Founded in 1996, the Dogpile search engine is one of the oldest metasearch engines still in operation today, and one of the oldest search services in existence in general. Similar to Metacrawler, dogpile has gained attention for deriving search results from multiple indexes at once and compiling the best results on a single page. This is the characteristic trait of metasearch engines.
Key points to remember:
- Dogpile was launched in 1996 and became, along with Metacrawler, one of the first metasearch engines to reach a mass audience.
- Dogpile pulls content from multiple search indexes and filters out duplicates. It fetches results from major search engines like Google, Ask, Bing, Yahoo, MSN Search and others.
- Dogpile was used to fetch content from engines that no longer exist, including AltaVista, Infoseek, and HotBot.
- Privacy is not Dogpile’s forte, as it collects a wide range of data about users and their devices.
It’s clear from the simplicity and outdated appearance of Dogpile that the site hasn’t changed much over the years. Its youngest competitor, Google, has developed a feature-rich search engine integrated into its suite of innovative services, and other modern engines have also appeared – but Dogpile is still doing its job as a metasearch engine.
Dogpile was launched in 1996 and remains in operation to this day. You can use it to find links to web pages, videos, audio, news, and other online content.
Google uses its proprietary crawler and algorithm to compile its own index, while Dogpile pulls its content from a multitude of search engines. Some of its sources include Google, Yahoo, Ask, Yandex and more.
Dogpile is a legitimate website that does not distribute malware or engage in any other type of malicious activity. However, Dogpile and its third-party associates log a lot of personally identifiable data about its users, including everything you searched for.
Dogpile’s flagship feature is its metasearch capability. Dogpile compiles its own index from a variety of other source engines instead of limiting the range of selections to a single index.
Dogpile Search Engine Features and User Experience
Dogpile is a simple search tool that has retained a somewhat antiquated aesthetic since the early days of the World Wide Web. Its age is also evident in its lack of mobile apps, as it is an entirely browser-based service, but it still works well on mobile browsers.
Dogpile works exactly as you’d expect – you type in a search query and it fetches a list of websites, images, videos, and news from multiple search engines. The homepage on Dogpile has a search bar with specific categories, and below that you’ll find a list of “favorite checkouts”, or the most popular searches that day.
On the right side of the page is a list of suggested searches and on the left is a column of different media categories such as websites, images, videos, news, and shopping. Below is a history of your 15 most recent searches, which can be cleared at any time.
Ads are ubiquitous on the Dogpile webpage. The search engine itself works well for retrieving search results, but you’ll usually have to scroll through four or five ads to get to the actual search results. Installing an ad blocking extension will remove them the next time you enter a search query.
Meta search engine
Dogpile was originally created due to developer Aaron Flin’s dissatisfaction with the search results available on search engine indexes from the 1990s. His idea was to create a search service that would compile the best results search from multiple sources while filtering out duplicates.
Dogpile obtains its results, or “fetches”, from a number of major search services, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask and others. In its nascent form, Dogpile gathered content from indexes of engines that no longer exist, such as AltaVista, Infoseek and HotBot.
The range of data collected includes information such as username, mailing address, email address, and phone number, but it doesn’t stop there. Browser and hardware data is also collected, as are IP addresses, referral data and information about your internet connection. In other words, there is nothing the company explicitly refrains from tracking.
Dogpile collects and analyzes user behavior data to produce results relevant to the user’s interests, as with most search engines. Custom searches are one of the basic elements of modern search engine design and offer a lot of convenience, but it comes at the expense of privacy.
Most search sites make their money by collecting your personal data. Protecting your privacy online isn’t easy, so we suggest checking out our guide to anonymous browsing if you want to keep your data out of the wrong hands.
Dogpile vs other search engines
Now that you have a general idea of Dogpile, let’s compare and contrast it with two other search engines: Google and DuckDuckGo. Google represents major web search engines and DuckDuckGo represents privacy-focused alternatives to Google, Yahoo, and other major players.
Dogpile vs. Google
Dogpile’s search page is minimal compared to Google. Dogpile offers little more than a list of links, suggested search terms, and sometimes a Wikipedia link. Google’s search results are complemented by a wealth of multimedia content, including videos, FAQs, news, and often a link to a related Wikipedia article.
Although Dogpile looks a lot like websites from the 1990s, Google has modernized itself since its launch in 1998 with its innovative suite of interconnected services.
Google Search is not a great search engine for privacy-conscious users, as the company derives most of its profits from targeted advertising. Dogpile doesn’t seem to be much better or worse than Google, as it collects just about every type of data it can from those who use it.
However, Google collects data on a much larger scale as it produces personalized results based on information collected from all Google services, while Dogpile is limited to a single in-browser search service. Google may be a riskier search engine to use, simply because of its sheer size, but Dogpile isn’t much better at protecting the privacy of its users.
Dogpile vs. DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo is a search engine designed from the start to be private, unlike Dogpile. Dogpile’s specialty is its metasearch capability rather than privacy, and it has a voracious appetite for user data.
DuckDuckGo has built its growing reputation as a search engine that does not collect personally identifiable user data and limits its data collection practices to anonymized aggregate data.
On the other hand, DuckDuckGo gets most of its index from Bing and lacks the range of sources that Dogpile provides. DuckDuckGo should be sufficient for most users who need a search engine for general day-to-day use, but Dogpile might have a wider selection of resources for those with more specialized search needs.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that we highly recommend. For more information on the most popular privacy-preserving search engine, check out our full DuckDuckGo review here.
Dogpile has earned its place in internet history for being one of the first metasearch engines. Created at a time when each search engine only had its own index to rely on, Dogpile brought an innovative search method to a wide audience by collecting a full range of relevant results from multiple search sources.
Over time, Dogpile has not kept up with modern trends like its young competitor Google. It may have an eclectic assortment of search results, but it lacks the range of features available in Google and the privacy protection of DuckDuckGo.
It was an innovative search engine for its time, but we don’t really see a reason to use Dogpile as the primary search engine over the other services mentioned in this overview.
What do you think of Dogpile? Do you get better results from his multi-index search results, or do you think he’s ready for retirement? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.