We all know and love Google. Or at least, we all know Google. But as Google search becomes increasingly unreliable and driven by cryptic, secretive algorithms rather than more human-friendly methods of responding to search queries, you might be wanting to try out other search engines instead.
There are alternative search engines to Google search available, and each leading search engine has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Are you looking for images, videos, or Google books? A creative commons search? an unbiased search engine? An anonymous search engine? An open-source search engine? All these, and many other search engines too, are available if you know where to look.
We are all too quick to assume any search engine to be a direct competitor to Google, such as Bing or Yahoo, but the fact is that there are specialty search engines and platforms available, such as YouTube and GIPHY, that provide a certain type of result, a specific file format, or something else within a narrow category.
One of the primary reasons people prefer to use an alternate search engine is to improve their privacy, as Google is known to collect user data for both internal and third-party purposes.
If you have only ever used Google, try some of the other search engines to see if you can discover anything you like more.
It is not just Google out there! In this blog post, we are going to look at some of the best alternative search engines out there, helping you to get answers just as good as Google’s search results with none of the downsides of the largest search engine in the world.
Table of Contents
DuckDuckGo is a popular search engine for those who see their privacy as non-negotiable and are concerned about their every query being tracked and logged.
Your search history is preserved in an unidentified format. This means that tracking cookies and personal information like IP addresses are not saved.
Despite the fact that DuckDuckGo’s results have been gathered from over 400 sources (including Microsoft’s Bing), the company guarantees its consumers that no personal information is shared with them.
The same can be said about DuckAssist, a new sort of InstantAnswer in DuckDuckGo’s SERPs that is powered by big language models from OpenAI and Anthropic. According to DuckDuckGo, it does not share any data with its two content partners.
One disadvantage of DuckDuckGo is that it is based in the United States, which conducts mass surveillance programs such as PRISM.
It offers a very clean layout with very little advertising and endless scrolling, resulting in a pleasant and streamlined user experience. There is no user tracking, and you can even use DuckDuckGo’s browser plugin to keep your activities secret.
Bangs, a feature of the search engine, enables it to function as something of a metasearch engine, allowing you to search straight into another page from DuckDuckGo by inputting a bang search prefix. Typing “!ebay used furniture” would, for example, send you directly to eBay’s search results for the query “used furniture.”
Bing is probably the second most popular search engine in the world after Google in the general search engines category, largely thanks to being the default search engine of the Microsoft Edge browser.
It loses quite a lot of points for currently being driven by ChatGPT. However, this system uses an environmentally irresponsible amount of water every time you send a search query, and ChatGPT itself is entirely built on data stolen from writers without consent.
That being said, Bing’s results are not much worse than Google search results. That is not the highest recommendation out there, but it has a very familiar interface for web searches, some good search tools such as image search, video searches, and the ability to search forums.
This is one of the most user-friendly Google alternatives out there, with a pretty good search experience for images, videos, and more. Many people use Microsoft Bing despite its problematic environmental cost, and it remains one of the most successful search engine choices other than Google.
It is simple to use and offers a more visual experience with charming daily backdrop photographs. Bing is ideal for video search results since it presents results as huge thumbnails with sound that can be heard by hovering over them.
While you are probably acquainted with Bing, you may not be aware that it has a Rewards program. When you shop or search on Bing, you earn points that can be used to buy applications and movies through the Microsoft store, which is very convenient if you already use that storefront.
Yahoo has been around even longer than Google, and while some consider it antiquated, Yahoo used to be one of the most important search engines in the world. Now, however, it controls less than 3.5% of the market.
We should not be too quick to dismiss Yahoo’s decline in popularity, as it is still the third-largest search engine in the United States. Yahoo’s search results resemble those of Bing (which is not unexpected given that Bing powers Yahoo search), but they are not as aesthetically appealing.
Users, on the other hand, report that this platform is a good place to start when looking for services related to news, sports, and finance. It is also the default first search engine for the popular Firefox web browser.
One of the best features of Yahoo is that it is so much more than a search engine. Yahoo’s web portal provides email, news, online shopping, gaming, and other services in one location, providing a well-rounded user experience.
Because of its full integration with Flickr, Yahoo Answers, and Yahoo Finance, it provides superior image results and vast amounts of information on a variety of topics.
It used to rely on Google and Bing for its SERPs, but it has now achieved total search independence. Every web result now has its own index. You may disable this setting and do manual searches if you want greater privacy, however.
However, in 2020, Brave was discovered automatically inserting affiliate links to Bitcoin URLs. This is unavoidably shady, and many internet users now prefer to avoid Brave Search in favor of search engines that gain money from advertising revenue rather than the environmental disaster that is Bitcoin.
Brave, like Bing and Google Bard, has a new AI function called “Summariser” that gives brief and to-the-point responses. Just like Microsoft Bing and Google’s AI results, this tends to collate multiple sources without any accuracy or critical faculty, presenting a short summary that looks plausible but may well be completely inaccurate and full of falsehoods and statements taken out of content.
Did you realize that your Google searches have an environmental impact? CO2 emissions are produced by all server resources used in the systems that power your searches. Ecosia sought to address this issue, so they launched their own ecologically friendly search engine.
They not only employ 100% renewable energy servers, but they also use the cash earned from user queries to plant trees and help charity groups. Roughly every 45 searches, Ecosia will plant a new tree.
They also do not employ third-party trackers or sell your data to advertising companies. Ecosia is the search engine for you if you care about the environment and want your online searches to benefit a good cause.
And you do not need to worry about the quality of search results, either – like many search engines on the search market, Ecosia uses a combination of Bing and their own search algorithms to find the answers to each search term you use.
Startpage.com boasts that it is the world’s most private search engine. This comment sparked a lot of media attention, as well as a third-party examination by the European Privacy Seal. The good news is that the claim seems to be fairly accurate. This private search engine seems much more secure than most other sites!
The ‘no-logs’ policy of Startpage.com backs up their assertions. Because of the ‘no-logs’ policy, the search engine has no idea who its users are. They do not save searchers’ IP addresses or tracking cookies.
Startpage.com is the best search engine option if you just want relevant results with the assurance that they prioritize privacy. This is a real privacy-based search engine, keeping no search data from users and focusing on being a private search engine that gets results.
MetaGer is an open-source metasearch engine headquartered in Germany. Its servers are powered by renewable energy.
Scopia, Bing, OneNewspage, and OneNewspage (Video) are used to generate the results, which are quite current. In the options, you may also deselect the search engines utilized or establish a blacklist of websites.
MetaGer’s handling of user information, from inquiries to maps, is unusually transparent. However, there are certain potential issues. If you make a search with MetaGer, it saves your entire IP address for 96 hours, as well as keeping your name and email address if you make use of the contact form on the MetaGer website.
It does, however, make use of an anonymizing proxy service to guarantee that you keep complete control over your data. Overall, this is a pretty good alternative search engine to use if you want unbiased search results and a search encrypt system.
Many people associate YouTube with social media, but secretly, it is really the world’s second-biggest search engine. It is just one that only offers you videos from its own web index.
YouTube, unlike Google, is a video search engine. It will not help you locate blog entries or informational pieces, but there is no better alternative for video material. And nowadays, there is a video for almost anything you may want to know.
However, it is worth noting that YouTube is owned by Google, in addition to Google’s own search engine, so if you have a problem with the firm as a whole, YouTube might not be the best alternative search engine for you.
On the surface, Search Encrypt appears to be quite similar to Google, which is not necessarily a major problem.
The emphasis for most search engines is clearly on one thing: persuading a user to search.
Search Encrypt’s purpose, on the other hand, is to preserve your privacy by identifying queries that may be traced and linked to your personal information. It intercepts those queries and sends them to Search Encrypt’s privacy-enhanced search engine, which becomes your default search engine.
Unlike some of the other options, it does keep your search history for 30 minutes. That is not a huge amount of time, however, and this private search engine is generally one of the best search engines for privacy-conscious users.
Mojeek is a crawler-based search engine with over 6 billion pages in its index. This makes it ideal for providing unbiased information. However, because it does not extract results from other search engines, it may produce more limited results than most search engines.
It was the first search engine to prohibit tracking. Your personal information will never be sold or otherwise shared, which is a significant positive in our opinion. According to the GDPR, if you filled out its contact form, you can also request that the information be removed.
Having said that, Mojeek is located in the United Kingdom, which is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence collaboration. If your definition of the best alternative search engines requires a non-surveillance-focused host country, Mojeek may not be the one for you.
For most people in search of alternative search engines, however, Mojeek’s strengths are more than enough to outweigh this minor downside.
Qwant, created in France, is a privacy-focused search engine that will not record your queries or use your personal information for advertising purposes. Qwant’s search results are powered by Bing as well as its own web crawler. It is available in over 30 countries but not in Singapore.
The user-friendly design divides search results into online, news, and social categories, and there is also a dedicated music area that employs AI to help you search for lyrics and find new songs. It is easy to filter results through Qwant to ensure that you find the latest blog post or new song that you want.
It employs a quick-search tool that allows you to access external search results by entering “&” in front of the name of a website (or a specialized shortcode). For example, “&w” or “&wikipedia” allow you to view Wikipedia results straight from Qwant.
Qwant promises to be private, claiming not to monitor your whereabouts, gather users data, or use tracking cookies. It does, however, save your IP address for fraud detection reasons. In addition, in 2016, Qwant began providing data to Microsoft Bing Ads without its users’ informed consent. This was only revealed in mid-2021.
While Qwant provides GDPR compliance, France is a member of the Nine Eyes intelligence organization.
This charity-led search engine is gaining pace as the world becomes more aware of the devastation we are causing to our seas and oceans. Ekoru says that each search contributes to the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup and Operation Posidonia. They also claim that hydroelectricity powers all of their servers.
This is a truly ethical search engine, and everything has been designed with the environment in mind. A search on Ekoru contributes to the cleaning of our seas.
Ekoru can also be considered a privacy-focused search engine alternative to Google. This is because another advantage of this eco-friendly search engine is its dedication to encrypting all data and not keeping any of your queries on its servers.
Unsplash is one of the best alternatives to Google image search. Images are a vital element of our contact with companies, whether you are set to publish your next blog post, searching for engaging graphics to use on social media, or even a stunning photo to utilize as part of your company’s printed marketing material. However, as we all know, stock pictures can be pretty costly.
Unsplash is a search engine that can help you locate free photos for your projects without having to worry about copyright. So, before you go to Google Images and fret over securing the rights to an image, know that Unsplash provides you with free usage of all photographs. This is a fantastic source of freely usable images and a great alternative to Google Image search.
Swisscows is a search engine established in Switzerland that offers its own index for German-language searches. Bing returns results for all other languages. However, this is not a problem because all search searches are stripped of personal information.
The search engine does not employ tracking cookies or geo-targeting.
The family-friendliness of Swisscows is their unique selling proposition. It filters away violent and pornographic search results automatically. This is not a selling point for all users, but if you want to guarantee SFW results for all your search queries, SwissCows is one of the safest alternative search engines out there.
SwissCows also offers a music search system, enabling it to really compete with Google results. The SwissCows music search system is powered by SoundCloud.
In terms of privacy, Switzerland is not a member of any intelligence alliance, although it does have a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States.
SearX is a metasearch engine that provides unbiased results from several sources in order to give a free, decentralized perspective of the internet.
SearX provides various choices and features not available on other popular search engines, resulting in excellent usability and quick, exact results. There is no private data here: all the code behind SearX is fully open source.
It is an open-source search engine that anybody may inspect the source code for and contribute to on GitHub. You can even alter it and run it on your own server as your own search engine.
Most of the big, well-known search engines like Google track your data in order to sell it to advertisers and make money.
Because search is free, search engines must generate revenue through advertising. Search engines require data in order to deliver better adverts and assist marketers in reaching customers more efficiently.
But what if that is not always the case? Kagi offers an alternative business model for search engines. Kagi has chosen a subscription strategy over the traditional advertising model.
Will consumers be concerned enough about privacy and Google’s dominance to pay to use a search engine? Kagi surely believes so. With over 2,500 paying subscribers, Kagi is certainly offering something promising to lure users away from Google with their searches.
Gibiru might not be one of the most popular alternatives to Google, but it is secretly one of the best search engines around.
The tagline of Gibiru is “Unfiltered private search,” and that is precisely what it provides. Search requests are not recorded on Gibiru’s servers, and the records are deleted seconds after the search is completed.
By installing the AnonymoX Firefox add-on, you may have all of your searches routed through a proxy IP address. This ensures that other computer users cannot monitor your history and gives you private and bias-free search results. It is far more private and secure than Google.
Want to use Google without being tracked? Try out Whoogle.
The main disadvantage of utilizing Whoogle is that you must be somewhat technically savvy in order to set it up on your computer. To get it up and going, you will need to utilize Github and a lot of technical documentation.
Given this, it is evident that it is not for everyone. However, if you know how to program and are concerned about privacy, you should seriously consider Whoogle or SearX as alternative search engines to Google.
If you have used social media or chats in the last several years, you are probably familiar with the conversational value of an animated GIF. Finding the appropriate one for use in a presentation, your newest blog article, or just to share on social media is critical.
Google Images has some gifs, but nothing compares to GIPHY’s gif library. GIPHY has over 10 billion pieces of content, many of which you may have seen on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms.
GIFs are ubiquitous, but nothing beats GIPHY when it comes to finding the perfect GIF. This search engine is not an alternative to Google, but it fills a very specific and valuable niche.
SEO for Alternative Search Engines
Optimizing your website for search engines other than Google does not need to be a massively strenuous and challenging experience.
Take the time to learn how each search engine works and what distinguishes it from Google. Because format-specific search engines are not a direct replacement for Google, you must understand how their algorithms function. You will get better results and more relevant visitors if you correctly optimize for various search engine formats.
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