Language English

Launched 2003
Closed 2012

Developer Brandt, Daniel

Country of Origin

2003 - 2012 Brandt, Daniel

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Search Interface / Search API
Anonymous / private searching

Used SeEn Google Search Engine

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

»Scroogle was a web service that allowed users to perform Google searches anonymously. It focused heavily on searcher privacy by blocking Google cookies and not saving log files. The service was launched in 2003 by Daniel Brandt. After 2005, the service encountered rapid growth before running into a series of problems starting in 2010. In February 2012, the service was permanently shut down by its creator due to a combination of throttling of search requests by Google and a denial-of-service attack by an unknown person or group. Before its demise, Scroogle handled around 350,000 queries daily and ranked among the top 4,000 sites worldwide in traffic.« Source

»Scroogle was created in 2003 by Google critic Daniel Brandt, who was concerned about Google collecting personal information on its users. Brandt said he created the service out of frustration of Google's transition from an "intellectual technical enterprise" to a big business focused on making money. "They (Google) have nothing but contempt for personal privacy," Brandt remarked, noting that among Google's stated goals was to collect more user information going forward. Scroogle was soon blocked by Google. In response, the service was moved to a new server and the source code published so that any who so desired could run Scroogle Scraper on their own computer. Brandt hoped the move would elicit a legal response by Google. He speculated that such a lawsuit would either make Google look bad, or his activity would be ruled legal and the case would "begin to restore a public-interest balance to the Web that has been declining ever since big money got behind the dotcoms." [...]« Source

»According to Alexa data, Scroogle was ranked in the top 4000 sites globally in terms of traffic at the time of its demise. It ranked in the top 2500 for the United States, Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries. The site was handling around 350,000 searches a day.« Source


»The service's name was a reference to both scraping and Ebenezer Scrooge.« Source

Critical points

Features & Functionality

»The service scraped Google search results, removing ads and sponsored links. Only the raw search results were returned, meaning features such as page preview were not available. For added security, Scroogle gave users the option of having all communication between their computer and the search page be SSL encrypted. Although Scroogle's activities technically violated Google's terms of service, Google generally tolerated its existence, whitelisting the site on multiple occasions.« Source


»In 2012, Scroogle began to have problems with Google throttling, being periodically blocked for 90-minute intervals. Google denied targeting Scroogle, saying the site may have been triggering automated anti-spam mechanisms. In February 2012, Scroogle was shut down by its creator. Brandt blamed a DDoS attack by someone with "a personal vendetta" combined with throttling by Google for the site's demise. He stated that his hosting providers had been unable to cope with the collateral damage from t Source

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Klaß, Christian (2012): Scroogle ist tot. Online available at URL:
Schwartz, Barry (2012): Scroogle Shuts Down For Good. Online available at SEARCH ENGINE Roundtable. URL:
Scroogle Service Offers Enhanced Web Privacy. Online available at Accurate Shooter. URL:
Poonawala, Azim (2011): HelplesScroogleness. Online available at Moving Towards Normality. URL:
Anonymisierte Google-Suche über Scroogle ist blockiert. Online available at Zeit Online. URL:

Created: 2013-01-16