When is a Search Engine NOT a Search Engine?

I value my personal thoughts. The process by which I form conclusions is unique and intelligent. I’d like my thoughts to be independent, unsullied by commercial goals. I use the internet as a library for factual health research. Sometimes I find subjective, opinion-based “science”, when my searches for medical information are “guided” or skewed by pharmaceutical interests. “Seeding” ideas is manipulative and dangerous. It goes contrary to my belief that we think independently and are responsible to heal our own bodies.

Google has been a reliable resource for trusted information. While I admire Google, I was shocked to discover how they exist. In addition to internet searches, Google’s activities include Advertising, Selling personal information, Pharmaceuticals, Artificial Intelligence, and Covid vaccines. We are astonishingly naïve to believe Google generously performs free searches for us, while their primary asset is a database that tracks everything about us. This gives them enormous power to mold markets and influence the ways in which we think.

Google was originally founded as a search engine in 1998, and now has an 87% share of the global search market. Google has now diversified far beyond search engines. It reorganized in 2015 to create the holding company Alphabet. The parent Alphabet holds Google as its largest subsidiary, and many other companies. Some of these companies are subsidiaries of Google, while others are separately owned by Alphabet. As of December 2016, Alphabet had acquired over 200 companies, its largest being the purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Recent acquisitions abound in the fields of Robotics, Data analysis, Cloud data storage, Travel ratings, Intellectual property, Computer chip design, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Google aggressively pursued artificial intelligence long before the current wave of AI commercialization took off.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has launched not just one but two pharmaceutical companies. The first was Calico in 2013, run by Arthur Levinson, former CEO of Genentech. Calico is a Google-backed life-extension company searching for the eternal key to old age. (Are we talking life-extension with robotics?) The second Google-founded pharmaceutical company is Verily Life Sciences, previously known as Google Life Sciences, which released 20 million mosquitoes infected with a fertility-destroying bacteria into the heart of California.

Both Calico and Verily Life Sciences are actively partnering with other drug companies, including GSK, to create even more pharmaceutical companies, as well as new classes of drugs like “bioelectronic medicines” that they hope will become “blockbusters”. Google recently formed a $715 million partnership with Galvani Bioelectronics, chaired by the same former GSK chairman of global vaccine business that heads up Google’s pharmaceutical division.

Galvani Bioelectronics is developing ways to treat chronic illnesses by controlling electrical impulses in the body. Galvani Bioelectronics has absorbed all of GSK’s bioelectronics research and staff, and will fund and integrate a broad range of collaborations with both parent companies, academia and other R&D companies. GlaxoSmithKline said they have started clinical trials of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, and aim to reach the final testing stage by December. Sanofi and GSK have reached an agreement, subject to final contract, with the UK government for the supply of up to 60 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine, developed by Sanofi in partnership with GSK, is based on the recombinant protein-based technology to produce an influenza vaccine. Alphabet has become a world leader in molding public thinking on healthcare, government policies, and AI.

Pray tell? Are we talking an injection of bot-controlled DNA mods connected to my cell-phone health app? No thanks.

I stopped using Google as a search engine when they prompted my searches AWAY from the topic I wanted to find, and TOWARD something different. When this became obvious and ubiquitous, I left. What to do? Here I am sharing my favorite alternative search engines. If I missed yours, please let me know and offer your thoughts.

My Top 4 Search Engines are not censored or tracked.

  1. Gibiru is #1 in my book. It is not tracked, based on the model of uncensored data. Gibiru’s search algorithm is a modified version of Google’s search algorithm so the search results are quite comparable. This eliminates behavioral search results and censoring. Encrypted, private, no data collection, IP address not collected, no cookies, no tracking.  But today Gibiru was blocked on my computer for some reason. So I move to #2.
    Website: https://gibiru.com
  2. DuckDuckGo is a GREAT search engine for private browsing habits and personal information. It is not censored or tracked. No IP address collected, no cookies, and searches are protected. DuckDuckGo is an internet search engine that emphasizes searchers’ privacy, avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by showing all users the same search results for a given search term instead of limiting them.
    Website: https://duckduckgo.com/
  3. Swisscows is a Swiss based search engine that censors out only pornography. It uses AI algorhythms. It does not track your data, and searches are not censored. Swisscows was launched in 2014, a project of Hulbee AG, a company based in Egnach, Switzerland. It uses semantic data recognition that give faster “answers” to queries. In addition, Swisscows does not store users’ data. Swisscows also deems itself “family-friendly”, with pornography entirely omitted. Since advertising and user donations are the only sources of income, they offer a new service for supporters of Swisscows who wish to make full use of their services without ads, called Swisscows Prime.
    Website: https://swisscows.com
  4. WolframAlpha – This search engine gives expert-level answers using Wolfram’s breakthrough algorithms, AI technology. It’s best for Math, Science & Technology, Society, Culture, Life. No tracking, not censored. (NT, NC) Website: https://www.wolframalpha.com

    These search engines I do not use (yet):
    (C=Censored, T=Tracking, N=Not)
    (High, Medium, Low)
    What are your preferences?

  5. CC Search – Great for finding Copyright Free Creative Content – (NT, NC) High Rating in my book.
  6. Yippy – Great choice for privacy, no tracking searches or personal ads. No tracking, not censored. (NT, NC) High
  7. OneSearch – No cookie, tracking, personal profiling, No search history. Unbiased, unfiltered encrypted. (NT, NC) Medium
  8. Qwant – French privacy-based search engine, no tracking, no censoring. (NT, NC) Medium
  9. Wiki.com – Searches from thousands of wikis on the net. (NT, NC) Medium
  10. Boardreader – Finds forums or message boards about a specific subject. (NT, NC) Medium
  11. Internet Archive – A vast online library of old stuff. Find anything. (NT, NC) Medium
  12. Slideshare – search for documented slideshow presentations. (NT, NC) Low
  13. Google – Highest rated search engine in the world, Censored and Tracked.  (C, T) Low
  14. Bing – by Microsoft outperforms Google in certain respects (C, T) Low
  15. Yandex – Has 45% of Russian users. ((NT, NC)) Low
  16. StartPage gets answers from Google, without tracking and storing your data.(C) Low
  17. Search Encrypt – Pulls from other search engines without tracking and storing. (C) Low
  18. GiveWater – “Social impact search engine” aims to have a positive impact on the world. Censored, Tracked. (C, T) Low
  19. Ekoru – Addresses ever-present threat of climate change. Censored, Tracked. (C, T) Low
  20. Ecosia – Uses revenues from searches to plant trees. Censored, Tracked. (C, T) Low
  21. Twitter – The BEST place to go for immediate updates in an emergency. (C, T) Low
  22. Yahoo – Older than Google, 3rd most popular search engine, Default for Firefox. (C, T) Low
  23. Ask – Q&A format. User-friendly for inexperienced users. Censored, Tracked. (C, T) Low
  24. Baidu – 70% of China’s internet, Like Google, heavily censored & tracked. (C, T) Low
  25. Disconnect – allows you to search anonymously with engine of your choice, query rerouted and anonymized (Censored by other SE’s, not tracked) Low
  26. Lukol – Anonymous, Uses results from Google but removes your traceable elements. Censored. Low
  27. Metager – “Privacy Protected Search” anonymized search. Uses green energy, adding to the sense of trust. Censored, Tracked. (C, T) Low
  28. Gigablast – Private, claims no tracking of data, hides you from marketers and spammers. Censored, Tracked. (C, T) Low
  29. Oscobo – Search engine (May use other search engines) Encryption protects No sharing personal data or search history. (C) Censored but not tracked. Low

Sources include:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12571-018-0877-1 Meat consumption, behaviour and the media environment: a focus group analysis across four countries


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