What search engine do you use? (kbin.social)

Data on search engine market share is available, but I wonder what that looks like for Lemmy users in particular, who I would assume lean more technical than the average user, so probably use DuckDuckGo and alternates more than Google.

I use a mix of DuckDuckGo and Kagi. I'll also use ChatGPT, which can be good if you're careful to verify the answers it gives you as a check against hallucinations. It's useful for short, direct answers without ads or SEO bullshit.

This article on Ars (and if you're not a subscriber, you absolutely should be, as they are the best tech journalists out there) inspired the question: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/06/google-admits-reddit-protests-make-it-harder-to-find-helpful-search-results

Fucking Reddit. Enshittification ruins everything.

Silejonu avatar

DuckDuckGo, but mostly because of the !bangs. I do 90% of my searches through StartPage (!s), and the rest directly on a few websites (Wikipedia, YouTube, Arch wiki...).

@ayla@beehaw.org avatar

I switched to DDG almost entirely because of the !w bang — Google massively downranking/hiding Wikipedia links made it a lot less useful to me.

Ashtear avatar

Yes, the bangs are a game changer! They even work well on niche sites like Jisho and Scryfall.

Gimletson avatar

What are !bangs and how do I use them?

Knowncarbage avatar

Exclamation marks!!!!!

!auk searches Amazon UK

!aw searches the Arch wiki

!w searches Wikipedia

There are many, they are useful

Silejonu avatar

Take a look at this page.


TL;DR—They’re search shortcuts that can take you directly to a specific site. I haven’t used them before, but I can see how they’d be useful. duckduckgo.com/bangs

BaroqueInMind avatar

The only correct answer here is to use an instance of SearXNG because it's open source, utilizes privacy, and queries every kind of search engine that exists on the internet.

therealcaptncrunch67 avatar


Plus some instances like searx.tiekoetter.com replace links to page that contain ads and trackers with their alternative (twitter with nitter, YouTube with Invidious, reddit with libreddit, etc).


Do you know of a way i can implement that on an instance i'm self-hosting?


Thanks, though I already have am instance set up. I was referring more to the link replacement part.


This is a great tip, I've switched to this searx instance now


Dunno what it portends, but that link has an update that "SearX instances (not SearXNG) will soon get removed from this list"

BaroqueInMind avatar

It's because reasons.

@benx@kolektiva.social avatar

@BaroqueInMind @SemioticStandard @speck

Looks nice. Wondering how many times people get confused by the project description, though, when they read "privacy respecting" immediately followed up by "hackable". 🙃


This thread inspired me to stop procrastinating and deploy my own instance. On a brand new Debian 12 install (an LXC container in Proxmox), the process is absolutely simple and painless.


Me too, but then I discovered no real easy way to bind in my local instance to the firefox search instance. So I went back to searx.be and the firefox plugin I have for it.


Go to the search page of your instance, let's say it's, then click on the address bar with the right mouse button. The last item on the context menu should an option to add your instance to the list of search engines.



  • Loading...
  • sadreality,

    startpage is google with what appears to be less tracking. only issue it that they block tor browser. DDG does not.


    DuckDuckGo even has an onion URL

    Bloonface avatar

    I've always been underwhelmed with DuckDuckGo as a search engine, and for context on that remark I use Bing as my main search engine.


    Is bing actually still just bad? Google just pushes stores for search results when I'm just trying to figure out how shit works so I'm so ready to switch permanently.


    Not op, but I used it the other day when I got fed up with google bascally only giving me amazon results when I was looking for something, and yeah it was better (admittedly, it was more like how google used to be, which I view as better). I don't really think bing is the solution though, can absolutely see them being enshittified shortly if they get enough people to start using bing.

    magnetosphere avatar

    Funnily enough, bing is actually used as an example in the article where the author explains what enshittification is.

    Basically, you’re right. The author said that currently, bing is still unpopular enough that it’s in the stage where they want to attract users. The best way to do that is by actually being a useful, effective search engine. Once bing gets a better reputation and a larger user base, they’ll begin to exploit their users and become enshittified like google has.


    DDG literally uses Bing's search backend, last I checked.


    Bing is great now, especially with the addition of their GPT based Bing Chat


    Honestly I find all search engines to be somewhat unusable in today's day and age. It made me realize how much I relied on reddit keywords when all those results were private, and everything else was AI generated SEO ad farms. Bing seems to be slightly better than everything else, and the convenient occasional access to GPT when everything else is trash is nice to have.


    Ecosia. I like trees.

    ForestOrca avatar

    Yay Ecosia!!

    BiggestBulb avatar

    I'd use Ecosia still if it weren't for the fact that the filter is missing the "last year" setting. I'm a software engineer - 9 times out of 10, I want to find the bugs for a very specific version of a software, so having the year filter helps.

    I now use Brave Search.


    Fair point. I use ecosia to search everyday stuff on my phone and I've planted a lot of trees just by that. The results are fine.

    At work for specific enquiries I use Google because I know how to get the details out of it at first. I don't remember doing a Google search without additional tags. F.i. At work I use visual basic a lot and since it's a shit language I have to Google everything including "vba excel". There's not a lot of logic to it, I just need to dive into the right post head on.

    It points at a deeper problem though. There's sooo much garbage on the internet that I have no idea of how ordinary people are supposed to use it anymore. I'm not disenfranching anyone, but for someone like my mom. How the fuck is she ever going to get an answer of any search? Google just plain sucks by now.

    DrNeurohax avatar

    Yikes. I vaguely knew people didn't like Eich, but it knocked Brave right out of any consideration as even a backup browser. Thanks for that!


    Do you know if ecosia is still using google under the hoods?

    billothekid2 avatar

    It uses Bing, similar to Duck Duck Go.


    Apparently not, but the (usable) results are much the same. Ecosia was borrowing from yahoo and bing, but they changed that some years ago.

    I have no idea of what or how they're doing it now, but then I also only search explicit things. I never liked the idea of a search engine trying to understand what I was actually looking for, so I state myself clearly in that regard.




    I use Ecosia too. I find that Ecosia is good enough for ~80% of my searches and then I use Whoogle/Google for the more pressing/granular searches. I do the same w/ the free chatbots as well


    Can we stop trying to coin cute terms like "enshittification"? What that term describes is just capitalism working as intended.

    There is a term that describes this behavior that we've been using for at least decades (to describe behavior that has happened since the inception of capitalism): rent seeking.

    @SemioticStandard@beehaw.org avatar

    "Enshittification" has quickly become commonly used after it was described here: https://doctorow.medium.com/tiktoks-enshittification-bb3f5df91979

    It's a specific process that tech companies seem to go through, and differs from other things, such as rent seeking.



  • Loading...
  • heliodorh,
    @heliodorh@beehaw.org avatar

    That was the most accurate summary of the history of Reddit I've ever read, thank you.

    @Max_UL@lemmy.pro avatar

    They are different things.



    @Kir@feddit.it avatar

    I don’t understand why lots of you answer with chatGPT. It’s not a search engine! And you shouldn’t use it like a search engine.


    Maybe people mainly search for answers to simple daily life questions or something.

    @Kir@feddit.it avatar

    I guess, but it’s still not a search engine and I think it’s a bit problematic if that’s the usecase.


    To be fair, some implementations like bingGPT and perplexity can provide some search engine functionality, since they actually find and provide links to the user.

    @supernovae@readit.buzz avatar

    Bing implemented ChatGPT with their own layer on top. It works like ChatGPT and can give some ChatGPT like responses, but it does so by showing the sources and links.

    Therefor, i'm happy to say - I actually like this new bing and use it a lot.

    BUT... i also use bing rewards to buy all my video games so it works there too :D



  • Loading...
  • Kir,
    @Kir@feddit.it avatar

    No it’s not. To search is a specific task, and generative AI can’t do that. It can fulfill some need that we are used to fulfill by searching the web, but this doesn’t mean it’s a search engine.

    If you lost the key of your car and have access to an AI that can (sometimes) start your can without a key, you can be happy about it, but you still can’t say the AI searched the key for you. It can’t do it.

    Edit: btw, we are talking about generative AI here. I’m not saying there isn’t and could not be a search engine that use AI to better its result.



  • Loading...
  • Kir,
    @Kir@feddit.it avatar

    Why do you have to answer like that?

    You are linking a search engine based on generative AI, which is a different things than using chatgpt per sè and, as I was saying to another user, I did not know existed.

    If you don’t like my answer you can simply not comment on that. I don’t care if you agree with me or not, be polite


    Don't worry, you are in the right: a LLM is not a search engine. You might integrate it into a search engine, but that doesn't make it a search engine.

    I mean it's so glaringly obvious it is not a search engine: every time you ask ChatGPT for information it will give you a disclaimer it's database is from 2021 and prior...

    @Gaywallet@beehaw.org avatar

    That's quite the escalation. This is a reminder to be nice on this instance.


    If you pay there's an option for chatgpt4 that can use Bing to search. There's also various plugins that can let it interact with all sorts of additional data sources. Not that you should use it like a search engine exactly, but it can be useful for search if you configure it correctly and understand that it doesn't "know" anything.


    Bing has gpt 4 for free, there's a button for it on bing.com. I do pay for GPT Plus but there's no web search option there for me, I have to use bing for that.

    @Kir@feddit.it avatar

    This is interesting, do you know where can I understand more how it is supported to work?

    OmegaDaBoi avatar

    Brave Search since DDG sucks ass.

    @PeterBronez@hachyderm.io avatar

    @SemioticStandard Kagi. I used DDG for a long time, and Kagi is strictly better. Specifically, it’s very snappy and I trust the privacy guarantees even more since I’m a paying customer.

    SpacemanSpiff avatar

    I use Kagi too, it’s surprisingly snappy! Like seriously impressive for a small org. They talk about speed optimisation being critical for them as well. I find the result to be excellent as well. A true Google replacement/feels like Google in its prime.

    I believe they have their own index and bot as well?

    natarey avatar

    I'm also a Kagi user, and it's completely replaced Google for me for everything except the occasional image search. It's awesome, and I consider it worth the price.


    I do a lot of searches so for the time being my default search engine is Ecosia and when it fails I use Kagi. That way it doesn't get too expensive :)


    ...I trust the privacy guarantees even more since I’m a paying customer.

    How effective is this stance? While using a service for free basically guarantees there are privacy concerns, paying doesn't directly provide any assurances. They can both charge you money and sell your data.

    But Kagi seems pretty expensive, and too reliant on Bing/Google search pricing to be a long-term solution.

    @PeterBronez@hachyderm.io avatar

    certainly it’s not a panacea. But Kagi’s entire value proposition is that they charge you to cover their costs. If they sell my data, they lose all credibility and the business dies more or less immediately. That creates a strong incentive for them to build in privacy by default.

    Plus it just feels better to me. I’m sick of the hidden cost of free digital services. I sleep better when I pay for the things I need.

    @Goronmon @SemioticStandard

    Nankeru avatar

    Kagi, hands down, is by far the best search engine I've ever used (next to Neeva, which got bought and shut down) without looking for Reddit results all the time.

    Just simple searches like "Best gaming headphones" or "Realtek Driver Download" and comparing them with Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Brave, Startpage, etc. shows how the quality of the results are far superior.

    And you can directly define, which sites you'd like to see higher / more results of or less - or even completely block or pin them to the top.

    Also, it also shows you directly, before visiting a site, in colors if a site has a very high number of ads and/or trackers.

    And they support for power users custom CSS to adjust everything, URL rewrites (e.g. change all Reddit URLs to old.reddit or to automatically open libreddit or archive.org versions), DDG and custom bangs, and much more.

    Lastly, I created a so-called "Lens", which allows me to search Lemmy / Kbin content only (also still have one for Reddit).
    Meaning with one click, it shows me results from only sites or keywords I've defined - see image.

    Very satisfied with it, can only recommend.

    (copied from another thread I replied to)


    Kagi is sounding. But looks I'd have to learn to use crypto in order to use with anonymity

    @PeterBronez@hachyderm.io avatar

    Kagi is not a purely anonymous service. They keep track of how MANY queries you run for billing purposes. (They never track WHAT you search for). No special crypto stuff needed.

    @speck @SemioticStandard @Nankeru


    What plan are you on? Did you adjust your usage behavior to not waste search queries?

    Nankeru avatar

    Didn't adjust my usage at all. I used the plan with 1000 searches, but since I work as an IT administrator and literally make searches everyday throughout the day multiple times, I changed to the ultimate plan.

    For normal (home / mobile) usage, 1000 searches are more than enough for 2 people.

    @PeterBronez@hachyderm.io avatar

    @Nankeru @SemioticStandard ohhhh can you share your Lemmy lens?

    @Max_UL@lemmy.pro avatar

    +1 for Kagi, seems a great value to me, well worth the price to not have any ads, no tracking (leap of faith here) and great search results.


    I use Ecosia. It works quite well, and if I ever need to search something on Google instead (like a coin flip/stock ticker) you can just do #g or for Youtube They also plant trees and are carbon negative


    @SemioticStandard i am mostly using Murena's Spot meta-engine, bases on Searx. But i also like using Phind and You.com when i have more complex queries. 😄


    @SemioticStandard oh and i used Startpage and Brave Search for a while as well. I recommend them too!

    @DaveedMee@beehaw.org avatar

    I mostly use Startpage and Waterfox as browser. I know system1 was bought by an advertising company which on itself is a bit spooky, but they haven't done anything that would be a concern for my data.

    Startpage uses google as a serach engine but anonymizes your search query and u don't see these paid google ads in your searches. pretty neat.

    Waterfox is modified Firefox but without the Mozilla shit. I wanted a good balance between usability and privacy and other Firefox based browsers like LibreWolf were just such a drag for everyday use. I can still sync my Mozilla account for bookmarks and stuff which is neat but for other than sync functions and updates Wterfox doesn't phone home


    I've still been using Google but it has gone seriously down hill. After an experience earlier today I think I'm done with them for good. I was trying to check if digital international drivers permit were legit (they're not), and when I googled it, the word "digital" was completely ignored, which was the most important modifier in the query, making the results worthless. I think they're generalizing queries so they're more cachable and cheaper to fulfill, but it's made the experience terrible now, so I'm finally done with them.

    I'll probably switch to duck duck go. The bing index didn't ignore the word digital for me.

    @wxMichael@lemmy.fmhy.ml avatar

    I’ve been pretty happy with Startpage. I used DDG prior and ended up frequently using Google as a backup.
    The only time I find myself resorting to Google now is for cached pages when a site is down or a subreddit went dark.

    @chri_ho@feddit.de avatar

    I am a long time DuckDuckGo user. I came for privacy and stayed because of the features.


    Ecosia mostly

  • All
  • Subscribed
  • Moderated
  • Favourites
  • technology@beehaw.org
  • askwomen
  • Youngstown
  • USExpatTaxes
  • plantedtank
  • Gonewildcouples
  • jailbait
  • rhentai
  • QPR
  • silesia
  • Islamabad
  • BeAmazed
  • SlimeRancher
  • Mobpsycho100
  • DreamBathrooms
  • RealDayTrading
  • InstantRegret
  • Radiomaster
  • onlyfansadvice
  • exegypt
  • Babyfurs
  • oldschoolgamer
  • LipsThatGrip
  • slotface
  • Recollectr
  • TeamSpeak
  • Durango
  • LegendOfDragoon
  • osvaldo12
  • All magazines