Saturday, 3 January 2015

"Qwant an Alternative Google"

by Ziuby

A company from a small office near the banks of the river Seine has put on gloves and will try to take on Google. The product is a French search engine called #Qwant. The French start-up, whose product was released 18 months ago, is tapping into growing anger here that Google has too much control over how Europeans surf the web.

“There’s a need for a choice,” Jean Manuel Rozan, a former financier who co-founded #Qwant in 2011, said recently over a cup of coffee. Europe is the only place in the world where people think that Google is the Internet. To stand out from the crowd, Qwant sold a 20 percent stake to Axel Springer, the German publisher, this year for roughly $6 million, mostly to buy European servers.

Along with other Google alternatives like #DuckDuckGo and #Ixquick, a Dutch search engine, Qwant says it does not track people’s online movements and sells advertising based only on individuals’ search queries.
Qwant also plans to release a child-friendly search engine — Qwant Junior — in early 2015.

If you have three million children who will search on Qwant, then there’ll be six million parents who will know about Qwant, said √Čric Leandri, another of the start-up’s co-founders, who added that the start-up was in discussions with Axel Springer to become the default search engine on some of the publisher’s websites.

Despite previous failures to a build a credible European search engine, Qwant’s co-founders hope its focus on privacy and attempts to combine social media posts and traditional search results will set it apart from Google, whose projects are as diverse as a smartphone operating system and trying to develop driverless cars.

We want to give results from both the web and social networks,” said Mr. Rozan of Qwant. “If we’re just going to offer the same service as Google, we should stop now.