For the last few days I've been painfully aware that scroogle.org was offline. What was scroogle? Scroogle was a google scraper - it allowed you to search google's search results anonymously. Why did that matter to me? What deep secret was I hiding from Google? Well none, but scroogle was an easy and quick alternative to see where my site was ranking in Google without seeing results which were personalised for my location and browsing history.
What Happened to Scroogle Scraper? Scroogle Alternatives
Scroogle has been a popular scraper for many years. Now it seems to be permanently offline - lets look at some alternatives.
What Happened To Scroogle?
Over the last few months I've noticed when I tried to use scroogle.org I would get a "Google is mad at us message" and not be able to use it.
Then a few days when I went to scroogle.org - I got a "site does not exist" result? Now it all comes a bit clearer with the comments of Scroogle's founder, Daniel Brandt at BetaBeat
In short it wasn't Google that shut down scroogle.org, it was hackers flooding the site with denial of service attacks. I've no idea why hackers would attack one of the sites that gave us an alternative to Google - but there you go. It sounds like scroogle is gone, and gone for good this time.
What Does Scroogle Do?
Many of us used Scroogle to very quickly check either our own rankings on the first page of the results, or the competition on that page. I use other rank tracking software to do this on a large scale, but Scroogle was fast for a one-off question.
Some beginners may wonder why I didn't just use google itself to check? Well the answer is - I can't trust Google - Google will show you and I very different results - I live in New Zealand - if I search "credit cards" I will find NZ banks, if you do - you will get something different. Even worse Google will artificially put sites I "like" a lot e.g. the sites I own, on page 1 for me, but for no one else!
As an Internet Marketer I need to know what strangers see in the results for a term - not what I see. That's why many of us used Scroogle.
Equally I'm not interested in what other search engines show, because the vast majority of people still use Google - so that's the only search engine my rankings matter in.
I've found a couple of options - pagewash seems the best at the moment.
Sites Like Scroogle
Which Give you Depersonalised Google Search Results
Uses an anonymous proxy - quick and seems to work well. Recommended. This works for any url - if you want Google UK enter http://google.co.uk and hit "begin browsing" . This is effective and gets rid of all the "your friend recommended" nonsense from the results.
Depends on whether you actually "trust" Google. You still get all the ads but this still seems to work - I searched "credit cards" and got US-based results not NZ-based results. I had my doubts because Google NZ is running a logo to represent the Christchurch earthquake - and then it included google+ "recommendations" *sigh*. Probably I could get rid of this if I logged out of gmail - but I'm looking for a quick solution.
Scroogle Alternatives - Privacy Concerns
Lots of other people, worry that Google tracks everything they do online. Frankly I just assume that everything I do online is visible to everyone and move on. But if this really does bother you - then again using a Google scraper like Scroogle was an option. If privacy is your concern - I'd suggest checking out GoDuckGo - it also seems to give better results than Google!
Alternative Search Engine
Seems to have less spam at the top of the search results than Google. Recommended for actually searching online!
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Who Is Lis?
Hi, I'm Lis Sowerbutts, I've been making a living online since 2007 and have been full time since February 2009. I make money from advertising on my websites, my affiliate commimssions from products and services I promote.
I am also a non-fiction author.
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