Is the search provider selection truly random?
RandSearch doesn’t choose randomly from all search providers with an equal distribution. Some providers are more likely to be chosen than others. This is not a biased decision or in any way financially motivated, however.
Search providers are grouped by who provides their search results. E.g. the search results you see on Ecosia Search are sourced from Bing Search. Ecosia and Bing is placed in one group.
When choosing a random provider, RandSearch will randomly pick one provider from each group into a candidate list. Searches are then carried out by one randomly selected search provider.
This design aims to reward independent web indexes/crawlers for their significant efforts in cataloging the web.
In most web browsers (except Safari), you can see how it all works by navigating to:
Google Search is not included in RandSearch. It already controls 92 % of the global search market. RandSearch wants to promote other search providers and results.
The following criteria is used to select the search providers that are included in RandSearch:
- Available in English.
- Available over HTTPS.
- Reasonable page-load performance.
- Designed for small and large screens.
- Is focused on general search queries in English.
- Organic search results are clearly separated from paid results.
- Advertisements doesn’t make up a disproportionate portion of the page.
- No disruptive experience for newcomers, (E.g. large consent pop-ups, CAPTCHAs, or email sign-ups.)
- No obscure or dodgy company structure. (E.g. incorporated through a shell company in a tax haven.)
- Doesn’t censor significant historical events, sexual health information, or denies the existence of some ethnic groups.
- Returns okay results for some basic search queries. (E.g. "the new york times" and "wikipedia red onions".)
Please reach out if you’ve got other concerns about search provider selection.