better search

Is There a Better Search Engine Than Google?

Google is central to the digital lives of billions of people. You probably use Chrome as your web browser, Gmail for email, Google Photos to back up your photos, YouTube to watch videos, Google Maps to plan your travel, and Google Drive to store all your files.

All of these Google services are used by over a billion people, but Google’s most profound integration into our lives stems from its original product: search. Google search is used by 87% of computers as of June 2021. And its mobile market share increases even further, reaching 94%.

However, Google is not the one and only option for searching. Despite its prominent position, there are numerous other search competitors out there. Some have been around for over ten years, while others are more recent.

Many competing search engines acknowledge that they can’t match Google’s size because it has been crawling and indexing the web for years. Instead, they put people’s privacy first in an effort to stand out.

They assert that they do not amass personal information about individuals, and their business strategies do not center on the distribution of behaviourally-based, highly targeted advertisements.

Also, some alternative search engines provide additional advantages, like rewards or donations to deserving causes based on the volume of searches. 

The quality of web search results used to be a serious problem. Nowadays, it is difficult to find much variation between the results produced by different websites.

With any search engine, your chances of finding what you seek are the same as with Google. The search experience may not be as smooth as Google’s, but it’s a trade-off that many people are willing to make. Here are some Google search alternatives to consider.

1. Bing

After Google, Bing is the second most popular search engine, and it comes pre-installed on the majority of Windows and Microsoft devices. Similar to Google, Bing has an effective algorithm that can help you quickly and easily find what you’re looking for.

In fact, many people think it provides more accurate results than its more well-known rival. Its user interface is still fairly simple, despite not being as intuitive as Google’s.

Bing is well known for its visual search function, enabling you to search for traditional web results and images and videos. You can drag or take a picture for your search using visual search.

Additionally, it provides voice search and can, upon request, speak back results. If you sign into an account, you can delete your search history or decide not to receive personalized advertising, which is similar to how it works with Google.

What distinguishes Bing is that it allows you to earn points while browsing that you can redeem in Microsoft and Windows stores.

2. DuckDuckGo

The most well-known Google search competitor is probably DuckDuckGo, established in 2008. Its privacy-focused search engine first passed over 100 million daily search queries at the beginning of 2021; since then, it has averaged about 90 million monthly.

According to the company, using DuckDuckGo for searching is completely anonymous. It uses 400 additional sources in addition to Microsoft’s Bing to produce its search results. Your search terms or any other of your personal data are not collected.

The business doesn’t keep “any other unique identifiers in search logs” or IP addresses. This implies that it cannot make a user profile of you.

This makes it an excellent choice for keeping your online activity completely private.

However, a deal between DuckDuckGo and Microsoft that permitted the use of trackers has caused some controversy. Although the platform prioritizes privacy, it may not be as private as the company claims.

Although they were from DuckDuckGo itself, my tracker blocker uBlock reported trackers on DuckDuckGo result pages. DDG provides a Tor.onion version of its search engine for the utmost privacy, so you may want to check that out if privacy is your top priority.

3. Ecosia

Did you know that Google searches have an environmental impact? CO2 emissions are emitted by all server resources used to power your searches.

Ecosia wanted to address this issue, so they launched their own environmentally friendly search engine. This Berlin-based company gives away 80% of its earnings to plant trees. One tree can be planted after just 45 searches.

More than 147 million trees have been planted through Ecosia’s program so far. In addition to aiming to be environmentally friendly, Ecosia is a search engine that prioritizes privacy.

It has been confirmed by the independent organization Ethical Consumer that it does not collect or sell your personal information. In terms of privacy, the website states that it does not “create personal profiles of you based on your search history” and that all searches are anonymized within one week.

Although uBlock Origin discovered and blocked some Bing trackers, the site is clear about using cookies, which you can disable.

4. Mojeek

Mojeek is a privacy-focused search engine based in the UK. Its index is entirely built in-house, though it is significantly smaller than Bing and Google’s.

Even though Mojeek’s crawling isn’t as thorough as Google’s, the company claims that its approach gives it complete control over the search results it displays.

According to the company, there should be alternative indexes to those controlled by Big Tech. Additionally, Mojeek claims not to track its users.

The company claims that the search results you see are solely based on the words you enter and that your IP address, search history, or clicks are not recorded.

Mojeek claims to be the first website with a privacy policy stating that it does not track you or sell your data, and uBlock did not find any trackers on the site that it needed to block.

Other Options

Since there are a lot of options other than the ones that we have mentioned above, to keep the article concise, here is a short list of your alternatives:

  • Yahoo!: It was one of the first search engines available and has been around since the early days of the Internet.
  • Baidu: It is the largest search engine in China and handles the vast majority of searches. If you are not in China but need to conduct research on a Chinese topic, Baidu is a good option because it will provide results from a Chinese perspective.
  • Swisscows: It was created in Switzerland, thus the name. It is known as the best family-friendly search engine because its results exclude adult and malicious websites.
  • Yandex: Yandex is Russia’s largest search engine in terms of market share. It is, however, available in other countries and ranks among the world’s top five largest search engines.
  • Startpage: The search engine was founded in 2006 in the Netherlands. It is a search engine similar to Google but does not provide personalized results. This means that you will receive unbiased results every time you conduct a search.

Because of all its features and how simple it is to use, Google is undoubtedly the most used search engine. There are other search engines, though, that provide distinctive features that might appeal to you more.

Try out a few of them to see which suits your requirements best. In the end, it all comes down to your preferences.

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