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Before Google, discovering websites and services or finding information was tricky. The same can be said for internet users now if they had to do anything on the web using URLs only, and no search engines.

Today though, Google is more than just a search engine; it’s become a verb that we use every day, and this has been ingrained in the psyche of internet users. Billions of people visit Google’s pages and rely on its algorithms to deliver fair and balanced search results based on their queries.

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As much as it’s the web’s most popular search engine, it’s not the best from a privacy standpoint because it harvests user data and private information, which is big business right now.

Besides surveillance by governments, online snoopers, tech giants like Microsoft or Facebook, secret services, and other entities that want to know what you do all the time, Google also has a lot of data on you and uses it in more ways than you’d know.

Best Privacy-Focused Search Engines

DuckDuckGo

Swisscows

Qwant

SearX

Peekier

StartPage

This is a simple and clean privacy search engine that doesn’t track or share your information with others, so you can search the internet without handing over your right to privacy.

It doesn’t apply the “filter bubble” process that Google uses to “filter” search results based on users’ past search queries, their locations and any other user data they collect through different means.

DuckDuckGo has no filters or anonymous identifies that link your searches, so it won’t even know whether or not all your searches are from the same device, so there’s nothing that traces back to you.

It uses “Bangs”, a unique non-privacy feature that lets users search other sites directly by simply typing an exclamation point before a search query. To find search results for your queries, the search engine uses 400 sources, with most hits drawn from Bing, Yahoo and Yandex, without including Google search results.

The downside with DuckDuckGo is the limited image search results and they’re neither personalized or dated.

This Switzerland-based privacy search engine should be a favorite among parents if it isn’t already because of its focus on private but family-friendly searches.

It excludes adult themes entirely from all search results, all from Bing, and doesn’t give you any options to override it. You also get the guarantee that it won’t store any personal user data like IP addresses or search queries among other identifiers.

The engine assesses your search keywords for context, using machine learning to deliver better results without compromising on the safety of your data, though privacy-conscious users may not be fully convinced about it.

When a company like chúng tôi a leading, anti-state-sponsored data recording campaigner, recommends a tool or software, you know it’s legit.

It displays information such as news stories, events, trending people, and a lot more, and benefits from the strict data protection laws of the European Union as its servers are in France.

Qwant is quickly rising up the ranks as one of the popular privacy-focused search engines because of its impressive results pages and Qwick search shortcuts.

This is an open-source, metasearch engine, which means you can also run your own instance of it, and even check its code to ensure they keep their word on protecting your privacy. This way, you have a guarantee that your data isn’t being logged.

It also pulls data from several other engines and delivers the best mix of search results drawn from DuckDuckGo, StartPage and others on this list. If you want, you can customize the list of engines it uses by going to the Preferences menu.

One of its main drawbacks is it gets blocked by Google because it scrapes its results.

This search engine has a unique and innovative way of displaying search results by using a card format, unlike the usual Google style of displaying results.

For every result, you’ll see a snapshot of the website using your display’s full width, without slowing down the site’s performance.

It provides the usual privacy protections though it saves your search queries for a limited duration. Don’t worry, they won’t be traced back to you because Peekier doesn’t store your IP address, search history, browser’s user agent or unique identifiers.

If you still want to see Google search results without the search engine seeing anything that would reveal your identity, use StartPage.

Unlike DuckDuckGo, this privacy-focused search engine pulls results from Google Search, and doesn’t trace back to you. StartPage pays Google for these results and in turn, Google just sees lots of traffic from StartPage servers – no IP addresses or user identifiers shared.

Take Back Your Privacy

Online search sessions are the most personal thing on the internet for many people. The privacy implications of their search histories aren’t a priority in such moments of blissful ignorance, as much as getting relevant and timely answers and solutions, and quickly at that.

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Why Chatgpt And Bard Can’t Replace Search Engines

Introduction

In recent years, the rise of Generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard has changed the way we interact with technology. These intelligent chatbots are capable of answering any question you ask them (irrespective of whether they understand the topic referred to in the question), leading some to believe they could replace search engines altogether. However, is this really possible? This article will explore the limitations of AI chatbots and why they cannot replace search engines.

The Internet Run by Search Engines

Since AI tools like ChatGPT can answer literally any question you ask, some intellects suspect it to be the end of Search Engines. They also believe that OpenAI – Microsoft duo will replace Google. The internet was at a time flooded with articles predicting the end of the Google Era.

The Biggest Problem with Chatbots

One of the biggest problems with modern chatbots like ChatGPT and Bard is the issue of hallucination. These chatbots sometimes generate responses that are miles away from reality. Hence, the information generated by a chatbot always needs to be cross-checked and confirmed.

Why Do Chatbots Hallucinate?

A chatbot hallucinates due to the following two reasons:

It doesn’t know what the reality is. The current versions of ChatGPT and Bard tend to believe every piece of information fed to them is true.

At a more basic level, they don’t understand the difference between facts and non-factual sentences. As humans, we recognize that the same fact may be written in different ways, keeping the fact intact. A chatbot is unable to do that.

However, a chatbot can overcome this problem by verifying the results generated with authentic sources. But determining the authenticity of a source is a whole new problem for these AI tools and us!

The Need for Human Validation Favors Search Engines

Even when a chatbot becomes intelligent enough to double-check its response, an intelligent human mind will never trust it because the workings of modern AI chatbots are still a black box. Therefore, chatbots will have to provide references and a list of sources, which brings us back to the need for human-driven sources.

Only sources curated by human beings are reliable; however, even that is not a guarantee. This is why we need experts to provide us with reliable information. Meanwhile, search engines like Google provide links to the source, allowing us to check its validity. 

The Internet Run by Chatbots

One may tend to wonder if search engines would remain unaffected by the rise of chatbots. The answer to this is – No. One of the best features of chatbots is that they can summarize and paraphrase content really well. The probable impact of it is that chatbots will become another component of search engines, where they will be used to summarize the content from top search results.

This is what Bing and Google have done. Google, being more cautious while making changes to its search engine, has introduced another specialized chatbot instead of integrating Bard into the system. Google AI Search will aim to provide authentic results, while Bard will be used for general interactions. This is a smart move to save the authenticity of Google Search.

Research in the Field

In a few recent research pieces, chatbots’ hallucination issue has been recognized very well. The researchers have suggested using the LLMs on top of Information retrieval. The whole process happens in the following three steps:

At first, a complex query is broken down into simpler subqueries.

For each subquery, an information retrieval model (search engine) finds out the top results.

Once the top results are available, the LLM is used to restructure the output. Here the LLM would act as a summary.

But even in this case, the links from which the result has been compiled will have to be provided to validate the results. 

The Recent Development in Search Engines

Bing has recently integrated ChatGPT with its search engine. It has resulted in a 15% increase in daily traffic. The Chatbot’s main function is to summarize the top search results and provide relevant links that it has used to construct its findings. This feature adds an interactive touch to web surfing. It also lets users get an overview of the discussed content in suggested links. Google has also announced a similar approach at the Google I/O 2023 event, indicating that they are following Bing’s footsteps by integrating a chatbot into their search engine. 

The future of search engines appears to be heading towards a more interactive experience for users.

Conclusion

While AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard have revolutionized how we interact with technology, they cannot replace search engines. The problem of hallucination is one of the biggest limitations of modern chatbots. And even when they become intelligent enough to double-check their responses, human validation will always be required. As of today, search engines like Google remain the most reliable sources of information, allowing us to check the validity of sources. However, chatbots can still play a significant role in summarizing and paraphrasing results from top search results. Therefore, instead of replacing search engines, chatbots will become another component of them, used for general interactions, while search engines continue to provide authentic results.

Related

4 Search Engines That Use Different Approaches To Achieve Relevancy

Previously here on Search Engine Journal, I covered various Semantic Search Engines which have erupted on the scene as alternatives to Google and Microsoft / Yahoo. Here are 4 more search engines that use different approaches to make results highly relevant.

1. Evri

chúng tôi to put it briefly, presents to you connections between content that goes beyond keyword search. The technology powering the site is able to extract the subjects that occur in an article. This is similar to the approach that people use to understand the meaning of sentences where words and their occurrence in a sentence are used to make sense of the right context.

Taking an example from the Evri Blog,

for a sentence like:

Chief Seattle spoke to his people.

In addition, the other cool features from the site are :

EvriFeed, a constantly updating stream of the latest about interesting topics in the EvriVerse.

Evribot, an automated Twitter account that tweets extremely brief summaries of news stories.

Collections allow you to follow entities for latest updates on them.

APIs to make these entity extraction available to Developers

There is an iphone app as well.

Using semantic technologies, Evri is able to search, relate and suggest information beyond the limits of keyword matching. Perhaps the icing on the cake would be providing completely crafted articles that get their information from the ever growing content on the web, but are not being heavily dependent on any single source alone.

2. DuckDuckGo

There is a firefox extension for the engine that saves you from useless, parked and spam pages from search results, They have an iPhone app as well.

On DuckDuckGo

3. DeepDyve

DeepDyve is a research tool that retrieves content from the ‘Deep Web‘. By applying semantics to a data source not indexed by traditional search engines, the engine has a good chance of returning very relevant data. For now, the engine is limited to these areas :

Life Sciences and Medical

Physical Sciences

Humanities and Social Sciences

Business and Finance

Patents, Legal

Clean Technology and Energy

IT and Engineering.

If you need specific information in any of these areas, you must try DeepDyve.

Deepdyve Sources

4. Truevert

Truevert claims a semantic model that is not dependent on categorization alone. While the engine presently serves content in context of the environment, the idea is to have a model created for different contexts that a keyword can map to. Their blog provides good information on semantic search and the different approaches. The contextual model makes for highly scalable and quick response times.

6 Steps To Bake Seo Into The Web Design Process

Assuming you’ve passed the first challenge of letting your client know that you or your agency are fully capable of working with their web designer/agency, the path to creating an SEO friendly website lies in the ability to bake SEO into the design process.

Here are 6 steps to make that process as easy, enjoyable, and productive as possible when working with the designer who will ultimately create structural and navigational elements of the client’s website. It’s important to be involved in the design process from the start, as I’m sure you’ve got valuable nuggets to impart, right from the wireframe stage that sets the tone for the site architecture.

The Kick Off Phone Call – The purpose of this call is to affirm your role as a supportive entity that complements the web designer’s work. The call with the client and his/her web designer will help set deadlines, process, and types of communication between the project’s stakeholders.

Setup A Wiki or Similar Collaboration Resource – Email isn’t necessarily the best way to manage a project, and it’s often much better to establish a central resource for sharing information, wireframes, checklisted SEO recommendations, and similar files. It’s important to keep the access open to the client if they wish to see how SEO is being integrated into the design process.

Schedule Regular Phone Calls – Email is great to get communication in and out fast, but not necessarily when you want anything actionable to happen. You can’t file a scheduled phone call away, and it forces both the SEO and web designer to focus project milestones so that deadlines are met.

Explain Your Recommendations – While some might think it’s not worth the extra time and effort in educating the web designer, I’ve found that putting some rationale in your recommendations can speed up the work flow. Baking SEO into the design process asks the designer to make changes into their existing work habits, and change isn’t always easy to accept.

Review The Implementation – Don’t expect 100% of your SEO recommendations to be implemented. There are many reasons why they might not be implemented, ranging from time involvement, to the web developer not putting importance to any given recommendation such as relative versus absolute internal links. There’s often a trade-off to be had between design and SEO, but it’s important to be in control of what those trade-off’s are.

Close The Loop & Celebrate – There’s a fair bit of rinse and repeat in the phone-call, wiki, implementation, and review process, but at the end of the day you can be happy because your client is. Life is a learning process, and I’ve learnt more tricks of the trade in web design from the agencies I’ve worked with, as I’m sure they’ve learnt about SEO too from me.

Dev Basu is a regular contributor to Search Engine Journal. He owns Powered by Search, a full service internet marketing agency located in Toronto, Canada; and blogs about online marketing for small businesses, search marketing, and all matters in local seo and social media. Catch up with him at his blog, twitter, or connect on Linkedin.

Top 6 Web Browsers For Windows

Best Web Browsers for Windows for 2023



6 Best web browsers for Windows 10 At A Glance – 1. Google Chrome – The Best and The Most Preferred 2. Mozilla Firefox – Browsing Speed At Its Best

Also Read: A Quick Comparison of Best Web Browsers: Google Chrome VS Firefox

3. Opera – The Underdog

Opera has come far from being what it was for Java-enabled mobile phones (remember opera mini?). It is now one of the fastest web browser that comes with a host of spectacular features and it thereby stands in the competition of being one of the best web browsers for Windows 10. Firstly, it’s more stylish, more customizable and more flexible. Apart from being decently fast, there is a lot more going with this browser. A free VPN integration, Web 3 support, fast ad blocker, built-in social media messengers are just a few of the many features that are packaged by Opera.

Also Read : Best Web Browsers for Linux

4. Brave – A Rewarding Browsing Experience

Brave is undoubtedly one of the best Web browsers for Windows. Why?

And last but certainly not the least, it’s fast, compatible and supports most extensions. Leaving no stone unturned for you to give this browser a thumbs up and try. Indeed! If you love your privacy, Brave rewards you for that.

Download Brave

Must Read: Brave vs Chrome – Which One is The Fastest Web Browser?

5. Microsoft Edge – Feature Rich Browser 6. Vivaldi – Awesome Design

Developed by Opera’s Co-founder and CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner and Tatsuki Tomita, Vivaldi is a quite a new entrant in the field of browsers. Yet, you cannot deny the fact that it has made a place amongst some of the best web browsers for Windows. If you are tired of the traditional browsers, here is an option that you won’t repent. Even though new, it has still been able to make a thumping stand for itself as a solid and reliable performer. It runs on the Google Chrome engine, yet, it is leaner and lighter. It’s highly customizable, for instance, you can customize mouse gestures and keyboard shortcuts. It has an adaptive UI that adapts itself as the color scheme if the website you are on.

Also Read: 5 Reasons You Would Give Up Chrome For Vivaldi Browser Android

Conclusion

You would  ask, why would I need other best web browsers for Windows when you already have your favorite web browser that you probably have been using for years. Believe it or not, browsers are not what they used to be like before, they are now faster, lighter, more secure and private browsers enriched with features. So, if you haven’t, it is time that you give one of the lesser known browsers a spin.

Next Read: How To Optimize Your Browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera) in Windows 10 Using Simple Steps?

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Sarang Bhargava

Google Warns Of 6 Reasons They’ll Ban A Web Story

Google Web Stories is a feature that can bring more traffic to a web site. Google shared six reasons why they will disqualify a web story and block the it from appearing in the search results.

Google Web Stories

Web stories is a new kind of content, a new format. The web story format is meant for users who are on the go or killing time. It’s described by Google as snackable content. A typical user might be someone who is waiting for an appointment or on a subway on their way to work.

Google is showing web stories across all the different kinds of search, including news and Google Discover.

Creating a Web Story doesn’t guarantee that Google will show it and send traffic.

The following are six reasons that Google said will cause a web story to be blocked from being shown.

1. Copyrighted Content

Google stated that content that infringes a copyright is prohibited from participating in web stories.

Google says that they “may” remove infringing content and then links to their web page for reporting infringing content.

So it seems like Google is relying on publishers to alert Google when someone infringes on their content.

This is what Google says:

“…we may block it from appearing.”

2. Too Many Words or Too Much Video Content

Google’s guidelines for web stories is that web story pages are limited to 180 words. Google also encourages publishers to use video content that is less than 60 seconds in length.

This is how Google describes it:

“Web Stories may not be eligible if the majority of pages have more than 180 words of text.”

3. Low Quality Images and Video 4. Lack of Narrative

Google explains it like this:

“We don’t allow Web Stories that are missing a binding theme or narrative structure from page to page.”

5. Incomplete Stories

This is the exact requirement:

6. Overly Commercial Web Story

Related: Google Discover Updated With Web Stories Carousel

New Format – New Web Stories Guidelines

Similarly, Google is creating rules to ensure that the user experience matches what Google had in mind when they created web stories.

Knowing what’s disallowed is useful as it will help prevent being in a situation where Google blocks the web story from appearing.

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