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Avoiding Google - help!

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Infrasonic
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#338948

Postby Infrasonic » September 8th, 2020, 12:02 pm

Nocton wrote:
AF62 wrote:
Nocton wrote:

I don't know about London, but here in Lincolnshire DuckDuckGo gives a map and list of restaurants just as you describe. Both show three plus TripAdvisor and TimeOut. The list is not exactly the same, but, as I mentioned, I expect some pay to get nearer the top of a search list. As I mentioned and as DuckDuckGo explain, there is much more to Google's attack on one's privacy than adverts. No way would I accept that Google offers a "far superior service", but I am happy to accept that users get used to what they have and don't like to change.


If you want 'tailored services' then by the very nature of the beast they will have to track an assimilate information on you. It makes no difference whether that is Google or anyone else. I've used DDG and Google search for years, and accept that the convenience I get from the Google ecosystem outweighs the 'big brother' aspects of data collection. There's a lot of conspiracy theory around which suits the biases of both other organisations and individuals who like to embrace frankly borderline tin foil hat stuff.

TBH I worry more about database security with things like Govt. agencies who have my Tax/NI/Passport/DL/Age/Birthday et al information all stored away waiting to be hacked.
Unless you are going to go completely off grid, live in a tent and change your name by deed poll then you'll have to accept that no matter what you do there's a load of information about you out there on databases, and you can do nothing about it.
Last edited by Infrasonic on September 8th, 2020, 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AF62
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#338951

Postby AF62 » September 8th, 2020, 12:13 pm

Nocton wrote:
AF62 wrote:
Nocton wrote:

I don't know about London, but here in Lincolnshire DuckDuckGo gives a map and list of restaurants just as you describe. Both show three plus TripAdvisor and TimeOut. The list is not exactly the same, but, as I mentioned, I expect some pay to get nearer the top of a search list. As I mentioned and as DuckDuckGo explain, there is much more to Google's attack on one's privacy than adverts. No way would I accept that Google offers a "far superior service", but I am happy to accept that users get used to what they have and don't like to change.


Google shows me a far more personalised response than DuckDuckGo, so why would I want to get used to something less helpful.

And as for the restaurants appearing nearer the top of Google’s list paying Google - I strongly doubt my local pub and small Italian restaurant do that, but they are on the first page and nowhere to be seen on DuckDuckGo - and why on earth is DuckDuckGo telling me about restaurants the other end of the country?

Nocton
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339034

Postby Nocton » September 8th, 2020, 4:41 pm

"and why on earth is DuckDuckGo telling me about restaurants the other end of the country?"
I've no idea, AF62, but it would seem DDG doesn't know where you are, so perhaps you need to tell it.

At any rate, if you're happy with what you get and I am, there is no more to be said.

Redmires
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339118

Postby Redmires » September 8th, 2020, 11:17 pm

I've tried DDG a few times but I've always had issues with 'location'. The region is set to 'UK' but a search for 'National Savings' for example, throws up NS&I (UK) as the first result, followed by three for NS (Pakistan ????) and the rest are a mixed bag of American and UK sites. I don't know why this happens but it sounds like I'm not the only one. Anyone know of a fix for this ?


Image

dealtn
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339209

Postby dealtn » September 9th, 2020, 12:53 pm

Redmires wrote: Anyone know of a fix for this ?




Yes. Use Google.

todthedog
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339210

Postby todthedog » September 9th, 2020, 12:54 pm

Brave (no ads) running duckduck for me

Nocton
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339269

Postby Nocton » September 9th, 2020, 5:34 pm

Redmires wrote: Anyone know of a fix for this ?

Yes, put uk after what you are searching for as 'national savings' is a pretty general term. Similarly, I live near Lincoln and there are tens of Lincolns in the world, so when I do a search with DDG (or Google) I always use 'Lincoln uk ....' otherwise you can get results from the US or Australia.

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339270

Postby AF62 » September 9th, 2020, 5:41 pm

Nocton wrote:
Redmires wrote: Anyone know of a fix for this ?

Yes, put uk after what you are searching for as 'national savings' is a pretty general term. Similarly, I live near Lincoln and there are tens of Lincolns in the world, so when I do a search with DDG (or Google) I always use 'Lincoln uk ....' otherwise you can get results from the US or Australia.


Use Google for “restaurants Lincoln” and 100% results for the UK Lincoln. Use DuckDuckGo for the same thing and a real mixed bag of results from across the world.

And Google doesn’t offers a better search service?

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339272

Postby JohnB » September 9th, 2020, 5:52 pm

DDG for me returns linconshire restaurants in the uk, but I have told it I want UK results by preference. It also doesn't have distracting autocomplete and waste my time with 'Top sights in lincoln' infoboxes i didn't ask for, nor 'discover more places' nor 'search results related to' and it has infinite scroll. I find google too clever by half

Redmires
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339274

Postby Redmires » September 9th, 2020, 6:05 pm

Nocton wrote:
Redmires wrote: Anyone know of a fix for this ?

Yes, put uk after what you are searching for as 'national savings' is a pretty general term. Similarly, I live near Lincoln and there are tens of Lincolns in the world, so when I do a search with DDG (or Google) I always use 'Lincoln uk ....' otherwise you can get results from the US or Australia.


Having selected 'United Kingdom' in the region settings (see jpg) I would have thought that DDG would be clever enough to know and skew results towards that. However, I'll stick with DDG - if that's the price you pay for privacy then that's fair enough.

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339280

Postby AF62 » September 9th, 2020, 6:47 pm

JohnB wrote:DDG for me returns linconshire restaurants in the uk, but I have told it I want UK results by preference. It also doesn't have distracting autocomplete and waste my time with 'Top sights in lincoln' infoboxes i didn't ask for, nor 'discover more places' nor 'search results related to' and it has infinite scroll. I find google too clever by half


Google doesn't display 'Top sights in' infoboxes or 'discover more places' or 'search results related to' for me.

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339344

Postby JonE » September 10th, 2020, 12:31 am

Redmires wrote:Having selected 'United Kingdom' in the region settings (see jpg) I would have thought that DDG would be clever enough to know and skew results towards that.
It does exactly that on my desktop. 'restaurants lincoln' provides 100% Lincolnshire results on first page - though tripadvisor gets a link on 2nd page for Nebraska listings. Using Qwant gets a tripadvisor listing for NZ on first page!

A search for 'national savings' using ddg turns up both a Bangkok newspaper and the Pakistan government on the 2nd page. Nothing like what you see. I'm not pretending ddg is the best thing since sliced bread (or since Scroogle was killed) and, rather than route all searches through one provider (even the 'private' ones) I tend to spread casual searches across providers (made easy by my preferred browser).

I do not volunteer my location and my IP address is associated with a country other than UK by the sites that tell one that info. No ad-blocking extensions but I use a HOSTS file as I might use several non-default browsers in a day (portable versions). My default is a frequently updated snapshot of Vivaldi which has built-in blocking of ads and tracking and I might 'bounce' it a few times each day as one way to clear session-only non-whitelisted cookies - it is configured to NOT utilise search suggestions in any of the search engine options I've created.

It strikes me that there is a goodly number of variables involved and various engines may make differing enquiries of whatever history we each might retain so we could collect quite a range of differing results while playing this game. A repeat of a query may not necessarily generate identical results. I vaguely remember various posters here getting surprisingly different results from searching Amazon UK using the identical search term in the search engine provided on that site.

Cheers!

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339394

Postby Redmires » September 10th, 2020, 10:22 am

Update. Using the example of the 'national savings' search, if I click on the 'United Kingdom' button then the button grays out, the page refreshes with the same result (Pakistan national savings etc). If I then click on the UK button again, the page refreshes but this time with only UK relevant results. Looks like there is a bug with DDG where I need to force the UK option, even the UK is selected in settings. This happens on my laptops and my phone as well.

Nocton
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339482

Postby Nocton » September 10th, 2020, 3:13 pm

I don't get that result, Redmires. In DDG, have you chosen United Kingdom for the Region in Other Settings from the three-bar menu?

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339496

Postby Infrasonic » September 10th, 2020, 3:51 pm

Infrasonic wrote:Additionally if you have the latest versions of Android then things like location tracking can be made conditional, so for instance only when the specific app you need is active will it turn location tracking on


My pixel 3a updated to Android 11 the other night, and there is now an additional app permission of ask every time for location tracking.
So the four options now are denied, only when app is active, ask every time, and on. That can be set per app.
You can review all your app permissions in the settings/privacy/permission manager menu.
It will list the apps per category.
So you can see at a glance which apps are denied, allowed, or conditional (allowed only when in use or one time only) for each permission category and edit/change them from there.

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339516

Postby AF62 » September 10th, 2020, 5:06 pm

Infrasonic wrote:
Infrasonic wrote:Additionally if you have the latest versions of Android then things like location tracking can be made conditional, so for instance only when the specific app you need is active will it turn location tracking on


My pixel 3a updated to Android 11 the other night, and there is now an additional app permission of ask every time for location tracking.
So the four options now are denied, only when app is active, ask every time, and on. That can be set per app.
You can review all your app permissions in the settings/privacy/permission manager menu.
It will list the apps per category.
So you can see at a glance which apps are denied, allowed, or conditional (allowed only when in use or one time only) for each permission category and edit/change them from there.


Same with Apple in IOS 14 for the apps - Never / Ask Next Time / While Using the App / Always. However in IOS 14 there is an additional option to turn on or off 'Precise Location' for each app, and if you turn it off the app only gets an approximate location within a couple of miles.

And you can also turn on or off location services for individual system services.

The other privacy change with IOS 14 is a green or orange dot will appear in the menu when either the microphone is active (even with system apps such as when making a phone call) or either of the cameras is active (again, even with system apps).

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339568

Postby Redmires » September 10th, 2020, 10:34 pm

Nocton wrote:I don't get that result, Redmires. In DDG, have you chosen United Kingdom for the Region in Other Settings from the three-bar menu?


Yes, UK was set in the settings. I've been trialling 'Startpage' today and it seems to work well. It gives google results without the privacy issues.

Infrasonic
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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339569

Postby Infrasonic » September 10th, 2020, 10:50 pm

Redmires wrote:
Nocton wrote:I don't get that result, Redmires. In DDG, have you chosen United Kingdom for the Region in Other Settings from the three-bar menu?


Yes, UK was set in the settings. I've been trialling 'Startpage' today and it seems to work well. It gives google results without the privacy issues.


https://restoreprivacy.com/startpage-sy ... one-group/

https://restoreprivacy.com/private-search-engine/

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339576

Postby Redmires » September 11th, 2020, 12:11 am

Infrasonic wrote:
Redmires wrote:
Nocton wrote:I don't get that result, Redmires. In DDG, have you chosen United Kingdom for the Region in Other Settings from the three-bar menu?


Yes, UK was set in the settings. I've been trialling 'Startpage' today and it seems to work well. It gives google results without the privacy issues.


https://restoreprivacy.com/startpage-sy ... one-group/

https://restoreprivacy.com/private-search-engine/


As the extensive comments on both of the links show, it's a minefield out there and a constantly changing situation. Startpage has been relisted by another site (but some say that they were paid to relist it)

https://blog.privacytools.io/relisting-startpage/

Maybe f*ckoffgoogle.net is the way forward ;)

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Re: Avoiding Google - help!

#339608

Postby Infrasonic » September 11th, 2020, 9:11 am

Redmires wrote:
Infrasonic wrote:
Redmires wrote:
Yes, UK was set in the settings. I've been trialling 'Startpage' today and it seems to work well. It gives google results without the privacy issues.


https://restoreprivacy.com/startpage-sy ... one-group/

https://restoreprivacy.com/private-search-engine/


As the extensive comments on both of the links show, it's a minefield out there and a constantly changing situation. Startpage has been relisted by another site (but some say that they were paid to relist it)

https://blog.privacytools.io/relisting-startpage/

Maybe f*ckoffgoogle.net is the way forward ;)


With the right browser extensions/no logs VPN/no logs encrypted non ISP DNS etc. then you can get rid of many of the tracking issues.
Some essential services won't work if you block too much, so it all needs to be set up in a way where you can have allow/block as an A/B.

Different browsers is the easiest way, one set up for logged in services (banking, utilities etc.) with the maximum blocking you can get away but still keep functionality ( on a per site basis if needs be). Don't use that browser for anything else.
And then a block everything browser for general surfing and search that auto deletes all cookies/history et al on exit. I use Firefox for this on desktop and mobile.


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