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When we think of search engines and SEO, Google comes to mind. But do you know that there are plenty of alternative search engines to Google?
And to a certain extent, some of these search engines protect your privacy far better than Google. They don’t track your online activities, search history, location, IP, etc.
Your search queries are completely anonymized before search results are pulled from the databases. This makes it possible for all user identification data to be stripped off.
Though it has the largest market share, Google isn’t the only search engine online.
If you want to try a different search engine, here are 11 alternative search engines that are better than Google depending on your use case.
Best Alternative Search Engines to Google
Bing Microsoft is a US-based and the second most popular search engine to Google. It has a global market share of 8.88% as of July 2022.
It is the strongest search engine alternative to Google’s in the US with a market share of 7.23%. And in the UK, Bing holds 9.61% of the UK search engine users.
Bing is easy to use and provides relevant search results like Google. For webmasters, optimizing for Bing can be a great additional source of target traffic.
The good part is that optimizing for Bing is no different from Google. When you’re doing the right thing, you’re simultaneously optimizing for both search engines.
Bing offers important SERP features such as knowledge graph, currency conversion, auto-complete, rich snippets, related searches, People also Ask, translate, etc. If your country is on the selected list, you can earn points or rewards from the Bing browse and reward program.
One of the earliest search engines before Google, Yahoo has a global desktop market share of 2.55%. It is the third largest global search engine.
If you’re interested in topics like finance, sports, and politics, the Yahoo search engine is a good candidate.
The interface is more than just a search engine, it provides an all-around experience for news, entertainment, sports, politics, and email. You can log in to Yahoo Mail from its web portal, check the weather report, scoreboard for current football matches, daily horoscope, etc.
The SERP result also features People Also Ask and related searches sections. Overall, the Yahoo search engine offers a huge amount of visual searches on trending topics.
Like Google, Baidu is also monetized through ads and it’s the dominant search engine in China with a market share of over 70%. Baidu is not allowed to show search results for some images and websites, especially pro-democracy sites.
However, if your audience is mainly Mandarin, or you have a need to use alternative search engines besides Google outside the English language, Baidu might be a good choice.
Yandex is a Russian-based search engine, and one of the best Google alternative search engines. It is a major search engine in Russia where it holds around 47.15% share according to StatCounter as of July 2022.
The search results are not too far off what you get from searching on Google. You can use the Yandex search operator to refine your search result to your preference.
The search engine also has some interesting search features like mobile apps, cloud storage, and translation services. The translation feature allows you to translate to Russian and listen to native speakers and translators.
Best Privacy-Focused Alternative to Google Search Engines
The search engines listed in this section are privacy-focused, unbiased, and don’t track user activities like Google and Bing.
In a rare situation where first-party cookies are set by any of these private search engines, the terms and conditions are set out for understanding, approval, or rejection. With that said, let’s explore the list…
5. Brave Search
Brave search is an independent search engine that pulls results (up to 92%) from its database. It is a privacy-preserving search engine that doesn’t track users’ clicks, search terms or store search history.
It mainly focuses on user privacy, ad-free experience, encryption technology, no user profiling, and personalized or target ads. You can perform searches on the Brave search engines distraction-free. It also has the People Also Ask section, knowledge graph panel, and find elsewhere.
Find elsewhere is a Brave Search feature that lets you perform searches on other search engines from the Brave search result page.
There are a few settings you might want to toggle off or on.
Anonymous Local Search
If you need 100% privacy, you can toggle the Anonymous local search off. This will allow you to search without revealing your IP or any other useful info. If turned on, Brave search will use your device IP to perform a more relevant search but without storing the information.
This is a new search feature in Brave that lets it include results from communities such as Reddit. If you don’t want your search to include results from online communities, you need to toggle it off.
Anonymous Usage Metrics
If you leave this on, you consent to allow Brave Search to use certain user, query, and device information to learn more about the usage and performance of their products. Though Brave Search states this information is collected anonymously, and they’re never tied to you or your device, it is still a good thing to know about.
If Brave search is your default browser search engine, you can set the Google fallback Mixing option. In the case where Brave search can’t pull the result on its own, your browser will fall back to Google anonymously and pull the result from its index.
DuckDuckGo is leading the campaign for a total private search engine world, and it’s the direct opposite of Google. Though DuckDuckGo does make money from its search engine, it does not collect or use the user’s profile to display target ads.
Ads are displayed on its search engine based on search keywords. It makes sense to think that companies don’t need to track users’ profiles or data to make money through ads.
DuckDuckGo is one of the best private search engines and alternatives to Google. It is the reason millions of people use the search engine. If you’re looking for better online privacy, where your activities are not tracked, IP is not tied to your browsing section, DuckDuckGo is the search engine of choice.
I did a short test to see how relevant its search result is to Google. The results were not too far off.
Search result for “What is Car insurance premium” in Google…
And search results for the same query in DuckDuckGo…
The top 10 result was almost the same, but a few web pages lost their Google position in DuckDuckGo. Overall, the result was about 90% identical.
Ecosia is one search engine worth talking about – its impact on tackling climate change is commendable. For every 45 searches on its search engine, Ecosia committed to planting a tree.
You can turn off this setting, but if you leave it on, Ecosia will collect and share an anonymous unique identifier such as IP and Search history to its search partner, Bing.
It claims this information is not permanently stored. It will be deleted automatically after 18 months by Bing according to their policy. If this is something that does not bother you, Ecosia is a good alternative search engine to Google.
I searched Ecosia for the same keywords to see what it pulled off, again, the top ten results were not too far off Google.
8. Start page
Startpage pulls results from third parties search engines such as Google, so, in essence, Startpage is your favorite Google without tracking. It runs contextual ads on its search result but claims these ads are not the result of your search history or online activities.
From my test, ads are displayed on Startpage based on the keyword you searched.
For example, I did a search for the same keywords “what is car insurance premium” and three ads came above.
Then I did another search for what is web hosting, here is the result within the ads above
As you can see, these results are based on the search keywords.
According to the search engine (Startpage), users identifying information are stripped off from its first server layer before sending search queries to its search partners. So, users’ data like IP, search history, and location are removed and never stored on its internal databases.
It then returns an unprofiled and unpersonalized search result based on your search queries only. Based on these factors, Startpage is one of the best alternative search engines if you don’t want companies like Google and Facebook following you around with targeted ads. But you still want the best search result from Google.
If you want to keep family, friends, and children off pornography and violent content online, Swisscows is one of the search engines best for internet data privacy, family use, and children.
Violence and pornography content is automatically disabled on the Swisscows search engine. It is not a matter of choice, it is an enforced law. To be certain, I tried a couple of search terms related to porn, and here are the results.
SwissCows does not use tracking cookies to learn about your search activities. Using its search engines means you’re a visitor without any profile. Your activities remain anonymous. But you can search based on your location and filter results by last 24 hours, week, month, and year.
However, Swisscows has its index for German queries while other language search queries are pulled from Bing. So you should expect similar results as you get from Bing.
Talking about Bing, it also powered the ads displayed on the SwissCows search engine. In this way, the search engines (SwissCows) earn revenue to maintain their services. Ads are served based on keywords in your search terms.
You.com is a private search engine that offers a user-friendly and customizable search experience. You can rearrange your search appearance based on your preference. The search result is on one side of the page.
It also offered the People Also Ask and related search section. If you sign up for an account, you can further customize your apps which are the sources of information. You can perform a location-based search and further filter by hour, week, month, and year.
But, if you modify your search settings on Qwant, “proprietary” cookies will be set on your device to perform the followings:
- Adapt the Qwant website to remember your device preferences such as language, themes, and search location.
- Save your search preferences for the next session.
- Stored information about form filling, search filters, settings, trend activation on the home, etc.
- To remember your choice for certain actions you’ve taken on the website – e.g closed popup, read messages, etc.
These cookies will last up to 6 months on your devices if you did not manually delete them. And they are only activated only when you use the Qwant website.
However, Qwant does use IP addresses for fraud detection and you can perform a location-based search by selecting your target country from the available option on the SERP.
Its search results are powered by Bing and the Qwant search engine crawler.
FAQ – Best Search Engine Alternatives Than Google
What is The Best Alternative Search Engine to Google?
The best Google alternative search engines are Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex. Bing is more suitable if you are in the English market. And it is the second most used search engine globally.
Is There a Better Search Engine Than Google?
There are many search engines besides Google to use for search. If you’re not bothered by privacy, Google is the best search engine. But if data privacy is important to you, search engines like Swisscows, DuckDuckGo, and Brave are the best search engines for privacy.
Is DuckDuckGo Owned by Google?
DuckDuckGo is not owned by Google or any other search engines. It is an independent search engine that owns its search index. Gabriel Weinberg found DuckDuckGo and he is the CEO of the company.
He is an American businessman and entrepreneur who takes online data privacy seriously and is on a mission to help its users achieve total unbiased search engine results.
Conclusion…Best Alternative Search Engine to Google
There is no dying the fact that Google is the biggest and most used search engine. It is the most powerful and advanced search algorithm today.
So, it makes sense to think that Google’s dominance in search is not a coincidence. However, all its amazing features and benefits come with a cost – privacy concerns for users, retargeting advertisements, sharing data with third parties, etc.
If alternative search engines will protect your online data and give you the quality of search results you’d want, try some of the unbiased and privacy-focused search engines on the list.