Ever feel a little “spied on” when you use Google’s search engines? You’re not just being paranoid. Google keeps track of your searches, the videos you watch, your location, the websites you visit, along with your name, gender, birthdate, YouTube comments and much more.
It’s true. They record everything you do after using one of their services. It all goes into your profile, built out of every question you’ve ever asked Google. Read this article about how Google uses your location to customize your search results.
Using Google used to mean finding the answer to anything, YouTube without ads, and not worrying about your privacy. Not anymore. On June 1, 2005, everything changed, spurring the quest for search engines other than Google.
Google Makes a Bold Move
Personalized search was officially announced. Google had tried this in the past but with profiles and settings created by users. Google now goes straight to your history, which you agree to by default anytime you use a Google service.
Every time you use a Google product they place a file on your computer. These files, or cookies, take note of everything you do on your computer. Even if you delete them, Google keeps any data they recorded.
This is why so many of us are looking for an alternative. We don’t just want to know how to search something on Google without being tracked. We want a different search engine altogether. Let’s take a look at one of the fastest rising search engines. It sells itself as the search engine that doesn’t track you. The perfect answer to Google’s prying eye.
Gabriel Weinburg started DuckDuckGo because of his dissatisfaction with Google. DuckDuckGo started as a mission to clean up spam links, add instant answers, and maintain your privacy.
When Google search engines copied these features, Weinburg went where he knew Google wouldn’t follow. There is no record of anything you search for with DuckDuckGo. That means no ads that follow you to every page you visit after a search engine query.
Even the government can’t get access to your DuckDuckGo search history. The reason is diabolically simple: there is none.
Even if they were subpoenaed, DuckDuckGo doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t have any record of your searches.
You may not have heard of DuckDuckGo until recently. They have recently seen their search volume balloon to over 25 million. Founder Weinburg attributes this growth to the Snowden incident. Knowing that our data is being monitored have made privacy concerns mainstream.
Another privacy-minded search engine, SearchEncrypt takes the idea a step further than DuckDuckGo.
When you search with DuckDuckGo, your search is visible in the URL of your search results. Anyone going through your history could see what you searched for. SearchEncrypt does what their name implies. Every interaction with the site is immediately encrypted.
Search history does not reveal any identifying information. SearchEncrypt takes privacy up a notch by not highlighting any previously visited links. DuckDuckGo, like Google, will show any links you’ve already clicked on as a different color.
The best feature that privacy-centric search engines provide is protection from bubble filters. A bubble filter is a negative consequence of personalized search. Because every search builds off your last, Google limits what you see.
If Google has you pinned as a Democrat, your news articles will come from liberal media outlets. Other news sources are available, but further down the page. That’s what makes SearchEncrypt great for researching subjects like politics, health, and world news.
Many are looking for privacy and diversity when they look at search engines other than Google. SearchEncrypt satisfies both.
Yandex doesn’t offer the privacy of the other two search engines. It brings a lot of value to the table in a different way.
It is one of the few Google alternatives that offer similar cloud software. Yandex has their own version of Google’s most popular cloud services like docs, Gmail, and YouTube.
Most alternative search engines only offer search. This ignores that many are now dependent on Google’s cloud software services. Yandex is a suitable alternative for the Google ecosystem.
It may sound new to Westerners, but Yandex is a mature company with a loyal following in its home country of Russia. With the interest in Google alternatives, Yandex is becoming more international.
Metasearch engines are unique in that they combine the results of multiple engines. A metasearch engine solves the problem many of us have when we can’t find what we’re looking for on Google.
Dogpile combines the results of the most popular search engines so you can compare them all in one place. Save time by searching Google, Yahoo, and Yandex all at once.
Often the butt of jokes when compared to Google, Bing is still the second most popular search engine. Bing’s most notable service is their advanced video search.
Thumbnails in Bing’s video search results begin to play when you hover your mouse over them. You can preview videos without having to leave the results page. This saves time by helping you find the video you’re looking for faster.
Another unique benefit Bing offers is Microsoft Rewards. You get 5 points for every one of your Bing searches. These points don’t have any cash value but you can redeem gift cards and similar items from Microsoft.
If you’re curious about how sites like Bing organize their results, go to https://www.microdinc.com/seo/ to learn how search engine optimization (SEO) works.
While not technically a search engine, Vimeo is a serious competitor to Google’s YouTube. Vimeo has made a name for itself as a provider of high-quality video.
Vimeo differentiates itself with its stricter uploading guidelines. Vimeo has a much higher bitrate than YouTube, making the same video clearer on Vimeo.
Being 100% ad-free is arguably the best part of Vimeo. They make all their money from paid accounts that allow more storage than the free version.
Making the Switch to Search Engines Other Than Google
There is an alternative for every service in Google’s suite. Google’s personalized search results are a double-edged sword. They can be convenient but sometimes prevent us from finding valuable information. Conflicting views erased. All activity recorded. Ads get priority.
The best search engines other than Google specialize in one aspect of search. Whether it’s keeping your privacy, getting rid of ads, or maintaining high quality, there is a search engine that has what you need.
Find why your website isn’t ranking well with search engines. Check out this article from to see if you’re making these common mistakes.