Not easy to support private search

image credit: Wiertz Sebastien via flickr(cc)
image credit: Wiertz Sebastien via flickr(cc)

It’s well-understood, I guess, that Google tracks and filter-bubbles those who search with it.  And Microsoft is, well, it’s Microsoft, no reason to suppose they’re not tracking and bubbling users also.  Fortunately, there are alternatives:


Great options for search!  So what if I want to advertise?  And suppose that the people I want to reach are the kind of people who would prefer these privacy-facilitating search options?  They’re profit-seeking companies and they carry ads.  Can I buy ads on them?

Not really.  It turns out that Startpage  has an arrangement with Google, so I would need to buy Google Adwords and hope, maybe, that they’ll end up on Startpage. With Duck, the arrangement is with the “Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance” and seems otherwise similar.

This may be the best way for a small company to get a tiny piece of the search pie, but depending on your competitor doesn’t seem like a great long-term strategy.  Maybe they have other plans.  But for now, there seems to be no way for an advertiser to reach privacy-minded users, except by taking advantage of the tracking that the dominant search companies do.