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