If Not Google, Then What? Modern Search Engines

Though Google is the undisputed king of all search engines, it doesn’t mean it’s your only option. Far from that – there are a number of other modern search engines available to users that offer different features, different search results, and different user experiences. If you’re not happy with Google, or you’re just curious about […]

Categories: Industry Insights, Misc

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Time to read:
6 min

Posted:

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Though Google is the undisputed king of all search engines, it doesn’t mean it’s your only option.

Far from that – there are a number of other modern search engines available to users that offer different features, different search results, and different user experiences.

If you’re not happy with Google, or you’re just curious about what else is out there, you can redirect your SEO efforts and see what these other options can do for you and your business.

The most common reason for the switch is privacy. Google tracks everything you do on the internet – including your searches.

If you’d rather keep your search history and data to yourself, you can switch to a search engine that doesn’t collect this information.

This way, you can browse the internet and search for whatever you want without having to worry about your data being stored somewhere. Then, there’s also the issue of fierce competition.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the best Google alternatives out there.

💡 Key Takeaways
  • There are many search engines available that offer different features, results, and experiences than Google.
  • The most common reason to switch from Google is privacy concerns, as Google tracks everything users do on the internet.
  • Bing, Yandex, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, Amazon, Yahoo!, StartPage, and Ecosia are all viable Google alternatives.
  • The best alternative for a user depends on their individual needs and preferences.

Long Live the King – Google

To say that Google is the most popular search engine in the world is like saying that the sun is bright – it’s technically true, but it doesn’t really give you the full picture, does it?

According to different sources, Google’s global market share falls between 85.55% and 92.24%. It has billions of users worldwide (around or above 4 billion, depending on a source) and 3.5 billion daily searches!

A chart showing the market share of top 5 search engines
Source: Statcounter (April 2021)

But Google isn’t just a search engine – it’s an advertising platform as well. In 2021, Google’s advertising tools, along with Google Play, YouTube, and Google Search, contributed to providing $617 billion of economic activity in the US (compared to $426 billion in 2020) and £60 billion in the UK in 2020.

However, Google is also a data collection tool. This has led to some concerns about privacy, with many people wondering just how much data Google has on them, especially since it collects information not only for its own use but also for third parties.

Another issue is the competition. For small businesses trying to establish themselves online, it can be difficult to get noticed when you’re competing with the big guys who can afford to spend millions of dollars on SEO and advertising.

But even with all of these issues, Google is still the king of the internet – and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find other search engines that might be a good fit for you.

If Not Google, Then… Alternative Search Engines

Though it might seem like Google is the only game in town, there are actually many other search engines that you can use. Here are some of the best alternatives to Google, each with its own unique features and benefits.

Bing

Bing is a search engine that Microsoft launched in 2009. According to this source, as of the end of 2021, Bing accounted for a little more than 7% of the global search market, coming second among all the search engines, though still long after Google.

Bing has several features that make it a viable alternative to Google.

One of these is that it integrates with a number of Microsoft products, such as Office Word.

This means that if you’re using these products, you can search for things without having to leave the application you’re in.

Another feature that Bing has is that it offers rewards for using the search engine. These rewards can be redeemed for things like movies and apps.

Bing also doesn’t collect as much data as Google does; Microsoft has even stated that it doesn’t collect user data for advertising purposes, but it’s best to take it with a pinch of salt.

However, compared to Google, this means that if you’re concerned about privacy, Bing might be a better alternative.

Baidu

Baidu is China’s most popular search engine, with a market share of around 70%. It was launched in 2000 and has since grown to become one of the largest internet companies in the world.

It’s very similar to Google in terms of features, appearance, and functionality. One of the major differences, though, is that Baidu is heavily censored.

This is due to the Chinese government’s restrictions on internet use.

As a result, a lot of international sites and services are blocked in China, and Baidu conforms to these restrictions.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that launched in 2008. Its main selling point is that it doesn’t track its users and collect their data.

This means you can search without worrying about your private information being stored or sold to third parties. There’s also a special extension you can use to make your browsing even more secure.

Another unique feature of DuckDuckGo is that the ads are minimal, which, combined with a minimalist interface, makes for a much cleaner search experience.

Additionally, there’s the feature called “bangs,” which allows you to search directly on a website by typing an exclamation mark followed by the site name, e.g., “!wikipedia dog”.

Amazon

Ah, Amazon – the “everything” store.

Though it’s not your typical search engine, Amazon should definitely not be left out of this list.

After all, it’s the biggest e-commerce search engine in the world – it has more than half of all product searches.

A9 is the name of Amazon’s search engine algorithm, and its strong suit is, of course, products.

When you search for something on Amazon, you’re not just shown results from Amazon’s inventory; you’re also shown results from other sellers on Amazon, as well as from Amazon’s partner sites.

Furthermore, it allows you to compare prices easily and read reviews before you make a purchase.

This makes Amazon a great place to search for products, especially if you’re looking for the best deal. You can also filter your search results by things like price, seller, and more.

Yahoo!

Yahoo! is one of the oldest internet companies, having been founded in 1994.

It was once one of the most popular web portals but has since lost a lot of users to Google.

It currently has a market share of around 2-3%. But technically speaking, Yahoo! is a web portal, not a search engine.

It does offer a search engine feature, but it’s worth mentioning that since 2009, it has been powered by Microsoft’s Bing.

One of the advantages of using Yahoo! is that it has many other services, such as Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Finance, and Yahoo! News.

This means that you can use Yahoo! as a one-stop shop for a lot of your internet needs.

StartPage

StartPage is basically Google without the tracking part. It was launched in 2009 in order to provide privacy-conscious users with a Google search alternative. StartPage doesn’t collect or share any user data.

Moreover, it allows you to use proxy servers for improved online security and anonymity; you’re even not required to enable cookies to use the services.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that StartPage is ad-supported, though the ads are not targeted and are, therefore, not as intrusive as those you might see on other portals.

The interface is also very clean and user-friendly.

StartPage lets you customize the look and feel of the results page to some extent, e.g., by enabling the Night Mode or changing the theme.

Ecosia

Ecosia is an eco-friendly search engine founded in 2009 in Germany.

It describes itself as a social business that puts sustainability first, supporting transparency, privacy, and carbon neutrality.

Ecosia homepage screenshot

The company donates 100% of its revenue (or 80% of its profit) to various reforestation non-profit organizations.

As of 2022, Ecosia reports having planted over 150 million trees.

Since 2017, its search results have been powered by Microsoft’s Bing; however, Ecosia also works on its own algorithms to enhance the overall user experience and usability.

Moreover, the search engine aims for improved privacy; as such, it encrypts the data and doesn’t store it permanently, nor does it sell it to any third parties.

Yandex

Even though in light of events in Ukraine, this might not be the most likable choice, Yandex is currently the 5th largest search engine by market share.

Launched in 1997, Yandex is a Russian search engine and the market leader in Russia, with roughly 60% market share. Yandex also has a significant presence in other countries, such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Armenia.

Yandex provides its users with several components similar to what Google offers, such as image and video search, a maps service, and email.

However…

It also has some unique features, such as Yandex.Music, which is a music streaming service, and Yandex.Navigator, a turn-by-turn navigation app.

This means that you can use Yandex as a one-stop shop for a lot of your internet needs, which can be convenient. In these terms, it’s very similar to Google, but it’s often praised for its user-friendly and clean interface.

Considering that it’s also used as a news service propaganda tool, the closed ecosystem one-stop-shop for everything must come in very handy.

Due to its issues with impartiality and lack of polarisation, we do not recommend using this search engine or any services related to it. Unless you’re in Russia and happy with the narrative, that is…

How to Choose the Right Search Engine for You

Now that you know of all these different Google alternatives, the question is – which one should you use?

The answer to that question depends on your needs and preferences.

The biggest issue with Google is privacy.

If you’re concerned about your data being collected and stored, you might want to consider switching to a privacy-focused search engine like DuckDuckGo or StartPage.

Or, if you want to feel like you’re doing something for Mother Earth, then Ecosia is the way to go.

The Bottom Line

There you have it – some of the Google alternatives for those who are looking for a change. As you can see, each of these search engines has its own unique features and benefits.

Depending on your needs, you might find that one of these options is a better fit for you than Google, or it can at least be a good complement to your Google usage.

So, if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut with Google, why not give one of these other options a try?

You might be surprised at what you find.

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