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iSpot Forum

Internet search issues

A little off-topic, but perhaps worth pointing out.
The behaviour of the IT giants is often disconcerting or frustrating (such as the way some “fastbuck” posts disappear without trace). Recently, I was tempted to remain with my anti-virus provider by the offer of a free add-on VPN. This effectively “hides” your true location from all those who want to know your spending/browsing/interests data.
However, a certain large search engine doesn’t like this, apparently. With the VPN on, I can only visit “bookmarked” sites. If I try to search, I usually end up caught in a CAPTCHA loop: clicking on those pesky fire hydrants/bicycles/traffic lights. Complete one, and I’m set another: then another, ad nauseum.
But the point of this post is another issue: phrasing my searches. I do a lot, especially searching for spare parts and oddball hardware for our “Man-Cave”. What I’ve found becoming very common is to be presented with a very selective set of results, presumably linked to the revenue that can be generated. Suppliers that I have used before can - usually - still be found, but only by lateral thinking: using the name or a specific search term.
However this algorithm is coded, (he’s getting to the point at last) it also seems to affect wildife-based searches. Apparently useful “known” sites often do not now appear - mostly they still exist, though “electronic evolution” is thinning the herd. Changing the search term can often find them, causing me to wonder why they didn’t show up before. So, it’s worth trying a few different search phrases, even if the first try produces some “good” results.

I noticed this starting a couple of years ago and indeed it can now be very difficult to find items that are not linked in some way to revenue for the search engine or its associates. Particularly the case if there is some similar set of words that are linked to revenue. There are of course still several different search engines so can be worth trying other ones.

As far as I know duckduckgo.com does not link to sponsored adverts or collect personal data so is a useful search engine to use.

Coincidentally I am trying it out again. I haven’t tried it for some time but it seems comprehensive and VPN tolerant. Thank you!