You’ve probably spent a lot of time making sure your website is search engine friendly. And when you think of search engines, you probably think of Google and only Google. And there’s a reason for that. As of March 2023, Google accounted for over 85% of all online searches. Bing accounted for 8% of the global search market, while Yahoo’s share was 2%. So of course you should make sure your website is indexed by Google, and structured in such a way that your site ranks high in search engine results pages (SERP).
But we want to focus this post on something else – alternative search engines. People do use them. Most people use them because they are concerned about Google’s privacy terms and conditions since the company tracks user data both for its own and third-party use. You may want to utilize these alternative search engines for your own use or optimize your site to rank well on them.
We bet that you’ve heard about ChatGPT. Well, that tool is powered by Bing. So many people have become interested in what ChatGPT is that the search engine recently surpassed 100 million daily active users.
Some people prefer Bing because its homepage isn’t plain and white, like Google. There’s a daily background photo. Some also see Bing as superior to Google when it comes to video searches, as it shows results as large thumbnails. Another reason people like Bing is when you shop or search through Bing, you earn reward points that you can then use towards other purchases, like movies. And of course, Bing offers ChatGPT, the most popular AI-powered writing and research tool.
Web developers often prefer Bing because they are less secretive about how they rank websites than Google is. In addition, their keyword planner is easier to understand. Unlike Google, which claims they don’t consider social media when ranking websites, Bing openly does. Their policy states, “Social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results. The most obvious part it plays is via influence. If you are influential socially, this leads to your followers sharing your information widely, which in turn results in Bing seeing these positive signals. These positive signals can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run.”
Yahoo predates Google and is the third most popular search engine today. If your customer base is older, they may still use Yahoo Instead of Google, which is why optimizing your site for Yahoo may make more sense.
Many older people still use Yahoo Mail, their version of Gmail. They’re also popular in the gaming space. And once again, it’s easier to rank high in Yahoo! Compared to Google. In short, if your client base is older, Yahoo is the way to go.
If your audience takes their online privacy very seriously and hates the concept of search history or tracking, they’re probably using the alternative search engine DuckDuckGo.
People love this search engine because there’s absolutely no user tracking. This matters to people more than you might think. One study recently found that 45% of Americans believe they are being tracked and monitored online, by both the government and by companies or family members.
This is important for companies that offer security goods and services to understand. Companies that also offer goods and services people want to keep private should also optimize content for Duck Duck Go.
In short, DuckDuckGo is the perfect place to spend time and effort optimizing content for people who value privacy above all else.
WolframAlpha boasts that they find “expert-level answers using Wolfram’s breakthrough algorithms, knowledgebase, and AI technology.”
It’s designed to deliver results that are categorized into Mathematics, Science & Technology, Society & Culture, and Everyday Life. Within these are various subcategories and useful tools that allow users to analyze data, easily find statistics, and get expert answers to queries.
Like others on this list, WolframAlpha doesn’t track your searches, offering peace of mind to privacy advocates or those who are researching things they don’t want competitors to know about.
In short, WolframAlpha is best for researchers, academics, and engineers trying to keep intellectual property untracked. It isn’t exactly user-friendly. It’s best for people who are comfortable with using complex research tools.
Boardreader is a search engine for forums and message boards like those on Reddit, NextDoor, and other similar forums. It allows you to search each or all of these forums for specific keywords and then filter down results by date and language.
It’s a useful tool for businesses that want to know who’s championing their brand online. You may also find customers so happy with your business that you can reach out to them for customer testimonials or to see if they’d be interested in being an influencer for your brand on social media.
In short, use Boardreader to find out what people are really saying about your brand, respond to negative comments, and reward or thank users who like your service.
Did you know that search engine usage does have an environmental impact? Search engines release CO2 into the environment. Ecosia brands itself as the CO2-neutral alternative search engine.
For every search made on Ecosia, Bing (which powers Ecosia) donates money to a tree-planting service. On average, roughly 45 searches are needed to plant a single tree. Plus, any ad revenue that comes through Ecosia goes to tree planting.
In short, Ecosia is a great way for environmentally friendly businesses to prove just how dedicated they are to saving our planet.
Disconnect allows you to conduct anonymous searches through a search engine of your choice. That means that you can still use Google but totally anonymously.
When you enter a search query on Disconnect, your words are rerouted and anonymized through Disconnect’s servers before being passed on to the search engine you selected. This allows you to use your favorite search engine without any privacy issues. Through Disconnect, users can have privacy but still use Google or Bing.
In short, Disconnect is a way to get the benefits of Google and Bing without the fear of tracking.
People are now beginning to see TikTok as a search engine, particularly with younger people.
The New York Times recently reported, “More and more young people are using TikTok’s powerful algorithm — which personalizes the videos shown to them based on their interactions with content — to find information uncannily catered to their tastes. That tailoring is coupled with a sense that real people on the app are synthesizing and delivering information, rather than faceless websites.”
In other words, stop seeing TikTok as a silly social media outlet and start seeing it for what it is – a way for Gen Z to find content, products, goods, and services they need and like.
People Are Looking For Alternative Search Engines
The internet, through search engines, has made people wiser. But with that wisdom, people have come to realize that their values may not align with Google’s values. Some of these alternative search engines might be better and easier for your company to rank high in.
Reach out to us as SEO Design Chicago to find out if you should be investing in SEO for Google or for an alternative search engine. We have a dozen years of experience and work with emerging thought leaders to figure out which avenue is best for each business.