Monday, August 7, 2023

Kagi Search’s Most Promoted and Blocked Domains

Kagi (Hacker News):

View the top domains that users create personalizations for.

Some of the commenters are raving about the ability to boost and block certain domains. It’s an intersting idea, but at the moment it’s not clear to me how I would use this.

Via Brian Webster:

It’s a subscription service, but Google has gotten so bad that I think it’s become worth it for me at least.

I have been trying Kagi on and off for over a year. Overall, I have not been impressed. The results have been OK. There definitely seems to be less spam at the top of the results, but in general the pages that I wanted haven’t been at the top, either. But today, for the first time, it found a good result for me, at the top of the list, that I hadn’t found at all with Google or Bing. So Kagi is not my default search engine, but I intend to keep it in the rotation. I think we’re firmly back in the pre-Google world where it’s common to need multiple engines to find stuff.

Kagi (in March):

We are launching three new search features today: Summarize Results, Summarize Page, and Ask Question about Document.

All three features are activated on demand as per our AI integration philosophy, and do not incur any cost towards the user unless used. Usage for these features is converted into search usage and is discussed in more detail below.


17 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

"It’s an intersting idea, but at the moment it’s not clear to me how I would use this."

I'd use it to block Pinterest from searches. It shows up a lot in results but what's there is always useless to me.

[After checking the domain list]

Apparently a lot of people agree with me.

@Jon Indeed, Pinterest is one of the top blocks. But, for me personally, it almost never seems to come up in search results. :shrug:

Thanks for the test results Michael. Please keep us posted. How is Brave Search these days?

@Sean I would say Brave is on par with Kagi but with different results, so it’s worth using both. I still think Google is a bit better and Bing and DuckDuckGo are a bit worse. The variance is also different, though. For any given query, it seems like Google and Bing are not always the best but they are rarely terrible.

For me personally, Kagi has been a much needed breath of fresh air. I’ve been using DuckDuckGo, but it’s results were a dumpster fire. Google only ever finds me things I actually need if I have something like a crazy specific code error to search for; otherwise its results were even worse for most of my searches than DDG, though I admittedly haven’t tested them heavily in a couple years because they creep me out almost as much as Facebook/Meta these days.

Kagi has had relevant results in the first few links every time, and being able to block sites is a game changer (goodbye Pinterest, StackOverflow data clones, and sites that load 17 ads before any content!). Well worth the subscription for me.

I find that Google results are vastly improved if I select the Verbatim mode.

"I find that Google results are vastly improved if I select the Verbatim mode."

That's not actually available in the Google search UI. At least not the one I use:

Ah, verbatim is available on *results* pages. So you have to get bad results first in order to request better results.

I used to like and use Pinterest. Then they went all in on making life for non-logged in visitors, and web users, a living hell in the name of "Find us on the app store".

Imagine a web without "Find us on the app store" banners.

I find myself more and more using chatGPT as my "search engine"...

I’ve been a paid Kagi user for a little over a year and I couldn’t be happier. No ads, no paid search results, and a powerful user-centric feature set that lets me prioritize preferred sources while deprioritizing or blocking others outright. For me, this includes blocking all results from sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, not to mention every SEO-generated clickbait site I encounter. On the rare, and I do mean rare, occasion when I can’t find something, I can add !g or !b to run the search in another search engine.

Best of all, Kagi figured out how to bypass Apple’s limitations so I can choose it as my default search engine across all my devices, despite Apple’s attempts to pad their bottom line by pushing iOS and iPadOS users into using google, Bing, or the equally useless DuckDuckGo.

I’m amazed more people aren’t using this.

> I find myself more and more using chatGPT as my "search engine"...

Sure, if you don’t mind half of your responses being completely made up gibberish. LLMa are good at summarizing things, not at providing factual and accurate responses to questions.


I was going to say that I would love a relevant search engine that had minimal ads and didn't crowd the screen with things I don't want, but then I realized I was just talking about early Google.

"Sure, if you don’t mind half of your responses being completely made up gibberish"

This is not true. At this point, hallucinations have dropped to the point where you're probably just as likely to get false information from your search engine as from a newer LLM.

Yes, search engines provide false information, no doubt. But they also provide a list of alternatives. Using a LLM feels like looking at the top search result only and not even checking the URL.

I’ve tried using ChatGPT again and again, and is has lead me down the wrong path too often for me to consider it good at information retrieval.

I've been paying for Kagi for about a year now, and love it; I use it almost exclusively.

That said, if you want to exclude Pintrest from Google image results, just include `-site:pintrest.*` You're welcome! 🙂

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