40+ alternative search engines that could outshine Google

April 21, 2023 - Frédérique Biau

12 minutes

In the USA, more than 87% of Internet users use it.

In total, it crawls 20 billion web pages every day.

And 5.5 billion requests are made daily - 70,000 every second and 2,000 billion per year.

Of course, we don't need to introduce Google.

The so-called Internet Giant cannot be avoided. And every website owner must follow its rules to exist on the internet. 👉 So here's to your best descriptions for the search engines! ✏️😉

These figures might impress you, and at this point, no search engine is able to compete with the great Google.

But this level of performance and extraordinary success come at a cost: Google uses your personal data for advertising purposes. Some users are becoming aware of this, and prefer to use alternative services that are more respectful of privacy.


Because yes, there is a world outside Google: there are many other search engines, each one bringing its own originality and new features.

We suggest you explore this little-known continent: the world of alternative search engines.

The search engine market in 2022

What exactly is a search engine?

It is a web application that displays a list of relevant results that best match a search query (composed of keywords) typed by the user. The results can take different forms: web pages, videos, commercial offers, images...

The Global Stats Counter website allows us to see in real time the market shares of search engines in the world.

We can easily see that Google is far, far ahead.

part de marche moteurs de recherche

  • Google 91.86%          

  • bing 3.2%          

  • Yandex 1.52%          

  • Yahoo! 1.32%          

  • Baidu 0.77%          

  • DuckDuckGo 0.64%          

Alternative search engines: Google's direct competitors

Despite its huge business success, Google has some direct competitors.

Bing, the main competitor

Bing has only 3% of the international market share, but this makes it the second largest search engine in the world and the most formidable competitor to Google.

Bing was developed in 2009 by Microsoft, and it has been known under several names in the past: Live Search, Windows Live Search or MSN Search.

Bing is a qualitative search engine with a very advanced algorithm. Many metasearch engines use it because of its high performance. Like Google, it presents its results in the form of web pages, news, photos and videos. It also offers various online tools: map (Bing Maps), translation (Bing Translation), currency conversion, flight tracking, price comparison...

Bing offers services to website owners and has released an equivalent of Google Webmaster Tools, called Bing Webmaster Tools, which can help you for SEO, backlinks, keywords and more.

The image and video preview tool is a strong point of the search engine: by hovering over an image in the results, you will get a preview.

In the same way, in Bing Video Search, you can see a video excerpt by simply hovering over the thumbnail. Guaranteed to save you time!

💡 Maybe you use Bing regularly. But did you know that it offers a reward system? If you make purchases on Bing, you earn points that you can then use to buy apps or movies.


Yahoo!, the outsider of Google

Online since 2005, Yahoo! is even older than Google, and despite the years, it remains the third largest search engine in the world. Firefox offers it by default.

Yahoo! stands out with a growing number of features and has become an outsider to Google.

In particular, the search engine is focusing on news by showing news items, divided into categories (Finance, Music, Movies...), in order to give a quick and synthetic overview of the latest news. The trends of the day and other content related to your interests are also available.

It is possible to make a multilingual search, to look for videos, games or photos, but also to buy online, to access your emails, and to personalize your searches.

The acquisition of Flickr, Yahoo Answers and Yahoo Finance has developed its tool with more images and data.


Baidu, the Chinese competitor

With 70% of the Chinese market, Baidu is the main search engine in the land of the rising sun.

In Mandarin language, Baidu is however very similar to Google. Like its competitor, it is monetized by advertising and displays rich snippets in the search results.

Info warning
Beware, Baidu is under the yoke of censorship: some images or sites may not be displayed in the results.


Yandex, the Russian search engine

Yandex is the Russian competitor of Google. It is very similar to Google, and covers about 60% of the Russian market.

You can find web pages, images, videos and news. As well as additional tools such as applications, maps, translation systems, or cloud storage.


Alternative search engines that protect your privacy

The harvesting of private data is Google's main weakness. Competitors have been quick to differentiate themselves in this respect.

Qwant, the French Google*.

*As the french president says

Qwant has been promising this since the beginning (in 2013): it is "the search engine that respects your privacy". With this search engine, you can be sure that your personal information is not used for commercial purposes.

The results are not personalized as it is the case for Google, they depend on the news and trends.

Qwant shows complete result pages with a vertical menu with categories (images, web pages, videos, shopping, music, social networks, news).

The children's version of Qwant, called "Qwant Junior" is reserved for 6-13 year olds. On this search engine, pornographic, violent and commercial sites are blocked, and educational content is emphasized.

💡 By using the "&" character, you can filter your searches. For example, the code "&w" allows you to search Wikipedia.


Startpage respects your privacy

Startpage CEO Robert E.G. Beens said it best: "Privacy is a basic human right". So his search engine uses Google's results, but without collecting personal data. It's as simple as that.

In addition to the search service, Startpage offers a proxy to browse the web anonymously, as well as a custom URL generator that avoids cookies.

All this is served by a user-friendly and customizable interface.


Search Encrypt, to browse incognito

Search Encrypt is a search engine using the resources of other search engines.

Its search system is based on local encryption, to prevent tracking of user information.

In addition, the browsing history is automatically deleted every 15 minutes. So you can share your desktop without fear of being spied on by your friends, your children, your wife or husband… 😉

So the results pages are not customized according to your preferences.

search encrypt

Gibiru, 'neither seen nor known’

Gibiru is a search engine that announces from the start: "unfiltered private search".

Indeed, all the searches go through a proxy IP address. Thus the results provided by the search engine are private and neutral.

People using the same desktop as you will not have access to your history, and the queries are automatically deleted from the servers.


Disconnect, efficient and discreet search engine

Disconnect allows you to use the search engine of your choice, but with the guarantee that it will be completely confidential.

The service also offers extensions for your browser to improve page loading, block site tracking and ads, etc.

disconect search

Swisscows, the Swiss competitor

Swisscows is, as its name indicates, based in Switzerland. This country being one of the strictest in the world in terms of privacy, you know that you can trust them with your personal information online, with closed eyes.

Indeed, on their search engine, your searches will be encrypted. And your data, IP address and your search data will not be stored.

It can block violent and pornography content, which makes it popular among parents.

Its technology is based on semantic recognition, in order to provide relevant, fast and efficient answers. Additional suggestions are made based on your queries to provide you with more information.

Lukol, simple and effective

Lukol is a simple search engine that allows you to benefit from the power of Google, while preserving your confidential data. Your privacy is protected, as the search engine doesn't track your web activity.

It also blocks inappropriate content and malevolent websites.

You can search for websites, images, news and videos, but not filter your results.


MetaGer, the honest search engine

MetaGer is a non-profit organization, so they don’t make profit from your data and use green energy to run their servers.

The use of their service is completely anonymous. The service uses up to 50 search engines, in order to provide qualitative results.

Unlike Google, the list of results provided is completely unbiased.

There is a road map system, without the need to locate you.


Gigablast includes an online directory

Gigablast is a search engine and digital directory located in the United States (New Mexico) since 2000.

The online service browses millions of websites, but does not track your personal data. You are therefore spared from advertising that is often off-putting and intrusive!

You can filter your searches, thanks to different options such as word search, language search or file type search. It is also possible to use other operators to obtain more advanced results.


With Oscobo, surf with peace of mind

Oscobo is a search engine that protects you from tracking and invasion of privacy (including IP addresses and cookies).

It is possible to search by page, image, video and map.

You can add an extension to Chrome, to use the browser bar to perform a search.


Infinity Search, an open source search engine

Infinity Search is an open source search engine that protects its users' personal data.

It uses external sources to provide its results.

You will be able to filter your searches by using the horizontal bar on the result page.

The interface is customizable.


Duckduckgo, powerful and respectful of your data

Created in 2007, Duckduckgo claims to be "the search engine that doesn't spy on you". In addition to respecting your privacy (it does not store IP addresses or queries), it is a metasearch engine that uses results from more than 400 sources including Bing, Yahoo! or Wikipedia, as well as crowdsourcing information from other sites.

The interface is elegant and functional, with few ads (only related to the current query) and unlimited scrolling.

💡 The service offers a feature called bangs, that allows you to search another website, without leaving Duckduckgo, simply by entering a prefix. If, for example, you enter: "!Wikipedia George Washington", it will display search results from Wikipedia for the query "George Washington". Another feature allows you to check if a site is working correctly or if it is down, by typing "is [site name] down".


Yacy, from private individual to private individual

Yacy is a search engine that is peer-to-peer. It requires the installation of software.

So you can do all your searches, and you are part of a network of users. This system allows the creation of a decentralized search engine. Your queries are not tracked and your privacy is totally preserved.


Search engines different from Google

Tineye, Google Images in reverse

Tineye is a reverse search engine.

You just have to upload your picture and Tineye analyzes its characteristics in order to find the origin of the picture, and to know its source.


Metacrawler, a metasearch engine

Developed in 1994 at the University of Washington, this search engine is actually a meta-search engine. That is to say that unlike Google,  it doesn't crawl web pages, but sends queries to other search engines, then processes the data to recombine results.

It is also possible to search for videos, images, news or phone numbers.


Million Short, the unbiased search engine

This search engine doesn’t take into account website popularity, to display neutral results.

You will find unusual results and potentially make great discoveries.


Ask your question, Wolframalpha answers it

Wolframalpha allows you to ask a question about various topics (historical figures, sciences, mathematics, society, culture, daily life...), and to immediately read the answer.

This search engine works with artificial intelligence, and provides you with high quality information.

You will be able, among other things, to compare websites between them, by typing two addresses (instagram.com vs twitter.com, for example).

To top it off, your personal data will not be tracked with this search engine.


Quora, a gigantic forum

Entirely based on questions and answers, Quora is a community search engine.

The database is rich and diverse (with no less than 100 million monthly visitors), and the topics are categorized by theme.


Ask, a web pioneer

This old search engine dates back to 1996 and was once called Ask Jeeves. It was one of the precursors in the search engine industry: it existed long before Google. Years have passed and the website is still up and running, although rather confidential.

It is also a question-answer forum which allows a more natural and intuitive approach for people not used to computers.

A FAQ is displayed as results, making it easy to go a little further afield in your explorations.

Answers.com will always give you the right answer

Like Qora, Answers.com operates on a question-and-answer system about everything from law to math to the arts to history.

It now has over 10 million entries and is available in several languages. 


Specific alternative search engines

Some search engines have chosen to focus on niche markets, by focusing on specializations.

The unavoidable YouTube

Just like Google, to whom it belongs, YouTube is a giant of the internet.

It is nothing less than the second largest search engine in the world (even if it is primarily a video hosting platform). And many of us use it daily. Whether it's for relaxation, humor, music or documentaries.


Unsplash, to find beautiful images

In a world where communication is everywhere, whether it's through email, social media, printed, or your website, you need striking images.

But here's the thing: stock images are expensive.

Unsplash offers you its search engine, to find free and royalty-free images.


Slideshare, an indispensable professional tool

Heard about a great conference you couldn't attend?

You have taken this great course, but can't find your notes?

Slideshare is for you: you can browse through thousands of presentations on any topic.

It's a great place to get caught up and inspired!

slide share

Newsnow, to improve your media relations

It is a search engine specialized in press. It allows you to access the British media.


Mysciencework, the scientific search engine

This search engine allows scientists, researchers, and students to exchange on their work, to publish conference dates or job offers.


Boardreader, for forum enthusiasts

Boardreader is a search engine specialized in forums. You can get many threads based on your query, with the ability to filter results by date and language.

This can be extremely useful for competitive intelligence or content curation, as you will be able to quickly find answers to very specific questions, or authentic consumer reviews.

It will also allow you to familiarize yourself with forums, if you are not a regular user.


Illustrate your content with Openverse

Formerly called Creative Commons Search, this search engine has recently been acquired by Wordpress. This image bank allows you to find royalty-free images to illustrate your content and documents.

Type your keywords in the search bar to find the images you are interested in.


Listen Notes, for podcast fans

With the explosion of podcasts, it was essential and wise to make a search engine specialized in the subject. Listen Notes has done it.

You'll find the next podcast that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


GIPHY, the king of GIFs

Nothing like a good GIF to make the difference on social media.

Giphy, the king of GIFs, offers you a specialized search engine, to help you make the best choice. And you'll have a lot of choices, with more than 10 billion options... You're bound to find the right one for you!


Wiki.com, for the curious

On this search engine, you will be able to browse through all the community resources, in order to find information that you are looking for, and the answers to the questions that keep going through my mind.


Kiddle, the search engine for children

Here is a search engine dedicated to children. It blocks inappropriate content, by using the Google filter.

Moreover, no personal data will be collected. You can let your kids surf the internet without any worries!


Yummly, the search engine for recipes

This search engine specializes in cooking recipes and food.

With 26 million users and more than 2 million recipes, there's plenty to satisfy the greediest among us. 👨🍳


Alternatives to Google: committed search engines

Some start-ups have decided to stand out for their ethical and eco-friendly policies.

With Ecosia, you plant trees

Ecosia is an ecological search engine: the (German) company donates 80% of its revenues to reforestation projects around the globe. It takes an average of 45 searches to plant one tree.

The main idea is to compensate for the energy used for searching. Indeed, a typical Google search consumes about 7g of CO2.

Since its inception, the service has 15 million users and has planted nearly 150 million trees.

With this search engine, your searches are eco-friendly!


Lilo, French and generous

In the same state of mind, Lilo is a solidarity search engine. The money they earn from advertising goes to charitable projects.

The principle is nice: each search allows you to collect a drop of water that you can transform into money and give to the project of your choice.

And Lilo does not collect your personal data!


GiveWater, a gesture to help

In the same way, GiveWater is working to bring clean water to people around the world.

By using their search engine and clicking on their ads, you are helping to improve the lives of the less well off. 


Ekoru to take care of the ocean

Using Ekoru is another way to help by performing a web search.

This search engine helps clean up the oceans, by donating funds to Big Blue Ocean Cleanup and Operation Posidonia.

Moreover, their servers are powered by hydroelectric energy.

Finally, they do not store user data. Bravo to them!


With Youcare, choose who you want to help

Finally, here is another French search engine that donates its advertising revenue to charities around the world, from animal shelters to medical research or the environment.


Bonus: innovative search engines

Search engines are competing with each other to make a place for themselves on the market. This is especially true for the following search engines.

The Wayback Machine

Time travel is still not possible, but we don't necessarily need it, thanks to the Wayback Machine.

Developed by the Internet Archive in 1996, this search engine has indexed over 300 billion different Web pages to chronicle the Internet.

Provided you know the URL or the keywords of a web page, you can search for almost anything online, even previously deleted pages.

 As a digital library, they share millions of books, videos, music, etc. with users every day.



FindSounds is a search engine whose main goal is explicit: to help you find sounds.

From evil laughter to volcanic eruptions, cow mooing to laser noises, it offers thousands of different sounds, which you can download for free with the click of a button.

Search for sounds you like in FindSounds' search bar, or click on one of the many categories to add a cool (or eerie) sound to your next presentation or conference.



Yes, we know: the name of this search engine is just "Google" spelled backwards. Shouldn't we write about unique search engines different from Google?

While Elgoog still searches Google, it has the distinction of allowing you to search in several different modes.

This search engine allows you to access google easter eggs. Well done, elgooG!

Whether you want to use an alternative search engine to protect your privacy, perform more precise searches, find rarer information, or simply out of curiosity, you now know where to go!

Have a nice web-surfing! 🏄

Frédérique Biau
Editor and translator
I am passionate about science fiction, new technologies, writing and art in general. I started my career as a Cultural Manager. It is with pleasure and enthusiasm that I am a writer and web translator with 9 years of experience. ✍️

Last update: April 21, 2023