Google this, Google that… The search engine seems ubiquitous in every situation: It finds the shortest route to go from a point A to a point B based on traffic conditions, it picks up your mail, it brings you the latest news from around the world, it even helps you do your shopping by remembering your search history to tailor adverts to your needs and wants and make sure you get tempted!
Google’s meddling in your private life is absolute. But did you know that it is possible to opt out by searching the web using anonymous (for now) methods, in case you are determined not to take it from the US giant? Let us introduce these alternative search engines to Google…
Generalist alternative search engines
I – BING, THE MAIN CONTENDER
Available in the UK since the 13th of November, 2009, Microsoft’s default search engine just might get its name from an acronym that certainly reflects its ambition: “Best Is Not Google”… Bing is among the most popular search engines and, just like its rival, offers the same search functionalities: web, images, video search, news, browser extensions, and maps.
And let’s not forget about its “translation” space, the personalised home page, or its own “Bing Webmaster Tools” aimed at SEO experts, which allow them to know the robots’ crawl and improve their ranking in the search results. There’s a reason Bing comes in second in terms of market shares!
II – DUCKDUCKGO, THE HYBRID
An alternative search engine that draws its information from the same APIs as Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Wolfgram, Blekko, and Bing. But what you’ll probably like most about it is how discreet it is: It doesn’t save Internet users’ IP addresses and personal data… THE anonymous search engine if ever there was one!
Beyond its streamlined interface, you can experience groundbreaking functionalities – known as “Bang” – which allow you to configure your search. For instance, by typing “!eskimoz seo”, you will get all the SEO-related results posted by the Eskimoz agency.
III – QWANT, THE FRENCH SOLUTION
Released on the 16th of February 2013, anonymous search engine Qwant sets itself apart from Google in how it displays its results, which are split into 5 distinct sections: traditional results, news, the “knowledge graph” – or technical information related to a search, social media, and web shops.
The Nice-based start-up generated 1.6 billion web searches last year and its audience has been increasing by 10-20% per month.
Special acknowledgement: Qwant has just announced that they are about to launch a search engine aimed at children under 13. Its name: “Qwant Junior”.
IV – MILLIONSHORT, THE ATYPICAL
On MillionShort, you will find the same results as on Google, with only one difference: T his alternative search engine to Google allows you to ignore the highest-ranking sites to make you discover new search results. You just need to indicate how many you want to ignore, from 100 to 1 million!
This completely atypical approach offers visibility to web pages that don’t have the time or resources to be optimised by an SEO expert. Note that it is possible to exclude some websites by name and to apply a parental filter to remove any results that wouldn’t be suitable for minors.
Specialised alternative search engines
I – PHOTOPIN, THE ICONOGRAPHER
Released at the beginning of 2012, the Photopin search engine is a beautiful photo library which draws its results from – among others – Flickr’s API. On the results’ screen, you can apply several filters, such as “commercial” or “non-commercial”, before organising the results in order of relevance, date, or area of interest.
Note that a list of suggested keywords is provided in the top right corner to narrow down your search.
II – ECOSIA, THE GREEN ONE
Ecosia is “the search engine that plants trees”! Based on results from Yahoo! and Bing!, it is perfect for eco-friendly search practices, as it remains its primary concern. That’s why 80% of the revenue it gets from its advertising partnerships with Yahoo! and several web shops go towards a tree-planting programme in Brazil.
To top it all off, the German alternative search engine is also committed to being 100% CO2 neutral.
III – PICKANEWS, THE MULTIMEDIA RESOURCE
Property of the Kantar Media Group, Pickanews is an alternative search engine that takes a different stance from the competition: It exclusively references information from international print media, radio, and EU and web-based TV channels. In total, it goes through over 50,000 media sources!
All in all, this is the perfect resource if you want to locate first-hand information! The only downside is that you need to pay a fee to read the articles…
IV – NIICE, CREATIVE DESIGN
The Niice search engine is entirely dedicated to design and relies on the APIs used by Behance, Dribble, and Designspiration. It is ideal for creators looking for inspiration… The results are displayed in the same manner as Pinterest, with endless scrolling.
Small downsides: some key search queries, such as “web icons” get no results. Similarly, combining several words often yields nothing either.
V – SOCIALMENTION, CONNECTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA
What sets SocialMention apart is the fact that it’s a “real time” search engine. It lets you filter results by type of source (web, blogs, images, videos, etc.) and gives you the ability to select them upstream via a list of boxes to tick (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WordPress, etc.)
This very comprehensive alternative search engine to Google is also quite powerful and can help you stay up to date with strategic information.
VI – YIPPY, THE ENGINE “FOR KIDS”
To all young parents, here’s an anonymous search engine you’ll want to know about. Decidedly family friendly, Yippy (formerly known as Clusty), takes it upon itself to get rid of any adult (pornographic) content in order to protect your child. Other than that, every other type of search result is there: images, web, news, blogs, Wikipedia…
And, to top it all off, this search engine doesn’t keep track of how you use its space at all. Breathe in, breathe out, your kid is on Yippy!