AOL has released search usage data for a selection of AOL users in the period between March 1st and May 31st, 2006. There has been some controversy regarding the insufficient anonymization of the search data, and some of the users have been identified from the data.
The web site aolstalker.com gives a per-user view of the search data, in addition to the possibility to see who, if any, searched for a given term.
Searching for "twingine" revealed that two of the AOL customers sampled in the data used Twingine in the time period of the sample.
A note on privacy: Twingine is run by an individual, not a business, on a personal computer in a private residence in a country with strong privacy laws (Norway). As such, the data is much more protected than if a corporation was responsible for the hosting or operation of the service.
Yahoo! and Google have however been subjected to subpoenas in the past for search data. Google refused to comply.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation have more information on the AOL case.
It is currently serving around 500 searches a month, and I won't be renewing the domain when it expires on May 7th. If you like the domain you could either Donate $32.95 to keep it up another year, or start using Twingine instead.
I will renew the domain for as many years as I receive donations, and the donors will receive honorable mentions on the Jaguhugel front page!
Viewing both sets of results in different windows is a bit tedious, and a clever Norwegian developer named Asgeir S. Nilsen has made the task easier at a site called Twingine.
The Twingine site contains a blank search form where you can type any search query. When you click Search, the site brings up the results pages for that query from both Yahoo and Google, side by side. For fairness, Twingine randomly changes the sides that Google and Yahoo come up on, so people who prefer one side of the screen over the other won't be biased.
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