Search Engines Other Than Google

The whole Bing de-listing thing got me thinking about search engines, which is not something I put my mind to all that often.  We live in a world where there is Google and then there is everything else.  In the west at least, Google dominates to such an extent that barely anything else counts.  I lost Bing traffic, but in the grand scheme of things, did it matter much?

Bing stats running into June 2022

Still, I started poking around as to what other search engines there were and who would still find me.  I doing that I learned that there are all sorts of search engines out there, ones that index just wikis or images that are available via creative commons.

But I just wanted the traditional “find my damn web site” sort of engines, and this is what I turned up.

Bing

I have to mention Bing because it turns out that Bing powers a lot of other search engines.  I was never sold on Bing since the day Uncle Fester announced it, and being delisted hasn’t enhance my view of it.  And I appear to have been in just one wave of a systematic purging of blogs and gaming sites.  When I first wrote about the purge, I could at least find sites that linked to my site, including the Tumblr pages that I republish to and a bunch of blogs with their own domains.  All of that has since been eliminated.  I don’t think linking to me was the cheese touch that did people in, but Bing was clearly on a tear about something.

But the key thing I found out is who else uses Bing to power their search, which includes:

  • Yahoo
  • DuckDuckGo
  • AOL
  • Swisscows
  • OneSearch
  • Ekoru
  • Ecosia
  • Lycos
  • MetaCrawler
  • Qwant

I went through each of those and got exactly the same results for my search terms.  Basically it seems if you want to start a themed search engine of some sort but don’t want to put in the work on the search part of things, Bing is your one stop shop for mediocrity.

Baidu

I don’t have much to say about Baidu except that it is the big search engine in China and now sends me more traffic than Bing.  Basically, about one referral a month… but if you search for my site URL I do show up, and that seems like all you can ask for some days.

Baidu finds me

The bar for being better than Bing is pretty low, and Baidu clears it.

Yandex

Same as Baidu, but for Russia.  It has an English version of the main page, but returns results in Russian.  However, it still finds my site and actually drives a few referrals a week to the site, usually EVE Online related.  I actually have a search console account with them, so can see what they have indexed and where I show up in results.  The numbers are always low, but not as low as Bing is now.

Ask.com

Once known as Ask Jeeves, and apparently not really in the search engine business anymore, it does still function as one and apparently hasn’t just thrown in the towel like Yahoo or AOL to just let Bing do whatever passes for heavy lifting in Redmond.

Neeva

A recent entry in the search engine field… this sort of thing still gets funding I guess… launched by a former Google exec, I am not sure where I stand on this one.  On the one hand, when I put in “TAGN” for a search term, I get the same set of results as I do from Bing, always a bad sign.  But at the top of the page, on its own, I also get a link to the blog.

Neeva finds me somehow

And it wasn’t snooping on my other browsers… I don’t think… as I did it on a “clean” system with a browser in incognito mode.  Seems okay for that.  If I am happy with Baidu for just that result, why should I kick Neeva for it?

StartPage

A Dutch search engine promising privacy that isn’t in bed with Bing I guess.  It passes the TAGN test as well as the full site URL test.  Looking it up, it has been around since 1998 in some form or another… and it pays Google to provide its results.  So there we go, privacy AND Google quality searches.  Might be a winner.

Gibiru

Another search engine I had not heard of, though it has been around since 2009.  It promises uncensored private search, and you can make of that what you will, but it passes the TAGN test with flying colors and returns me in some of the searches

Gigablast

Kind of a strange one.  Driven neither by Google nor Bing… it includes links to let you try your search on StartPage and DuckDuckGo if you want… it doesn’t find me if you search “TAGN,” but you can find my site with other search terms like “M2-XFE” which is a regular source of traffic to my site from Google.  Wouldn’t give up Google driven searches for it, but delivers a different results set if you want something that isn’t in the two main search engine buckets.

As with many of my posts, I don’t really have a big wrap up at the end here.  I am more surprised at how many search engines are out there these days… even when you discount all the ones that are just Bing fronts… when Google so clearly owns the search engine market.

This is not at all an exhaustive list either, just the more interesting results I turned up.  But you have options if you don’t want Google or Bing or want to get some different results for the same old search.

8 thoughts on “Search Engines Other Than Google

  1. PCRedbeard

    You know how to get delisted from Baidu, right? And no, I’m not gonna say those magic words, because everybody who was around at the end of the 80s knows what I’m talking about.

    But one thing I had been wondering about was why Apple never bothered with their own search engine, given how their walled garden operates, particularly with chat features.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @PCRedbeard – You know, I did actually use the magic words and more in a post about Blizzard and Blitzchung and one point when that was still a thing and the idea of freedom for Hong Kong still flickered, before being snuffed out. But apparently I am so unknown that it didn’t register.

    Apple is a strange beast. They have the money and power to go after things like that. They could make a competing search engine from scratch and drive ad revenue and do all the things that make Google most of their money. But it hasn’t really been their thing. But Amazon has the juice to do that as well, and they haven’t either. Some companies have the discipline to stay in their lane I guess. And then there is Google, which has made ham fisted attempts to get into everybody’s business.

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  3. davekay

    In my most recent week of stats, I received 1,006 hits from search engines, of which 1,001 were from Google. For me, other search engines might as well not be there.
    I think I will be switching to StartPage for my own browsing though, it looks good!

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  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @davekay – I feel you. Over the 16 year life of this blog, Google has sent me 1.7 million referrals and Bing 24 thousand, so the ratio is pretty lopsided. There are nine other sites that have sent me more traffic than Bing, including three MMO blogs.

    But now Bing, and anything that uses Bing, has gone to zero. Oh well. I’m more interested in why it happened than trying to fix it.

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  5. Mbp

    I recently started using the Brave browser and it comes with is own search that claims not to use anyone else’s engine. It seems pretty good so far but Brave makes a big deal about privacy so it doesn’t automatically know your location. This can be good or bad. It is often refreshing to get global results but if you are looking for a specific site (eg my country’s Amazon page) then you need to include the country in the search term. Happy to report that it passes the tagn test.

    Brave is pretty good by the way. It feels very like Chrome but with added privacy and built in ad block. It does come with a dodgy sounding crypto currency scheme for funding advertisers but you can complete ignore that. My main concern is that if the Devs have tied their financial fortunes to crypto then the company may not last very long.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Shintar

    Interesting, I had no idea there were so many search engines either. The Chinese haven’t got my blog indexed either, but on all the others it showed up as I would’ve expected. Still wondering why Bing suddenly hates blogs though…

    Like

  7. wicked

    A few things to add:
    If you want/need the googleversum, Startpage is still the best way. I mainly switched to Swisscows some time ago with Startpage as the fallback option if Bing doesn’t deliver good results

    Some Alternatives that are also good to keep an eye on:
    Metager.de (a german site that uses their own index.. so it doesn’t find as many results like the old search engines)
    Searx (for a way to selfhost a meta search engine that you can use to search in multiple engines at once.. and yes you can meta search in Startpage and get anonymized Google that way. If you don’t selfhost you can use some public instances.. which you then have to trust with our data.)

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  8. Pingback: Jon’s Creator Showcase: A Summer Extravaganza, Celebrating July 2022’s Finest Content From Around The Community | The Infinite Zenith

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