I have written short Leaflets (and one full article) on unusual search engines from our Koko Analytics referrer logs. Today, I present to you the BananaSlug search engine. To the best of my knowledge, we have no BananaSlug referrals. Instead, I was referred to this search engine by New Leaf Journal reader Merle Hall.

BananaSlug works by adding a random word to your search query. After placing your query in a search box, you choose from one of fifteen categories. BananaSlug then chooses a random word from the chosen category and adds it to your query.

Most alternative search engines and tools use Bing’s search index. Many force me to dig for that information. However, BananaSlug notes that it is “powered by Bing” on its homepage, so that saved me a bit of effort.

BananaSlug has no privacy policy, but I confirmed with uBlock Origin in advanced mode that one only needs to allow scripts from the bananaslug.com domain to execute searches. BananaSlug includes scripts from Google on its homepage and Facebook on its results page, but it works with those scripts blocked.

BananaSlug search is fun, but it is not a useful search engine in the sense that one would use it to find information. Moreover, I would sooner recommend a specialized small web search engine like Marginalia Search or Wiby for finding interesting sites outside of Google’s and Bing’s indexes. I can think of one potential use-case for it (besides fun): Finding blog topic ideas.

Public domain photo of a banana slug by Chris F. on Pexels (https://www.pexels.com/photo/banana-slug-brown-orange-outdoors-1184023/)
Public domain photo of a banana slug by Chris F. on Pexels (https://www.pexels.com/photo/banana-slug-brown-orange-outdoors-1184023/)