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Scroogle alternatives: how to search Google without personalisation and localisation

by Katinka Hesselink on February 22, 2012

Those who watch the search engine space, or make a living online, have long realized that Google personlizes search results. That is: based on what type of PC you use, where you are when you browse, whether you’re logged into Google (gmail for instance) or not: it all influences the top ten search results that comes up when you search.

Google has good reason to do this. When an Apple fan searches for ‘apple’ it’s more likely that they’re not that interested in the fruit at that moment than when an average person does so. Similarly, if you live in Europe you’re going to find other news stories relevant, other banks, etc.

However, if you’re like me: trying to make money online, you want to see what the ‘average’ person online sees when they look for something. You don’t want that site you own to come up into the top 10 merely because it’s you searching for it. Yes, that happens. What you want to know is, if someone searches for ‘keyword’, does my site come up?

Scroogle filled that gap. However, unfortunately, they’ve closed ship. In fact: the former owner feels so attacked by hackers that he has closed all sites he owns down.

The alternatives to Scroogle? Well of the ones recommended I’ll be going with Google’s own ‘Google Encripted‘. However, it’s still Google, so it’s unclear how unpersonalized this option is. However, it certainly brings up US results when I search for ‘bank’. I was not logged into Google at the time, which may make a difference.

Pagewash looks less pretty, but it is one of the ways to browse the web anonymously – so you’ll be browsing Google anonymously too.

See also: The demise of Scroogle, and Privacy online

I found out about this at Wizzley, one of the places where I write.


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