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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Startpage.com search engine

    Since there are some people on this forum that use startpage.com as their preferred search engine, I just wanted to alert you that sometimes, perhaps even often, it produces mediocre search results using its advanced page. You can test this for yourself by doing side by side testing with their sister search engine ixquick.com or with google. A recent extreme example was 3 hits using startpage and 116 hits (all significant and unique) using google. This has been going on for at least a year and Iíve complained to the publisher two or three times about it, the most recent being this past week. After my first complaint it seemed to be corrected, but now it doesnít seem to be working properly again. Iím referring only to the advanced page; I donít use the main page, so I donít know if thatís affected. Iíve switched to ixquick.com for the time being. Thereís also duckduckgo.com for similar privacy, but it doesnít have an advanced page.

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  3. #2
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Since startpage feeds your search request to Google (minus your personal information), perhaps Google is somehow onto them and is throttling the search results somehow.

  4. #3
    2 Star Lounger
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    Startpage responded to my latest inquiry. Here's what they had to say:

    "One of two things may be happening to cause you to receive different
    StartPage results than what you would receive from Google.

    The first may involve Google's tailored search feature. Google keeps a
    record of all of your interests, based on things you write about in your
    Gmail account, things you search for on their search engine, and other
    Google services you use. They use this information to pre-select what
    search results they believe you are actually looking for. The result is
    that you do not receive "pure" search results, but results that have
    been tailored, censored, and personalized for you specifically.

    StartPage does not do that. StartPage acts as an intermediary between
    you and Google, so your searches are completely private. StartPage
    submits your query to Google anonymously, then returns Google results to
    you privately. Google never sees you and does not know who made the
    request; they only see StartPage. Since Google can't determine your
    interests based on your past search history, you receive standard search
    results, rather than Google's "personalized" results.

    We believe this is a benefit, rather than a bug.

    The other possibility is that Google may occasionally provide different
    results to StartPage than to its direct users. Because we act as an
    intermediary between you and Google, we are dependent on the results
    Google sends to us. We do not modify these results in any way, but
    deliver them to you exactly as Google delivers them to us. We have noted
    that occasionally Google provides different results to StartPage than
    they offer to the general public, for reasons that are not entirely
    clear. We believe, however, that the privacy advantages of using
    StartPage vastly outweigh the occasional difference in results."

    I don't use any Google products, except occasionally YouTube. So the personalization aspect doesn't really apply to me.

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