Mojeek is a search engine that has its own index and no trackers. It is not perfect, but for most of the searches it can have good answers. They also fit in all of the requirements.
Mojeek is one of the rare few large independent indexes left. Gigablast appears to have fallen off the map recently, leaving Brave and Mojeek as the largest independent indexes with good privacy policies.
Mojeek goes a step further with their independence—they don’t depend on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, or any of those big hosting companies. They host their servers at a local UK company (search for “Mojeek and the Environment” to find their blog post on this)
Mojeek, like Brave Search, also doesn’t serve Microsoft Ads as all Bing proxies like Duckduckgo and Ecosia are required to do by the Bing API’s terms of service.
Their results are not amazing for certain types of queries; programming queries, for example, are hit-or-miss. They also mainly index English sites, though they index French, Spanish, German, and pages in a few other languages to a lesser degree. They don’t index pages in Japanese, for example. However, for general queries, they are good and improving all the time.
If Mojeek can’t fit into Privacy Guides’ recommendations because of their search quality, there should be clear requirements surrounding search quality.
Brave Search, because of how Tailcat (the index it’s based off) collected search activity from Firefox users who used other search engines like Google, tends to return results that resemble Google’s. Their current indexing strategy seems to be similar, though I won’t claim to have looked into it much beyond the initial Cliqz stuff. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on the types of results you’d like to see.
Mojeek returns results based on the keywords you provide, rather than attempting to guess intent—it uses Lexical Search: https://blog.mojeek.com/2022/12/how-to-search.html
Mojeek uses lexical not semantic search. In other words Mojeek looks for explicit matches to the words or phrases in your search query. These search queries are compared with text in the webpages that we have indexed and their incoming links. Mojeek does not attempt to interpret meaning from your query. So you should be explicit about what you are seeking.
I also like mojeek. but I understand why it might not be listed. I would think a link to searchengine.party or a similar resource would be good for those that want more options, since there are so many that could be brought up/listed
I think Seirdy’s fantastic search engine article (which is periodically updated) is a better place to link to: A look at search engines with their own indexes - Seirdy
It’s not solely privacy-focused, but this is the most detailed article I’ve ever found about this topic on the web.