless for me as you, i'll have to switch back to DDG. I am willing to give it a fair go for now though, based on my tests yesterday. Thank you.



  • good comparison purgatori.
    enter that search at sapo.pt search and this vivaldi is the third relevant result!



  • @purgatori
    That SP result.
    Isn't it because SP doesn't knit the result?

    Google did that for reasons; advertising & think (smartly) what's relevance for you.
    DDG suppose to be only return Google while filtering the privacy thing.

    I'm not favorite any of three, I just use them.

    If anyone interest; there's also https://searx.me
    (I'm sorry if felt like advertising, no affiliation).
    Seem a French-man one man show. A privacy meta search engine. Support cached view & proxy. You can save your search as csv, json or rss. Source on github. Cookies only used if you use/save the preference. Nothing tied to it.



  • @dLeon said in StartPage & IxQuick.:

    @purgatori
    That SP result.
    Isn't it because SP doesn't knit the result?

    Google did that for reasons; advertising & think (smartly) what's relevance for you.
    DDG suppose to be only return Google while filtering the privacy thing.

    I'm not favorite any of three, I just use them.

    If anyone interest; there's also https://searx.me
    (I'm sorry if felt like advertising, no affiliation).
    Seem a French-man one man show. A privacy meta search engine. Support cached view & proxy. You can save your search as csv, json or rss. Source on github. Cookies only used if you use/save the preference. Nothing tied to it.

    Not sure what you mean by 'knit' here; care to elaborate?

    And no affiliations or loyalties here, either. My only bias is a strong dislike of Google :grin:

    I'll check out Searx.me!



  • @purgatori said in StartPage & IxQuick.:

    a strong dislike of Google

    +10 to that.



  • @purgatori
    knit.
    Sorry, that paragraphs completely wrong. And a complete mix up.

    I mean to say Google (not SP) "tailored" the search result to fit you based on your search term, search history, their own current affiliates, or whatever they could get. Startpage fetch the Google result, strip the tracking part, then "un-tailored" the result to avoid more privacy concern. Hence, the results sometime not in same place. DDG in other hand seem only strip the tracking part, and return the result as is.

    I wonder how I could came with knit in first place.



  • @dLeon said in StartPage & IxQuick.:

    @purgatori
    knit.
    Sorry, that paragraphs completely wrong. And a complete mix up.

    I mean to say Google (not SP) "tailored" the search result to fit you based on your search term, search history, their own current affiliates, or whatever they could get. Startpage fetch the Google result, strip the tracking part, then "un-tailored" the result to avoid more privacy concern. Hence, the results sometime not in same place. DDG in other hand seem only strip the tracking part, and return the result as is.

    I wonder how I could came with knit in first place.

    Ok, thanks for explaining that :)



  • @dLeon So theoretically that would mean DDG would provide you with more accurate, or Google-like results.



  • @D0J0P
    We could say that. That's only a matter of sorting materials, however.



  • @Steffie said in StartPage & IxQuick.:

    @purgatori said in StartPage & IxQuick.:

    a strong dislike of Google

    +10 to that.

    I don't particular hate google because without their business model for providing web searches, startpage/lxquick and other search aggregators of the ilk would not provide very relevant search results.

    I'm also grateful for googles disruption to the mobile phone market with Android and the flow on effect to the usability Linux.

    Big Data is scary though, with the amount of personal info that can be easily accessed by anyone.
    Privacy article---> Remove Your Name From This Creepy ‘Family History’ Site—If You Can


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