I saw a new URL in our Koko Analytics referrals:  search.mapquest.com/serp

Mapquest? Is that still a thing? Moreover, assuming arguendo that Mapquest is a thing, why would we turn up in Mapquest? We do not have a storefront, and the only maps that we have are a few Open Street Maps embeds.

I discovered that Mapquest has a general-use search engine in addition to its maps tool. The homepage for the search has a link to System1, which is the ad-tech company behind Startpage, a privacy-focused search engine which distinguishes itself from others in that space by using Google’s search index instead of Bing’s (or in the case of Brave and Mojeek, its own). Unsurprisingly, a few test searches revealed that Mapquest, like Startpage, also uses Google’s index (I recently reviewed Norton Safe Search, another tool which ultimately relies on Google). However, it is a very minimalist search engine, returning nothing but results and offering no sorting options. Its privacy policy is lacking compared to Startpage’s. Suffice it to say, if you want a Google front-end, Startpage is a superior option in every way. I am not sure why Mapquest offers a general search option or why it is so lacking in features and functionality, but I will file it away as an interesting discovery.