~/blog/"Filter out results from your web searches"


Let’s face it, searching for information on the web has been going downhill for a while.

You used to be able to search for information using your favourite search engine and get what you were looking for. But I guess in the age of AI-generated content and SEO-riddled websites, that’s no longer the case.

As I described in a previous post, I run a metasearch engine instance instead of directly “googling” for information. In case you don’t know what that means (and don’t feel like reading my previous post): I use an app that sends my searches to multiple search engines at the same time, and retrieves the aggregated results back to me. This allows me to (hopefully) have access to less biased information, and to reduce my reliance on Google. However, this still won’t spare me from useless websites, scam websites, or awful “modern” interfaces that the website owners decided to shove down our throats (looking at you Reddit).

Luckily, SearXNG (my metasearch engine of choice) has a builtin plugin which allows me to either filter out or redirect domains. All I need to do is to change my SearXNG settings.yml file to enable it by default:

  - 'Hostname replace'

Then define the filter rules on the same file:

# Filter out
  'badwebsite\.com': false
# Redirect
  '(.*\.)?reddit\.com$': 'old.reddit.com'

And that’s it! Just need to restart the docker container, and I’ll have a much more pleasant browsing experience.

docker restart searxng

If you want know how to set-up SearXNG check out my previous post, and if you need a comprehensive list of junk websites, you can always have a look at what some relevant open-source projects use, for example:

Happy browsing! 🙂