Table of Contents
- An AI-Powered Search Engine: You.com
- A Revenue-Sharing Search Engine: Yep.com
- A Copyright-Free Search Engine: Openverse
- Mainstream Search Engines
- Privacy-Focused Search Engines
- Knowledge-Based Search Engines
- Internet Archive
- Browser-Based Search
- Specialized Search Engines
- International Search Engines
For the past two decades, Google has dominated the search engine market, providing users with reliable search results and becoming the go-to platform for everyday searches, product research, and news updates. SEO and marketing professionals have focused their efforts on optimising for Google due to its market dominance. However, with the introduction of ChatGPT by OpenAI, Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have started paying attention to the potential of AI-powered search engines to revolutionise the industry. While it remains uncertain whether Google can beat its U.S. rival Bing to market with an AI chatbot, Google’s existing dominance gives it a significant advantage in the search engine race. The next few years in search engine development promise to be intriguing, and it’s essential to be aware of the alternatives that offer a superior search experience. In this article, we will explore 21 of the best alternative search engines you can try.
An AI-Powered Search Engine: You.com
You.com is an AI-powered search engine founded by Richard Socher, a prominent natural language processing (NLP) researcher and the former chief scientist of Salesforce. The platform operates in two modes: personal and private. In personal mode, users can configure their own source preferences, while private mode offers a completely untraceable experience with no telemetry data recorded. You.com also offers additional AI-powered tools such as YouCode, an AI-powered coding assistant, and YouWrite, an AI writing assistant. The platform encourages developers to build apps and contribute to a more open and collaborative Internet.
A Revenue-Sharing Search Engine: Yep.com
Yep.com, developed by Ahrefs, positions itself as a search engine that rewards and compensates content creators. With a 90/10 revenue share business model, Yep.com ensures that 90% of advertising revenue goes directly to the creators of content, allowing them to earn money for their work. This unique business model enables users to directly support their favourite content creators while ensuring fair compensation for their contributions.
A Copyright-Free Search Engine: Openverse
Openverse is the go-to search engine for copyright-free content. Whether you need music for a video, an image for a blog post, or any other content without worrying about copyright issues, Openverse is the perfect solution. This search engine simplifies the process of finding copyright-free content and provides a safe space for creators to source materials without infringing on any rights.
Mainstream Search Engines
Mainstream search engines refer to alternatives that have managed to maintain a modest market share over the years. These search engines now have an opportunity to regain lost market share by leveraging AI technology. Two such search engines are Bing and Yahoo.
Bing, owned by Microsoft, handled a quarter of all search queries in the United States as of January 2022. Bing offers several advantages over Google, such as its rewards program that allows users to accumulate points while searching. These points can be redeemed at Microsoft and Windows stores, providing users with additional perks. Bing’s visual search API is also superior to its rivals and offers a more intuitive experience. Moreover, Bing excels in video searches, making it a preferred choice for users looking for video content without a YouTube bias. On February 7, 2023, Bing announced an all-new, AI-powered version of its search engine and Edge browser, aiming to deliver better search results, more complete answers, an improved chat experience, and the ability to generate content. With Bing’s ongoing developments, it aims to fill the void of unanswered search queries, as stated by Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
Yahoo, owned by Verizon Media, had an 11.2% search market share as of January 2022. Yahoo’s strength lies in its diversification, offering services beyond search, such as email, news, finance, and more. Yahoo has been innovating and evolving for over two decades, constantly striving to improve its search capabilities. While Yahoo made a cryptic tweet about making search cool again on January 20, the exact meaning behind the statement remains unknown. Nonetheless, Yahoo continues to provide a unique search experience and remains a popular choice for users.
Privacy-Focused Search Engines
Privacy has become a significant concern for Internet users, leading to the rise of privacy-focused search engines. These search engines prioritise user privacy by not tracking activities or collecting personal data. Some of the most popular privacy-focused search engines include:
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that prioritises user privacy by not collecting or storing any personal information. This feature sets it apart from mainstream search engines like Google. DuckDuckGo allows users to search without worrying about their browsing habits being tracked or their personal information being stored. For those who value privacy, DuckDuckGo is the perfect choice. It also offers DuckDuckGo Lite, a mobile version of the search engine.
Startpage provides search results from Google while maintaining user privacy. It offers the same search results as Google but without tracking or storing search history. Startpage also includes additional features such as a URL generator, proxy service, and HTTPS support, enhancing privacy further. The URL generator eliminates the need for cookies and remembers user settings in a privacy-centric manner.
Swisscows is a unique search engine that positions itself as a family-friendly semantic search engine. It focusses on respecting user privacy by never collecting, storing, or tracking data. Swisscows uses artificial intelligence to understand the context of user queries and promises to provide accurate answers over time. With its commitment to privacy and accuracy, Swisscows offers a safe and reliable search experience.
Gibiru is a privacy-focused search engine that claims to provide “Uncensored Private Search” without retargeting or selling private data. It sources its search results from a modified Google algorithm, allowing users to query information without worrying about Google’s tracking activities. By not installing tracking cookies, Gibiru claims to be faster than NSA search engines, ensuring user privacy and speed.
Knowledge-Based Search Engines
Knowledge-based search engines cater to users seeking specific types of information. These search engines provide results based on expert-level data and specialised knowledge. Two popular knowledge-based search engines are Wiki.com and Twitter.
Wiki.com pulls results from thousands of wikis on the Internet, making it an ideal search engine for those seeking community-led information. It offers a vast range of information similar to sites like Wikipedia, enabling users to access reliable and community-driven knowledge.
Twitter serves as a real-time search engine, providing minute-by-minute updates during emergencies or breaking news. It remains an invaluable resource for up-to-date information and offers a unique perspective on current events. While Google may eventually catch up, nothing beats the real-time nature of Twitter for instantaneous updates.
SlideShare is a specialised search engine that allows users to search for documented slideshow presentations. It also provides search results for ebooks and PDFs, making it a valuable tool for business presentations and research. SlideShare enables users to save slides and even download entire slideshows for offline use.
The Internet Archive, also known as the Wayback Machine, is more than just a search engine for researching old websites. It serves as a vast online library, offering access to millions of free videos, books, music, and software. Users can explore a wide range of documented materials and access content from various sources.
Browser-based search engines offer a more comprehensive search experience within a specific browser. Two notable browser-based search engines are Brave and Neeva.
Brave is a privacy-focused web browser that blocks trackers and ads by default, providing users with a private search and browsing experience. It features additional functionalities such as free video calls, offline playlists, customisable news feeds, and advanced security features like IPFS integration, Tor (Onion Routing), and a crypto wallet. Brave also offers rewards for opting into privacy-preserving ads, making it a popular choice for those seeking a faster and safer web experience.
Neeva offers a browser extension that provides a private, ad-free, and customisable search experience. Users can personalise their search results by selecting preferred retailers and news sources. Neeva even provides expert-recommended shopping results and recipe results with filters for cook time, ingredients, and reviews. Neeva prides itself on not selling or sharing users’ data, ensuring privacy and a tailored search experience.
Specialised Search Engines
Specialised search engines cater to specific needs and provide results based on specific criteria. These search engines are designed to offer a focused and tailored search experience. Two examples of specialised search engines are WolframAlpha and searX.
WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine that allows users to compute answers to problems and search through expert-level data on various subjects, including algebra, linguistics, and more. It also offers professional-grade computation and analysis of imported data through its Pro features, catering to individuals, students, and educators. With pricing starting at $5.49 per month, WolframAlpha provides advanced tools for in-depth research and analysis.
searX is a free and open-source metasearch engine that aggregates search results from multiple sources without tracking user activities. It can be added to a browser’s search bar or set as the default search engine. searX maintains privacy by mixing queries with searches on other platforms and never storing search data. It offers a customisable and private search experience for users who value open-source solutions.
International Search Engines
International search engines cater to specific regions and provide search results based on local language and culture. These search engines are particularly useful for users seeking localised information. Some popular international search engines include Baidu, Yandex, Sogou, and Naver.
Baidu is the largest search engine in China, occupying a 65% market share. It offers a wide range of services, including maps, music, videos, and an app store. Baidu also provides a mobile browser and app, catering to users on the go. With its dominance in the Chinese market, Baidu is the go-to search engine for Chinese Internet users.
Yandex is a popular search engine used by over 54% of Russian Internet users. It is also utilised in countries like Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Ukraine. Yandex offers an easy-to-use search engine and provides a suite of tools for additional functionalities. Despite a recent data leak, Yandex remains a trusted search engine in its target regions.
Sogou is a Chinese search engine gaining popularity in recent years. It offers an interactive search experience, supporting various features such as WeChat integration, article search, English search and translation, and more. Sogou prides itself on providing users with professional, accurate, and convenient search results through its self-developed artificial intelligence algorithms.
Naver is the largest search engine in South Korea and offers a range of services beyond search, including blogs, news, music, and shopping. Naver provides a mobile app for users on the go and caters to the Korean market with its localised search experience. For users seeking a search engine tailored to the Korean market, Naver is the top choice.
While Google remains the most popular search engine, it may not always be the best choice depending on individual needs and priorities. Alternative search engines offer various benefits, such as enhanced privacy, better search experiences, and specialised knowledge. With the ongoing advancements in AI technology, the search engine landscape is set to evolve further, potentially impacting result accuracy and relevance. It is worth exploring these alternative search engines to find the one that best suits your requirements. Whether you prioritise privacy, specialised knowledge, or localised search results, there is an alternative search engine out there for everyone.