My friend who worked with the once-mighty Yahoo search engine told me some time back in 2013 that Googling “Yahoo” was a common practice among his teammates.
Even though it sounded strange back then, it marked the transition of Yahoo! from being the top search engine to what it is now, giving way to Google’s omnipotence.
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin stayed back late nights to complete a University project, Jerry Yang and David Filo – the founders of Yahoo, never suspected that the geeks were giving shape to their nemesis – Google!
That was until 1998 when I first heard of Google. The search engine landscape has been toiled many times by corporations that I thought may stay here forever.
Today, there are several alternative search engines that can provide quality results like Google.
Some of them are region-specific, and some are accessible to a global audience.
However, the search functionalities of the top search engines remain the same.
So this post is going to get frequent updates as the answer to “what are the top search engines” are susceptible to changes over time.
Web Search Engine List
No king has ruled forever!
But Google still remains a search engine behemoth in 2020, having more than 90% of the global search market share.
Google is, without a doubt, a cut above all the other competitors in the search engine landscape when it comes to user engagement.
The defining factor for Google’s success is the algorithm that fetches users the most relevant results, and above that, an unmatched personalized user experience.
Google also has its demerits.
Fast forward to 2020 and their priorities have changed significantly.
The pure organic SERP page of Google is a thing of the past. Google SERP Features such as Ads, Knowledge Graph, Snippets, Map Pack, etc., have taken up prime positions on the SERP, leaving no chance for websites to get the same visibility as before.
The more personalization you prefer, the more user data Google will collect from you.
So, if you’re concerned about privacy, Google is not the search engine for you, at least in 2020.
Over the centuries, empires have risen and fallen.
If Google continues to run the show without giving credit to websites and without asking for the user’s consent before sharing their data, Google’s omnipotence as the most used search engines may be short-lived.
So, what if Google follows suit of AltaVista and other major search engines?
Don’t worry, we have a bunch of search engines that can take the place of Google if armageddon hits them.
The Microsoft-owned Bing is the second most visited search engine in the world (at least in 2020).
The hype around it ends soon after you realize that it owns just 2.39% of the total market share.
That means it will take a long time for Bing to beat Google’s share of 92%.
The Bing search engine is the result of Microsoft’s crafty mix and match.
Microsoft came to the search engine landscape back in 1998 with MSN.
Microsoft was never willing to give up on something that they knew was a gold mine with miles still to be explored.
In 2006, Microsoft rechristened MSN to Live Search.
Changing the default search engine to Google was one of the first things that people used to do soon after buying a PC.
In 2009, Google finally rebranded Live Search to Bing.
Bing uses its own algorithm for crawling and indexing purposes, which makes the SERP entirely different from what a Google search provides.
In addition to this, the homepage of Bing is much trendier with dynamic background images, unlike the plain white offered in Google.
But, the question here is, do people really care?
- Local Search Results: The local search results in Bing are highly customizable and very pleasing to the eyes. A casual search term “restaurants near me” gives you a lot of options to filter. In addition to this, the Bing Mobile app brings you the 360 feature to help you find local businesses using your camera.
- Image Search: Bing Image Search is way more advanced and organized than what you can find on Google. It provides a lot of information to users and many more options to filter the photos.
- Video Search: Interestingly, videos that are displayed on Bing are mostly from YouTube, which is owned by Google. However, the way Bing has showcased the videos makes it a cut above Google. The video search results are displayed in thumbnail grids, and users can watch videos within the SERP environment.
- Links vs Content: It is well-known that Bing algorithms are more focused on finding and showcasing quality than counting the number of links. Bing tends to rank sites with very few quality links provided the content is top-notch.
According to recent figures, these features have helped Bing acquire a larger share of the search market in the US. Oberlo reports that Bing has a 6.11% share of the US search market, which is an indication of the Microsoft-owned search engine making steady progress.
Between 2015 and 2018, Amazon’s growth increased from 46% to 54%, beating Google.
While Google strives to offer the best results based on what users might want to know, Amazon showcases its search results based on what users want to buy.
Amazon search results are driven by its own algorithm, known as the A9 algorithm.
It is said that Amazon’s A9 algorithm works on sales velocity.
Sales volume is the speed or velocity at which products are sold on the Amazon platform.
Amazon is soon taking over Google as the most used search engine for product related search and the arena has been set for really tough competition between these giants.
The previous search behemoth Yahoo! Search has not given up in the race of the best search engines.
The market share of Yahoo came down from 36.7% in 2001 to 1.64% in 2020.
It’s hard for Yahoo to make a comeback.
However, it’s important to note that Yahoo was the first search engine that inspired and envisioned possibilities of the search.
In 2001, Yahoo approached Inktomi to share its searchable index and then later Google in 2002.
In 2002, an attempt was made by Yahoo to buy Google.
However, there was an internal disagreement regarding the buyout cost, which was $1 billion.
Founded by Robin Li in China, Baidu has a lot of similarities with Google.
Baidu is the top search engine for Chinese citizens as the government has put an indefinite blockade, popularly known as the Great Firewall, on all Google services.
Currently, Baidu has a market share of 63.56% in China, beating Google and other Chinese search engines such as Sogou and Shenma by miles.
However, Alibaba is putting in a tough fight with Baidu for product related search market.
Robin Li first came up with a search engine named RankDex in 1996, which used an algorithm similar to Google’s PageRank.
In addition to this, Baidu is also into AI and voice-assisted search.
It also has 1.1 billion global mobile users and more than 90% of internet users in China rely on Baidu.
According to the latest figures, Baidu has 174 million daily active users.
Yandex is the Russian counterpart to Google and going by age, Yandex is much older than Google.
The founders of Yandex – Arkady Volozh and Arkady Borkovsky, came up with the idea of a web search engine software back in 1993.
Looking at history, Yandex was the first search engine that was monetized to sell ads.
Yandex is in very close competition with its US-counterpart Google when it comes to the market share.
Till July 2019, Yandex had a clear win over Google in Russia.
But the trend started changing since then with Google taking an upper hand.
Until 2006, Yandex was the most popular search engine in Russia.
If you’re concerned about the privacy of your data, DuckDuckGo is the search engine that you should be using.
If Google highlights the personalized search experience as its USP, DuckDuckGo does the opposite.
This is exactly what DuckDuckGo doesn’t do.
According to the official source, the search results provided by DuckDuckGo are generated from 400 different sources (algorithms), including Yahoo! Search, Search BOSS, Wolfram Alpha, Bing, Yandex, Wikipedia, and its own Web crawler (the DuckDuckBot) and others.
The way DuckDuckGo is progressing makes us think about the humble beginnings of Google.
As of 2020, DuckDuckGo has 0.5% of the global search market share.
However, when it comes to the US search market share, DuckDuckGo has managed to get 1.33%
Yippy is not a conventional search engine but rather, a Deep Web-based search engine.
We know that thousands of websites fail to get indexed by Google and other popular search engines.
Yippy is a good example of a metasearch engine as it uses the user search query to take inputs from a user and immediately query search engines for results.
If you’re looking for information that you feel may be only available on the Deep Web, Yippy is a search engine that you should consider.
CC Search is a search engine tool that lets people discover public domain and openly licensed works online.
It was founded in 2001 and launched its first license in 2002.
Creative Commons is the non-profit behind CC Search.
They make licenses that are used more than one and a half billion times to help creators share their creative knowledge online.
This is an ideal search engine is ideal for those who want to use images from the web without getting hit by copyright claim.
The search engine draws its results from sites like Behance, Flickr and Thingiverse to display the Creative Commons material in the results.
Gibiru was founded in 2009 and it is a web browser that allows users to conduct private searches without tracking their online activities.
The browser doesn’t log IP addresses or place cookies on computers, which means there’s no data that can be sold to advertisers.
Hence users using the Gibiru browser are free to access the web without worrying about getting their browsing activities or other online information tracked.
Search Encrypt is a privacy-based search engine that allows users to browse the web without compromising on the user’s personal information.
It was founded in 2016 by a team of developers who noticed how big search engines store personal information and browsing details about the users and felt the need to create a private search engine.
The browser uses local encryption to provide an additional layer of protection.
This is done by transmitting the search terms by the users to the browser’s servers in encrypted form and are decrypted and sent through their private search engine.
StartPage is yet another private search engine founded in 2006 that offers users an entirely private browsing experience that doesn’t let companies mine your personal data or allow cookies to hamper your browsing experience.
The “Anonymous view” feature of this browser lets you go completely private with your search activities.
Startpage.com is held by Startpage BV privately.
The browser is based in Europe, a place where privacy laws are among the most stringent in the world.
Swisscows is a private browser founded in 2009.
It doesn’t store your data and offer your complete privacy.
It also pays great importance to family-friendly content and keeps a check on the type of content displayed on the web to the children.
Violence and pornography are strictly prohibited for individuals below 18 years of age.
Unlike other search engine giants that store your information and manipulates your online behavior, Swisscow offers you quick search results with 100% privacy.
Ecosia is an environment-friendly search engine that uses revenues generated from search engine queries to plant trees.
It was founded on 7th December 2009.
Typically the Ecosia team plant a tree per 45 searches.
They produce their monthly financial reports so that users can see where the revenue generated from their searches go exactly.
The browser’s servers run on 100% renewable energy and don’t encourage third party trackers or sell data to advertisers.
It is a free and open-source English search engine founded in 2000.
The search engine was founded by Matt Wells in New Mexico, who created it to index billions of pages on the internet using minimum hardware possible.
The search engine claims to be one of the leading clean energy search engines with 90% of its power derived from wind energy.
The search engine has the ability to generate topics and index multiple document formats.
It also supports a blog-search feature along with a related concept feature named “Gigabits”.
Gigabits offers related information in addition to the original search result.
The source code of this search engine is written in C+ and C++ programming languages.
Lycos is a web search engine founded in 1995 by Bob Davis.
The search engine covers a network of web hosting, social networking, email, and entertainment websites.
Lycos Network sites include “Angelfire.com” and “Tripod.com”, which offer free web hosting, blogging and publishing tools.
Lycos became a popular search engine platform between 1990 and 2001.
Besides conducting web searches, you can also browse thousands of online games using this fast and reliable search engine.
You can also compare prices of products across various online shopping sites using the Lycos web search.
The search engine also encourages advertisement opportunities for businesses.
Mojeek is a UK-based web search engine.
Mojeek displays search results by indexing web pages on its own. It was created in 2004 by Marc Smith.
In 2006, it became the first search engine with a no activity tracking policy and is still applicable to this day.
Mojeek has indexed more than 2 billion pages so far and is hosted by UK’s greenest data center.
In 2017, Mojeek collaborated with EMRAYS Technology to introduce an emotion-based search engine that allowed users to browse content with emotional values.
Searx is a free metasearch engine aimed to protect the privacy of the users.
It was developed in 2014 by Adam Tauber.
It can fetch search results from 82 different browsers across all categories.
The search engine for a query can be specified via a “preference” interface.
The search results shown in Searx can be modified in 20 different languages as well.
Searx doesn’t share the IP address or browsing history with the search engines from whether it gathers results to display.
The tracking cookies are blocked by Searx which prevents user-profiling based result modification.
The user query keywords are prevented from appearing in the web server logs by submitting them via HTTP POST.
WebCrawler is the oldest surviving web search engine of the present time.
It was launched in 1994 and was one of the first web search engines to provide full-text search.
The search engine is currently run by InfoSpace as a meta-search tool, combining results from search engines like Google, Yahoo, Ask, Live Search, and others.
WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine developed by a subsidiary Wolfram Research.
It was launched in May 2009.
The search engine answer queries directly by curating data from external sources rather than working like a typical search engine, which offers a list of sites that might answer your search query.
The search engine can only provide answers to question-based computational queries and doesn’t work for search queries that need elaborate answers.
Neeva is a search engine developed by an ex-Google executive, Sridhar Ramaswamy. Unlike Google, Neeva will not show ads on the search result page or collect user data for profit.
It will work on a subscription-based model and will display search results curated from the web as well as personalized files.
The search rankings will be powered by Microsoft Bing, weather information from weather.com, stock data from Intrinio, maps from Apple.
Image Search Engine List
Flickr is an image and video hosting company based in America. It was created in 2004 by Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake. Flickr is a top-rated image hosting platform for amateur and expert photographers around the world. Images and videos can be accessed on Flickr for free and without the need to create an account on the platform. However, if somebody wants to upload images or videos on the site, they need to create an account. Flickr is available as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.
Pinterest is an image-sharing social media platform that allows users to save and discover images, gifs, and video clips on the web. It was founded in 2010 by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp. Pinterest consist of pins, which are visuals uploaded to the site or linked from another site. A group of collected pins is categorized in a board, which can be repinned by other users if they choose to share your collection. The Pinterest visual search service was introduced in 2017, where users can search for an image’s elements from the Pinterest database.
TinEye is a reverse image search engine based in Toronto. It is the first image search engine on the web that uses image identification technology to retrieve results instead of keywords. Users can upload images within 20 MB on the site or provide an URL of the image in the search engine, and TinEye will return with the details of the image where it has been used, including the date and time of upload.TinEye can find images in JPEG, GIF, or PNG format. It is a useful tool for people to find all sorts of image copyright infringements.
CC Search is short for Creative Commons Search and it’s a platform that allows public domain and openly licensed work to be discovered and used by people. You can use the tool to look for a variety of image requirements, such as for commercial purposes, modification purposes, or any other kind of repurpose. It compiles results from sources like Flickr, Wikimedia, Google Photos, and YouTube.
Wikimedia Commons is an online directory of free to use images, sound clips and other forms of media. It was launched in 2004. Currently, there are more than 60 million free media files available to use in the Wikimedia Commons database. The site has three major techniques to recognize quality works. The first category is known as “Featured pictures,” where works are nominated and community members are asked to vote to accept or reject the nominations. The second category is “Quality images” that only features works by Wikimedia users. The last category is “Valued Images” which recognizes the most valued images in a particular category.
Video Search Engine List
YouTube is a video sharing platform that was started by former PayPal employees-Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim in 2005. A year later the platform was bought by Google and it now works as one of Google’s subsidiaries.
YouTube has over 2 billion users, which roughly equates to one-third of the people on the internet. It is the second biggest search engine after Google and surpasses the popularity of Bing, Yahoo & Ask combined. It is also the top search engine which it comes to video related search, which is yet to face stiff competition from the other players like Vimeo and Facebook Video.
The versatility of YouTube makes it available in more than 80 different languages in 91 countries.
With more than 70% of views coming through mobile devices, YouTube is a popular search engine for video. Using this platform, users can not only view videos from all over the world but also upload and stream them to other users.
Dailymotion is a French video-sharing platform founded in 2005. It was founded by Benjamin Bejbaum and Olivier Poitrey. Dailymotion is available in 43 countries so far. The platform allows video creators to share their recorded or live videos online and attracts 300 million users worldwide. The content upload policies on Dailymotion is not as stringent as YouTube, hence the users are at low risk of getting their content taken down or banned permanently from the platform.
Vimeo is a video service platform for hosting and sharing videos. It was founded in 2004. It is an ad-free video platform that derives its majority of revenue from subscription-based video content and offering Saas with video creation, editing and broadcasting tools. Vimeo is focused on delivering HD videos across a range of devices.
LBRY is a digital library where you can find videos, music, ebooks and other useful multimedia resources. It is a protocol that allows anyone to build apps that interact with the digital content available on the LBRY network. Apps built using the protocol allow users to upload their work on the LBRY network of hosts and set a price for stream or provide it for free.
PeerTube is an open-source video platform. This free platform uses peer-to-peer technology to reduce the load on individual servers when viewing videos. It was really in March 2018. The platform uses WebTorrent technology.
DTube is a crypto-decentralized video sharing platform, which was started as an alternative to YouTube. Due to the decentralized nature of the platform, DTube is unable to censor videos or enforce guidelines. The censorship can be only done by the users through their upvotes or downvotes. All the data on DTube is public and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. DTube also runs ads-free, however, users can run ads within their content at their own risk.
BitTube is a crypto-decentralized YouTube alternative. It was founded by Halsey Minor. Video producers can publish work free from censorship on BitTube and receive payment from viewers in the form of cryptocurrency, also known as BitTube coins on the platform. The platform also has a feature called “AirTime,” where it rewards creators and viewers based on times watched.
BitChute video hosting platform launched in 2017 by Ray Vahey. It was created to allow people to upload their videos without following the strict guidelines laid by YouTube. The content available on this platform is highly political. The platform claims to use peer-to-peer WebTorrent technology.
Twitch is a popular platform for live streaming games and is well-known among youngsters. Gamers also use this platform to connect with other gamers and share tips, tricks, and hacks for gaming. The platform has approximately 15 million monthly users.
Metacafe is a video hosting site founded in 2003. It is an alternative to popular video platform YouTube and specializes in short-form video content. It contains videos from categories such as movies, video games, sports, music, and TV, which can be viewed for free on the platform.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit online library that allows free access to millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. You can upload videos to this site using the common video coding format, H.264. The site has a vast collection of historical content hard to find elsewhere on the internet
These are the top search engines that you can use to search for things on the internet in the coming year. If you ask “what is the best search engine among these?” You will easily get Google as the answer out of the list of top search engines we’ve provided.
However, nobody knows what the future holds. You might see some of these search engines raise the rank and get popular among people.