Google has been at the forefront of providing search results to internet users for over 30 years of the existence of the internet. Google is globally a household name in terms of search engine result provision for the more than 3 billion people who have access to the internet globally.
You may be wondering if there are other search engine options to Google, given how popular the use of Google search engine has been and continues to be among internet resources users. Well, several other search engines can serve as an alternative to Google.
Some of these search engines are better search results than Google depending on what you are searching for. Before we proceed, let us remind you what search engines are, their functions, and their role in internet searches.
- What is a Search Engine?
- Types Of Search Engines
- Categories Of Search Engines
- 10 Best Alternative Search Engines To Google
What is a Search Engine?
Search engines are information retrieval systems. They retrieve information when queried for such information using links, pictures, or conducting text searches. Search engines store documents and provide interfaces to them, generally in a structured form.
A search engine, or web crawler, is a program that locates and indexes content on the World Wide Web. This is why search engine results are sometimes called “lists of lists”.
Ever since the internet has been around, we have searched for information. They have changed the way we live and interact with each other. Search engines are pretty popular, but they aren’t in the best interests of us, the end-user. Every time you use a search engine, you leave behind data collected and used against you sometimes by the search engine operators.
Search engines also track the most common searches among their users and show those results more often. This creates a problem where people are only exposed to one side of an argument or topic because the other side never shows up in their results because of preference. This act by the search engine operators is known as “censorship by omission” in the guise that they give you results based on your choice.
The new generation of search engines gives power to users by decentralizing search engines, and they’re used to prevent control of search engines by a select few people at Google, Yahoo, and Bing. These new search engine projects give more control over the users themselves, which takes away the ability of these large companies to manipulate the search engine operations and search results.
Search engines can be categorized into two broad groups: web search engines and metasearch engines. Both groups crawl the web, but they do so differently.
A web search engine’s crawling and indexing are based on hyperlinks. In contrast, a metasearch engine crawls the web without using hyperlinks but instead starts at a set of known sites (usually major reference sites like Wikipedia or Directories) and follows links from those pages to find additional relevant pages.
Search engines rank their results based on an algorithm that factors in the number and quality of links to the page from other pages and any relevance of the content itself. Some companies’ websites are specifically optimized to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The top search engines are Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft’s Bing, with Google being the leader in search engine popularity. Several specialized search engines focus on a particular niche, such as shopping or technical issues.
Google is the biggest search engine in the world. Google processes many search requests on the web at more than 70% of all search requests. Google also has a search engine market share of more than 86%. Bing and Yahoo follow with 6.79% and 2.75% respectively of the percentage of the entire search results requests on the world wide web.
Accepting a search engine’s results as authoritative is dangerous because search engines don’t always give you the best information. On the contrary, they often return recently changed results to match the search terms you typed in. This practice is known as “search engine optimization” (SEO). Search engines have also been known to bury pages that disagree with their political biases or challenge their corporate sponsors.
Types Of Search Engines
There are several search engines based on their method of performing search queries on the world wide web. Some search engines use a crawler that travels around the internet and “crawls” through sites looking for new content, while others index pages from other websites or cache files stored locally. A query is then sent to a server that retrieves the files from the site and returns them to the user.
There are three different types of search engines:
- Search Engines Based on Crawling
- Search Engines Based on Directories
- Crawler-Based Search Engines
Search Engines Based on Crawling
Crawling searches the World Wide Web, starting from seed URLs and following links from pages it finds to other pages. The most famous crawler is probably Google, which does not release details about its crawling strategy. Other crawlers include those used by Yahoo! (called IndexTank), AltaVista, Infoseek, Inktomi, Teoma, and Northern Light.
Search Engines Based on Directories
Directory-based search engines index information in other sources that they consider reliable rather than getting their information directly from web pages. They then search this non-web information using techniques similar to those used by web search engines like Google or Yahoo!. The best-known directory search engine is probably LookSmart.
Crawler-Based Search Engines
These hybrid systems use both a crawler and directories to get their information. Most crawler/directory combinations rely on the directories for most of their information about web pages and supplement this with additional data gathered by the crawler itself.
Categories Of Search Engines
Search engines can be grouped according to the demography of people they serve, public or private. Search engines can be classified into three different categories:
- Private Search Engines
- Specific Search Engines
- General Purpose Search Engines
Private Search Engines
These search engines do not track your activity or record your IP address. Private search engines may sometimes be paid for to ensure the safety of your privacy and to keep the search engine confidential. Some search engines that provide personal searching of information are DuckDuckGo and Startpage. Startpage does not store cookies on your computer, which helps maintain your privacy significantly. Private search engines can have advantages, such as not tracking your online activities. Private search engines tend to provide more relevant results due to their lack of personalization.
Specific Search Engines
Some users may be looking for a specialized type of website. This is where specific search engines can come in handy. The particular search engines help users get their search query results based on the specific niches or topics. The search engine will only return actionable results regarding your search query topic.
General Search Engine
These are search engines that are entirely open to the public, such as Google search engine. The general search engine serves search functions for all types of search queries. Most of the available search engine saves cookies on your devices, store your device information such as IP address, browser type, age, date of birth, gender… All these data could be collected by hackers or sold to shady agencies; hence possess a high-risk level. The majority of internet users deploy general search engines in their search queries for information on the internet.
Results can also classify search engines. There are search engines that display results as images [Pin Interest, Dribbble, Imgur, Juxtapost], text [Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo], and videos [YouTube and Vimeo]
10 Best Alternative Search Engines To Google
Google remains the biggest and most popular search engine globally, but that does not make it the absolute best and the only search engine choice to request information on the internet. Since Google is the default search engine in most mobile and desktop browsers, it is easy to ignore other search engines and see Google as the very best.
We would be looking at twenty other search engines that are an alternative to google and better than Google in certain aspects. Some of these search engines offer private search engine queries of information, a better quality of results, no tracking of your online activities, and many more advanced features.
Bing is a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. The service has its origins in Microsoft’s previous search engines: MSN Search and later Bing and Live Search. Bing provides various search services, including web, video, image, and map search products.
Bing incorporates technology from its previous tries at building a rival search engine to Google.
It features WebCrawler, Inktomi, and Powerset technologies. Bing Maps provides street maps, aerial photography, satellite images, and traffic conditions.
Lately, Google has been accused of bias by several independent news outlets for favoring its products and services over those of its competitors. Overall, the reports have been good for Google’s competitors, particularly Microsoft Bing. The latter, which is the closest to Google in terms of market share, has gained 2% since January among U.S. internet users, according to data from ComScore.
Bing has a reward program. It is the search engine where you earn points with each search you perform, and then you can exchange them for gift cards and buy apps and movies of your choice from Microsoft Store. In essence, Bing pays users for letting it access their data.
Yahoo is a search engine that finds information on the internet. David Filo and Jerry Yang created it in 1994. It is one of the most used search engines around the world. It has many features that make it an excellent resource for finding information. Yahoo began as a directory of websites organized by categories and subcategories. The portal website was an early form of search engine and remains the most common one today.
Yahoo is more than just a search engine; it is also a portal site with email, news, music, movies, and shopping. Yahoo has over 2 billion searches a day, about 650 million per month. Yahoo is the third-largest web search engine online, with over 63 million visits per month. Yahoo! has several specialized search engines designed for different kinds of information. For example, you can use Yahoo! Shopping to find products for sale online or on television; you can also use Yahoo! Finance to look for stock prices or company information.
DuckduckGo is a relatively young search engine but already top-rated and widespread. It was founded in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg and Scott Wolfman as an alternative to Google search. DuckduckGo is not a commercial project, so it has no ads and is free of charge.
Duckduckgo is seemingly an anti-Google search engine. It doesn’t collect or share the personal information of its users, has no ads, and even comes as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
It’s also fast and responsive. DuckduckGo is touted as a private search engine given the absence of intrusive ads on the search engine, just like you would find on Google. DuckduckGo protects its users by default settings when using the search engine or website by making your data private and not collecting them.
The website is commonly believed to have a “clean” interface with additional features on offer, including a built-in review system, which allows users to rate websites based on their perceived accuracy and helpfulness, and an option that will enable users to search anonymously. The information collected by the DuckduckGo search engine is retained for up to 60 days to improve the service’s ranking algorithm, then deleted from the company’s servers.
DuckDuckGo has very nice features, some of which are “!bangs feature” by using this feature and simply typing “!” you can choose to tell DuckDuckGo to search directly on a specific website of your choice. Another cool part is finding out that if a website is down on the search engine, you need to type “Is (website’s name) down?” the search engine will return clear-cut search results and tell you the website’s current status immediately.
Swisscows is a search engine based on the COWS algorithm as described in the paper “COWS: Content-based OpenSearch Web Services” by Martin Atzmueller and John Dean. Swisscows returns results, organized by relevance, from a set of global web services that have agreed to be included in the index. The search term is parsed into a query object used to retrieve result objects, each of which contains full text and metadata information about a single result.
You can use Swisscows like any other search engine. Still, it also exposes all its functionality through an API so that you can build your tools, mashups or perform specialized searches using custom criteria. Swisscows has several features that are not easily seen on other search engines. Some of these features are the search engine allows users to upload videos, pictures, and essays onto the site and share them with the rest of the world.
If users want to find something on Swisscows, they can do an image search or use one of the ten categories, including science, current events, or entertainment. The search engine website allows users to edit pictures by adding text or drawings through an embedded tool.
This is a Russian-based search engine, and it is also one of the most popular search engines globally. Yandex is the fifth most significant search engine in the world, with a user interface that is clean and friendly. The search engine offers excellent features: Yandex Mail, News, Translate, Disk for cloud storage, AppMetrica for marketing and analytics, Map, Browser, and Ads display.
Yandex was founded in 1997 by Arkady Volozh. The search engine is based on the same technology as Google, with one crucial difference: it uses its crawler, which is called YandexBot.YandexBot can index sites up to 50 times faster than Google, and It can work around spam and block sites that are inaccessible to users.
Yandex is much more difficult to hack. Hence the system is less vulnerable to attacks from hackers trying to push their sites higher.
OneSearch is a search engine that provides more reliable search results than Google, as its effects are from certified library sources. OneSearch is a private search engine that does not track users’ cookies ID, is free to use, and does not store your IP address or search history.
OneSearch has inbuilt citation features for APA, MLA, and Chicago citations to help users with their articles for references and citations. This makes OneSearch a choice search engine for research compared to Google, which does not cite and reference its sources.
This free, private search engine will never profile you, track cookies, store your IP addresses, log your search history, or sell your data. It is the perfect search engine for everyday internet users that want to remain anonymous while getting accurate results.
SearX is a metasearch engine that allows users to search several search engines simultaneously. SearX is a metasearch engine, which is different from what most people think of as a search engine. It doesn’t search the internet for you; it just helps you find the suitable search engines to use and then lets you search them all at once.
The distinguishing feature of SearX is that it makes it possible to combine different search engines into one query. SearX uses the results from the various search engines next to each other on a single page, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
As SearX is not a search engine itself, its sources can be changed – added or removed – without making any significant impact on SearX’s infrastructure. There are already many sources available for SearX users to choose from when conducting their searches, although some are more active than others at this time.
SearX was initially intended to be an open-source search engine. The first couple of versions were built on existing open-source technologies like Lucene and Solr.
But as SearX grew and added new features, we decided it made more sense to switch to a new platform built from scratch. This new version is entirely open-source, so SearX will always be a free and decentralized search engine.
This is another private search engine you can trust not to track your online activities. Qwant anonymizes your IP address and doesn’t track you anywhere on the web. Plus, if you type “&” with a shortcode before a search query, e.g. “&w (search query)” and search on Qwant, it will directly take you to the website corresponding to that shortcode.
Qwant has two main modes of operation. One is a regular search engine; you can set the language and country as explained above, but otherwise, it works pretty much like any other search engine. The other involves choosing “Qwants.” Qwants are specialized searches that are linked up with websites that Qwant thinks will be useful for the topic you searched for
Qwants Video search results use a similar algorithm as Bing. Qwant uses an AI tool to deliver music search results with details like the album name, artist, and the song titles for any lyric you type in from the song.
Startpage is a Dutch search engine offering the same services as Google. The main difference between Startpage and Google search engine is that Startpage does not save any information about your searches or IP address. This makes Startpage an excellent choice when you want to hide your data or protect others from it.
Startpage was founded in 1998 by Robert Beens, who had a vision of creating a search engine that would be “the search engine for people who care about their privacy.” He started with the slogan “Google without the tracking.” Nowadays, Startpage has grown into one of the most popular privacy-focused search engines on the internet.
Startpage, before forwarding your search query to Google, the Startpage Search engine detaches all your information from your question so that no one can snoop in and see who you are and what you are searching for on the internet.
Startpage combines results from Ixquick and Google; this it does while still keeping you anonymous and not requesting users to log in. Startpage has features like Startpage Proxy and Ixquick Proxy, which protect your details about you or where you are accessing a website.
Gibiru is a private search engine that allows you to search the web without saving your browsing history, IP address, browser type, device type, or tracking your internet activities online.
This feature makes Gibiru more preferred as a search engine than Google, which saves your browsing history and tracks your device IP addresses and your activities all over the internet. Gibiru does not do user profiling and lets you decide how you would receive your search results, either all results or uncensored results for whatever category of search you’re carrying out.
Gibiru is a search engine that also provides VPN service. Gibiru’s primary goal is to provide you with the easiest, fastest, and most reliable way to access any website or content that is restricted within your country’s boundaries while remaining completely anonymous.
Search engines have become essential tools since the age of the internet and databases, where information is stored for retrieval whenever needed. Google has dominated the search engine industry for so long, but several other search engines were working on cutting down the dominance of Google in that respect.
Some of these search engines, as discussed, have excellent features that make them better than Google in specific niches of search engine services.