While Google reigns supreme in the world of online search, there are other options. Furthermore, some of these alternative search engines are quite popular on their own, though they don’t seem to be as well-known. Also, some engines appear to be as old as Google, and date to the early days of the Internet. In contrast, there are several new entrants in the market. They are all trying to prove superior to Google in terms of returning more accurate and reliable search results. Without further ado, let’s explore some of the best search engines out there.
Baidu is China’s most famous search engine, founded by Chinese entrepreneur Eric Xu in January 2000. This search engine is designed to return and display links for websites, audio files, and photographs. It also provides map searches, news downloads, cloud storage services, and other features. Baidu is not well-known outside of China, i.e., doesn’t have prominence in other countries.
However, users submit 3.3 billion queries daily, and the firm made significant technological research and development investments in AI (Artificial Intelligence). As a result of these emerging technologies, the future of search engines is being formed. However, do note that the search engine may not work in some countries due to geo-restrictions.
- China’s Leading Search Engine
- Multimedia Search (Images, Audio)
- Maps and News Services
- AI Technology Investments
|Founders||Chinese entrepreneur Eric Xu|
|Popularity||China’s leading search engine|
|Services||Web, multimedia (images, audio), maps, news, cloud storage|
|Daily Queries||3.3 billion|
|Technological Focus||Significant investments in AI (Artificial Intelligence)|
|Geo-Restrictions||Available primarily in China|
2. Bing Search
In 2009, Microsoft debuted Bing as its response to Google, which became the default search engine in their web browsers, Microsoft Explorer and Microsoft Edge. The tech giant is constantly working to improve its search engine, but it has a long way to go before competing with the leader. Bing has a rewards program for new users that awards points for each search. These points can be used at Microsoft and Windows retail outlets—among the best in the business.
Bing has also created a platform equivalent to Google My Business that lets companies submit information to improve their search results and recognition. It is one of the world’s 30 most popular websites visited by users, and installed by default on Microsoft devices, including PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
- Microsoft’s Search Engine
- User Rewards Program
- Business Listing Platform
- Installed on Microsoft Devices
|Founded||2009 by Microsoft|
|Integration||Default search engine in Microsoft browsers|
|User Base||One of the world’s 30 most popular websites|
|User Rewards Program||Offers rewards for searches|
|Business Platform||Similar to Google My Business|
|Device Installation||Pre-installed on Microsoft devices|
3. Yahoo Search
Yahoo was founded in 1994 as a website, but it quickly became one of the most popular search engines on the Internet. It’s not quite as popular as it once was, but many people still use it. In addition to its search engine, Yahoo also offers email, a news aggregator, online auctions, a directory of websites, and other services. Yahoo is still in the race, but it doesn’t have anything new (except Tumblr) to offer compared to Google. In contrast to its competitors, Yahoo does not personalize its search results for individual users. Finally, Yahoo’s partnership with Microsoft has been shaky; the two companies have teamed up and split up several times over the years.
- Yahoo’s Search Engine
- Email, News, Auctions
- No Personalized Results
- Partnership with Microsoft
|Founders||Jerry Yang and David Filo|
|Services||Email, news aggregator, online auctions, web directory, and more|
|Popularity||Was once one of the most popular search engines|
|Personalization||Does not personalize search results|
|Partnership History||Ongoing and intermittent partnership with Microsoft|
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that emphasizes privacy, i.e., doesn’t track users or save their search history. It was founded in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg. This search engine uses the Bing search results, but it strips out the personalization features so that all users see the same results. Further, the aforementioned respect for users makes it a leader among the top private search engines. However, it still doesn’t have as many features as Google or Bing. Unsurprisingly, its search results are not always as accurate as those of its competitors. DuckDuckGo is installed by default on some Apple devices.
- Privacy-Focused Search
- No User Tracking
- Uses Bing Search Results
- Default on Some Apple Devices
|Founded||2008 by Gabriel Weinberg|
|Privacy Focus||Does not track users or save search history|
|Search Results Source||Utilizes Bing search results|
|Default on Devices||Pre-installed on some Apple devices|
|Features||Emphasizes user privacy, limited features compared to Google and Bing|
StartPage is a Dutch search engine that was established in 2006. It is a subsidiary of Ixquick, a search engine that does not follow your actions online or keep your search history. Instead, it uses Google search results, but it ousts the personalization components so that all users see identical results. In fact, it’s growing in popularity because of its emphasis on privacy. Sadly, it doesn’t include as many perks as Google or Bing. Additionally, its search results are not always as accurate as those of the aforementioned leaders. StartPage is not installed from the get-go on any devices.
- Privacy-Centric Search Engine
- Uses Google Search Results
- Gaining Privacy-Conscious Users
|Founders||Ixquick (parent company)|
|Privacy Emphasis||Does not track user activity or history|
|Search Results Source||Utilizes Google search results|
|Features||Growing in popularity among privacy-conscious users|
|Privacy and Ecological Initiatives||Focuses on user privacy and environmentally friendly practices|
WolframAlpha was created in 2009 by Stephen Wolfram. This search engine specializes in mathematical computations and other complex queries. It does not return links to websites like other search engines. Instead, it provides answers to intricate questions. WolframAlpha is not as popular as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. However, it is very useful for complicated queries that other search engines cannot answer. Additionally, it provides information in various formats, including graphs and images. Fortunately, WolframAlpha does not store user activity or search records.
- Specializes in Complex Queries
- Mathematical Computations
- Provides Graphs and Images
- No User Activity Storage
|Founded||2009 by Stephen Wolfram|
|Specialization||Specializes in mathematical computations and complex queries|
|Results Format||Provides answers, graphs, and images|
|Privacy Focus||Does not store user activity or search records|
|User Base||Utilized for specific complex queries and computations|
Yandex was founded in 1997 in Russia and is the largest search engine in the country and the fourth largest globally. The leading Russian engine offers various services, including news aggregation, search, email, a directory of websites, and even online auctions. Additionally, the results it spits out are often more precise than Google and Bing. It’s user-friendly and one of its most appealing aspects is the smooth, intuitive user interface it provides. It’s as simple to use as Google, yet offers more features and customization possibilities.
- Russia’s Leading Search Engine
- Offers News Aggregation
- Email and Web Directory
- Highly Precise Search Results
|Founded||1997 in Russia|
|Founders||Arkady Volozh and Ilya Segalovich|
|Popularity||Russia’s largest search engine, fourth globally|
|Services||News aggregation, email, web directory, and more|
|Search Precision||Offers highly precise search results compared to Google and Bing|
|User-Friendly Interface||Intuitive and customizable interface|
Ecosia is a search engine that donates 80 percent of its profits to planting trees. It was launched in 2009 by Christian Kroll. This search engine uses the Bing search results, but it gets rid of the personalization features so that all users see the same results. Ecosia is rising in recognition because it is an exemplary company that benefits society. In addition to donating money to plant trees, it uses recycled data center energy and invests in renewable energy projects. However, it lacks the number of features Google or Bing have. Additionally, its search results are not always as precise as those others supply. Finally, this ecological searching engine isn’t preinstalled on any devices.
- Eco-Friendly Search Engine
- Donates 80% to Tree Planting
- Uses Bing Search Results
- Focuses on Renewable Energy
|Founded||2009 by Christian Kroll|
|Eco-Friendly Focus||Donates 80% of profits to tree planting|
|Search Results Source||Utilizes Bing search results without personalization|
|Environmental Initiatives||Uses recycled data center energy and invests in renewable energy projects|
|Features||Environmental and ecological focus|
AOL was established in 1985 as a way to connect different computer systems. In the early days of the Internet, AOL was one of the best-known ways to gain access for the public. It offered various services, including email, chat rooms, news all in one place, and a web directory. Unfortunately, it’s not as renowned as in the past but retains a large user base. Additionally, its search engine results better correspond to keywords than Google and Bing. AOL does not stalk users’ actions online or store their search history.
- Provides Various Online Services
- Keyword-Centric Search
- No User Tracking
- No Search History Storage
|Founders||Marc Seriff, Steve Case, and Jim Kimsey|
|Services||Email, chat rooms, news, web directory, and more|
|Search Results Quality||Corresponds well to keywords|
|Privacy Focus||Does not track user actions or store search history|
|User Base||Retains a significant user base|
Naver was founded in 1999 in South Korea. It is the biggest search engine in the country and the second-largest worldwide. It delivers various benefits besides searching, including an email, the latest news, a web directory, and several others. Furthermore, the results users get are frequently more exact than Google and Bing. However, it does not follow users’ activities or preserve their search records. Naver is pivotal for newcomers to Internet searching and installed by default on most devices in South Korea.
- South Korea’s Leading Search
- Offers Email and News
- Web Directory and More
- Installed on Most South Korean Devices
|Founded||1999 in South Korea|
|Popularity||South Korea’s largest search engine, second globally|
|Services||Email, news, web directory, and more|
|Search Precision||Offers highly precise search results|
|Device Installation||Pre-installed on most devices in South Korea|