Search Engine Alternatives To Google
Search Engine Alternatives find information culled from webpages similar to Google, but they may use different methods to obtain their search results. Hundreds of of Google alternative search engines are available, unfortunately for the alternative search engines most people will use Google. There are other options to meet your business and daily search needs and help you find what you are looking for.
The first time I created this list of alternative engines it has 38 listings on it. Now in 2016 barely six years have passed and 20 of the original engines have gone out of business or been merged with others. The list now has 36+ engines on it and I created a page highlighting the search engines that have disappeared called Search Engine Graveyard as well as a page about the importance of competition within search.
Will the engines I’m presenting give you a better experience? To be honest I can’t answer that question, search results are in the eye of the searcher. Try a few and find out. Maybe close your eyes and click on one of the clusters below.
Indexing the whole web can cost hundreds of millions of dollars every year and few search companies other then Google or Bing have that kind of capital. It is for this reason that most alternative search engines rely on aggregation of results from other sources not there own. If you can’t beat Google then your success as an alternative engine may lie in creating a niche to focus on.
Finding Alternative Search Engines to Google is really quite easy and includes the staple search engines like Yahoo, Ask, Bing, DogPile. All engines present some form of the index of the billions of webpages available. Even though most alternative engines use the data from sources other then their own, many present it in unique ways.
I particularly like some of the search engines that focus in on one topic or category. Some examples are Giphy which focuses on animated GIFs and Internet Archive which has millions of photos, texts, audios and video available for free public use. Another interesting search engine is Find Sounds, and just as it names implies it searches for sounds.
A search engine works a lot more behind the scenes than on your screen. In the few seconds it takes your engine to find and present sites for your perusal it actually only goes as far as its index. Search engines actually are constantly updating their indexes, at all times they are sending out small bots to update their resources. These small programs, called bots or spiders, look for key words, concentration of information and also for how many sites connect to the site they are currently checking. The engines also assess the validity of the connections and their reliability. For example, if a site is referenced by a University, it will rank higher than one referred to by a personal website.
Search engine alternatives can also provide you with different sites to view. For example, when searching for a list of presidents, Google pulls up a private page while Yahoo goes to Wikipedia.com first. The order of sites is determined by slightly different factors, but each search engine pulls up sites using their own internally generated criteria. That is what makes it worth while to search with more than one engine if you aren’t finding what you desire. Since software is proprietary, there will always be some small differences, and those differences can be critical to your search.
Over time you will find that you prefer one search engine more than another. Your preference will determine which you use as your homepage for searches. Since search engines are generally global, you get a much broader view of what is available. Yahoo is particularly good if you are searching for commercial websites; their shopping link will sort things by price and direct you to the appropriate stores. A search engine like Clusty will search out related clusters as well as the original interest; particularly useful if you want to see the thoughts behind the scenes.
Alternative Search Engines are often dedicated to a specific field of interest. There is little reason to try and slog through the billions of webpages and the hundreds presented in a general Google search if what you want to find is a specific legal paper; a legal search engine will work better. If you need a specific sound, then searching FindSounds.com makes more sense than a broad based search engine. It almost seems like there is a search engine available for each topic you can imagine.
Larger isn’t always the best when it comes to search engines. Yes, search engines like Google and Bing have access to huge amounts of data, but you don’t always want to see every single site available on a topic and its related content. Being able to narrow the search parameters even before you begin is a wonderful thing and will save you time in the end, that is one of the useful things your will find using one of the Alternative Search Engines. There is no reason to visit sites that have little or nothing to do with your topic, simply because somewhere along the way there was a word in an index related to your search. We have all been subject to scrolling page after page of web site names only to be forced to redefine our search parameters when nothing in the search results really matches our desire. If you have had to enter three or four variations of a search only to come up empty handed you know what I mean. Shrinking the number of valid sites from the beginning and you will have a better chance of finding what you want right from the start.
Search Engines like Google are great if you are searching for very general items or you know exactly what you desire. They are also good for pointing you toward a more specific search. Once you know what you want, you should consider an engine that is more topic specific, or one that pinpoints web sites differently, you are likely to come up with different, sometimes better, results. Take a little time and explore the Alternative Search Engines to Google.
Click the picture below to visit the Search Engine Graveyard.
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