Website link: https://www.kidzsearch.com/
This review covers the internet website and not the apps for mobile devices and not the browser add-ons that are also available.
KidzSearch is a website which means you can use it without installing any local software. It is available in any browser. It can be set as the default search page for your local browser like any of the other kid-friendly search sites from our list. That means it also has limitations which it shares with all of the website driven kid-friendly and kid-safe search site. There is no actual control to stop ordinary internet searches. If the user types their search terms into the browser search bar rather than the webpage search bar then all of the protections that the website offers are quickly bypassed either intentionally or accidentally.
Websites as control mechanisms alone are not terribly effective to control access to inappropriate content. But as part of a comprehensive set of monitoring and control layers, they can be an important tool. Certainly, these types of search websites clearly offer more peace of mind than regular internet-wide unfiltered search results.
Note: This review is for the website spelled with a ‘z’ and not an ‘s’ at the end of ‘kid’. There is another kid-friendly, kid-safe website with the ‘s’ spelling. That review can be found Here.
KidzSearch describes a number of shortcomings with internet search for kids. The fact that Google has a SafeSearch function but its default setting is “moderate” whereas KidzSearch ensures it is always set to “strict” for their searches. The problem with strictly curated websites is that they cannot possibly keep up with the growth in valuable and appropriate internet content. Classic Google searches keep up with current content but are not restrictive enough for students. KidzSearch steps into that gap and provides Goggle search results, filtered for “strict” content and also with additional filtering of search terms and websites through a curation process.
Since KidzSearch uses both Google Custom Search and Google SafeSearch, and they allow advertisements. They also solicit their own advertisers on their website. This is a different model that Kid’s Search which operates as a non-profit which allows them to use unlimited Google searches without advertisements but also limits their funding options forcing them to solicit donations. One approach is not better than the other unless you have an issue with the ads that are allowed on KidzSearch or ads in general.
Like most of the kid-friendly and kid-safe search sites, KidzSearch has the basic features of a search bar, popular links and a select group of categories like games, videos, etc. KidzSearch has an additional feature that allows the user to turn off all of the extras in favor of just the search bar. This setting is for the current browser configuration and does not carry over to other devices or browsers since there is no login associated with the Kidzsearch website. The site can also be slightly customized with background images of popular kid shows and characters for kids.
Popular Links (sample):
In addition, KidzSearch uses additional filtering technology as described in this graphic from their website. As you can see, part of their filtering process depends on feedback from their user community.