Google tends to be a giant gorilla in the room during all SEO discussion. The reason behind this is its dominating market share – according to netmarketshare, Google holds more than 90% of mobile and tablet, and around 80% of desktop global search engine market share.
However, it isn’t the only option. There are literally tons of search engines on the web. Some of them focuses on tech news or research paper, while some provide a single line answer instead of listing millions of pages.
We would like to present you some of the most advanced alternatives to Google that will help you find what Google might not. We are not saying they are better than Google, but some of them are good at performing specific searches. Because our aim is to uncover the things you might not aware of, we haven’t included some big players like Bing, Baidu and Yahoo search.
StartPage was the first search engine to allow users to search privately. None of your details are recorded and no cookies are used, unless you allow it to remember your preferences. It also provides a proxy for those who want to not just search, but browse the internet with full privacy.
In 2014, the company released a privacy protecting email service, called StartMail. As of 2015, the search engine reached its record daily direct queries of 5.7 million (28-day average).
BoardReader is a very useful resource for any type of community research, as it searches forums and message boards. Users can either look for content on the forums or for forums related to the specific topic.
The front-end look quite simple, exactly what forum search engine should look like, but on the back-end they run a robust data business by selling off user’s data to advertising companies.
Founded in 2009, Yippy is a metasearch engine that offers a cluster of results. It’s search technology is used in IBM Watson Explorer (a cognitive exploration and content analysis platform).
With Yippy, you can search different types of content, including news, images, blogs, government data, etc., and filter the results category wise or flag any inappropriate content. Like Google, it lets you view cached webpages and filter results by sources or tag clouds. Also, there is a preview link on each result that shows how content looks like, on the same page.
FindSounds is the perfect search engine for finding sound effects for personal or commercial use. Just filter the results before you begin, using the suitable checkboxes. You can search anything by category, from animal to vehicle sound effects, and the search engine will return you detailed results, along with file format, length and bit-rate information.
Overall, searching sound effects using google is always an option, but FindSounds is perfect sound engine to speed up your search and get the specific element you are looking for.
SearchCode is a free source code and documentation search engine that finds code snippets from open source repositories. It has indexed more than 20 billion lines of code, from projects on Google code, Github, Sourceforge, GitLab, Bitbucket, Codeplex and more.
Most web crawlers face difficulties while searching special characters used in the code. SearchCode overcomes this issue and lets you search for code by method name, variable name, operations, usage, security flaws and by special characters much faster than other code search engines.
GigaBlast is an open source search engine, written in C and C++ programming language. As of 2015, they had indexed more than 12 billion webpages and received billions queries per month. It provides search results to other companies like Zuula, Blingo, Clusty and Snap.
GigaBlast allows you to search with certain customizations and optional parameters, for instance, searching by exact phrase, terms, filetypes, languages and much more.
12. KidRex and Kiddle
KidRex and Kiddle are both child-safe search engine that keeps out age-inappropriate content unfit for consumption for children. Although they are powered by Google Custom Search (utilize Google SafeSearch), they maintain their own database of inappropriate keywords and websites.
The interface of KidRex features hand-drawn crayon and colored marker design, whereas, Kiddle is written in the characteristic colorful Google Style, with a red droid alien on the top waiting to answer your queries.
Also, you will find search results are slightly modified. For instance, if you search Narendra Modi, the search engine would return webpages from sites like famousbirthdays.com, britannica.com, instead of Wikipedia and news websites. The aim is to provide the simple and easy-to-read content that kids could understand without putting a lot of effort.
MetaGer is German-based metasearch engine, developed on 24 small scale web crawlers. It focuses on user’s privacy and makes searches untraceable by leaving no footprint behind. Also, it integrates a proxy server so that users can open any link anonymously from the search results while keeping their IP address hidden from the destination server. This eliminates the chances of advertisers to target you for ads.
The results are obtained from 50 different search engines. Before presenting final results of the query, they are filtered, compiled an sorted.
This is an open source search engine for finding software development project, including new frameworks, libraries and tools. It monitors more than 2.5 million open source libraries across 34 different package managers.
In order to collect the library information, the website uses dominant package manager for each supported programming language. Then, it organizes them by package manager, programming language, license (MIT or GPL), and by keyword.
9. Creative Commons Search
This search engine is extremely useful for bloggers and authors who need content that could be reused in a blog post or commercial applications. It allows users to search for images and contents that are released under the creative commons license.
The website provides social features, allowing users to build and share lists, as well as add tags to the objects in the commons and save their searches. It also offers some useful filters such as, find images that can be used for commercial purpose, or images that can be modified and reused, or search within tags, title and creator.
IxQuick is the metasearch engine that provides the top 10 results from different search engines. In order to rank the results, it uses a ‘star system’ that awards one star to each result that has been returned from a search engine. Therefore, results returned from the most search engines would be at the top.
IxQuick doesn’t store your private details – no history, no query is collected. However, it uses only one cookie, known as ‘preference’, to remember your search preferences for future searches, which automatically gets deleted if you don’t use visit IxQuick for 90 days. Moreover, with around 5.7 million searches per day, the network is growing very fast, and currently supports 17 languages.
Yet another metasearch engine that gets results from multiple search engines (including Google, Bing and Yahoo) and directories and then presents them combined to the user. There is an advanced search option that lets you narrow down searches by exact phrase, date, language, and adult content. Also, you can set your own preference and customize default search settings.
In addition to that, Dogpile recommends related content based on the original search term, keeps track of the 15 most recent searches, and shows recent popular searches from the other users.
6. Internet Archive
It’s a nonprofit digital library that aims to provide universal access to all knowledge. Internet Archive consists of websites, music, images, videos, software applications and games, and around 3 million books that fall under public domain.
As of 2016, Internet archive had 15 petabytes of data, advocating for a free and open Internet. Its web archive, known as Wayback Machine, allows users to search for iterations of a website in the past. It contains more than 308 billion web captures, making it one of the world’s largest digitization projects.
Yandex is the largest search engine in Russia with nearly 65% Russian market share. According the Comscore, it is the fourth largest search engine in the world with over 150 million searches per day as of 2012.
Yandex features a parallel search that shows results from main web index as well as specialized information resources, including blogs, news, image and video webpages, and eCommerce sites. In addition, the search engine provides supplementary information (like sports results), and contains spell checkers, autocomplete functionality and antivirus that detects malicious content on webpages.
WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine that answers factual questions from externally sourced curated data. It does not provide a list of webpages or documents that might contain the specific answer you are looking for. Instead, you get a one-word or one-line, and to-the-point answer.
It is written in Wolfram programming language (contains over 15 million lines of code) and runs on more than 10,000 CPUs. It is based on a computational platform known as Wolfram Mathematica that encompasses numerical computation, computer algebra, statistics and visualization capabilities.
Launched in 1996, Ask.com is a question answering-focused web search engine. Despite its age, Ask is still very active. They have coupled their search-system with a robust questions and answer system with billions of online content.
As of 2014, the website had 180 million global users per month (with a larger user base in the US), and to date, its mobile app has been downloaded over 40 million times. They acquired a social networking site, Ask.fm, where people can ask questions with the option of anonymity. ASKfm handles around 20,000 questions every minute.
Ecosia donates 80% of its profit to plant trees and supports full financial transparency. As of October 2017, the website has reached the milestone of 15 million trees planted. In 2015, the company was shortlisted for the European Tech Startups Awards under the ‘Best European Startup Aimed at Improving Society’ category.
The search result(s) of Ecosia is powered by Bing and Ecosia’s own search algorithms. The company claims that it takes 45 searches to fund the planting of single tree, and they assure that algorithms can easily detect fake clicks and invalidate them. Currently, it’s the default search engine of Vivaldi, Waterfox and Polarity web browser.
DuckDuckGo is the best alternative option available out there. The search engine doesn’t collect any of your personal information or store your history. They don’t follow around you with ads because they have nothing to sell to advertisers.
DuckDuckGo doesn’t provide personalized results – all users will see the same results for a given search query. Rather than returning thousands of results, it emphasizes on returning the best results, and extracts those results from more than 400 sources. It’s a smart search engine (uses semantic search technique like Google) that depends on a highly evolved contextual library for intuiting the user’s intent.