Believe it or not, there are search engines other than Google out there, and they’re becoming increasingly popular among users. Even though it’s highly unlikely that Google will ever be toppled from its throne – especially with its impressive 88% share of the market – it’s wise for business owners and marketers to start broadening their horizons on alternative search engines.
Why Alternative Search Engines are Gaining Ground
Alternative search engines are seeing a rise in traffic as users become more aware of how and why Google tracks and shares user data. Even though Google might be considered the best search engine of its time, its commanding presence has come at a cost. Many people are reconsidering their online activity and are looking towards other search engines in an attempt to protect their private data.
You might be surprised to learn just how many alternative search sites are available, in addition to the fairly well-known options such as Bing or Yahoo. There are the usual global search giants, but there are also privacy-centered options, search sites for specific content formats, charity search engines, and others.
If you want to make sure that you have all your bases covered – and that your site is optimized for the suitable search engines for your target audience – then you’re going to need a lesson on the latest and greatest search sites that aren’t Google. And that’s exactly what we’ve put together for you, right here.
Top Search Engine Alternatives to Google
With help from our SEO experts, we’ve assembled a list of the top alternative search engines you should know about right now. There’s something for every search user, from the giants of global search to charity, privacy-first, and format-focused search engines.
Search Engine Giants
If we were to ask you to name a search engine other than Google, Bing and Yahoo are likely among the first to come to mind.
Yahoo was once a massively popular search option, though it’s not quite as frequently used as it was back then. On the other hand, Bing is a uniquely-designed approach to search, putting a visually-interesting spin on the user’s search experience. Both are many miles behind Google, but they are still names you should be very familiar with.
With around 7% of the U.S. market, Bing can’t exactly be considered a close second to Google. However, certain features make Bing stand out from the competition. When paired with its highly effective series of key functionalities, Bing’s innovative design makes it one to watch.
From the moment you arrive on the homepage for Bing, you’ll notice that its design is far more image-centric. Images and videos dominate the page, and the Bing image search feature is impressively advanced (even more so than Google).
Some of the most prominent features of Bing include:
- Machine-learning predictions for elections, sports scores, and similar metrics
- Object-detection intelligence incorporated into the image search function
- The option to save searches in “collections” for later reference
- The Bings Reward program, which awards users with credits
Many of us can remember when Yahoo was at the top of the search game, but now it holds just 3.5% of the market. That being said, don’t assume that Yahoo isn’t worth your time. It still maintains a secure spot as America’s third-largest search engine. It is often a go-to option for users searching for news, sports, and finance information and services.
Privacy-Centric Search Engines
Today’s Internet users are savvier than ever before, and many have become more aware of cybersecurity. While fulfilling the growing demand for online privacy, several privacy-first search websites have received a lot of attention in recent years.
You may have already heard of DuckDuckGo, largely because it is considered one of the best options for those searching for a private, unbiased search engine. The site doesn’t collect any personal information or search data, a feature that has fueled a considerable surge in popularity.
One of our favorite DuckDuckGo features is the “Bang” search, a function that lets you search on other platforms (Amazon, Wikipedia, eBay, etc.) with just a single click.
Promising to be the world’s most private search engine, Startpage.com boasts a third-party audit from the European Private Seal. Their “no-logs” policy means that the site does not store searchers’ IP addresses or use tracking cookies. As a result, Startpage.com can genuinely say that they have no idea who a given searcher may be, so you have the ultimate privacy without sacrificing quality search results.
Like Startpage.com, Qwant’s search policy states that the site doesn’t utilize cookies that allow recognition or tracking. The search engine doesn’t use common tracking devices, they don’t store searches or history, and search queries are kept anonymous and separate from IP addresses.
Qwant can be a highly reliable alternative for Google, especially because its indexing engine teams up with Bing to provide excellent results (without affecting privacy). Plus, since Qwant is based in Paris – where privacy protection laws are far stricter than those in the U.S. – you can be confident that your privacy is a priority.
Don’t let the humorous name of this Google alternative fool you; Swisscows is a European-based search engine with a solid reputation as a privacy-first site. Since it is self-described as an innovative, private search tool dedicated to family-friendly content, the website doesn’t store your data in any way. For parents that worry about allowing their children to browse the Internet, Swisscows can offer wonderful peace of mind.
There appear to be many similarities between Search Encrypt and Google, but it’s their differences that really count. Search Encrypt is set up to promote convenient searching while safeguarding your privacy by implementing highly innovative technology.
The website detects searches that are likely to be tracked and/or associated with your personal information, intercepting those queries and redirecting them to their security-enhanced platform. Essentially, Search Encrypt helps stop information collection and sharing in its tracks and then takes you straight to an alternative option.
OneSearch is a privacy-focused search engine from Verizon, offering several key features:
- No user tracking
- No cookies
- No search history
- Unfiltered, unbiased results
- Keyword encryption
- Safe shared links
Since OneSearch uses Bing to power its results, you can still have the convenience of relevant results from a well-known platform. But in comparing Bing vs. OneSearch, the extra layers of personal privacy make OneSearch an attractive option.
Search Engines Supporting Charity
Did you know that it was possible to support charitable organizations through your everyday web searches? A handful of charity search engines make donations every time a search query is submitted, making it effortless to do your part.
Equitable access to clean water is a very real issue in many parts of the world. By using giveWater, specifically installing its browser extension and clicking on platform ads, search users can help make a difference.
With just a few clicks on Ekoru, you can contribute to the efforts to clean and restore our world’s oceans. According to the search engine, every search query raises funds for organizations such as Big Blue Ocean Cleanup and Operation Posidonia. It’s also an ethically-conscious search engine, using hydroelectricity to power all of its servers.
In addition, Ekoru is also considered a more private alternative to Google. All data is encrypted, and one of your data is stored, giving users even more reasons to try out this eco-friendly search engine.
Ecosia is a small, relatively new environmentally-conscious search engine, but it’s beginning to flourish. The site’s revenue is used to plant trees around the world (100 million trees have been planted so far!), and the company is dedicated to supporting positive environmental efforts as a whole.
Your Ecosia search results are powered by Bing so that you can look forward to a first-class search experience with all the bells and whistles. It’s yet another privacy-centered search engine, so you can reap a fair share of benefits while still giving back.
Format-Specific Search Engines
The odds are pretty good that you’ve recently used Google to search for images, videos, learning materials, and even podcasts. Even though Google can serve up relevant results for those items, format-specific search websites could also do it better.
You know (and probably love) YouTube, as do millions of other people around the world. It’s the second-largest search engine out there and a major player in the world of social media and video sharing.
Sure, you could use Google to search for and locate YouTube videos. However, going directly to YouTube is a smart way to find the right content quickly.
Are you hunting for free-use images to use in your next blog post, social media marketing article, or something similar? The cost of stock photos can add up, but not everyone can afford a professional photoshoot every time they need new images.
Instead, use Unsplash to search for copyright-free images, no strings attached.
Slideshare (slideshow presentations)
SlideShare is a platform where thousands of slide decks are uploaded and shared, covering a broad range of topics. Many people use SlideShare to find slideshows related to conferences or other professional development sessions they attended, while others regularly search the site for the educational content of other sorts.
Creative Commons Search (images)
Another excellent alternative to Google Image Search is Creative Commons Search, where you can locate images that you can modify, reuse, and share in a myriad of ways. It’s organized impeccably well, which can save you a considerable amount of time.
Listen Notes (podcasts)
Google isn’t intended to be a podcast search engine – but Listen Notes is. Podcasts have seen a meteoric rise in popularity, and Listen Notes is serving a key role in helping users find new podcasts to add to their queue.
How to Optimize a Website for Alternative Search Engines
So, how do you rank on alternative search engines – and how is that different from ranking on Google?
When it comes to Google vs. alternative search engines, ranking well is going to take some time and effort on your part. You’ll need to understand how each search engine functions and how its algorithm is similar and different from Google’s. If you’re able to determine which search engines are best suited to your target audience and then optimize accordingly, you can look forward to improvements in everything from traffic to conversions.
Various resources break down how to improve search ranking on alternative search sites, so expect to do some serious research. In general, many search sites power their results using information from either Google, Bing, or Yahoo, so that does help simplify the task somewhat. However, depending on your specific goals, it’s usually ideal to partner with an SEO team to develop a strategy to match.
Learn More about SEO for Alternative Search Engines with V Digital Services
Depending on where you fall on the SEO experience spectrum, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. After all, optimizing for Google search can be complicated enough; and now, you’re adding in an entirely new batch of search engines to contend with. How are you supposed to juggle it all?
Ultimately, working with an experienced SEO strategist is often the best bet for businesses and brands that want to make measurable progress towards their marketing goals. Regardless of the type or size of your business, ensuring that people can find you online will never stop being a top priority – and that’s where V Digital Services comes in.
Our full-service digital marketing agency has teams dedicated to every aspect of advertising, including search engine optimization (SEO), content creation, and more. We can develop a targeted digital strategy to expand your reach online, including SEO for search engine alternatives. So, you don’t need to become an SEO expert because we have an entire team of talented strategists at the ready.
Get more information about how your SEO strategy should be shifting for alternative search when you contact V Digital Services today!