Let us make one clear admission right here and now – Google holds the largest stake in search engines and software to improve search engine optimisation (SEO) performance. There is no escaping this fact, opening up multiple pathways via the likes of Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner and Google Scholar to enhance the user’s online capabilities.
However, this is not to say that other avenues are to be ignored altogether. With millions of users monthly swarming to other outlets to search for brand names, domains and services, it makes sense to engage with these platforms to improve your standing in an already crowded marketplace.
There also happens to be a litany of free software tools out there that prove to have different functionalities and assets that venture beyond the limitations of Google.
Take their Keyword Planner program as a case in point. The following tools can offer insights and present the data in a way that is easier to understand for different segments of the business world:
Ranking well on Google is a given for any enterprise, but if you happen to be based in a market that caters to niche engineers or a product/service that is specific to unique group of people, then all of that SEO work invested into the number one platform won’t be reciprocated to the degree you forecasted.
So what exactly are the other relevant search engines you should be keeping tabs on outside of Google?
Let us offer a snapshot of the best 14 alternatives.
The Internet Archive
Ever wondered what it would have been like scouring the web back in 2005, 2000 or the 1990s? Well The Internet Archive is a unique search engine platform that presents webpages as they were originally intended.
This is particularly useful for the creative types who might need to shoot a scene from a vintage time period or need to examine how search engines have adapted over time. The Internet Archive will not be a go-to source for regular use, but as an insight into our platform alterations over the years, it is a great tool to tap into.
Seeing no less than 100 million unique monthly visitors swing by Wow’s platform, this application has taken inspiration from Yahoo’s multiuse interface. Here you will see your search enquiry pictured against news articles and blogs, other search related hits and suggestions.
Wow is fantastic for Gen Y users or social media experts who want to tap in their search to the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts of their searches. This is the real benefit of tapping into Wow, a hub that is ideal for searches surrounding celebrity culture and entertainment.
Yippy is the search engine’s search engine, if that makes sense. Whereas Google, Bing and Yahoo will utilise indexed spiders to scour the web for your hit results, Yippy taps into what is known as ‘Deep Web’ software to amalgamate a series of conventional and unconventional sources.
That means the niche article from thirty years ago or declassified document can be found easier on Yippy than it would be for Google. This browser comes highly recommended for scholars and investigative journalists.
Bought out by Blucora in 2016, InfoSpace operates as a helpful search engine that takes into account their own branded site results. This metasearch will derive from partnered domains like WebCrawler, Zoo.com and Dogpile.
InfoSpace is more niche than the average platform to only see an approximate 24 million monthly visitors. Describing itself as a “monetization solutions” and “white label search program,” they attempt to mix the highest-paid hits with organic results.
Flying under the radar to Australia, American and British online users, there is a reason why Baidu scores 700 million monthly visits. Seeing heavy sanctions weighing down Google’s capacity in China, they departed the vast market to concentrate on the rest of the world to leave a huge vacuum.
In stepped Baidu, a search engine that now enjoys 90% of China’s market despite a swarm of advertisements littering the interface (a fact that doesn’t seem to deter Chinese users). With over 6 billion daily searches taking place on Baidu, this is an outlet that can garner tremendous traction should you provide a niche or service that is attractive to the Eastern market.
In the Western world, we like to believe that everything revolves around our own inventions. Hubs like Google are market leaders, yet in locations like China and Russia that have a vast populace, they won’t be tapping into those engines.
Russia’s Yandex is a means of integrating into an alternative marketplace that sorts their results according to user behaviour more than backlinks from authoritative sources. This outlet is ideal for sites that drive a lot of on-page content updated regularly and comes with a helpful support network via the Yandex Webmaster Tools.
WebCrawler might only manage to gain approximately 65 million monthly visits, but there is one clear feature that separates it from the search engine competition. Even though Google does manage to differentiate between paid-for advertisements and organic hits via the little ‘Ad’ icon, it can be easy to see all of the results merge into one domain.
WebCrawler does not suffer from this problem, clearly creating a line in the sand presentation-wise between what is an artificial commercial and what is a genuine result. This option is renowned for offering a more thorough and organic SERPs (search engine results pages).
The majority of search engines will take their results essentially from the indexed web without taking into account traffic from external sources like social media. In real time, Info.com manages to include social media trends that are occurring in real time to feature in the overall search equation.
Info.com scores approximately 13.5 million unique monthly visitors to be one of the more niche outlets in the industry. Yet if you are desiring topics and content that is on-point and timely, then Info.com is the engine for you.
For users who login to DuckDuckGo for the first time, they might see it as a knock-off version of Google. It seemingly has an identical listing format, but take a closer look and you will see why this outlet manages to gain a credible 150,000,000 unique monthly visits.
DuckDuckGo boasts a ‘zero-clock’ feature that places all of your search enquiries onto the first page whilst eliminating more spam than what Google can manage. This includes disambiguation prompts as well as ensuring that your personal data is not accrued to protect your privacy. A relative newcomer on the scene, but DuckDuckGo continues to venture from strength to strength.
Designed specifically for tech workers and IT professionals, Webopedia is custom made for those wanting to know more about their unique fields. Terms deranging from the computer and technology worlds are best sourced on Webopedia as they have been researched by experts in those industries.
Yet it is not an elitist service, allowing those unaccustomed with technical computer keywords such as ‘computer-aided design’ (CAD) to access both a definition and context. Making the complicated that little bit more simple is not an easy achievement, but Webopedia ticks that box.
Much like trucker caps and vinyl records, Dogpile was a popular entity in the 1990s before fading into obscurity for a number of years. Now like anything retro, the useful search engine is seeing a resurgence again to earn a healthy take of 12 million monthly visitors.
Google’s very matter-of-fact presentation is replaced with a friendly puppy holding a ball as you tell him to go fetch a series of crosslinks from your enquiry. The platform will take results from Google and Yahoo for you to examine the favourites or the quick starts.
Originally designed back in 1996, well before Google would take off to become the giant it is today, Ask.com was on the cutting edge of software to enable online users to ask random questions they wanted answers for. In that respect, it does not act as a traditional search engine but Google has since become a hub for questions as much as brand and service names.
Scoring a healthy 300 million unique monthly views as of 2017, Ask.com is one of the premium options for any Q&A related matches. There is clearly a market out there for people who prefer to conduct their searches in that fashion.
Despite a Verizon purchase to take Yahoo out as an independent entity, this is still a search engine that is maintaining business as usual. That takeover worth US $4.8 billion to merge with AoL was expected to shift the landscape of one of the world’s most powerful search engines, yet that could not be further from the case.
What Yahoo does well for those web searches who want a more interactive experience, they offer a travel directory, games and shopping centres, email inbox and more into the search portal. This is a brilliant interface for beginners and given their strong audience of 490 million monthly users, there is still a tremendous amount of currency in Yahoo.
With an estimated 400 million monthly visitors, Bing stands head and shoulders among the world’s best search engines. Initially starting out as MSN search until it was given a rebranding by Microsoft back in 2009, this is a site that boasts a series of handy features that illustrates how the company have tried to branch away from Google in every sense.
When names emerge about platforms that have the capacity to rival Google, then Bing is a leading candidate with a video search software tool that surpasses what their rivals can offer. Add to this a filtering system that enables site names to be ranked by outgoing links and a superior autocomplete algorithm, and it is obvious why a healthy portion of online users continue to stick solid to Bing.
Summary List: Top 14 Alternatives to Google
- The Internet Archive
Kieran is the Social Media Manager and SEO Expert at SEO Shark. He is an expert in Social Media, link building, PPC and of course SEO. In his time off work Kieran enjoys reading and playing rugby, as well as following all kinds of sports! You can read some more of his articles here.