Honestly, I don’t see any reason to use a SearXNG instance over Google. SearXNG is essentially a MiTM (Man-in-the-Middle) between you and the search engines it uses. Not only am I sending my search queries to SearXNG, but also all of the search engines it uses including Google.
If I used someone else’s SearXNG instace, I not only have to trust them with my IP address and searches, but I also have to trust Google, Bing, and all other search engines it uses with my searches, even if they don’t see my IP address. Wouldn’t it make much more sense to just use Google and use a VPN to hide my IP address from them?
If I self-hosted a SearXNG, Google and the other search engines I use can still see my true IP address unless I use a VPN or Tor. This isn’t a privacy gain. If anything it’s a loss because I’m now sending my search queries to multiple search engines instead of just one.
But if I used Google, I only have to trust one search engines with my searches (Google), as opposed to several search engines plus the SearXNG instance maintainer, and like I said I can use a VPN to hide my IP address. Or let’s say my VPN gets blocked. It’d be much safer to use Startpage or Brave Search if I wanted to get Google results because not only am I reducing the amount of search engines to trust (just Google and Startpage/Brave), but I’m not standing out as much since far more people use Startpage than any one SearXNG instance. If I was using SearXNG, Google would still know it’s me since chances are not a lot of people if any at all are using that specific instance. I don’t believe SearXNG increases privacy at all but reduces it.
So my proposal would be to remove SearXNG and add Google in it’s place. I think most people should just use Google search unless their threat model for some reason requires not connecting directly to Google. Realistically, I don’t see why anyone should want to “DeGoogle”. Nobody should assume that just because something isn’t Google means it can be trusted. If anything, Google services are more trustworthy than any self-hosted provider since more people use the services and there are more eyes on Google.