When most people hear “search engine,” they immediately think of Google. Google is by far the most popular search engine in the world. In fact, as of February 2021, Google has 92.05% of the worldwide market share of all search engines. But there are plenty of other alternatives to Google out there on the wide expanse of the internet. If you value privacy and safety in particular, there might be a better option, like DuckDuckGo. In this article, we discuss the 20 top alternative search engines to Google to try in 2021.
20 Alternative Search Engines
When you are considering which of these alternative search engines to try, consider what you want and need out of a search engine. For some, keeping user data safe while searching the web is a priority. Many of these search engines are focused on protecting users. You might know of some of these search engines already, and others might be brand-new to you.
Microsoft Bing is the second largest search engine (after Google, of course. Bing is easy to use and provides a pleasant visual experience. It is also great to use for video searches, because it shows results as large thumbnails. You can even preview the sound of the video by hovering over it. Bing also has lots of advanced search options and internal features like Google. Bing also has a Microsoft Rewards program, which allows you to earn points that you can use to buy apps and movies.
DuckDuckGo is a popular search engine for many who value their privacy and safety, and dislike using search engines that track users. (Though Google has made an effort to increase privacy for users recently, including stopping selling ads based on your browsing history.) DuckDuckGo also has a clean interface with very few ads. The user experience is streamlined and there is no user tracking. DuckDuckGo also has a helpful feature called bangs. Bangs helps you search within another website by simply typing a prefix. For example, you can search “!SEODESIGNCHICAGO Google Ads” to find articles about Google Ads on our website. In addition to performing SEO for Google, you can also perform SEO for DuckDuckGo, too.
Yahoo has existed longer than even Google. While some view it as an out-of-date search engine, it still ranks as the third most popular search engine in the world. Yahoo is also the default search engine for Firefox. But Yahoo is much more than just a search engine. It also offers email, news, online shopping, games, and more. It gives you a well-rounded online experience in one place. It also is integrated with Flickr, Yahoo Answers, and Yahoo Finance, which means it has a wide amount of images and information available.
Ask, formerly known as Ask Jeeves, is a question-and-answer format that permits natural-language searches. It is very user-friendly, particularly for people who are not as familiar with search engines, like older users. Ask also shows frequently asked questions that are related to your query, which can help you find answers.
The leading search engine in China is Baidu, with over 70% of the market share. Though Baidu is in Mandarin, it looks a lot like Google. It serves ads and also uses rich snippets in search results. However, Baidu is heavily censored. Many images and pro-democracy websites are blocked.
WolframAlpha is a privately owned search engine that like DuckDuckGo, doesn’t track your web searches and gives you more privacy. It also touts its “computational intelligence” and is designed to deliver expert knowledge. It is divided into several categories including Mathematics, Science & Technology, Society & Culture, and Everyday Life.
Boardreader is a search engine specifically for forums and message boards. You can search forums, and then filter your results by language and date. It is a helpful tool for content research. If you don’t know the best forum to visit for a certain topic, Boardreader can help.
StartPage is a Duthc search engine that also highlights user privacy. It does not track or store any of your data, or target ads based on your browsing. StartPage claims to help you get Google search results, while protecting your privacy. It also offers a proxy service that lets you browse websites anonymously, and a custom URL generator so you can browse without setting cookies. It also offers a clean interface that you can set to a certain theme, like Night Mode.
If saving the planet is your thing, try Ecosia. Did you know that using search engines can have an impact on CO2 emissions? Ecosia is the CO2 neutral alternative search engine. For every search made, the money made goes directly toward planting a tree.
Qwant, a French search engine, is yet another privacy-based search engine that won’t record your information or use your data for advertising. It offers a user-friendly interface which categorizes your results for you into web, news, and social. There is a specific music section with AI that helps you look for lyrics and find new music.
11. Search Encrypt
Search Encrypt is a metasearch engine that uses local encryption to make sure that users’ info can’t be tracked. It gets its search results from a network of search partners, which provides lots of well-rounded results unrelated to your search history. After 15 minutes of inactivity, it also automatically erases your local browsing history. You never have to worry about your privacy, even if someone else can access your desktop.
Searx is another privacy-respecting metasearch engine that offers unbiased results from multiple sources. Its goal is to provide a free, decentralized overview of the internet. SearX is an open-source search engine and is available to everyone for a source code review. You can even customize it and host it on your own server as your own search engine. There are also many preferences and settings that aren’t available on other search engines.
Yandex, the fifth most popular search engine in the world, is used mostly in its native Russia. It also provides a similar service as Google. You can search websites, images, videos, and news, and it also offers features like mobile apps, maps, translation, cloud storage, and more.
Gibiru is a browser-less application that lets you search the internet completely anonymously. You can download its AnonymoX Firefox add-on, which sends all your searchers through a proxy IP address. In addition to giving you private and unbiased search results, search queries also aren’t saved on Gibiru’s servers and all the records are erased after you perform your search.
15. Disconnect Search
Technically, Disconnect is not a search engine itself. Instead, it helps you conduct anonymous searches through a search engine of your choice. When someone enters a search term, the query is rerouted and anonymized through Disconnect’s servers. Then, it is passed on to the search engine you chose. This helps you use your favorite search engine without forgoing your privacy. Disconnect also provides browser extensions and apps that help you block tracking sites, load pages faster, view ad requests, and more other privacy-based services.
Yippy is another excellent pick for anyone who is concerned about their privacy. It does not track your searches or show custom ads. This alternative search engine also allows you to search different kinds of content, like websites, images, news, jobs, blogs, and even government data. It might not give you the most amount of results for your search, but it does allow you to filter your results to find what you’re looking for.
Swisscows, with servers based in Switzerland, provides fully encrypted searches. It does not store personal data, IP addresses, or queries. Switzerland provides some of the world’s strictest privacy policies. Swisscows is a popular search engine for parents to use for their children who wish to let their kids search the internet safely. There is a built-in pornography filter for pornography and violence.
Lukol is an anonymous search engine that actually serves searchers with results from Google. However, your privacy is safe because itS removes any traceable elements. You can still benefit from Google’s massive amount of search results, without being tracked. It is also a simple search engine to use. However, you can’t filter any of your results.
MetaGer provides “Privacy Protected Search & Find” through its anonymous search engine. It is a nonprofit organization that has nothing to gain by tracking your searches. It also runs on renewable energy. MetaGer is another metasearch engine that queries up to 50 external search engines, which means you get plenty of variety in your results. They also offer maps and route-planning services without tracking your location. If you like MetaGer, you can download a plugin to make it your default search engine and start page. This ensures that your searches stay private.
Gigablast is another private search engine that indexes millions of websites and servers’ real-time info. However, it doesn’t track your data and keeps you private from marketers and spammers. Warning: it is not the most good-looking search engine on the internet. However, it does offer several options for filtering your query, including by language, exact phrase, and file type. It also has a directory and a comprehensive advanced search function.
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