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The Best Alternatives to Google Search Engine

There has always been concerns around Google's approach to managing user data. Some internet users are actively looking for alternatives to Google that afford them the online privacy and tracking protection they need.


Google's changes to its Privacy Policy in 2012 enabled it to share data across a wide variety of services, including millions of third-party websites that use AdSence and Google Analytics. This policy has been widely criticized for creating an environment that discourages Internet-innovation by making Internet users more fearful and wary of what they do online. This still doesn't change the fact that Google is far more superior to any other search engine because of its multifunctional search capability. Below are some key features that makes Google stand out from other search engines.


  1. Google's Advanced Image Search - This function allows you to specify features about the images you are looking for. For example you could specifying whether the image is a face, photo, clip arts, or line drawings. You can also search within images labeled for reuse commercially and with modifications.

  2. Google Advanced Search - This gives you total control of your search parameters, allowing you to narrow down the search results that Google generates. For example you can filter your search results down to "exact words and phrases". You can also filter down your result by file type, Safe Search (explicit content) and usage rights.

  3. Google Video Search - This allows you to search for videos on any topic and filter your results by duration, video source, video quality, time of upload, etc.

  4. Google Scholar- If you are a researcher or you are looking for articles, books, abstracts, court opinions, or a thesis published by an academic, then Google Scholar is the best search function for you.

  5. Google Books - Google Advanced Book search allows you undertake search queries in books. You can also find entire books published online which might be available to download via PDF, if they were uploaded to a public domain.

  6. Google Trend - This allows you to search for trends online using keywords or phrases. You can search for trend based on region, country or continent.

  7. Google Lens - This is an AI driven Google app that allows users identify objects through their smartphone cameras. All they have to do is direct their cameras at the object and ask Google Assistant what it is.

  8. Google Maps -  Google Maps is a navigation and location finding app/SaaS. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bike, air and public transportation.


In addition to the features listed above, here are some statistics about Google from Oberlo:

  1. Google is the most visited website globally, with the search engine been visited more than 80 billion times in one month.

  2. Google currently dominates the Search Engine market. It was estimated that as of January 2022, Google had 91.9% share of the search engine market.


The Infographics below provides a statistical summary of Google's performance as a search engine.


Oberlo statistics on Google

If you don't want to use Google for any specific reason, here are some alternative search engines you might find useful.

DuckDuckGo

1. DuckDuckGo - DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine focused on providing the privacy of its users. It is a search engine specifically design to provide Tracking Protection, Smarter Encryption, Private Search, Email Protection, and much more. For over a decade, they have built products, created new technology, and worked with policymakers to make online privacy simple and accessible for everyone. Due to the nature of this search engines' anonymity, it is impossible to know how many people use DuckDuckGo, but it is still a great alternative to Google.

Ecosia Search Engine | The Business Anecdote

2. Ecosia - Ecosia is a German based search engine that considers itself to be a social business. They claim to be CO2-negative, supports full financial transparency, and protects the privacy of its users. Ecosia search results are provided by Bing . Ecosia is a great alternative to Google if you are concerned about the use of your data or your carbon footprint.

Dogpile Social Engine | The Business Anecdote

3. Dogpile - Dogpile is an metasearch engine for information on the Internet, and it compiles search results from other search engines lines Google, Bing and Yandex.

WolframAlpha Search Engine | The Business Anecdote

4. WolframAlpha - WolframAlpha is an Answer search engine developed by Wolfram Research. It answers factual queries by gathering data from academic and commercial websites such as Chambers' Biographical Dictionary, the United States Geological Survey, Dow Jones, the Catalogue of Life, CrunchBase, etc.

Gigablast Search Engine | The Business Anecdote

5. Gigablast - Gigablast is an open-source search engine. While it doesn’t always get things right, it does provide a retro look, returns results quickly, and offers a predictive search feature similar to that of the now-defunct Google Instant. Gigablast has teamed up with freenode to create a next generation private search engine called private.sh. It is the only web search engine that uses encryption to ensure privacy.

Startpage Search Engine | The Business Anecdote

6. Startpage - Startpage is another search engine focused on protecting the privacy of their users and providing Tracking protection. It allows you to search the internet without cookies or trackers. They also offer a Chrome plug-in so you can keep using Google and protect your privacy at the same time. 

Qwant search engine | The Business Anecdote

7. Qwant - Qwant is a Paris-based search engine that puts the privacy of their users first by neither tracking their searches nor selling your personal data. Qwant claims they don't employ user tracking or personalize search results in order to avoid trapping users in a filter bubble, whatever that means.

Facebook Search Engine | The Business Anecdote

8. Facebook Search - Facebook’s search engine allows users to search for people, company pages, groups on their platform. This give users access to a rich amount of content about the search targets, such as photos, videos, and public views of people and businesses.


LinkedIn Search Engine | The Business Anecdote

9. LinkedIn Search - LinkedIn's search engine is used to find professionals you might want to connect with, businesses you might want to follow for content, and user groups you might want to join. Premium users can not only search for businesses, they can also search for analytics about that business. Additionally, LinkedIn also has a Job search function which can be used to find job opportunities. Premium members can narrow their search down by the salary offered.

Twitter Search Engine

10. Twitter Search - Twitter isn't just a social media app, it is also a key source of news and real time opinions. Twitter's search engine allows you to search for news and opinions associated with businesses and people. For example, if you were to search for Elon Musk, it would show you his latest opinions in the form of tweets. It would also bring up news about him from other media sources. Twitter's search engine is especially great for businesses looking for local audiences. It allows them to filter their search results using the "Near this place " function.

SocialMention Search Engine | The Business Anecdote

11. BrandMention - BrandMention is social media search tool that allows you search for chatter about brands or competitors, across multiple types of networks, including blogs, bookmarks, comments, events, images, social media, news outlets and more. This information is aggregated into a search result for the user.

Semrush | The Business Anecdote

12. Semrush - Semrush is an SEO tool that does your keyword research, tracks the keyword strategy your competition uses, runs an SEO audit of your blog, looks for backlinking opportunities, and lots more. Internet marketers all over the world trust Semrush.

Buzzsumo | The Business Anecdote

13. BuzzsumoBuzzsumo is a stripped down version of Semrush. If you have a topic or keyword in mind, to write an article about, you can use Buzzsumo to search for content that performs well on that topic or keyword. This allows users create high performing content that rank well on search engines.

BoardReader | The Business Anecdote

14. BoardReader - BoardReader is a search engine that allows users search forums and messaging boards for topics and posts. As bigger search engines like Google decided that information provided by forums was deemed less important, they started phasing out forum results from their search engine ranking. BroadReader was created to address this gap.

Scribd | The Business Anecdote

15. Scribd - Scribd is one of the largest social reading and publishing networks in the world. It allows you search for original written content across the web. Scribd search results can be sorted by category, language, length, cost, file types, upload date etc.

SlideShare | The Business Anecdote

16. SlideShare - SlideShare is an American hosting service for professional content including presentations, infographics, documents, and videos. Users can upload files privately or publicly in PowerPoint, Word, PDF, or OpenDocument format.

Scribd acquired Slideshare in 2020, and prior to this Slideshare was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012.

Flickr | The Business Anecdote

17. Flickr - Flickr is an American image hosting service, and online community. Flickr search engine allows users to find people, photos, and groups on their platform.

Pinterest | The Business Anecdote

18. Pinterest - Pinterest is an American image sharing social media platform, designed to enable the saving and discovery of images, and on a smaller scale, animated GIFs and videos, in the form of pinboard.

TinEye | The Business Anecdote

19. TinEye - TinEye is an image search and recognition company. They are experts in computer vision, pattern recognition, neural networks, and machine learning. TinEye can search by image or perform what we call a reverse image search. You can do that by uploading an image or searching by URL. You can also simply drag and drop your images to start your search.

Openverse | The Business Anecdote

20. Openverse - Openverse is an open source search engine for open content. It was developed as part of the WordPress project and it searches Creative Commons licensed and public domain content from dozens of different sources.

Wikipedia | The Business Anecdote

21. Wikipedia - Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world. It is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia's search engine allows you to search for free media content, like photos. It also allows you to search for word meanings, news, travel guide information, free course materials, species information, free quotes, free textbooks, and free library resources.

Yahoo Video Search | The Business Anecdote

22. Yahoo Video Search - Yahoo Video Search allows you to search through video content from YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, and other online content providers on any topic.

SideReel | The Business Anecdote

23. SideReel - SideReel's search engine allows you to search tv shows on dozens of streaming platforms like HBO Max and Hulu.

AOL search engine | The Business Anecdote

24. AOL Search - AOL's search engine delivers comprehensive listings and one-click access to relevant videos, pictures, local maps and more.

AOL purchased a search engine called WebCrawler in 1995, but then sold it to Excite the following year, making Excite the sole search and directory service on AOL. After the deal closed in March 1997, AOL launched its own branded search engine, based on Excite, called NetFind. It was later renamed to AOL Search in 1999.

Crunchbase | The Business Anecdote

25. Crunchbase - Crunchbase is the leading destination to acquire company insights of early-stage startups to the Fortune 1000 companies. Users can use the Crunchbase search engine to gain information on competitors, business ownership, business investors, company valuation, company ranking, etc.

Similarweb | The Business Anecdote

26. Similarweb - Similarweb is a tool that estimates the total amount of traffic different websites get. It provides analytics on competitors' top traffic sources, broken down into six major categories, including referring sites, social traffic, and top search keywords. One of its downsides is that, if your website has less than 5k traffic it doesn't provide a full analytics breakdown of traffic, competitors and keywords. It only provides information received from Google Analytics. There are other similar search engines that perform the functions of Similarweb such as Neil Patel's search engine and Ahref's search engine.

BuiltWith | The Business Anecdote

27. BuiltWith - BuiltWith allows users to search domains and determine what technologies were used to build their website, Saas or app. Its search results include information on content management system, coding, widgets, app versions etc. If you require further analytics you can click on any of the products to see usage trends, industries using the technology, and much more.

Bing | The Business Anecdote

28. Bing - Bing is one of the closest competitors of Google. Bing is a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. Its origins can be traced back to Microsoft's previous search engines which are the MSN Search, Windows Live Search and later Live Search. Bing provides a variety of search services, including web, video, image and map search products. Bing is written in ASP. NET and is available in 40 languages.

Baidu search engine | The Business Anecdote

29. Baidu - Baidu is China's dominant internet search engine company. Its features and services are very similar to those of Google, but its core focus is on China, where it controls most of the search market. Baidu is highly influenced by China's government. They censor search results and other content in accordance with Chinese regulations. Put simply, if you are concerned are privacy issue or monitoring of your browsing sessions then Baidu is a worse alternative to Google.

Yandex search engine | The Business Anecdote

30. Yandex - Yandex is a Russian search engine and web portal. Much like Google, Yandex offers internet search and other services like maps, navigator, weather, news, etc. While its headquarters is located in Russia, it is technically a Dutch registered company. Yandex primarily serves audiences in Russia and some of the former members of the Soviet Union.

OpenSea | The Business Anecdote

31. OpenSea - OpenSea is the world's first and largest web3 marketplace for NFTs and crypto collectibles. Users can browse, create, buy, sell, and auction NFTs on OpenSea.

Youtube | The Business Anecdote

32. YouTube - YouTube is a global online video sharing and social media platform which is owned by Google. It is the second most visited website, after Google Search. Its search engine allows users search for all types of video, including musical videos, podcasts, movie trailers and TV series trailers.


Conclusion

There are probably hundreds of search engines out there but Google is still a cut above them all. Google's only problem remains their management of user data. Additionally, Google doesn't have market penetration in the web3 space or in the application of web3 technologies to their search engines. When we say web3 we don't mean Web 3.0, which is the next phase of the internet. We mean the decentralised web, which is also known as web3. To be clear Google has invested a lot in AI and big data, so they are well position in the Web 3.0 space, but not in web3. If we were Google we would definitely purchase companies like OpenSea to get a foot into the web3 market.


If Google were to address these issues, it is safe to say that none of the other search engines listed above could hold a candle to them. In the meantime, our listed alternatives to Google are still quite useful so try some of them out.