Startpage is a web search engine which highlights privacy as its distinguishing feature. It was previously known as the metasearch engine Ixquick, Startpage being then a variant service. Both sites were merged in 2016.
Type of site
|Headquarters||Wilhemina van Pruisenweg 104, The Hague, the Netherlands|
|Alexa rank||1,727 (14 May 2019[update])|
Ixquick was founded by David Bodnick in 1998 and has been owned by Startpage B.V., based in the Netherlands, since acquiring the internet company in 2000. Ixquick and its sibling project Startpage.com reached their latest record (28-day average) daily direct queries of 5.7 million on 2 February 2015.
The company also provides the stand-alone proxy service, Startpage.com Proxy, which is incorporated into the Startpage search engine, allowing users the option to open all search results via proxy. The company has also developed a privacy protecting email service, called StartMail. This service was released to the public in 2014.
Ixquick was created in 1998 by David Bodnick in New York City, a graduate from Brown University. It later received the tagline "Most powerful meta search engine on the web!". Initially it provided metasearch for 14 different web and directory search engines, as well as images, news and MP3 engines. Results were sorted after evaluating how relevant each of the search tools found the query. Ixquick was given the highest ratings search engine by Search Engine Watch and ZDNet's SearchIQ.
The site received a facelift in 2000, with a dark-blue theme incorporating the planet Earth, with the tagline "the world's most powerful metasearch engine!". Dutch company Surfboard Holding BV, based in Zeist, purchased Ixquick in 2000. The company changed its name to Startpage BV in 2013.
Ixquick was re-launched on 23 March 2005 with new features including a redesigned metasearch algorithm, an international phone, and lowest-price directory.
On 27 June 2006, following criticism of Google Shopping, Ixquick.com began to delete private details of its users. IP addresses and other personal information were deleted within 48 hours of a search. Ixquick has stated that it does not share its users' personal information with other search engines or with the provider of its sponsored results.
Ixquick was awarded the first European Privacy Seal (EuroPriSe) for its privacy practices on 14 July 2008. This European Union-sponsored initiative guarantees compliance with EU laws and regulations on data security and privacy, through a series of design and technical audits. It was re-certified together with Startpage in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
On 7 July 2009 Ixquick launched Startpage.com to offer its service at a URL that is both easier to remember and spell, and in contrast to ixquick.eu, fetches results from the Google search engine. This is done without saving the users' IP addresses or giving any personal user information to Google's servers.
On 29 March 2016, Ixquick.com was officially "merged" with the same company's Startpage search engine (a search engine with the privacy features of Ixquick, but using only Google search results). Users entering ixquick.com are now automatically re-routed to startpage.com. Ixquick had long declared on its sites, that it operated in compliance with European Union privacy standards, and it retained its original European search engine, Ixquick.eu, until about April 2018, when it was also redirected to startpage.com.
Search mechanism and interfaceEdit
While Ixquick aggregated results from multiple search engines, Startpage exclusively uses results from Google, which the company pays Google for. Startpage can search in 17 languages: Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
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You can’t beat Google when it comes to online search. So we’re paying them to use their brilliant search results in order to remove all trackers and logs. The result: The world’s best and most private search engine. Only now you can search without ads following you around, recommending products you’ve already bought. And no more data mining by companies with dubious intentions. We want you to dance like nobody’s watching and search like nobody’s watching.