Google is the leader in the search space and definitely the most loved search engine today, but some policy changes they have been making in the last few months is not going down too well with many. Now with its declaration of its new user data sharing policy, some have now started looking out for alternate search engines already. While most may not come close to the Google experience, there are some pretty decent search engines one can switch over to, if you are willing to change habits. Here are a few, if you are planning a change.
Alternative search engines
Bing: Bing from Microsoft – many do not want to try or use it for one simple reason! It’s from Microsoft! But if you can lay aside your negative bias for ‘anything Microsoft’ and check it out for a week, you will be surprised at the results it delivers. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to using your earlier one. Bing is now also powering Yahoo Search results.
IxQuick: It was IxQuick which was the first search engine to offer encrypted search back in 2009. It has now also made SSL encryption the default on all searches – although other search engines too followed suit. Ixquick has a sister search engine called Startpage.
Startpage: Well Startpage may not exactly be a Google alternative, but for lovers of Google Search results, it looks to be the best alternative as basically Startpage uses Google Web results – but does not track you or your searches. You can use Startpage to search the web anonymously and protect your privacy. Moreover Startpage shows only a limited amount of relevant sponsored results on the top and the bottom of the results page. You can even add StartPage to your browser.
DuckDuckGo: This search engine too does not track your history and bans spammy sites and sites that are full of advertisements.
Dogpile: It is a metasearch engine, that allows you to simultaneously search not only Google, but also Bing and Yahoo. No longer can you trust just Google Search, as it pushes results from its own sister sites. Using such meta search engines, you can get the best of the three worlds.
Metacrawler: It is another meta search engines that searches and delivers search results from Google, Bing and Yahoo. By accessing multiple search engines for each query, it can provide you with a more relevant spectrum of results than you would from using any single search engine.
Blekko: It helps eliminate spam from search results by allowing you to use slashtags to deliver results that are relevant. For example, you can search with the slashtag “/windows” to get results that have to do with Windows.
Wolfram Alpha: It works in a way quite different from the traditional Search Engines. Search Engines index web pages, then look for textual matches, then give you lists of links. WOolfram|Alpha uses built-in knowledge curated by human experts to compute on the fly a specific answer to every query
Ask: Ask.com is the largest of the small search engines having approximately 5% odd US market share. Forget its hated Ask toolbar for a moment and check it out.
Gigablast: This one styles itself as a Green Search Engine as 90% of its power usage comes from wind energy. If you want, you can also perform your query on the coal-based search engines by clicking links below the search results. It has a pretty big index and some nice advanced search options too.
Let us know if you have any suggestions or observations to make.