Tag Archives: Yahoo

Search Engines Other Than Google

The whole Bing de-listing thing got me thinking about search engines, which is not something I put my mind to all that often.  We live in a world where there is Google and then there is everything else.  In the west at least, Google dominates to such an extent that barely anything else counts.  I lost Bing traffic, but in the grand scheme of things, did it matter much?

Bing stats running into June 2022

Still, I started poking around as to what other search engines there were and who would still find me.  I doing that I learned that there are all sorts of search engines out there, ones that index just wikis or images that are available via creative commons.

But I just wanted the traditional “find my damn web site” sort of engines, and this is what I turned up.


I have to mention Bing because it turns out that Bing powers a lot of other search engines.  I was never sold on Bing since the day Uncle Fester announced it, and being delisted hasn’t enhance my view of it.  And I appear to have been in just one wave of a systematic purging of blogs and gaming sites.  When I first wrote about the purge, I could at least find sites that linked to my site, including the Tumblr pages that I republish to and a bunch of blogs with their own domains.  All of that has since been eliminated.  I don’t think linking to me was the cheese touch that did people in, but Bing was clearly on a tear about something.

But the key thing I found out is who else uses Bing to power their search, which includes:

  • Yahoo
  • DuckDuckGo
  • AOL
  • Swisscows
  • OneSearch
  • Ekoru
  • Ecosia
  • Lycos
  • MetaCrawler
  • Qwant

I went through each of those and got exactly the same results for my search terms.  Basically it seems if you want to start a themed search engine of some sort but don’t want to put in the work on the search part of things, Bing is your one stop shop for mediocrity.


I don’t have much to say about Baidu except that it is the big search engine in China and now sends me more traffic than Bing.  Basically, about one referral a month… but if you search for my site URL I do show up, and that seems like all you can ask for some days.

Baidu finds me

The bar for being better than Bing is pretty low, and Baidu clears it.


Same as Baidu, but for Russia.  It has an English version of the main page, but returns results in Russian.  However, it still finds my site and actually drives a few referrals a week to the site, usually EVE Online related.  I actually have a search console account with them, so can see what they have indexed and where I show up in results.  The numbers are always low, but not as low as Bing is now.


Once known as Ask Jeeves, and apparently not really in the search engine business anymore, it does still function as one and apparently hasn’t just thrown in the towel like Yahoo or AOL to just let Bing do whatever passes for heavy lifting in Redmond.


A recent entry in the search engine field… this sort of thing still gets funding I guess… launched by a former Google exec, I am not sure where I stand on this one.  On the one hand, when I put in “TAGN” for a search term, I get the same set of results as I do from Bing, always a bad sign.  But at the top of the page, on its own, I also get a link to the blog.

Neeva finds me somehow

And it wasn’t snooping on my other browsers… I don’t think… as I did it on a “clean” system with a browser in incognito mode.  Seems okay for that.  If I am happy with Baidu for just that result, why should I kick Neeva for it?


A Dutch search engine promising privacy that isn’t in bed with Bing I guess.  It passes the TAGN test as well as the full site URL test.  Looking it up, it has been around since 1998 in some form or another… and it pays Google to provide its results.  So there we go, privacy AND Google quality searches.  Might be a winner.


Another search engine I had not heard of, though it has been around since 2009.  It promises uncensored private search, and you can make of that what you will, but it passes the TAGN test with flying colors and returns me in some of the searches


Kind of a strange one.  Driven neither by Google nor Bing… it includes links to let you try your search on StartPage and DuckDuckGo if you want… it doesn’t find me if you search “TAGN,” but you can find my site with other search terms like “M2-XFE” which is a regular source of traffic to my site from Google.  Wouldn’t give up Google driven searches for it, but delivers a different results set if you want something that isn’t in the two main search engine buckets.

As with many of my posts, I don’t really have a big wrap up at the end here.  I am more surprised at how many search engines are out there these days… even when you discount all the ones that are just Bing fronts… when Google so clearly owns the search engine market.

This is not at all an exhaustive list either, just the more interesting results I turned up.  But you have options if you don’t want Google or Bing or want to get some different results for the same old search.

Yahoo Anniversary

Kind of a strange anniversary, in part because I cannot recall Yahoo ever reminding me that I had hit any previous annual milestones.  But this week they told me that my main account has been around for 24 years.

Perhaps my oldest still active email account at this point

Yahoo, for those too young to recall, was where we went for web searches before Google was a thing.  I mean sure, there were other options like Lycos and Alta Vista, but Yahoo was kind of the big dog in the search pack… before Google.  Yahoo used to be my default browser home page.

Yahoo, circa 1997

But at some point in 1998 I created a Yahoo account, and it was for a game.

This was also the age of the “everybody needs an instant messenger” app as things like ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger started being a way to communicate.  I already had both of those… I had an AOL account way back in the day… but in order to keep track of all of your friends you had to be on the services they used.  And for TorilMUD, Yahoo messenger became a thing.

So I guess back in June of 1998 I made a Yahoo account to get on that messenger service.  I know it was related to TorilMUD because my account was named for my main character there.

Of course, not everybody was on the plan and I ended up using an app called Trillian that united all of your instant messenger services into a single interface.  Cool idea, and I used that app regularly for about a decade.

And then, for various reason, instant messaging stopped being a thing… or a thing that could be monetized to support itself.  I stopped using Trillian because the services went away… or the people I knew on them stopped logging in… or, in the case of Yahoo, they withdrew third party API support in order to force people to use their own ad laden app.

So today all that really remains is the email address, which I still use now and then.  It is one of those things that I have had it for so long that I keep an eye on it because I never know who might pop out of the woodwork and drop me a note there.  It happens once in a while.  Though, most of the email I get there now is from Yahoo, either trying to get me to read their daily news headlines… half of which are sponsored ads… or trying to get me to upgrade to Yahoo premium email, which they promise will remove all of the ads.

But the joke is on them.  I rarely, if ever, go to the actual Yahoo web site.  I read my email there on my iPad using the Apple mail app.  Yahoo hasn’t cut that off yet, though they won’t do push notifications.  But when I open the mail app it pulls the latest email, which is good enough for me.  Nothing urgent is likely to be on that account.

Even this anniversary email was mostly just an ad to try and get me to upgrade my service.

Yahoo is such an early web story.  It was a huge big deal for a few years, and in my mind it occupies as big of a spot as Google when I think of the history of the web.  But by 1999, five years after Yahoo started up, I was already starting to use the new Google search engine… I heard about it by word of mouth because I was close to the Stanford grapevine… that crawled the web rather than requiring people to manually add sites to their index the way Yahoo did.

By the time I started this blog, Yahoo was mostly an email address and an IM option.  And today… today everybody is on Discord or Slack or some other service that is essentially group IM with voice chat added on I guess.  The only thing close to old school instant messaging I still use is Pidgin as a Jabber client for Imperium messaging… and I could just use Discord for that most days of the week.

Is Raptr Dead or What?

I know the site is still up, and I can log in when I go there, but otherwise things seem pretty dead around Raptr these days.

I actually uninstalled the Raptr client a few months back because it wasn’t tracking games I was playing with any accuracy any more.  Primarily the problem was with EVE Online, which Raptr has always seemed to have problems with, though I am not sure why.  Both Discord and the Twitch client (which used to be the Curse client until Twitch bought them, and which I only keep around to keep my World of Warcraft addons up to date) both seem to know when I am playing EVE Online, so it isn’t like CCP is trying to hide the operation of their client.

Anyway, Raptr was gone.  I filled out the little exit survey to tell them about my issue and went on my way.

Recently though I have noticed that some of the instant messenger channels through which I keep track of people had started to fade.  Yahoo is the primary culprit here, having gone through a bout of cutting off third-party support to build a wall around itself in hopes that people would like it more.  No more watching multiple accounts via Trillian.  Instead you have to use their ad-tastic and awkward client.  I especially like how they now refuse to push email notifications to the built-in iOS mail app.  They couldn’t bring themselves to cut it off completely.  Instead they make it slightly less useful and pop up a dire warning about third party apps when you log into mail on their site.

So I put Raptr back on my computer.  It was one of the IM avenues I shared with Potshot, and with the coming of the the Mordor expansion and exploring plans to return to LOTRO I though it might be a good idea to have that available. (My Raptr friend’s list is mostly people who have not logged into the site in ages.)

However, since I put it back on the client has failed to log on most days I have tried.

My account is still good.  I can log onto their site directly with those credentials.  The client, however, fails.

I know Raptr has been looking for a new path, having failed, as so many have before them, to find the magic to create a general online gaming community portal.  They tried game tracking and instant messenger, repeating what founder Dennis Fong did when he launched Xfire.

That was the bit I signed up for.

They tried doing online forums and putting out play time stats and the like.  Then they tried their hand and optimizing your graphic settings, playing the utility role.  Then they dumped their console support to focus on the PC master race.  Then they got into video with their Plays.tv stuff, which I turned off almost immediately.

And now, looking at their site, their latest press releases and blog updates are almost a year and a half old at this point.  The place seems dead.  When I uninstalled the Raptr client again, even the exit survey was closed, like nobody was home.

So what is happening at Raptr?  Have they just given up?  Does anybody care?

Addendum: Dead was the correct guess.

I Like Lists… Yahoo Has Lists…

So let’s visit Yahoo.

Or Yahoo!, as it is correctly written I suppose.  I always leave out the exclamation point.

Yahoo seems to have some sort of list in its top stories on the main page.  Things like Signs You’re a Green Hypocrite and such.  But once in a while something related to video games makes an appearance.

There were two such lists in the last week that I thought were interesting.

The first was the Most Overhyped Video Games of All Time.

You’ll have to go read their criteria and such, but the list was:

  • Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 (1982)
  • Diakatana (2000)
  • Enter the Matrix (2003)
  • Star Wars: Galaxies (2003)
  • Killzone (2004)
  • Wii Music (2008)
  • Too Human (2008)
  • Spore (2008)

I like this list for a few of reasons.

First, I bought that horrible, horrible version of Pac-Man on the Atari 2600.  I saved my money and spent it on the game.  $30 was some serious money back then.

It was so bad.

It was so very bad that we cannot let go of the disappointment almost 30 years later.

So bad that it is blamed for hurting the video game market.

So bad that it even has it’s own sizable entry on Wikipedia.

I think that game broke my relationship with the 2600 for good.

Then there is Star Wars Galaxies there in the middle.  An MMO that isn’t Warhammer Online being tarred with the hype brush.  Well, that is refreshing!  And SWG being called out for something besides the NGE!  It is a two-fer!

And Wii Music.  I’ve already been down on Wii Music Not sure how the hype really was, but the game itself… rubbish.

Finally, Spore.  So much hype.  So much copy protection.  Such a “meh” game.  Even the Zero Punctionation review of the game was probably the most mild review Yahtzee has ever done.

Still, is that really the definitive list of most overhyped games?  I mean sure, Duke Nukem Forever didn’t make the list, having never actually shipped, but I’m sure there must be some other worthy titles out there.

The other list that caught my eye was the Top Selling Video Games of 2010 so far.

I immediately took to this list because its focus was only titles that were released in 2009 and 2010, so the whole thing wasn’t weighed down by the various boxed versions and expansions for World of Warcraft and The Sims.  Or maybe it was just a consoles only list.  They didn’t say that anywhere… in fact they were pretty sparse on the parameters… but these titles don’t totally go against what you see elsewhere.  Have Sims sales dried up?

Anyway, the list for this year, so far:

  1. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
  2. Pokemon SoulSilver (DS)
  3. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)
  4. God of War III (PlayStation 3)
  5. Wii Fit Plus (Wii)
  6. Wii Sports Resort (Wii)
  7. Pokemon HeartGold (DS)
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
  9. Just Dance (Wii)
  10. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

My first reaction was, “Wow, that is a lot of Nintendo focused titles.”

Club Nintendo Indeed!

Nintendo seems to own us with 7 of the 10 titles on that list.  At least only two of them are Mario.

That was quickly followed by “Wow, that is a lot of Pokemon!”  If they hadn’t split them out, combined Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver would have been on top.

And then, I started to wonder how soon StarCraft II would break into that list.  According to that other source I linked, it is closing in on the Top 20 world wide, is already in the Top 20 in the Americas, and has the usual Blizzard momentum behind it.

Silly WAR Weekend Side Notes

I got more traffic yesterday than is usual for a Friday, primarily focused on my “WAR Weekend Preview” post. So I Googled the title and got:

Oh wow, first site returned. I even came out ahead of Mythic. I was also the first returned site for:

  • preview weekend download
  • wotlk preview weekend
  • preview weekend casualties

There is a quirk in Google’s algorithm somewhere. I wish I knew how to exploit it on purposes.

I also actually hit the first page of results for Yahoo, which almost never happens. Google seems to know who I am, Yahoo doesn’t return my calls.

Meanwhile, actually in the WAR Preview Weekend (I’ll hammer on that phrase and see if I can stay on top!), some people are still pushing the whole WoW-killer idea:

That and in the high elf and dwarf starting towns, everybody looks like they are running around in their night gowns and bathrobes for the first few levels.

It’s a giant slumber party! Let’s go have a pillow fight with the squigs!