As an experiment, I’m trying out Kagi as my default search engine, switching from Google (no link required; they’re probably behind you right now).
I like the idea of an ad-free experience: a paid-for engine puts the incentives in the right place. But it’s got to be about more than ideology. Because search is such an important part of my working life (and most knowledge workers’ working lives) it’s important that the results are actually better than Google’s.
For a while, I tried to use DuckDuckGo, which uses Bing’s search engine behind the scenes. It was just fine for most things and markedly worse for a few, so I had to switch back, even though I love its privacy focus.
Kagi uses a mix of third-party engines and its own to provide its results. So far, they seem pretty good, but the proof will be in intensive use.
What I already know I love: they have a StumbleUpon-like site for discovering small websites, and surface blogs in some search results when they’re relevant. That’s something I want from every search engine.
We will see! I’ll give it a month and then report back.