[Special Edition – The best search engines] Alternatives to Google and one very special search engine

Here’s a question for you: did you know there were alternatives to Google to search the Internet?
There are very powerful search engines out there that have no reason to envy the “giant” since they are equally as effective.
We want you to know all the alternatives, so this article is going to tell you:

  • What web search engines are.
  • How they work.
  • The 12+1 best search engines.

Ready to learn more about these alternatives? Let’s get started!
IMPORTANT NOTE: At the very end, we’ll tell you about a very special search engine that you’ll find really useful for your online shop, so be sure to stick around! 😉

What is an Internet search engine and how does it work?

Before digging deeper into the most interesting alternatives to Google, here’s some theory:

A web or Internet search engine is an online tool that employs a special technology (known as bot, crawler, or spider) to search, analyze, and classify millions of websites in a very short period of time.

The way it works is fairly simple:

  • The bot accesses a website.
  • It analyzes its content.
  • The content is analyzed according to different quality criteria (the algorithm). 
  • The website is given a certain score. 
  • It’s positioned in the results feed depending on its score.

Following this process, search engines show you the best results for your search (based on each keyword).
All this is done in the blink of an eye with a single click and from the comfort of your chair.
Now that you’ve seen what search engines are and how they work, let’s get on with the best alternatives to Google at the moment.
Pay close attention.

12+1 web search engines you can use to avoid the clutches of Google

If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions while surfing the net…

  • Is there a powerful, ad-free search engine?
  • Can I make a scientific or mathematical query?
  • Can my children navigate safely?
  • Can I surf the Internet sustainably, just like I eat and/or dress?

…then an alternative to Google would suit you better.
That’s why we’ll break down the most important characteristics and advantages of other search engines for you in case you find any of them more appealing.
Afterwards, changing your go-to search engine or not is up to you. 😉 

✅ 1. Bing

Bing is a search engine created by Microsoft (another one of the computer industry giants), one of Google’s direct competitors.
It ranks second on the list of most widely used search engines (just below Google) and first in the U.S.
Its main advantage is more simple, intuitive, neat and distraction-free browsing
On top of that, it has a gallery of images that you can use without worrying about copyright (don’t forget you must optimize them before uploading them to your website, though). 
Another interesting feature is that it offers you a wide range of tools, just like Google. More specifically, it includes the Office software package where you can find, among others, the renowned:  

  • Word
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • OneNote
  • OneDrive

If you use this search engine and you have an active Outlook account, you can use Office on any device or operating system. No need to install anything – you can do it all online.
This may be right up your alley both at work and in your everyday life.

✅ 2. Yahoo! Search

Yahoo! is hot on Bing’s heels.
Apart from search results, it offers 2 extra features:

  1. Direct access to the well-known Yahoo! Questions and Answers: a forum where users share information of interest that allows you to ask questions for others to answer.
  2. Access to the images on Flickr: an online community where users freely share copyleft photos and videos.

The greatest perk of this search engine is that it’s especially useful when you need to find very precise information about a very specific issue.
As their slogan goes, “If you can’t find something, search for it on Yahoo!”.

✅ 3. Baidu

Baidu is the most popular search engine in China (although it’s also used across the world) and has nearly as many monthly visitors as Yahoo!
It’s quite similar to Google in terms of how it works, but its main advantage is audio since it has a very meticulous method of helping you find audio files in various formats.
This is the search engine for you if you frequently deal with different audio formats and need to find sound files for your production project needs.

✅ 4. Ask

Europe also has powerful search engines and Ask is proof of that.
It’s the fifth most used search engine worldwide and is also quite popular in the U.S.
The best thing about Ask is that it:

  • Has a simple, clear, and minimalist design that is visually appealing.
  • Is quite intuitive and easy to use.
  • Has a Yahoo!-style Q&A section where one can post video answers.
  • You can preview the content of each website without clicking on the result.

Ask is quite the interesting and robust option. 

✅ 5. Aol.

Aol. ranks fifth on the list of best alternatives to Google.
It’s a web search engine characterized by minimalist and functional design.
Furthermore, it offers a specific search menu for:

  • Images
  • Video
  • Shopping
  • Maps

Its greatest advantage is that it lets you filter search results for safety (in case the youngest members of your family want to use it) with an extra “SafeSearch” option added to the interface.

✅ 6. DuckDuckGo

The importance it gives to user privacy is DuckDuckGo’s signature feature:

  • It doesn’t save your personal details.
  • It doesn’t store your searches.
  • It doesn’t bombard you with ads.
  • It doesn’t track your location.
  • It allows you to strengthen your IP security with an encryption system.

If you don’t want your personal details floating around the Internet and you’re a bit tired of being served ads while surfing, DuckDuckGo is the search engine you’re looking for.

✅ 7. Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha’s greatest difference with respect to Google is that it only shows high-quality scientific or mathematical publications from experts in the field.
It’s simple to use – when a query is entered into the search bar, the best result is shown on the screen and sorted into different fields and graphs.
Precise and thorough.
It’s the perfect search engine if you want to get acquainted with certain academic issues, such as for a college project. It’s also useful when you want to learn about current issues surrounding a particular scientific topic.

✅ 8. Yandex

Yandex is one of the most widely used search engines in the world and number one in Russia.
It’s equally as reliable and precise as Google and it offers the same services. In addition, it has: 

  • Tools to avoid phishing.
  • Encrypted Wi-Fi protection.
  • No ads or spam.

And you can use it everywhere, despite its Russian origin.

✅ 9. Webcrawler

Webcrawler was born at Washington University in 1994, and it’s considered to be the first search engine ever. However, and in spite of its age, it’s still on the list of most widely used search engines
As for how it works, it uses the same internal search engines as Google and Yahoo!, so its results are quite similar.
The most remarkable advantages are:

  • Its loading speed.
  • Its daily highlights section where you can catch up on the news with just a glimpse.
  • Its variety of search filters (even for adult-only content).

This one is an excellent alternative to Google.

✅ 10. Kiddle

Kiddle is designed specifically for the youngest members of your household.
When displaying content, this search engine filters out:

  • Deceptive websites
  • Websites with inadequate content for children
  • Ads
  • Social networking sites

Knowing your children are surfing safely will give you peace of mind.

✅ 11. Ecosia

We certainly can’t overlook the most ecologically friendly option.
Ecosia is the most sustainable search engine since they plant a tree for every search made. Plus, 80% of their revenue is donated to non-profit organizations dedicated to reforestation.
The trees they plant make up for the CO2 emissions from their servers, offices, and infrastructure – even those made from using Ecosia on your mobile phone.
It’s the perfect blend of technology and sustainability.

✅ 12. Archive Wayback Machine

Archive.org isn’t exactly a search engine the way we normally think of them.
It’s a database with a huge number of copies of websites.
It allows you to analyze the evolution of a certain website throughout its history as well as to find dated or discontinued news items that have since been removed.
It’s also very useful for web designers to monitor changing trends affecting web creation and development.

✅ 13. Extra: Doofinder, an intelligent search engine for online shops

As you’ve seen, web search engines respond to the users’ queries.
BUT… can you search for specific results on a certain page?
Of course you can!
Websites with a PROFESSIONAL internal search engine can offer their users exactly what they need.
It’s not hard to imagine how useful and powerful this tool can be for your online store.

  • Your customers find what they’re looking for right away: Losing clients because they get lost while searching is no longer an issue.
  • Doofinder understands typos and synonyms: It doesn’t matter if clients search “fridge” or “refrigerator” – either way, they’re taken to what they’re after.
  • It helps you move stock: Get rid of the items you’re most interested in selling by choosing the order in which your products are shown (the first ones will always become best-sellers).
  • Related offers: If a shopper searches for a paddle tennis racket, the page will make him or her an offer on packs of balls and overgrips, which leads straight to increasing your average checkout price.

Do you know the best thing, though?
Doofinder, our professional search engine made especially for online stores, has a free 30-day trial period.
Register and see for yourself how it helps increase your sales.

These are the best search engines alternatives to Google. Which one’s your favorite?

Now that you know the best alternatives to Google, it’s time to try them out and decide if you want to switch to a different one that better suits your needs and preferences.
As you’ve seen, there are plenty of options, all of them with similar functions but each with its own unique characteristics. 
Give them a shot and choose the one you like best. 😉