> If you don't mind me asking, is the money through the 'promoted' sections sustainable enough for a search engine?
Sustainable to cover the cost of the service? Absolutely, it will do that, but it is not scalable that it would support the needed revenue to be the next Google (or even DDG for that matter).
Committing to privacy and user-center features eliminates a lot of scalable monetization strategies, and I am completely OK with that. I started and continue to work on Runnaroo because I love trying to solve the problem of building a better alternative search engine option.
Error fetching alternatives
<h1>We're sorry...</h1><p>... but your computer or network may be sending automated queries. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.</p></div><div style=\"margin-left: 4em;\">See <a href=\"https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/86640\">Google Help</a> for more information.
Nice interface and idea on how you do this : "When I am exploring alternatives to a product or service, I often to go Google, type "[product] vs ", and just see what it autocompletes. That usually tells me the most popular competitors. If I want to be thorough I'll do the same for the competitors, etc.
This tool just does that automatically for you."
I miss google doing this for us by aggregating collections of useful blogs and articles written by people thoughtfully comparing things, but now google is too busy giving sites like this and all the others ranking, starving actually useful resources of oxygen.