15 Alternative Search Engines For 2021
September 13, 2021
In the business of search, Google is king.
Bing is up there on the throne too.
Nonetheless, these are not the only search engines in the world. Many other alternative search engines exist.
They serve specialized niches and offer unique advantages over mainstream search engines.
Because these alternative search engines get millions of users, it should be every internet marketers' business to know them.
Privacy is the thorn in the flesh
Traffic to alternative search engines has been soaring significantly over the last few years. Google's privacy policies are to blame for its waning dominance in the land of search engines. People want assurance that their data is safe and that it won't get misused or abused. People want a guarantee that they are not being tracked, and for that reason, they have been increasingly switching over to new players and little known older alternatives.
That's a marketer's problem too.
Google and other major search engines' policies make it possible to attain a personalized marketing experience. The tracking and storing of user details avail a treasure of data to businesses that want to understand their people.
The rules of engagement are different when it comes to underground search engines. Most of them champion privacy over everything else. That means that for marketers, things move a little slower with these alternative search engines. Brands need creativity and a higher ability to adapt to change when working with alternative search engines.
Top 16 Alternative Search Engines of the World
DuckDuckGo is the most popular search engine for those looking to browse the internet with a certain sense of privacy. The search platform does not track its user's online activities, and that means that audiences are free from the "annoying" ads.
Its interface is simple and integrates search results from other search engines like Yahoo and Yandex. DuckDuckGo exists as an extension that can be added to any browser. Apart from privacy, the one other cool feature that this search engine has is called Bang. With Bang, you can directly search your YouTube, GMAIL, or Amazon account from the search engine page.
Does it work for marketers?
Yes. People might be switching over to DuckDuckGo because they worry about the way Google focuses on ads. That doesn't mean, however, that they hate ads. For that reason, DuckDuckGo has a pay per click ads program that works no differently from Google Ads, except for the tracking part. The search engine runs its ads through Bing and Yahoo. DuckDuckGo has 25 million users, most of them in the older demographics.
This little search engine started in 2009, and now it prides itself as a "search engine that plants trees." That's right. The Berlin-based search engine directs the profits it makes towards sustainability and greener earth. For users that are part of the globally expanding environmental consciousness, Ecosia could be the best Google alternative.
The user interface is clean and simplified, just like what you get with Google. Like DuckDuckGo, Ecosia does not track your search habits or store your information. So this search platform could be suitable for those that hate ads and love sustainability. You might, however, want to know that this search engine works closely with Bing in the delivery of results.
Ecosia for advertising
You might have something to brag about when you advertise on Ecosia-your funds are going towards sustainability. The search engine has a pay per click program for advertisements that appear below or on the sides of their search engine results. The site says that they have 8 million users, most of them 25-3 years old.
Ecosia rocks the same boat as the popular underground contenders. It doesn't track the user's internet search history or send user data to third-parties.
But it sells!
Hope you didn't forget Yahoo! This search engine has been around for a long time and probably blows every other alternative search engine out of the water when it comes to reliability of search results, news, and services. Yahoo is the biggest search engine after Google and Bing.
The search engine serves audiences in more than 38 languages and is the default search engine in browsers like Mozilla. Yahoo is the oldest search directory, going back to 1994. However, they only became a full web crawler search engine in 2003. Apart from search, the company provides news, travel and other services
The modality of Yahoo Ads is not any different from Google Ads and other similar programs. The efficiency of your PPC marketing on Yahoo depends on both your quality score and the bid amount. Keyword relevance matters too. Yahoo search engine gets over 600 million users monthly, and most of them are aged below 35.
Qwant is your other privacy-focused search engine that is based in France. Like many alternative search engines, Qwant says that they never mine users' data for targeting ads. The platform has similar features as DuckDuckGo. Its most notable feature is the Qwick Search Shortcuts that works in the same way as Bang, helping users to search social media and retail platforms straight from the query page.
Like Yahoo, the Qwant user interface highlights trending hot topics along with news stories on the home page. After you do your search, the EU-based search engine displays results either as Web, News, or Social. This organization follows in the footsteps of Google and may help to deliver meaningful results. The other remarkable thing here is that Qwant has implemented a system to filter search results for children.
Qwant for marketing
Qwant gets over 50 million users per month and processes more than 10 million search queries in a day. Qwant has a PPC program that runs through the Bing Ads Network. It does not offer native advertising, though.
Swisscows brands itself as a family-friendly search engine. It has a no-track policy that has thus far worked well for it as it attracts users that are skeptical about the giant search engines. The site is popular among parents and small Kids. Its main features include filters for porno and violent content.
Swisscows does not store user data, IP addresses, or search queries. For users, it's also a good thing that the search results are localized, making them more meaningful. Despite all these great qualities, this small search engine works with Bing to deliver semantic search results. One could say then that they are still within the corona of the giant search engines wherever they go.
The search engine offers advertising through the Ad-Annonce advertising network. Ad-Annonce works like Google AdWords except that anonymity is the name of the game. The Ad-Annonce network is integrable with sites other than Swisscows, but the platform has stringent requirements for user privacy.
Ads displayed to users via this PPC network are customized based on a user's real-time action on the site. No tracking happens before or after that. The site gets more than 9 million queries monthly.
6. Search Encrypt
Majorly, Search Encrypt only encrypts the search results that it pulls from its network of search partners. The platform also guarantees that a user's local browsing history expires and is automatically deleted after every 15 minutes of dormancy.
Search Encrypt for PPC
Search Encrypt does not have a PPC program at the time of writing this. Marketing efforts here focus on organic search.
Privacy is the biggest highlight here as expected with underground search engines. The platform pulls search engine results from Google after a user hits enter on a search query. The only difference is that they strip out trackers, logs, and ads. The site boasts a clutter-free and professionally done user interface, almost like Google.
The search platform similarly provides a proxy service for users that want to browse the web without disclosing their computer identities. The cookie-free internet provided by StartPage makes use of a URL generator that removes the need for cookies. It is possible then for users to save settings without fear of that information getting abused by the ruling search engines.
StartPage for internet marketing
The search engine has a sponsorship program that displays ads at the top of search results. Nonetheless, you might want to know that StartPage's Ads program is just an extension of Google Ads minus the tracking and personalization.
SearX is a metasearch engine that focuses on making the internet free and private. The search company does not store or share IP addresses and browser history with advertisers. They have also implemented a system that blocks tracking cookies on users' browsers. That system helps to prevent user profiling and identity disclosure.
SearX gets search results from Yahoo, Google, and DuckDuckGo, among others. When they acquire search results from these leading search engines, SearX provides the links in a cached or proxied format to prevent its users from getting tracked.
Users can, therefore, get results without actually visiting the real pages of the sites. The open-source platform also makes it possible for developers to customize it and host it in their servers.
SearX for internet marketing
SearX has no paid advertising program. SEO is all you can do here as a marketer.
Yandex is the main search engine in Russia. The search company has a 65 % worldwide search engine market share. Its reach transcends Russia to include parts of Europe and other areas. Yandex works in many ways like Google; it has its own web browser, mobile apps, analytics, translator, maps, and even mailing services. This comprehensive roster of services makes Yandex a worthwhile consideration for anyone looking for a Google alternative that does not sacrifice small conveniences.
The interface of this Russian search giant is neat and laid out pretty much like Google. You can search via images or browse in the news section. Beware though that privacy is a crucial issue with Yandex just as it is with Google.
Yandex for Marketers
Yandex claims to provide contextual advertising and could thus be an excellent alternative to Google for business bases in Russia. The Yandex ads network works similarly to Google Ads. The platform has dedicated account representatives that may help you set up ads and advise on optimization for a better ROI.
Gibiru is a small search engine that started in 2009. They focus on providing untracked and uncensored search engine results and allowing users to remain anonymous. The search engine company states that they don't save search queries on their servers and that records get automatically wiped after a few seconds of the search.
The Gibiru search algorithms work differently from Google by keeping users anonymous and providing unfiltered search results. For a marketer using both Google and Gibiru, they can expect significant differences in ranking based on the same keywords.
PPC advertising on Gibiru
Gibiru does not have a paid search program. So, you better level up your SEO game plan.
Disconnect does not show results on its pages. Instead, it redirects your search query through its servers to mask your computer's signature and then displays the result in any search engine you have chosen. You can select from a drop-down menu that includes Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and others.
The search results on Disconnect are stripped clean of ads and affiliate codes. Since the search engine platform does not have a dedicated page, it functions mostly as an extension that you must add on your browser. That saves you from having to Google Disconnect before you search on it.
The search engine has no paid advertising program. Even SEO is 'disconnected' and impossible to hack on this platform.
12. CC Search
This search tool is for those looking for copyright-free content. CC Search focuses on providing search results in music, videos, pictures, and other works of art. The search results would be things that you are free to use without worrying about being slapped with copyright infringement lawsuits.
This site is, therefore, frequented most by content creators from bloggers to graphic designers. CC Search Pulls results from Wikimedia, Soundcloud, Flickr, and others and displays content labeled as 'Creative Commons' material.
CC Search Paid Advertising
CC Search boasts 2.8 million users from over 230 countries. The platform does not have a PPC program.
This is probably the newest alternative search engine on this list. OneSearch was launched in January 2020 by its parent company, Verizon Media. OneSearch is a privacy-focused search engine like the many others explored earlier. It does not track cookies, profile people, or retarget campaigns.
The platform likewise states that it doesn't share users' data with advertisers and that it provides unfiltered and encrypted search results.
OneSearch PPC Program
OneSearch does not currently have a PPC program. Marketers can explore what Yahoo, the sister company, has to offer.
You must have heard of BoardReader, right? This search engine alternative has been around for nearly two decades now. It covers bulletin boards and discussion forums on the web. It works like MessageKing, which is another search engine for forums and message boards. Unlike MessageKing, BoardReader provides cached copies, dates, and several replies on its search results.
Does it work for marketers?
There are no advertising opportunities on BoardReader.
Like Ecosia, GiveWater is focused on a worthy cause, in this case providing clean water and sanitization. If you are looking to work with a company that dedicates its resources on doing good in the world, you might probably want to browse your internet on sites like GiveWater. You give clean water when you search the web, that's what they say.
GiveWater Paid Search
GiveWater has a PPC program that helps them to make money when a user clicks on ads displayed alongside organic search results. Much of the profit they make goes to the charitable activities of water and sanitation. That's what they say.
Get ahead with PPC search engines
Search engines with a PPC platform help to position you in the market fast and effectively. Although the many alternatives reviewed above do not track or profile users, they are still reliable vehicles to reach specific target audiences that don't associate themselves as 'mainstream.' These PPC search engines offer you an opportunity to run campaigns on multiple platforms and harvest more leads.
Besides, the data you gather with these search engines can be invaluable in informing your email or social media campaigns. Google is the indisputable leader in the search engine world, but many people are also increasingly putting their trust in these smaller search engines. The strategic thing for a marketer to do right now is to try different platforms for PPC campaigns while rigorously measuring to identify the best option.
We can help you manage PPC campaigns on multiple search engines.
PPC campaigns can be quite involved. If you are feeling overwhelmed with what you have to do on one search engine, then what would it be like when working with 2 or 3 search engines? Let's help you.
At SparrowBoost, we have the resources, expertise, and numbers to keep things on track and deliver the most value for your investment. 20% of our profits go to The National Kidney Foundation, and so by extension, working with us is working towards a good cause.
Learn what it means to work with us. Request your free proposal.
About THE AUTHOR
After working for multiple digital advertising agencies and managing hundreds of client accounts, spending millions of dollars via Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Native Ads and Direct Media Buying, I took things out on my own and started SparrowBoost. Now, my tight-knit team and I continue to get smarter and more efficient at running our own campaigns and we share our knowledge with you.Learn more about SparrowBoost