Bill Hartzer

GotConn Privacy Search Engine Launches

GotConn Privacy Search Engine

There’s a new privacy-based search engine that just launched called GotConn. GotConn claims that it offers private search, no personalized search results, and makes use of no third party trackers. They also claim that it doesn’t track IP addresses and doesn’t keep user session logs–and doesn’t sell personal information.

GotConn was created by LyNea “LB” Bell, an African American Entrepreneur and Talent Agent. According to a press release, “Over the course of twelve months, Bell worked with Lead Engineer Jason Cook, and Engineering Professor Roderick Crowder to develop a search engine that could generate accurate and relevant search results with record timing, while dually protecting the user’s privacy.”

On the site itself, I can’t find any information about where the results are coming from (is it a meta search engine?). I cannot tell whether or not GotConn is crawling the web themselves or simply getting the data from another search engine and re-presenting it in their own format.

One to check whether or not they’re just using data from another search engine is compare results. I took a look at a search for my name, Bill Hartzer, and the GotConn results are different than they are, let’s say, on Bing:

What makes me believe that GotConn is simply taking data from other search engines is the inclusion of one particular URL that (the one that is my domain with /?=s at the end of the URL). That URL, a search parameter on the site’s home page, appears in Bing, Yahoo (from Bing’s results) but also from DDG (Duck Duck Go). They all tend to pick up that URL with the parameter, which is an exact copy of my site’s home page. Google does not have that URL in the results. There’s a very small chance that a search engine, a new search engine for that matter, would be able to find that particular URL by itself. My gut feeling is that GotConn is essentially using results from another search engine source, but they then change the results somehow so it’s their own. I don’t have a problem with that.

But we know how much it actually takes, how much investment in technology, hardware, and a dev team, to create a new search engine. After all, we don’t have a search engine (yet) from Apple, despite their resources.

GotConn Image Search

The GotConn image search is, well, less than to be desired. I searched for “Bernie Sanders Chair”, well, because who doesn’t want to see Bernie Sanders sitting in a chair, right?!? So, let’s take a look at this trending, recently popular keyword:

The image results somehow are borked somehow. The developer didn’t put much thought into it, as every search engine result image is the same size–which is OK if every image on the web is the same size. But they’re not.

What Do I Think of This Search Engine?

So, for this search engine what do I really think? I’d give it 3 stars, mainly for the effort of launching a new search engine. And making it private. The interface of the results are actually refreshing to see, as there are no ads and the search engine results pages are really, really clean. Seems to be pretty fast, as well.

Other issues I see? How, as a website owner, do I remove pages from the results? There’s not option for that–especially if I’m wanting to take that copy of my site’s home page out of their results.

I also took a look at the domain’s DNP Score, as well. The GotConn domain DNP Score is 550, which could be improved. But, it does look like the domain’s been registered since 2014 and it has been registered into 2022. The score could be improved if they set up a DMARC record on the domain, and if they registered for at least 5 years into the future.

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