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What is PrivacyWall?

What is PrivacyWall?

I recently noticed a new search engine, PrivacyWall, which came to fame when it unexpectedly won placement in many European countries during Android’s Choice Screen Auction, along side better known rivals Bing and DuckDuckGo. It was surprising to see such a small name being able to secure placement alongside such large names, so I decided to do some digging to learn more.

PrivacyWall deems it self a privacy oriented search engine similar to more well known rival DuckDuckGo. There are a few points of differentiation, as I did not see a single ad show up on PW during my run throughs.

Who runs PrivacyWall?

PrivacyWall is run by Jonathan Wu according to Prior to launching the search engine, he ran a startup called Social Game Media. In fact, PrivacyWall’s FAQ page makes reference to this–calling itself a division. While the company is incorporated in Puerto Rico, Social Game Media appears to be operationally based in Silicon Valley.

Captured 10/19/20, PrivacyWall a division of Social Game Media

Does PrivacyWall have it’s own search engine?

No, the results appear to match Bing search results. Bing offers a very easy to use search engine API that allows startup to offer their own branded search. I checked a view results and they were almost identical to Bing’s results. Occasionally there were some differences, but I think it was mostly due to the little modals and cards that clutter Bing results.

In general, the results are very usable. I don’t know how to test how true their anti-tracking mantra is, but they seem to have minimal cookies and there were no 3rd party trackers that I could identify.

The top results on this common search match Bing perfectly. Google’s results on this same search (not pictured) diverge substantially, as Twitter is ranked #2, KWWBeauty #4 and E! doesn’t rank at all on the first page.

How do you get your website added to the search engine results?

It seems like you need to appear in Bing to be able to be visible. If you are having issues, open a ticket with Bing. I’ve done it before and they actually respond to you.

The Ugly Truth Behind Why Dreamhost and Bluehost are recommended by everyone

The Ugly Truth Behind Why Dreamhost and Bluehost are recommended by everyone

It’s for money. Bluehost pays $65 for a sign up while Dreamhost pays $15-$200 depending on the plan that people buy. WP Engine pays $200 per sale. These are huge incentives for bloggers and youtubers to try to get you to start up a website using their referrals.

Affiliate Payout vs How much the Customer Pays

These payouts represent a huge percentage of what the customers pay for the hosting services. It gives you a gist of how much these companies are paying for marketing and sales versus providing a quality product.

Just think about it if you’re paying Blue Host $90 for a yearly hosting contract and Blue Host is paying $65 to the person who referred you, they’re only going to have $25 to spend on actual servers, support, and technology to host your website.

Dream Host is willing to pay $50 for a yearly contract on their WordPress hosting which costs $48 on a yearly contract. This means they’re expecting to get you to pay them more than that thru upselling additional services that you probably don’t need, or by over charging you in the next renewal.

The truth about most cheap web hosts

Your personal blog probably doesn’t need an expensive web host especially for the first year. If you use a CDN like Cloudflare, you’ll be able to dramatically speed up your website’s speed for free even if your web host isn’t the greatest. Shop around! Just because your favorite influencer says X is the best, I bet if you checked their website they don’t even use it for their host.


I have links up to I know (and my sponsored links are clearly marked which many people do not do), and they’re not terrible web hosts. But so many of the websites pushing both of these hosts are only doing it for the referral dollars. They don’t care about you actually launching your website successfully, they only want you to use their links.

Siteground’s Anti Bot ‘AI’ maybe costing you traffic

Siteground’s Anti Bot ‘AI’ maybe costing you traffic

Just fyi out there Siteground the popular web host touts that they have an advanced AI running a very accurate anti spam/bot blocking service. What I can tell you is that at work I get their annoying captcha whenever I land on a page hosted by them.

Webmasters, I work for a company with thousands of office workers. I can’t imagine how many other false positives this so called AI is generating by a sloppy system. For reference, cloudflares similar filtering system never triggers on at work.

Check out the blog page that Siteground setup where webmasters mention that they themselves are getting blocked from their own domains! And look at the flippant responses the support staff respond with, back which almost all blame the user and claim their system is nearly flawless. I can tell you from experience that it’s not and that it is substantially more wrong than any other system out there. Beware if you just switched hosting to them and noticed a drop in ad impressions.

Be Careful about Changing Domain Names [8 Months Later]

Be Careful about Changing Domain Names [8 Months Later]

This year I swapped over one of my domain names to a new name that would better signify what the website was about. It hasn’t gone over very well. All the posts I read were saying that everything would be a temporary hit and bounce back after a few months.

Overall traffic the month after stayed relatively steady as everything appear under the old domain’s listings. After a month, my rankings took a hit and declined about half.

This is a lot more than any website warned me about and I thought about reverting, but I decided to press onwards.

It’s now 8 months later, and traffic has bumped back up. I’m not where I was before. Right now, traffic is down about 25%, which is ok.

Things I didn’t Anticipate

Adsense now requires you to reapply for new domain names. This process took about a month to complete. For some reason my RPM after the domain name change is about half of my old RPM, so overall with my decline in traffic, I’m earning about 40% of my previous revenue. That’s a decline of 60%. Oooffff…

My old site still shows up in the index. I have no idea why.

Don’t buy a forum or web community

Don’t buy a forum or web community

I just have to write this. I’ve been a part of another community that was bought by some starry eyed investor who had no business buying a forum.

  1. The CMS running a website + forum can be daunting for a non-technical owner. If you’re thinking that you can just keep everything stationary and it will keep working beware.
  2. If the website was founded around a charismatic founder, and they’re selling to you. DO NOT PAY FULL PRICE. A lot of the people on that forum will have been there because of the founder, and if you don’t fill in a similar role they’re going to eventually start leaving as it gets boring.
  3. Web stats can be juiced by the person selling you the site especially if they have an existing network. If they pull support, you’re going to lose an important entry funnel.
A site I used to go to that got bought out by an investor. Apparently the new buyer can’t even keep a wordpress running for 8 months?!?!!?
Using a Wildcard Selector (*) in CSS and Excluding Some Tags

Using a Wildcard Selector (*) in CSS and Excluding Some Tags

You might run into the situation where a plug-in, theme or your own design requires you to have a wild card selector in your CSS to set all of your elements to a certain format. So you might see something like this:

* { /* Some CSS in here */}

But there might be a certain tag that you need to exclude because your wild card has had unexpected interactions with the rest of your design.

A quick and dirty fix is that, you can exclude entire tags from your wild card with a not statement used like if I wanted to exclude all spans:

*:not(span) { /* Some CSS in here */}

This will exclude spans from the wild card and whatever other tags or elements you may want to include in it. You can also go and add additional lines of CSS to style those tags correctly or rework your design so that you don’t need a blanket wild card.