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Google might be the biggest but there are other search engines, too

Most people don't want three dozen search engines, especially people who are not trained internet users. Most people want a single search engine that delivers three key features:

  1. Relevant results (results you are actually interested in)
  2. Uncluttered, easy to read interface
  3. Helpful options to broaden or tighten a search

With this criteria, several of our reader favorites come to mind. These search sites should meet 99 percent of the searching needs of a regular everyday user.

Google Search

Google Search Google Search. screenshot

Google is the reigning king of 'spartan searching', and is the single most used search engine in the world. While it doesn't offer all the shopping center features of Yahoo! or the human curation of Mahalo, Google is fast, relevant, and the largest single catalogue of web pages available today. The search giant also tracks an incredible amount of information that many people don't even know they are giving out.

Make sure you try the Google 'images', 'maps' and 'news' features... they are outstanding services for locating photos, geographic directions, and news headlines. P.S. If you don't want Google to spy on you, protect yourself.

Duck Duck Go Search

DuckDuckGo search results DuckDuckGo search results. DuckDuckGo

At first, DuckDuckGo.com looks like Google. However, there are many subtleties that make this spartan search engine different.

DuckDuckGo has some slick features, like 'zero-click' information (all your answers are found on the first results page). DuckDuckgo offers disambiguation prompts (helps to clarify what question you are really asking). Plus, the ad spam is much less than Google.

Give DuckDuckGo.com a try... you might really like this clean and simple search engine.

Bing Search

Bing Search
 Bing Search. screenshot

Bing is Microsoft's attempt at unseating Google, and arguably the second-most-popular search engine today. Bing used to be MSN search until it was updated in summer of 2009.

Touted as a decision engine, Bing tries to support your researching by offering suggestions in the leftmost column, while also giving you various search options across the top of the screen. Things like 'wiki' suggestions, 'visual search', and 'related searches' might be very useful to you. Bing is not dethroning Google in the near future, no, but it is definitely worth trying.  

Dogpile Search

Dogpile Search Dogpile Search. screenshot

Years ago, Dogpile preceded Google as the fast and efficient choice for web searching. Things changed in the late 1990's, Dogpile faded into obscurity, and Google became king.

Today, however, Dogpile is coming back, with a growing index and a clean and quick presentation that is a testimony to its halcyon days. If you want to try a search tool with pleasant presentation and helpful crosslink results, definitely try Dogpile!

Yippy Search

Yippy Search Results
 Yippy Search Results. Yippy

Yippy is a Deep Web engine that searches other search engines for you. Unlike the regular Web, which is indexed by robot spider programs, Deep Web pages are usually harder to locate by conventional search.

That's where Yippy becomes very useful. If you are searching for obscure hobby interest blogs, obscure government information, tough-to-find obscure news, academic research and otherwise-obscure content, then Yippy is your tool. 

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar SearchGoogle Scholar Search. screenshot

Google Scholar is a special version of Google. This search engine will help you win debates.

Google Scholar focuses on scientific and hard-research academic material that has been subjected to scrutiny by scientists and scholars. Example content includes graduate theses, legal and court opinions, academic publications, medical research reports, physics research papers, and economics and world politics explanations.

If you are looking for serious information that can stand up in a heated debate with educated people, then forget regular Google... Google Scholar is where you want to go to arm yourself with high powered sources!

Webopedia Search

Webopedia Search
 Webopedia Search. screenshot

Webopedia is one of the most useful websites on the web. Webopedia is an encyclopedic resource dedicated to searching technology terminology and computer definitions.

Teach yourself what 'domain name system' is, or what 'DDRAM' means on your computer. Webopedia is absolutely a perfect resource for non-technical people to make more sense of the computers around them.

Yahoo! Search (and More)

Yahoo! Search
 Yahoo! Search. screenshot

Yahoo! is several things: it is a search engine, a news aggregator, a shopping center, an email box, a travel directory, a horoscope and games center, and more.

This 'web portal' breadth of choice makes this a very helpful site for Internet beginners. Searching the Web should also be about discovery and exploration, and Yahoo! delivers that in wholesale quantities. (By the way, here's what happened to Yahoo! avatars and Yahoo! 360 in case you were wondering.)

The Internet Archive Search

The Internet Archive SearchInternet Archive Search. screenshot

The Internet Archive is a favorite destination for longtime Web lovers. The Archive has been taking snapshots of the entire World Wide Web for years now, allowing you and me to travel back in time to see what a web page looked like in 1999, or what the news was like around Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

You won't visit the Archive daily like you would Google or Yahoo or Bing, but when you do have a need to travel back in time, use this search site.

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Paul Gil

Published in Search Engine

Mozilla rolled out a major update to its Firefox web browser on Tuesday with a bevy of new features, and one old frenemy: Google.

In a blog post, Mozilla said Firefox’s default search engine will be Google in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The agreement recalls a similar, older deal that was scuttled when Firefox and Google’s Chrome web browser became bitter rivals. Three years ago, Mozilla switched from Google to Yahoo as the default Firefox search provider in the U.S. after Yahoo agreed to pay more than $300 million a year over five years — more than Google was willing to pay.

The new Firefox deal could boost Google’s already massive share of the web-search market. When people use Firefox, Google’s search box will be on the launch page, prompting users to type in valuable queries that Google can sell ads against. But the agreement also adds another payment that Alphabet’s Google must make to partners that send online traffic to its search engine, a worrisome cost for shareholders.

 

 

It’s unclear how much Google paid to reclaim this prized digital spot. A Google spokeswoman confirmed the deal but declined to comment further, and Mozilla didn’t disclose financial details.

As Google’s ad sales keep rising, so too has the amount it must dole out to browsers, mobile device makers and other distribution channels to ensure that Google’s search, video service and digital ads are seen. Those sums, called Traffic Acquisition Costs or TAC, rose to $5.5 billion during the third quarter, or 23 percent of ad revenue.

Last quarter, the increase in TAC was primarily due to “changes in partner agreements,” Google Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said on the earnings call. She declined to disclose specific partners. A lot of these payments go to Apple, which runs Google search as the default on its Safari browser. In September, Apple added Google search as the default provider for questions people ask Apple’s voice-based assistant Siri, replacing Microsoft’s Bing. In the third quarter, the TAC Google paid to distribution partners, like Apple, jumped 54 percent to $2.4 billion.

Google is likely paying Mozilla less than Apple for search rights. In 2014, Yahoo’s then-Chief Executive Officer, Marissa Mayer, lobbied heavily for the Firefox deal by agreeing to pay $375 million a year, according to regulatory filings. Google paid $1 billion to Apple in 2014 to keep its search bar on iPhones, according to court records.

Firefox once commanded roughly a fourth of the web browser market, but its share has slid in recent years. It now controls 6 percent of the global market, according to research firm Statcounter. Apple’s Safari holds 15 percent followed by Alibaba’s UC Browser with 8 percent. Google’s Chrome browser has 55 percent of the market.

Source: This article was published siliconvalley.com By Mark Bergen

Published in Search Engine

Search engines are a sourcers best friend, but how do you know when to use what search engine and what type of search to perform? A search will pull up almost anything you ask it to do as long as you know how to ask the right questions. The key to a successful search query is knowing what’s available and knowing exactly what you want without having to pour over pages and pages of useless results. Using search engines to find your ideal candidate will help cut out all of the noise by using them correctly.

Using search engines to find your ideal candidate

Not all searches or search engines are made equal. Understanding the fundamentals of search engines and when to use which one is critical when it comes to finding candidates in the most efficient way possible.  

Understanding the power of a Google Search

We all probably use this search engine several times a day, but do you know how to leverage a search to pinpoint what you’re looking for? There are two popular types of search strings that most sourcers are using when it comes to using Google. Both Boolean and X-ray searches will give you a boost in your searching endeavors.

Boolean involves using terms like AND OR NOT in your Google search to limit or broaden what you’re looking for. So, searching for “copy editors” -jobs -Nashville would exclude the term jobs and the results of candidates who live in Nashville, while (“copy editors” OR writers) would give you candidates with editing skills as well as those who may only have writing skills.

Check out some helpful hints from Google:

Common search techniques

Search social media

Put @ in front of a word to search social media. For example: @twitter.

Search for a price

Put in front of a number. For example: camera $400.

Search hashtags

Put in front of a word. For example: #throwbackthursday

Exclude words from your search

Put - in front of a word you want to leave out. For example, jaguar speed -car

Search for an exact match

Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".

Search for wildcards or unknown words

Put a * in your word or phrase where you want to leave a placeholder. For example, "largest * in the world".

Search within a range of numbers

Put .. between two numbers. For example, camera $50..$100.

Combine searches

Put “OR” between each search query. For example,  marathon OR race.

Search for a specific site

Put “site:” in front of a site or domain. For example, site:youtube.com or site:.gov.

Search for related sites

Put “related:” in front of a web address you already know. For example, related:time.com.

X-ray allows you to utilize a more powerful search engine (like Google) to search a website (like LinkedIn) whose search function may not be as thorough. You can give it a Google to see how to format your X-ray search. site:linkedin.com/in

search.png

Custom Search Engines

Another benefit to using Google over other search engines is their ability to provide a custom search engine. If you’re tired of writing out the same string of criteria time and time again, Google has provided this type of search engine that allows you to set up and refine your search in one easy location.

{youtube}Qd9z48Bo8ZA{/youtube}

Bing Matters!

Google may be the most popular choice when choosing a search engine, but it’s important also to give others a chance as well. Results from each of these sources will be displayed differently and can bring up different results that allow you to see what another may have failed to show you. Make sure you check out the Boolean and X-ray functions of whatever search engine you are using as they may need to be formatted differently.

The reason we pick out Bing as a contender is that all of your popular platforms such as Yahoo, Altavista, and MSN all run off Bing’s search engine (Fun Fact circa 2010). There are some nuances to understand when working with Bing that doesn’t necessarily work when it comes to Google. For instance:

inurl: is something that works well in Google, but doesn’t work in Bing search engine because it was deemed as a “mass data mining tool” back in 2007. It’s long since been retired in Bing and never seen again. Instead, you’ll want to use a more friendly search string such as intitle:recruitment. This type of search string is going to look for the letters “recruitment” in either the title a web page. It also works in Google and most other search engines. This allows you to search for specific titles within a certain website using Bing’s search engine.

Take a look at the X-ray Search in Bing (PRO TIP – In Bing, you have to use the parentheses):

bing.png

Others

DuckDuckGo – The key feature of DuckDuckGo is that it’s a private search engine and doesn’t track your search history, like Google.

Dogpile – Dogpile has been around for decades and is still an excellent metasearch engine that all sourcers should consider.

Yandex – From Russia, with tons of love, this is one of the most popular and widely used search engines in the world!

Search engines are beautiful things. But learning to use them beyond looking up a single term is imperative if you want to remain a productive and efficient sourcer. Let the search engine do the brunt of the work for you, so you can focus on honing in on finding that perfect fit for the job. We know which is your favorite, but humor us anyway, Google or Bing? Go!

Source: This article was published sourcecon.com By Shannon Pritchett

Published in Search Engine

It’s not Spiderman’s latest web slinging tool but something that’s more real world.

The Invisible Web (or The Deep Web) refers to the part of the Internet that’s not indexed by the search engines. Most of us think that that search powerhouses like Google and Bing are like the Great Oracle — they see everything.

Unfortunately, they can’t because they aren’t divine at all; they are just web spiders who index pages by following one hyperlink after the other. And, there are some places where a spider cannot enter.

Take library databases which need a password for access. Or even pages that belong to private networks of organizations. Dynamically generated web pages in response to a query are often left un-indexed by search engine spiders.

Search engine technology has progressed by leaps and bounds. Today, we have real time search and the capability to index Flash based and PDF content. Even then, there remain large swathes of the web which a general search engine cannot penetrate. The term, Deep Net, Deep Web or Invisible Web lingers on. However, of a misnomer they may be.

It’s not that you can’t access the invisible web at all. It’s just that you must use the right tools to do so. Here are ten online indexes and search tools you should hit.

1. The WWW Virtual Library

This is considered to be the oldest catalog on the web and was started by started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web. So, isn’t it strange that it finds a place in the list of invisible web resources? Maybe, but the WWW Virtual Library lists quite a lot of relevant resources on quite a lot of subjects.

The WWW Virtual Library

For instance, there are 300 sub-libraries with their own categories within the main library. The History sub-library is a good example.

You can go vertically into the categories or use the search bar. The screenshot shows the alphabetical arrangement of subjects covered at the site. Even as many deep web resources have come and gone, the WWW Virtual Library keeps on going even after 26 years.

2. USA.gov

This is the official site of the U.S. Government and the portal to all the public information you need on every federal agency or state, local, and tribal government. The site has an A-Z index of all topicson the portal and it’s a better way to pinpoint the information you want.

USA.gov

Apart from the direct access, use filters like “Only USA.gov,” “Images,” or “Videos” at the top of the page for more specific results. And while you are here, don’t forget the partner sites like Kids.USA.gov and Publications.USA.gov which are other specialized information mines.

3. Science.gov

The blurb on the home page says it all. The scientific search engine taps into 60 databases and over 2,200 scientific websites that cover federal science information including the latest research and development results. Try the advanced search engine page for a deep web search across the government databases that exist in the country.

Science.gov

The federal search tool can be your first doorway for multidisciplinary research that covers everything from agricultural information to the current trends in science education for schools in the U.S. It is also a primary source for searching Federally-sponsored opportunities and programs for STEM students.

4. U.S Geological Survey

The Map Topics and the images alone could be worth the price of admission. There is none because the government site is free. The job of the organization is to broadcast real-time or near real-time data and information on current conditions and Earth observations. But it is also a goldmine for academic and even casual research.

U.S Geological Survey

Try the National Geologic Map Database catalog. Query satellite photos and Earth images with the EarthExplorer tool. Or, lean forward to search 100,000+ scientific publications, and books. And there is so much more.

5. Directory of Open Access Journals

Search for articles in Open Access journals. These are academic papers that are available to anyone “without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the Internet itself.” In short, the knowledge is free.

 

 

Directory of Open Access Journals

DOAJ maintains quality control with rigorous peer review. The current repository has 9000+ journals with almost 2.5 million articles across all subjects. This information may not be available with a Google Search though Google Scholar may be able to access some of the information. But DOAJ is a better research tool as it neatly curated with a well-designed advanced search engine.

6. Voice of The Shuttle

Studying literature? Try Voice of The Shuttle. It is a rich directory for of online resources on literature, the humanities, and cultural studies. The search directory has evolved to include topics like Sci-Tech and Culture, Cyberculture, and Technology of Writing to keep pace with the times.

Voice of The Shuttle

It started as a support tool for the English Dept. of the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1994. Today, it continues to be updated and you can browse through both primary and secondary resources.

7. RxList

Though Google does offer medical information when you search with your symptoms, you need all the help you can get. RxList is a comprehensive database of US prescription medications. The index is a prescription drug encyclopedia, pill identifier, and pharmacy locator rolled into one.

RxList

With the rise of supplements, there is also a dedicated part of the site for vitamins, herbs, and dietary supplements. Each section has its own search tool and/or an alphabetical listing.

The medical resource is a quality offshoot of the WebMD network. The data comes from sources like the FDA, Cerner Multum, and First Data Bank, Inc.

8. Infoplease

This online encyclopedia started its life as a radio quiz show in 1938. Today, Infoplease is an information portal with a host of features. Using the site, you can tap into a good number of databases, electronic journals, almanacs, electronic books, thesaurus, atlas, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, and directories of researchers.

Infoplease

Infoplease also has a few nice offshoots like Factmonster.com for kids and TeacherVision which are all part of the same educational network.

9. WorldCat

Think of it as the search engine for brick-and-mortar libraries across the world. The meta-catalog for 72,000 libraries in 170 countries can help you find any paper, book, thesis, videos, multimedia assets, and even museum artifacts stored somewhere.

WorldCat

The best way to use this massive database is with the advanced search tool. The information found here is also useful for creating citations for your research paper.

A search on WorldCat.org will return links to the resources in these databases. But to access these resources, you have to log in with a valid library membership. You can also use the “Ask a Librarian” feature to ask for help from librarians in charge.

10. The National Security Archive

This is a non-governmental resource for unclassified security documents. It is the largest repository of such documents outside the U.S. government. Set up to check rising government secrecy, the site uses a custom Google Search to give you access to more than 10 million pages of government documents.

National Security Archive

The papers are primary source material for journalists, security evangelists, and researchers. A growing collection of Electronic Briefing Books are a smaller part of the documents but give you a curated look at U.S. national security, foreign policy, diplomatic and military history, and intelligence policy.

More Deep Web Sites Worth a Mention

  1. Elephind
  2. MagPortal
  3. Free Lunch
  4. Clinical Trials
  5. Project Gutenberg
  6. The Library of Congress
  7. Internet Archive (Including the Way Back Machine)
  8. The National Gallery of Art
  9. Scitation
  10. PubSpace

How Do You Surf the Deep Web?

It is difficult to pin down the size of the Deep Web. But it is estimated to be several times larger than the web we know so well. What is true is that the topic focus of the invisible web makes it a ripe area to hunt for information when we by habit barely click to Page 2 of the Google Search results page.

It is also important here to make a distinction between the “invisible web” and the “Dark Net”. The invisible web is within the reach of a normal web browser while the dark net is dominated by TOR sites (and disreputable anonymous services) that need some technical wizardry to access.

Just like general web search, searching the invisible web is also about looking for the needle in the haystack. Only here, the haystack is much bigger. The invisible web is definitely not for the casual searcher. It is deep but not dark because if you know what you are searching for, information is a few keywords away.

Do you venture into the Invisible Web? Which is your preferred search tool?

Source: This article was published makeuseof.com By Saikat Basu

Published in Search Engine

Privacy search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Startpage are becoming increasingly popular. They usually leverage the big search engines in order to return results, but proxy search requests so that Google or Yahoo or Microsoft do not know who made the search. In other words, these see only that the search query came from the privacy search engine.

These privacy search engines promise to not log your IP address or any searches you make. Does this sound good to you? Good. The next question, then, is which privacy search engine to use…

Why privacy search engines?

The problem with most search engines is that they spy on you. This is their business model – to learn as much about you as possible, in order deliver highly targeted advertising direct to your browser window.

Google has even recently dropped its moratorium on combining what it learns by scanning your emails with what it learns about you through your searches. All the better to spy on you. Information typically collected and stored each time you make a search includes:

  • Your IP address
  • Date and time of query
  • Query search terms
  • Cookie ID – this cookie is deposited in your browser’s cookie folder, and uniquely identifies your computer. With it, a search engine provider can trace a search request back to your computer

This information is usually transmitted to the requested web page, and to the owners of any third party advertising banners displayed on that page. As you surf around the internet, advertisers build up a (potentially highly embarrassing) profile of you.

Of course, if Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, etc., know lots about you, this information can be (and often is) handed over to the police and the NSA.

Google Transparency Report on the number of User Data Requests received, and the number (at least partially) acceded to

Indeed, it was only recently that evidence emerged showing Yahoo works hand in glove with the NSA to betray its users to the intelligence service.  Naughty, naughty.

The filter bubble

An added benefit of using a search engine that does not track you is that it avoids the “filter bubble” effect. Most search engines use your past search terms (and things you “Like” on social networks) to profile you. They can then return results they think will interest you.

This can result in only receiving search returns that agree with your point of view, This locks you into a “filter bubble,” where you do not get to see alternative viewpoints and opinions because they have been downgraded in your search results.

Not only does this deny you access to the rich texture and multiplicity of human input, but it can also be very dangerous as it can confirm prejudices, and prevent you from seeing the “bigger picture”.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo Privacy Search Engines

  • PROS
  • No logs or tracking
  • Looks great
  • Discrete non-targeted ads
  • Bangs
  • Contextual filters
  • CONS
  • US company
  • Uses Amazon servers
  • Yahoo results 

DuckDuckGo is “The Search Engine that Vows Not to Track You.” Gabriel Weinberg, the CEO and founder of DuckDuckGo has stated that “if the FBI comes to us, we have nothing to tie back to you.”

It is a US-based company, and is the most popular and high-profile of the privacy search engines. Searches are primarily sourced via Yahoo, with whom DuckDuckGo has a strong relationship.

This is very worrying given recent revelations about its ties to the NSA,  but DuckDuckGo continues to promise that it does not collect or share personal information.

Aesthetics

DuckDuckGo sports a clean interface. I find its red, grey, and white styling and cutesy logo attractive and fun, although this is, of course, a matter of personal taste.

Search results

  • DuckDuckGo offers search suggestions as you type in a query.
  • Search returns are very fast. This includes image and video search returns.
  • Presentation of results is very clear.
  • Search filter categories include Web, Images, Videos, Products, Meanings, Definition, and News. Displayed filters are adaptive, and DDG will initially show results under the filter category that it feels is most appropriate to the search terms. Depending the filter selected, DuckDuckGo may display image, video or Wikipedia previews at either the top of the search page, or in a box to the right of the results.
  • Ads may also be displayed to the right of search results. Paid ads are clearly marked as such, are discreet, and are never mixed in with the “pure” search returns.
  • Image results, however, can only be filtered by size (Small, Medium. Large).
  • Video results display a thumbnail preview. YouTube videos can be played directly from DDG the website, but a warning alerts you to the fact that these will be tracked by YouTube/Google.
  • Results can also be filtered by country and date (Anytime, Past Day, Past Week or Past Month).
  • Subjectively, I find the quality of DuckDuckGo’s search returns to be very good. I have seen complaints, however, by others who do not find them as good as those of Google. This is one reason why “bangs” are so useful (see below).

Here we can see both the contextual filter in actual (auto-direct to Products) and DDG’s discrete ads

How it makes money

DuchDuckGo displays ads alongside its search results. These are sourced from Yahoo as part of the Yahoo-Microsoft search alliance. By default, when advertisers sign up for a Bing Ads account, their ads automatically enter rotation into all of Bing’s distribution channels, including DuckDuckGo

Importantly, however, these ads are untargeted (they are displayed based on your search terms). And as already noted, there are clearly marked and are displayed separately from the “pure” search returns.

DuckDuckGo is part of the affiliate programs of Amazon and eBay. When you visit those sites through DuckDuckGo and subsequently make a purchase, it receives a small commission. No personally identifiable information is given out in this way, however, and this does not influence search result rankings.

Privacy

DuckDuckGo states that does not collect or share personal information.

  • An affiliate code may be added to some eCommerce sites (e.g. Amazon & eBay), but this does not include any personally identifiable information.
  • Being based in the US means that DuckDuckGo is subject to government pressure and laws such as FISA and the Patriot Act. This means that the US government could mandate that DuckDuckGo start logging its users’ activities. And prevent the company from alerting users to this fact via a Gag order.
  • DuckDuckGo uses Amazon servers. Again, this is a US company, subject to pressure from the US government.
  • Qualys SSL labs security report: A+

Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, has contacted me regarding this article. Please see the Update at the bottom of this page for his answers to some  criticisms expressed here.

Features

In addition to its rather nifty contextual filters, the most striking feature of DuckDuckGo is “bangs”.

These allow you to search other websites quickly and easily. For example, typing !guk before a search query will return Google UK search results, and typing !a will search the Amazon store for you.

Note that bangs take you to the website in question. The searches are proxied, but if you are signed into Google (for example), then Google will know who you are and will record the search terms.

My thoughts

DuckDuckGo is, in my opinion, the best looking and most user-friendly privacy search engine out there. This makes it great to use, although some may prefer Google to the primarily Yahoo-based search results.

Bangs are a killer feature, however, and one that go a long way towards compensating for this issue. Just remember to sign out of your Google account before using a Google bang!

It is little surprise, then, that DuckDuckGo is so popular. But the fact that it is a US company should sound a note of caution.

Startpage (and Ixquick)

Startpage

  • PROS
  • No logs or tracking
  • Non-targeted ads
  • Can proxy webpages
  • Based in Netherlands
  • Google results
  • CONS
  • Runs servers in the US (but can you choose non-US servers)

Startpage and Ixquick are run by the same company. In the past, Startpage returned Google results, while Ixquick returned results from a number of other search engines, but not Google. The two services have now been combined, and both return identical Google results.

Although no longer actively supported, the old Ixquick metasearch engine is still available at Ixquick.eu. Interestingly, despite no longer being actively supported, Startpage has recently removed Yahoo results from the legacy search engine. This is in response to news that Yahoo has been helping the NSA spy on its users.

Aesthetics

The cloudy blue sky default theme doesn’t really do it for me, although this can be changed in the settings. Overall, there is nothing wrong with how Startpage looks, but I much prefer DuckDuckGo’s red-themed cutesiness.

Search results

  • Suggestions are not offered as you type.
  • Search returns are fast, but perhaps not as fast as those of DuckDuckGo (this is a purely subjective assessment).
  • Presentation of results is very clear.
  • Searches can be only filtered by Web, Images and Video categories. An advanced search option is available that allows you to specify a variety of search parameters, and you can filter results by time.
  • Ads are displayed above search results. These are clearly marked as ads, and are not mixed with the “pure” search results.
  • There are no additional filters for Images.
  • Video results display an image preview. YouTube can be played directly on the Startpage website, although you are warned that this is not private.
  • Search results are pulled directly from Google, and are therefore very good. This does mean, however, that information censored by Google is also censored from these returns.

startpage-1

Ads are more prominent than with DDG, but the ability to proxy webpages is great

How it makes money

Much like DuckDuckGo, Startpage makes money from ads and affiliate links. These ads are untargeted, clearly marked, and not mixed in with the “real” search returns. They are somewhat more prominently displayed than with DuckDuckGo, however.

Privacy

  • Startpage is based in the Netherlands, which has strong privacy laws.
  • It runs servers collocated in the US. These are owned and controlled by Startpage, and I am assured that they are secure against government snooping. If this worries you, however…
  • It is possible to use non-US servers only (or non-EU servers).
  • Webpages returned from searches can be proxied (see below).
  • Startpage is the only privacy search engine that has been independently audited.
  • Qualys SSL labs security report: A+

Features

Startpage’s killer feature is that, rather than visiting a website directly, you can proxy the connection. If you select this option, then a proxy server run by Startpage sits between your computer and the website.

This prevents the website from knowing your true IP address (much like a VPN), and from being able to use web tracking and fingerprinting technologies to identify and track you.  The downside is that pages load more slowly, since StartPage must retrieve the contents and redisplay them.

I must say that this is a terrific feature, and one that can greatly improve your privacy. Given its downside, however, you probably won’t want to use it all the time.

My thoughts

Startpage is not as pretty or user-friendly as DuckDuckGo. But thanks to being based in the Netherlands and having nothing to do with Yahoo, it should be more resistant to NSA spying than its US-based rivals long (if you specify non-US servers!). And  the ability to proxy web pages is an absolute doozy.

 SearX

Search

  • PROS
  • Can be self-hosted
  • Choose which search engines to leverage
  • Can proxy webpages
  • No ads
  • CONS
  • Public instances could be logged

Less well-known, but fast gaining traction with the security community is SearX. Not only is SearX fully open source, but it is easy to setup and run your own instance of it.

There is an official public SearX instance, or you can use one of many volunteer-run public instances. But what SearX is really about is running your own instance. This makes SearX the only metasearch engine where you can be 100 percent sure that no logs are kept!

Aesthetics

I would describe SearX as functional looking, rather than pretty. That said, the layout is clean, and results are displayed clearly. It is possible for hosts to customize their instances somewhat, although most instances look and feel fairly similar to the official template.

Search results

  • By default, SearX leverages results from a large number of search engines.

searx-search-engines

In Preferences, users can change which search engines are used

  • Search suggestions are not offered as you type, but are displayed to the right of your search returns.
  • Searches can be filtered by the following categories: General, Files, Images, IT, Map (using OpenStreetMap), Music, News, Science, Social Media and Videos. They can also be filtered by time.
  • There are no ads
  • Wikipedia entries are displayed to the right of search results
  • There are no additional filters for Images, although a preview is displayed when they are clicked on.
  • Video results display a thumbnail preview. Clicking on a video takes you to the website it is hosted on (for example YouTube or Vimeo).
  • Search results can be downloaded as a .csv, .json., or rss file.
  • As with Starpage, search results can be viewed proxied. This will “break” many websites, but does allow for a very high level of privacy.
  • Search results are as good as the engine’s selected. The official instance uses Google, Bing, Wikipedia, and a host of other first-rate engines by default, so the results are excellent.

How it makes money

SearX is an open source project run by volunteers. On the official instance there is no on-site advertising and no affiliate marketing.

Because it is open source, individual operators of public SearX instances are free to introduce their own finance models. But I have yet to find a single instance that is not 100 percent ad and affiliate-free.

Privacy

  • There is no way to know if a public SearX instance operator is logging your searches. And this includes the official instance.
  • That said, there is no way to guarantee that DDG, Startpage, or any other “private” search engines are not logging your searches either…
  • If you are serious about privacy, therefore, you should set up your own SearX instance. In fact, setting up your own SearX instance on a server that only you directly control is the only way currently available to guarantee that your searches are not logged.
  • This makes self-hosted SearX instances by far the most secure search engines available. Documentation for installing your own SearX instance is available here.
  • For the casual user, public SearX instances are unlikely to log your searches, and are much less likely to be monitored by the likes of the NSA than the other services mentioned here.
  • Just remember, though, that there is no way to be sure of this.
  • Qualys SSL labs security report for searx.me (the official instance): A. Note that each SearX instance (public or private) is different in this respect.

searx-reults

The are no ads, search suggestions are listed to the right, and as with Startpage, you can proxy webpages

Features

As with Startpage, the ability to proxy websites is a killer feature if you can live with it breaking many websites that you visit.

My thoughts

For serious tech-savvy privacy-heads, a self-hosted SearX instance is the way to go. Simply put, nothing else is in the same league when it comes to knowing for certain that your searches are not logged.

More casual users may also be surprised at how well the software works on public instances. My personal feelings are that these are much less likely to log your searches or be spied on by the US and other governments than DuckDuckGo, Startpage or Disconnect. But this is purely speculation.

Disconnect Search

Disconnect Search

  • PROS
  • No logs or tracking
  • No ads
  • Choice of search engines
  • CONS
  • US company (so beware the NSA)
  • Uses Amazon servers (so beware the NSA)

Before writing a Disconnect review, we knew the US-based company had made a name for itself with some excellent open source privacy-oriented browser extensions. One of these is the open source Disconnect Search add-on for Firefox and Chrome (a non-open source Android app is also available).

This browser add-on is still the primary way to use Disconnect Search, although a JavaScript web app is available. This mimics the browser extension, and allow you to perform web searches from the Disconnect Search web page.

Disconnect also markets a Premium VPN and online security app, with Disconnect Search functionality built-in. Please see my Disconnect review for more details on this.

Search results

  • Searches are usually made from the browser add-on.
  • You can select which of three search engines to query: Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo (default).
  • Unlike the other privacy metasearch engines discussing this article, Disconnect does not display search returns on its own website. Results are simply routed through Disconnect’s servers to hide their origin, and are then opened in the selected search engine’s webpage.
  • Incognito mode searches are supported.

disconnect-search-1

The browser extension

How it makes money

Disconnect markets a Premium product (see review), but the Disconnect Search browser extension is free. It hides your IP when making searches, but then sends you direct to the selected search engine.  This means that Disconnect performs no advertising or affiliate marketing of its own when making a search.

Privacy

  • Disconnect is a US company, and is therefore not a good choice for the more NSA-phobic out there.
  • The browser extension is open source, but search requests can still be logged by Disconnect, as they are made through its servers.
  • Disconnect hosts its service on Amazon servers.
  • Qualys SSL labs security report: A (this is for the Disonnect.me website).

My thoughts

The Disconnect Search browser extension provides a quick and easy way hide your true identity whilst making searches using your favorite search engine.  The fact that Disconnect is US-based, however, is a major issue.

Honorary mention: Peekier

Peekier is a new no-logs search engine. There is not enough information about this service currently available for me to give it a proper assessment. It is worth mentioning, however, because of the attractive and innovative way that it displays search results.

Results are displayed as large thumbnail previews of returned webpages

In a field were where, if we are honest, most search engines look pretty similar, it is great to see a different approach. I therefore think it worth flagging up Peekier, and keeping an eye on the service to see how it develops.

Privacy Search Engines Conclusion

Using any of these services engines will greatly improve your search privacy. Crucially, your searches will not be recorded in order to build to help a profile that is used to sell you stuff. All the search engines I looked at in this article are easy to use and return good results.

DuckDuckGo, in particular, is extremely user-friendly. This makes it a great service for transitioning away from Google.

Will these services protect your searches from government surveillance (and the NSA in particular)? In the case of US companies, it is safest to assume not. But unless you are doing something very illegal, this may not concern you (although it should).

Startpage is non-US based, has been independently audited, and allows you to access websites with a great deal of privacy thanks to its proxy feature. It is therefore a much better choice for privacy-heads than DuckDuckGo.

Public SearX instances are less likely to be monitored than other higher-profile search engines, but they may be. It is also likely that you will know nothing about their operators. Running your own SearX instance on hardware directly under your control, however, is an extremely secure and private solution. And is therefore only one that I can recommend to serious privacy fanatics.

The fact the SearX has a great interface and returns on-the-button results from all the major search engines is the icing on the cake.

Update

Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, has contacted me regarding this article. It is his firm (and I believe genuine) belief that DDG is as secure and private as a search engine can be (barring one that is self-hosted). And that my concerns about it being a US company and over its partnership with Yahoo are largely unfounded.

Central to his argument is that DDG keeps no logs. This means that it cannot be subpoenaed to provide what it does not have, and makes it irrelevant who it partners with. As no information exists about DDG’s users anyway.

Gabriel also pointed out the legal protections US citizens enjoy against government spying that are not afforded to other nationals, and that DuckDuckGo operates non-US servers. Users outside the US will mostly be directed to these when performing searches.

Now. I will go on record as saying that I think being a US company is a serious threat to privacy. This article is not the place to discuss such issues in detail, but look out for an upcoming article where I will dive into the subject head first.

Source: This article was published bestvpn.com By Douglas Crawford

Published in Search Engine

Will advertisers someday be able to buy recommendations?

It’s one thing to build a useful voice skill or app, but quite another for consumers to actually find it. That’s because people need to know a particular skill or app exists before they can use it, and today’s voice discovery tools are about as basic as a Yahoo search circa 1995.

Amazon publishes a directory of its 25,000 voice skills, as well as a bare-bones Skill Finder app, but consumers using those databases still need to know what they’re looking for. Brands looking to rise above the noise will need to figure out how to market and promote their voice skills if they hope to attract more than a handful of users.

“This is not an ‘if you build it they will come’ world,” said Greg Hedges, vp of emerging experiences at Rain, a digital consultancy that created an Alexa skill for Campbell’s, among others. “You really do have to enact the same kind of owned-earned-paid approach as you would elsewhere to generate awareness. And you have to give people a reason to return.”

To invoke a skill, you need to first enable it and call it by name: “Alexa, ask Campbell’s Kitchen to tell me how to make chicken soup.” If you were to simply ask, “Alexa, tell me how to make chicken soup,” however, the device would default to the Allrecipes skill. (An Amazon representative declined to explain why Alexa recommends that particular skill, saying only that “in limited scenarios, Alexa will respond to certain questions by suggesting skills that may be helpful.”)

So far, brands have been unable to lay claim to generic phrases on Alexa. But that hasn’t stopped Amazon from reserving some of them for its own products. For example, if you say, “Alexa, help me with my chores,” it will automatically enable and launch The Tick’s Housework Hero skill, which offers no actual help but plenty of hearty encouragement from actor Peter Serafinowicz, star of The Tick on Amazon Prime.

A bigger issue is voice commerce. Some Alexa skills can add products to an Amazon shopping list. Ask the Good Housekeeping skill how to remove a grass stain, for instance, and it will ask if you want to add bleach, detergent and stain remover to your list, without specifying a particular brand. Will brands one day be able to buy that recommendation? Amazon isn’t saying.

V-commerce is about to get a huge boost, thanks to Walmart and Google. Earlier this month, the retail colossus launched voice ordering on Google Home for more than 2 million products, as part of a bigger partnership with the Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant. Meanwhile, Google also announced the $49 Google Home Mini, which will compete head-on with Amazon’s Echo Dot.


To search with love

Brands will need to lean more heavily on search to surface both their voice skills and their products. But when it comes to voice search, the rules are a bit different, cautioned Alex Lirtsman, chief strategist for digital agency Ready Set Rocket.

Rather than optimizing for the top keywords, brands will need to focus on more complex natural language queries, Lirtsman explained. Just as people have learned to use multiple keywords to get more specific results from online searches, they tend to ask more detailed questions with voice.

“Instead of saying, ‘Where’s a storage facility near me?’ they’ll say, ‘What’s the cheapest storage facility within a 10-minute drive?’” Lirtsman said. “There’s an expectation they’ll get pricing and other data. I don’t think a lot of brands have thought through all of these scenarios.”

Voice search also tends to be much more location-centric, Lirtsman added. Brands that lack a physical presence will be at a disadvantage.

And unlike the early days of internet search in the ’90s, the window of opportunity for voice is much narrower. On desktop and mobile, brands are usually happy to land on the first one or two pages of Google search results. But people are unlikely to listen to more than the first two or three search results on a device like an Amazon Echo or Google Home.

That puts even more pressure on brands to be at the top of the results list—assuming there is one, noted Gartner research director Charles Golvin. “For a lot of these searches, there’s just an answer,” he said. “And if you’re not the answer, you’re screwed, right?”

Pay to play?

This puts companies like Amazon and Google—and, eventually, Apple and Microsoft—in position to demand top dollar for placing a brand’s skill at the top of its directory or making it the first result in a voice search.

“It’s analogous to buying spots in the app store for a particular category,” said Golvin. “If someone is searching for word games, you can pay Apple to be the first result.”

Amazon declined to comment on whether it planned to monetize voice searches in the future, while a spokesperson for Google provided the following statement: “Similar to what we’ve done with other products, our initial goal is to provide users with a great Assistant experience. While we don’t have any plans to share right now, we’re looking at ways to create a business model that will also provide that great user experience.”

But some brands, fearing that they will be disintermediated in the same way that they were in the early days of Facebook, are concerned about big companies like Google and Amazon having such a powerful position in the voice assistance market, noted Susan Etlinger, industry analyst for Altimeter Group.

“In 2007, brands were asking, ‘If we create a Facebook page, and Facebook gets all the data, what is that going to look like 10 years from now?’” she said. “And now we know what that looks like. But at the same time, there’s undeniable value in it. So it’s a really tough decision.”

Source: This article was published adweek.com By Dan Tynan

Published in Search Engine

Private browsing using the supposedly private or incognito modes on your regular browser does not give you the level of privacy you think it does. You might not want to be tracked and have made it clear to your default browser as to the fact, but you know that’s not the case when ads that are related to your recent searches turn up on Facebook or inside your Gmail.

When in doubt, opt for private search engines instead. Private Search Engines are the search engines that do not store your queries or track your steps on the Internet.

There’s actually quite a number of them with a range of features and methods to keep your searches safe. Most of these search engines are not much to look at but they’re not here to look pretty, they’re here to give you a safe way to search for things that matter to you.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is one of the most secure search engines that never tracks your searches while providing you an enhanced search experience. It’s purposely built for people who love to remain private, and delivers instant results without tailored ads on the search pages. This search engine serves 10M+ searches a day.

duckduckgo
WolframAlpha

WolframAlpha is a computable search engine that provides accurate answers and offers open knowledge. It’s a knowledge-packed private search engine which nonetheless does not track what you search for.

This private search engine performs dynamic calculations using inbuilt algorithms and delivers expert knowledge about people, calculations, health & medicines, money & finance, music & movies and much more.

WolframAlpha
Startpage

Startpage works powerfully to provide search results while protecting your searches and avoiding tracking your steps. It offers browsing through a proxy server to help protect you from websites tracking your IP address or location. You can add it to your browser, on Chrome or Firefox, and even change its color theme.

Startpage
Privatelee

It’s not much to look at but Privatelee enables secure searches and strict filters if you need it. This search engine doesn’t keeps your search keywords to be used for ads or surveillance. Privatelee offers ‘PowerSearch‘ commands that lets you configure the search source and more. It is also known by an alternative name Qrobe.it.

Yippy

With Yippy, you can manually filter the results category-wise and flag any inappropriate result. Unlike some engines, Yippy allows searching of many types of content including web, images, news, jobs, blogs, government data, etc.

Yippy also lets you view cached pages (like Google) and filter results by tag clouds, sources, websites. It does not track your search queries and doesn’t show customized ads.

Hulbee

Hulbee is a private search solution that delivers instant searches while not tracking your search or location history. Hulbee provides intelligent information yet never analyses or stores its visitors’ information.

Your searches are all encrypted for security against middleman attacks and data leaks. Among its options: choosing a region for most relevant search results and even lets you ‘clear your activity‘ to avoid leaving any trace overall.

Hulbee
Gibiru

Gibiru offers fully uncensored yet encrypted search engine to prevent data leaks to any third parties. Gibiru works faster than most private search engines because it uses ‘Google Custom Search‘ to provide its service. It does however remove all tracking methods used by Google.

It also offers a free Firefox/Chrome search bar to help you make anonymous searches right from your browser.

Disconnect Search

Disconnect Search uses content search assistance from major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo but never tracks your online searches or activities or IP address. Disconnect Search lets you surf by location so that you can get location specific relevant results based on the location of your choice. It clearly informs about the tools that which are protected and unprotected, letting you choose which to use.

Lukol

Lukol uses a proxy server to deliver customized search results from Google using its enhanced custom search yet conserves your privacy by removing traceable entities. Lukol is considered as one of the best private search engines that protects from online fraudsters and keeps the spammers away by safeguarding you from misleading or inappropriate sites. It ensures full anonymity of your searches.

Disconnect Search
MetaGer

MetaGer lets you make confidential untraceable searches that leave no footprints. It also integrates a proxy server so that you can open any link anonymously from the search result pages and yet keep your IP address hidden from the destination server. It also never tracks your keywords.

This prohibits third parties or advertisers to target you for ads or any of malicious attacks. Its default language is in German.

Gigablast

Gigablast indexes billions of web pages and provides real time info without tracking your online searches or browsing history. It is considered as one of the best private search engines that keeps you almost entirely hidden to marketers and spammers.

Gigablast offers searching with certain customizations and optional parameters like searching by exact phrase, languages, terms, filetypes and many more.

Oscobo

Oscobo is an anonymous search engine that allows no tracking of any type. This search engine does not store or track user data in any way, nor does it let any third party hack or misuse users’ data.

Like a few of the private search engines here, it lets you search for information, images, videos, news, etc. It also offers a Chrome extension for making searches.

Source: This article was published hongkiat.com By Ashutosh KS

Published in Search Engine

Don't get caught off guard by limitations you weren't aware of! Columnist Patrick Stox shares 20 Google limitations that may impact SEO efforts.

Google has a lot of different tools, and while they handle massive amounts of data, even Google has its limits. Here are some of the limits you may eventually run into.

1. 1,000 properties in Google Search Console

Per Google’s Search Console Help documentation, “You can add up to 1,000 properties (websites or mobile apps) to your Search Console account.”

2. 1,000 rows in Google Search Console

Many of the data reports within Google Search Console are limited to 1,000 rows in the interface, but you can usually download more. That’s not true of all of the reports, however (like the HTML improvements section, which doesn’t seem to have that limit).

3. Google Search Console will show up to 200 site maps

The limit for the number submitted is higher, but you will only be shown 200. Each of those could be an index file as well, which seems to have a display limit of 400 site maps in each. You could technically add each page of a website in its own site map file and bundle those into site map index files and be able to see the individual indexation of 80,000 pages in each property… not that I recommend this.

4. Disavow file size has a limit of 2MB and 100,000 URLs

According to Search Engine Roundtable, this is one of the errors that you can receive when submitting a disavow file.

5. Render in Google Search Console cuts off at 10,000 pixels

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller had mentioned that there was a cutoff for the “Fetch as Google” feature, and it looks like that cutoff is 10,000 pixels, based on testing.

6. Google My Business allows 100 characters in a business name

GMB Name 100 character limit

7. 10 million hits per month per property in GA (Google Analytics)

Once you’ve reached this limit, you’ll either be sampled or have to upgrade.

8. Robots.txt max size is 500KB

As stated on Google’s Robots.txt Specifications page, “A maximum file size may be enforced per crawler. Content which is after the maximum file size may be ignored. Google currently enforces a size limit of 500 kilobytes (KB).”

9. Sitemaps are limited to 50MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs

Per Google’s Search Console Help documentation:

All formats limit a single sitemap to 50MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs. If you have a larger file or more URLs, you will have to break it into multiple sitemaps. You can optionally create a sitemap index file (a file that points to a list of sitemaps) and submit that single index file to Google. You can submit multiple sitemaps and/or sitemap index files to Google.

10. Keep URLs to 2,083 or fewer characters

While Google doesn’t have a limit, you probably shouldn’t go over Internet Explorer’s limit of 2,083 characters in the URL.

11. Google’s crawl limit per page is a couple hundred MBs

That is according to Google’s John Mueller and represents a significant jump from the 10MB limit in 2015.

12. Keep the number of links on a page to a few thousand at most

While Google doesn’t have a hard limit on the number of links per page, they do recommendkeeping it to “a reasonable number,” clarifying that this number is “a few thousand at most.”

13. 5 redirect hops at one time

Google’s John Mueller has said that Googlebot will follow up to five redirects at the same time. I don’t know if anyone has ever looked into the total number Google will follow. I did a little digging in Google Search Console and found one page still showing links as “via intermediate links” with a 10-hop chain. Yes, the original still showed in that case, but I also found some others that were cut off at six hops, even though they had more in the chain. I would say keep it to as few as you can, just in case.

14. No limit on word count on a page

It’s often recommended to keep it to 250 words, but there’s really no limit.

15. Google search limits to 32 words

Google search 32 word limit

Fun fact: Each word is also limited to 128 characters.

16. 16 words on alt text

While there’s not really a limit per se, this test is still live, and only the first 16 seem to count.

17. There is no limit to how many times a site can show on first page

That’s right, one domain can take the entire page if it’s relevant enough. Just check out the example below:

one domain taking all serp positions

18. YouTube maximum upload size is 128 GB or 12 hours

Per the YouTube Help documentation:

The maximum file size that you can upload is 128 GB or 12 hours, whichever is less. We’ve changed the limits on uploads in the past, so you may see older videos that are longer than 12 hours.

19. Google Keyword Planner limits you to 700

You are limited to 700 keywords in Keyword Ideas. This is also the limit when uploading a file to get search volume and trends, but you can upload 3,000 keywords at a time to the forecaster.

20. YouTube’s counter limit

YouTube’s counter used to be a 32-bit integer, limiting the possible video views it would show to a little over 2 billion (2,147,483,647). YouTube now uses a 64-bit integer, which can show ~9.22 quintillion views (9,223,372,036,854,775,808).

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Patrick Stox

Published in Search Engine

The price of houses is dictated by much more than the number of bedrooms.

What are seen as the best neighbourhoods in Sheffield changes over the decades as trends, jobs and schools alter within them.

 At at time when online firms are battling hard to convince customers that they offer the same services as traditional estate agents, trust means everything.

You only have to drive through the grand, old houses of Attercliffe and then look at their price-tags to understand that.

Correlating school ratings with property values also paints a painfully stark picture. We sit in what is described in this week’s Voices as our “comfort zones”, not daring to question where the grass is actually greenest.

That debate will never end but it is good for all if we get to know every area of Sheffield, rather than just our tiny corner.

I think the Telegraph has a role to play in that. It has been Sheffield’s property paper for many decades.

Today I am delighted that we have doubled the size of our homes supplement and have bigger plans for the future. Both our editorial and commercial teams have refocused their efforts because it has been made very clear to me that you, our readers, want property ads as well as information.

What we offer is not the same as that of internet search engines.

We give inspiration outside of defined boxes and allow browsing that might not start as house-hunting but often ends that way.

At at time when online firms are battling hard to convince customers that they offer the same services as traditional estate agents, trust means everything.

We will continue to work alongside Sheffield’s many and varied estate agents and we will continue to give them your feedback.

We will continue to work alongside Sheffield’s many and varied estate agents and we will continue to give them your feedback.

If there is something you would like to see in the Telegraph’s property guide - a feature, series or focus - let me know. There is much more to our neighbourhoods than buying or selling houses at the right price, but interest will always thrive because it is the biggest investment most of us make.

Source: This article was published sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk By NANCY FIELDER

Published in Search Engine

There have never been so many online learning resources, but that has a downside.

It's hard to overstate the vastness and confusion of the online learning ecosystem circa 2017.

It's a realm that extends from online mirrors of university classes and even whole degree programs to niche tutorial subscriptions like Angular University to pioneers like Coursera. As someone who's done it, just approaching the Google search bar with a topic of interest is unlikely to yield a tutorial or course or program that's really ideal for the learner. There are too many variables: time commitment, workload, cost, interactivity, length, skill-level, prestige, certification (if any). And this is on top of all of the usual confounding search engine noise.

Part of the problem when it comes to programming and development skills is that there are many skills subsets (or stacks) and to newcomers it's not always clear how to gain those skills in an optimal way. It's actually really easy to find an extremely suboptimal learning path, by, say, trying to muddle through a course out of your depth or by focusing on a skill that's heading for obsolescence.

Surely there are busloads of would-be programmers that have just been turned off by the messiness of the whole thing: programming languages, transpiled programming languages, transpilers, programming language frameworks, web frameworks, HTML, compiled HTML, CSS, SASS, APIs, Amazon Web Services, containers services, reactive programming, functional programming, imperative programming, object-oriented programming, WebStorm, Atom, Sublime Text, Vim, and on and on and on. I could try and tell you a right way of navigating all of the skill trees involved in web development (or other sorts of development), but even if I came up with an optimal learning path, this stuff is changing all the time. 

Enter Learn Anything. It's kind of a search engine. The basic idea is that you punch in a skillset you'd like to learn and it will return not a Google-like list of results, but a skill tree offering a clear way of navigating an optimized learning path. Included with that tree are links to curated learning resources. The content is all open-source and open to contributors, whose participation seems pretty neccessary to keeping Learn Anything useful.

Source: This article was published motherboard.vice.com By MICHAEL BYRNE

Published in Search Engine
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