If you know anything about big data, you know that the large search engines are storing your data. It goes deeper than that. They are actually creating in-depth profiles of your activity online. With each query, purchase, and browsing history, users add to their profile. Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms then use the data to continue adding to a user’s profile. The data they collect is then used to sell to whoever wants to purchase it to use for the purpose of targeted advertising.
This trend makes plenty of people nervous as it does not take much imagination to think of nefarious ways to use the data. Users are looking for new ways to keep their browsing, search history, and data privacy.
Below are some of the private search engines that make it possible to keep your searches anonymous:
- Hot.com—is a search engine dedicated exclusively to adult content. For obvious reasons, most consumers would prefer that their browsing for adult content be kept private. Using a dedicated search engine that returns only those results helps make sure that your hot.com browsing does not become a part of your online profile of information.
- Hotbot.com—is a search engine with an ingenious safe search feature that allows you to browse the web in a completely anonymous mode. You can also filter search results using a variety of tools. Hotbot is a private search engine that has no targeted advertising and returns fast and accurate results.
- StartPage—is a private web browser with a custom URL generator. The generator means that nothing ties the user or the user’s computer to search for queries or results. The URL generator adds privacy protection even once you are on a webpage, not just when browsing. StartPage has a very clean, distraction-free interface.
Private search engines garner most of their revenue through affiliate links. Affiliate links differ from targeted advertising. You will see ads, but there is no relation to a user profile. The ads are often contextual. Contextual ads show content that is relevant to your current search query. Each time a user buys through an affiliate link, the website makes a small portion of the profit from the sale.
Private search engines offer anonymity, which is drawing more and more users. The more users, the more affiliate links are clicked, and the more money they make. This income is what ensures that they can continue to protect your privacy and still make money.
A few private search engines operate as non-profits. They rely on donations to cover operating expenses. Other privately owned search engines are taking it one step further and working for the social good. These search engines donate all or part of their revenue to various causes. Using a search engine that makes money for charity draws users’ who want to feel more socially responsible in their internet usage.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to search the web anonymously, private search engines offer the safest choice. Without regulatory control over data mining, using search engines that protect your privacy provides the best option to protect your online footprint.