How To Make Your Searches Private, Ad-Free And Uncluttered

starpage-clean

Google search has become pretty awful — you get huge block of ads on top, and ads to the right. You have Google services being promoted before other more relevant results. Perhaps most disappointing is the privacy issue — all those keywords you type are archived at Google, and at the NSA, and who knows where else.

But buried under all that, are some pretty relevant search results. So here’s a way to get those results, but without all the Google fluff:

Use Startpage.Com Instead Of Google

StartPage is a cool search engine — it provides you with search results from Google, while removing all identifying information from your query, and returning the results anonymously. You can read all about how it works here. I’ve been using StartPage for years, and found it to be fast and very reliable. If you don’t like Google search results, try IxQuick, which draws its results from other sources.

But wait — you may notice that Startpage has a few ads that appear above the search results, let’s see how to get rid of them:

Use AdBlock Edge or Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus (ABP) is an open-source ad blocking extension for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Opera web browsers. It seamlessly removes most ads from web pages, including many pop-up ads.

Personally, I like AdBlock Edge (for Firefox) more than Adblock Plus. Adblock Plus has “acceptable ads” enabled by default, whereas AdBlock Edge does not have acceptable ads and blocks all ads by default.

Use Stylish To Make Those Results Look Prettier

StartPage search results are little lacking in the design department. I recommend giving them a makeover by using Stylish for Firefox or Stylish for Chrome. Basically, Stylish reformats web pages using user-supplied style sheets. There are customized styles for almost all the major web sites!

I like the Startpage Clean and Minimal style, it’s a bit more minimal than the default style:

startpage-minimal

There you have it: private, ad-free, uncluttered Google search results!

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