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Google at the moment dominates the worldwide search engine market. Not a day goes by after I don’t Google one thing. The identical might be true for you.

However criticism towards Google has mounted over current years. They’ve been fined for antitrust points, making a filter bubble and violating consumer privateness (amongst different issues).

Consequently, many customers are turning away from the search behemoth in favor of options. Even our personal Chief Advertising Officer (CMO), Tim has switched:

So when you’re in search of a Google different, what viable choices do you could have?

What’s the greatest different search engine?

To reply this query, I ran an experiment.

I researched among the hottest Google options, and set every of them as my default search engine for a day. Then I went by means of my day by day work to see if I seen something vital.

I additionally judged every search engine on its dedication to defending consumer knowledge and privateness.

Listed here are the outcomes, beginning with my favourite:

1. StartPage

startpage 1

Of all the major search engines I examined, that is my high decide.

Why? StartPage completely makes use of outcomes from Google, so it’s successfully Google with out the monitoring.

How personal is it?

StartPage doesn’t document your IP handle, and it doesn’t serve monitoring cookies. However because it makes use of Google’s outcomes, how do we all know it doesn’t ship info to Google?

Right here’s an excerpt from their privateness coverage:

While you search, your question is mechanically stripped of pointless metadata together with your IP handle and different figuring out info. We ship the anonymized search question to Google and return the search outcomes to you.

Privateness-oriented customers can also take consolation in the truth that StartPage is predicated within the Netherlands, which is a part of the European Union (EU). Consequently, it complies with the GDPR—a regulation within the EU that protects customers’ knowledge.

Nonetheless, you must know that the Netherlands is part of the 9 Eyes intelligence alliance. This shares mass surveillance knowledge with eight international locations together with these infamous for privateness violations just like the US and UK.

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One cool StartPage function is dubbed “Nameless View.”

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This protects you towards web site fingerprinting, cookies, social media monitoring pixels, and different invasions of privateness when visiting web sites.

Be taught extra right here.

2. Qwant

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Began in 2013, Qwant is a search engine based mostly in Paris.

Its search outcomes are powered by Bing and supplemented by these collected from its personal net crawler.

Actually talking, I felt Qwant was fairly good. My solely gripe was with its localized outcomes. A seek for “hen rice close to me”—a preferred dish in Singapore—yielded outcomes from the U.S.

2 quant local results 1

In equity, this challenge isn’t distinctive to Qwant. Privateness-focused search engines like google and yahoo don’t monitor your geolocation, so it’s tough for them to supply good native outcomes.

How personal is it?

Qwant doesn’t accumulate any knowledge or use monitoring cookies. It additionally dissociates your question and IP handle for additional anonymity.

Like StartPage, Qwant is predicated within the EU and due to this fact presents GDPR safety. France is, nonetheless, a part of the 9 Eyes intelligence alliance.

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Qwant presents “search shortcuts” that mean you can seek for outcomes from a particular web site.

For instance, working a search like &books finds outcomes from Amazon’s books class.

See your complete record of search shortcuts right here.

three. DuckDuckGo

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Probably the preferred personal search engine, DuckDuckGo (DDG) has positioned itself as “anti-Google” since its launch in 2008.

DuckDuckGo sources its outcomes from over 400 totally different locations, together with its personal crawler (DuckDuckBot), crowdsourced websites (e.g., Wikipedia), and companions (e.g., Bing).

This could be an unpopular opinion, however I believed DuckDuckGo’s search outcomes had been good however not distinctive.

As an illustration, I used to be lately shopping Fb and noticed a video of a person bailing water away from a flooded road. I acknowledged the background of the video as Venice (Italy). Eager to know what occurred, I looked for “venice” in DuckDuckGo however didn’t see any related outcomes. But the same search in Google confirmed outcomes about flooding within the metropolis.

How personal is it?

In accordance with DuckDuckGo, it doesn’t retailer personally identifiable info like IP addresses. It additionally doesn’t use monitoring cookies. Nonetheless, it does save searches, although claims to do it in a non-identifiable means.

That stated, DDG is predicated within the U.S., which suggests it’s a part of the 5 Eyes intelligence alliance. Privateness-oriented customers can also level to the truth that the U.S. repeatedly conducts mass surveillance packages and collects knowledge from numerous Web corporations (e.g., PRISM and MUSCULAR).

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DuckDuckGo’s “Bangs” function takes you instantly to go looking outcomes on different websites. For instance, typing “!w” and a key phrase (e.g., !w singapore) takes you on to Wikipedia’s web page for Singapore.

duckduckgo bangs 1

four. Ecosia

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It might not be apparent to you as an end-user, however each Google search contributes to the creation of carbon dioxide. In accordance with Quartz, the search engine is accountable for ~40% of the Web’s carbon footprint.

The corporate behind Ecosia needs to counteract this. It donates 80% of its earnings to tree-planting initiatives, which roughly equates to 1 tree planted for each 50 searches. It’s additionally constructed a photo voltaic plant so it could run servers on clear energy.

Ecosia’s search outcomes are powered by Bing and enhanced by its personal algorithms. I discovered outcomes from Ecosia to be adequate more often than not.

How personal is it?

Ecosia claims to be a personal search engine. Nonetheless, when you learn their privateness coverage, you’ll discover that they’re not that privacy-oriented.

Firstly, they accumulate search knowledge. This knowledge, in accordance with them, is used for bettering their net providers. Solely after seven days is all private info (e.g., IP addresses) deleted.

Moreover, since Bing powers their search outcomes, they share some particulars with them to reply your search request. Right here’s what Ecosia says:

[…] once you do a search on Ecosia we ahead the next info to our associate, Bing: IP handle, consumer agent string, search time period, and a few settings like your nation and language setting.

Moreover, by default Ecosia units a Bing-specific “Consumer ID” parameter to enhance the standard of your search outcomes. In case your browser has “Do Not Observe” enabled, we disable the “Consumer ID” mechanically. You too can select to disable this function by modifying your consumer settings.”

Should you’re involved about privateness, Ecosia might be not your best option.

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Hit the decision dropdown on the movies tab to filter for video outcomes of various high quality.

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5. Swisscows

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Because the title suggests, Swisscows is a search engine based mostly in Switzerland. It has its personal index for German queries however makes use of Bing outcomes for different languages.

Swisscows payments itself as “family-friendly.” It mechanically filters out all violent and pornographic search outcomes. This function is enforced. There’s no method to change it within the settings.

Whereas I felt that Swisscows’ search outcomes may very well be higher, it made the record due to its sturdy dedication to privateness.

How personal is it?

Swisscows doesn’t accumulate any knowledge about its customers. It doesn’t use any monitoring cookies or geo-targeting.

Should you’re involved concerning the partnership with Bing, you’ll be relieved to understand it routes queries by means of a firewall to strip out private identifiers.

You’ll even be blissful to know that Switzerland shouldn’t be a part of the 5, 9 or Fourteen Eyes intelligence alliance. It does, nonetheless, have a Mutual Authorized Help Treaty with the U.S.

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Swisscows presents “semantic maps” that can assist you additional refine your searches.

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6. Bing

Owned by tech big Microsoft, Bing is the second largest net search engine within the U.S, with a market share of ~6%.

Should you’re in search of a search engine with comparable options to Google, Bing is probably going your greatest wager. Acquainted options like translation, forex conversions, time, information panels are all obtainable.

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Forex conversion in Bing’s search outcomes. You’d be forgiven for considering that is Google.

Actually talking, whereas it’s the closest different to Google, there isn’t a lot upside to utilizing Bing. There’s no privateness profit, the standard of outcomes is roughly on par, the expertise is comparable, and it belongs to one of many Large 5 tech corporations.

You also needs to know that in early 2019, Bing confronted some critical points with their secure search.

How personal is it?

Bing is not a privacy-focused search engine. Microsoft collects knowledge from your entire interactions with their merchandise.

Function highlight

Bing lets you preview movies instantly within the SERPs:

7. Yahoo

Previously one of many largest Web corporations on the planet, Yahoo is now a shadow of its former self.

Its as soon as well-liked search engine is in the present day powered by Bing. Surprisingly although, it’s nonetheless the third hottest net search engine on the planet, proudly owning 1.6% of the worldwide market share.

One factor I dislike about Yahoo is that the delineation between paid and natural outcomes is unclear.

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Adverts usually are not marked clearly, and the one means you’ll be able to inform is the hardly noticeable divider.

Yahoo’s search outcomes are respectable, however the UI leaves rather a lot to be desired. It’s successfully Bing, however worse. In my view, the one purpose it could make sense to make use of Yahoo is when you’re already utilizing their different providers like Information, Finance, or Sport.

How personal is it?

Yahoo is not a privacy-focused search engine. The corporate collects private info once you register and use any of its services or products.

As Verizon acquired Yahoo in 2017, there can also be some sharing of information with Verizon’s household of corporations for analysis, product enhancements, and so forth.

You also needs to know that probably the most vital knowledge breaches on the Web belong to Yahoo. They’ve confronted heavy criticism for his or her laissez-faire angle in direction of cybersecurity.

Do you know Ahrefs is constructing a search engine? Right here’s why…

Google makes tens of billions of per yr in advert income, a lot of which comes from customers of Google search.

In case you’re unfamiliar with how this works:

While you seek for one thing on Google you see two varieties of outcomes: natural and paid. Should you click on on a paid outcome, Google earns cash from the advertiser for sending a possible buyer their means. Should you click on an natural outcome, as most individuals do, Google earns nothing.

So what’s the issue?

For transactional queries like “purchase x,” nothing. Each advertisers and people rating organically will usually revenue from the site visitors Google sends their means as a result of they’ve one thing to promote.

The problem is that the majority queries aren’t transactional. Round 80% of Google searches are informational. Which means the searcher isn’t in shopping for mode; they’re in studying mode.

Lots of the websites that rank for such queries are non-profit entities like Wikipedia, and people ran by passionate people with no motive aside from to unfold information.

Sadly, these are the individuals and organizations that Google’s enterprise mannequin neglects—and sometimes even stifles.

As an illustration, Wikipedia ranks for an estimated 195 million queries on Google within the US

wikipedia keywords us

… however as a result of it has nothing to promote, it has to beg for donations simply to remain afloat.

Google ranks websites like Wikipedia as a result of they provide helpful info. And when its customers are capable of finding such info utilizing the service, it retains them coming again for extra.

Inevitably, they carry out transactional queries, click on paid outcomes, and Google will get paid.

Lengthy story brief, Google’s industrial success is constructed closely on the knowledge offered by others—but they provide nothing in return.

Lately, Google has even begun displaying content material from these websites in its search outcomes.

wikipedia search results

This usually reduces (or eliminates) the necessity to click on outcomes, which additional reduces monetization choices for the websites that Google pulls info from.

At Ahrefs, we imagine that is unfair on content material creators. As such, we wish to take step one in difficult the established order.

We plan to create a search engine with a 90/10 revenue share mannequin—one which splits promoting earnings with the content material creators who make search outcomes attainable.

Our CEO introduced this in 2019:

We’ve already begun creating one behind the scenes.

Utilizing this mannequin, we hope that websites like Wikipedia will not must ask for donations yearly to remain afloat.

If you wish to be taught extra about our plans, I’d suggest studying this text by our founder and CEO, Dmitry.

Remaining ideas

Selecting a search engine is a private determination. Everybody’s standards and issues differ.

My recommendation is to mess around with the options on this record and determine what works for you.

Did I miss any good different search engines like google and yahoo? What do you consider our plans to create one? Let me know within the feedback or on Twitter.

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