A few days ago I signed up for Kagi. If you didn’t know, it’s a new search engine whose main differentiator is that you have to pay them actual money in exchange for search results, currently in the order of 2.5 Australian cents per search. The idea is that since you’re paying them, this frees them to have no advertising or user tracking at all and focus on giving you the best possible results according to your wishes.
In short: yeah, it’s quite good actually. At this stage I’m inclined to keep paying for it.
- Results are cleanly presented. No ads or outright junk, thank the maker.
- The relevance is quite good, particularly for technical topics which is what I’ve been searching for recently.
- It’s not perfect: junk SEO content scraper websites do sometimes show up on the first page.
- On the bright side you have the ability to promote/demote/block domains in search results (shown above).
- Results feel a little sluggish to show up. It goes to show much work Google et al have put into throwing results in front of you immediately. If I think about it consciously it’s not something I put much weight on—I can wait a second; my time isn’t that precious—but it is something I notice.
- Their privacy page is readable but highly detailed, describing the exact purpose of each cookie, etc. They set a very high bar, assuming you trust them to do what they say they do.
- I use it on Firefox on desktop and Android. For the former I installed their addon which made it a one-click operation to set the default browser, and lets me use my Kagi account in private windows. For Android I followed their instructions to add a custom search engine. All working well.
- Pricing is currently 300 searches for $US 5/mo, 1000 for $10/mo, excess at 1.5c/search, and $25/mo for unlimited.
- I seem to be in the vicinity of 15 searches a day. I need more data to figure out if it’s worth going to the $10/mo. I think I would pay that, particularly since the service should only improve from here with additional time and resources.
- I didn’t realise how often I use my Firefox search history to go back to a search engine results page I’d visited previously. I feel consciously inefficient doing that now because it’s consuming my budget, even if it’s tiny.
- No search history. Hooray.