There are hundreds of search engines available on the internet. It can be easy to forget this, especially because Google has established a huge market share and massive brand recognition. These search engines are all simple and easy to use, but many of these offer benefits beyond Google’s main functionality.
Google is by far the most popular search engine in the world. As of June 2019, Google held more than 92.6 percent of the global search engine market, processing over 5.4 billion searches per day. Google has set itself apart by collecting search data over the past couple of decades and using that data to understand how people search for information on the web.
Because of this massive data set combined with advanced search algorithms, Google’s search results seem to be miles ahead and more relevant than its closest competitors.
Baidu is the world’s second-largest search engine. It’s the largest search engine in China, and one of the largest AI and internet companies in the world.
Baidu is essentially the “Google of China”, as it’s search engine just plays a supplemental role to its many lines of business.
Bing is the second largest search engine in the US market and the third-largest search engine in the world. Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, unveiled Bing in 2009. Shortly after it’s release, Bing announced it would partner with Yahoo! to power Yahoo! Search.
Yahoo! is the third largest search engine in the United States. Yahoo! was one of the fastest growing internet companies in the late 1990s, but was heavily impacted by the dot-com bubble bursting. Yahoo! initially was powered by Google’s search technology, but became independent in 2004.
Today, Yahoo! (powered by Bing) handles over 24 percent of the search queries in the United States.
Ask.com began in 1996 as Ask Jeeves. While Ask.com used it’s own search engine algorithm until 2010, its leadership determined it couldn’t compete with leading search engines like Google and Yahoo! so it now outsources its results from a third-party search provider.
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that doesn’t track its users’ searches. Its main value is protecting your searches from the tracking that many other search engines use. DuckDuckGo’s founder Gabriel Weinberg is outspoken across the web about the importance of keeping your searches private from the major web tracking networks.
Ecosia is a search engine which promises to plant trees by donating the majority of its profits to charities that focus on reforestation. Not only does Ecosia help the environment, but it’s also focused on protecting its users’ privacy.
Yandex is one of the leading search engines in Russia. The search engine is available in multiple languages, including English. Yandex has managed to differentiate itself from other search engines in Russia by being able to recognize Russian inflections in search queries.
Startpage is a search engine that uses Google’s results but with additional privacy protection measures. Startpage offers many of the conveniences of Google’s search engine without the often criticized privacy practices.
Qwant is a French search engine, which prioritizes user privacy. One aspect that sets Qwant apart from most other search engines is that it returns all results (web, images, videos, shopping, etc.) on a single page. Qwant’s Better Web project offers internet research and guides about internet safety and privacy.
Search Encrypt is a private search engine which uses local encryption to protect your search terms. One of Search Encrypt’s biggest features is the expiring search terms. This allows you to keep your search terms private without clearing your browsing history.
WebCrawler is the internet’s first full-text search engine using results pulled from multiple sources. WebCrawler was the second most visited website on the internet as of February 1996, but was shortly overtaken by other search engines like Yahoo! and Excite.
Searx is a free metasearch engine, which is completely open-source. You can view Searx’s repository on GitHub. Many privacy and cybersecurity experts recommend using Searx, because it is built to protect user privacy – which can be verified in the source code.