Say No to Google: Alternative Search Engines

Is there any alternative to Google? Well, okay, its search engine is great, it is the search engine of choice for the overwhelming majority of the Internet users. The search results it delivers to us are perfectly tailored to our personality, our tastes, habits and interests - to everything the marketeers call 'consumer behavior.' In return, we dance the data striptease and let Google cast covetous glances at our most private things.

A couple of days ago I was listening to another of those I-am-so-awesome-I-can-hack-the-Pentagon live podcasts and was just about to turn it off, when the host suddenly uttered the first rational thing in the whole two-hour stream. He said, 'Ya know, I think it's time we all confessed to ourselves Google is nothing but an advertising company. They're closing Google Reader, thrusting you Google+ more aggressively than Pablo Escobar used to do with his product, they're selling you consumer electronics while having the most botched support service in the entire Universe... And they earn BILLIONS with their ads!' Yeah, the guy literally pronounced the word 'billions' in uppercase, I swear I could hear it in his voice.

Truer words could hardly be said. Google yields the bulk of its revenue with AdSense: 95% of its money comes from advertising! And since Google's success is based on analyzing the behavior of its users, the only thing Google needs most badly is data. Your private data. All of your personally identifiable information – and believe me, it's a whole lot of data – is stored on Google servers for nine months, after which it... gets deleted? Nope, it's simply anonymized.

Even though you can partially protect you data from Google, a better way might be to look for another search engine, one that is not that privacy-abusive and maybe is even better than Google at searching.

DuckDuckGo

Yes, I know, we already wrote about DuckDuckGo once. But honestly, how many of you guys who read that article actually switched to it? Not so many, I guess.

Search Results on DuckDuckGo

At the same time, DuckDuckGo is one of the most honest and even chivalrous projects on the Internet I've ever heard about. I don't know how these guys make their money but they really don't track even the smallest bit of your data. The guiding principle of DuckDuckGo is respecting your privacy, and even its search results are obtained from crowd-funded sources only, like Wikipedia. Of course, this attitude has its downsides: not including data from commercially run projects, the search results by DuckDuckGo are slightly less relevant than the ones by its competition. But everything hast its price, doesn't it?

Ixquick

Ixquick is much like DuckDuckGo with the only exception of the sources it takes its search results from. Whereas DuckDuckGo relies on crowd-funded and non-commercial projects, Ixquick is less scrupulous and cheerfully aggregates search results from various commercial sites and projects. That is why they look different from those by Google: the search basics implemented are fundamentally dissimilar. Nevertheless, I can't say for sure which of the two search engines is better. They're just different, and arguing which of them is more awesome is like debating if the fish is cooler than the beef. Tastes differ.

Search results on Ixquick

Ixquick comes as far as not logging even your IP address, i.e. the numeric sequence unique to your device and allowing them to geolocate you. But even being so nigh-paranoid about privacy protection, these guys still make it possible to personlize your search. Ixquick plants an anonymous cookie onto your device, and it starts gathering information about your search preferences. These data are not handed over to the company's servers. Unlike Google's cookies, the anonymous cookie doesn't collect your identifiable information and is deleted if you haven't used Ixquick for longer than 90 days.

Startpage

Okay, I have to admit Startpage is my absolute fave. Its killer feature is the use of Google search results, which I, despite all my loathing toward the privacy-abusing pratices of Mountain View, can't help loving. The trick is that Startpage strips your search query from any personal information, leaving Google with no clue about your identity. In effect, what Google gets is a helluva lot of search queries from the Starpage servers, signed by... the Startpage servers; what you get is fully fledged Google search results without Larry Page snooping around in your personal data. Yay!

Search Results on Startpage.com

To put it simpler, imagine you are sending a good old paper letter and want to remain anonymous. However, for some reason, the final adressee does not accept any anonymous letters at all. What you do is send this letter to a specialized service that puts the brief in another envelope and signs it with its own address. The addressee is satisfied, and you are happy.

Which search engine would you try after reading this article?
 

Comments on Say No to Google: Alternative Search Engines

All I want is to type a search in and get what I requested out. Google seems to treat you like a child in its care, and I dont like to be led like some monkey on a chain...

 –  2 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Everyone of these apparently 'different' search engines search THROUGH google regardless, yet you view your privacy as more important than what you search for? Since ISP's record everything nearly all over the world, regardless of your 'desired' privacy settings.. give me a search engine that works, or realise this: You think the net will last the next 10 years?

Google will ensure all searches ARE through them, and will continue to provide irrelevant answers to your query..

 –  2 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

I didn't know about Startpage and I'll give it a try. Thank you!

 –  2 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Hi, I'd like to add one more best search engine, already in line with the above mentioned - Search Engine. It features extreme privacy and a multi-search ability to provide search results from Google, Yahoo and Bing. It can provide an image search, web search and news search.

 –  2 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

For some time, there is a search engine that has its domicile in Switzerland - Centil. It is investigated by means of an effective algorithm and displays the result on the priority of the search term or phrase to. Centil has its own data and index, stores no profiles. Consequently there is no dependence. The dataset includes almost 2 million sites, which were indexed. A new feature is the display of similar search terms, which can be possibly used for more precise search. Advertising opportunities are also clicks and keywords based already possible. But it's focused on the currently German speaking area.
A genuine alternative to Google and Co.

 –  2 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

If it must be fast, I use Google. Their knowledge tree is really powerful and they optimize the results depending on your country. But, if the search is more complicated, I really get good results with Wegtam. It is a meta-search engine with search profiles and filter possibilities.
You should use the search engine that fits best to your search.
Good searches to everybody!

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

What has been annoying me most about Google is NOT them using my data; it is that I do image searches to get images for my graphics work for nonprofit use; and the VAST majority of images I get are PAY TO USE images now--I think that Google is getting paid to put them FIRST in the listings without revealing this by saying "AD" in the listings. So I have to filter through thousands of images I can't use without paying for them to find the free ones to use for my art that have liberal terms of use that allow me to use them without having to pay or put obnoxious credits all over the graphic ruining their effect. BOO Google, BOO shutterstock, dreamstime, and all those companies who usually also won't let you just buy one image either; they want you to send them a big chunk of money before they'll even talk to you. BOO BOO BOO. I look forward to trying these other sites y'all are mentioning.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

What about Wegtam?
It is currently more like a meta search but they are working on their own index too, to be able to reduce dependency from the bigger search engines.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Go Duckduckgo! Google needs to apologize to people for tracking them down. Duckduckgo just earned me as a buddy. Start using Duckduckgo.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Sorry to say this to the fans of Google but Duckduckgo is much better than Google. It's sad that some people say Google is the best. Google tracks you down like a spy . I do think Duckduckgo gives a better search than Google and whoever sad that Duckduckgo does not give a good search I just think that that's silly. Google does not give privacy. Crazy Google.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

DuckDuckGo does not give a good search, I tried it.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

No, Duckduckgo gives a very good search, it has tons of stuff you just can't find with Google.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

I think DuckDuckGo is better than Google at search.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Dahszil Dahszil

Yandex is another search engine that gives more relevant results than Google. Google has made everything worse it gets it's hands on: Gmail, YouTube, etc.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Yippy needs some improvement on the search results

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

There is another search engine called Gigablast. It would be the second best compared to DuckDuckGo .

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Never go to Yippy, it has the worst search results. Google is much better than Yippy DuckDuckGo is better than Yippy. Yippy would not get a top score. Ixquick has much better results than Yippy. =@

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Ixquick is okay . Google is much better . Did you know that Google is a sister of Ixquick? DuckDuckGo is better than Google. I am in with DuckDuckGo.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Do not go to the search engine Blekko . I found out that they have counterfeit software and links to malware pages. But Duckduckgo is an compared to Blekko.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

I would have to say that they're right about DuckDuckGo, but Startpage and Ixquick are not better than Google

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

I would love to use Startpage but being a designer I am very much allergic to ugliness and these guys have a serious issue with the styling of their site. Ouch! My eyes hurt! I want to use you but I can't!

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

I love these types of articles. Bravo, old chaps!

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Tinooo.com is a new multiple search engine: easy, fast and intuitive to use.
Try it.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

PS: SEO, optimization, page ranking... all this is nonsense! Created by who? Google? This is not real life. Google's PR are not based on reality. Example: my small business has generated 80% of new customers from my Google's listing for the past 5 years. Yet, my PR is 0 So obviously, in Google' eyes, my site does not meet Google's standards. But someone forgot to tell my customers! Customers can care less about PR, they care about product-service relevancy, location, cost.
By Google using PR, they hold back many small-mid sized sites in favor of larger sites, directories, and often even repetitious listings.
Site owners need to wake-up and stop playing the optimization game. It is scam! Optimization is a waste of businesses time and money. How many backlinks a site has means nothing to consumers. Only to Google.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

You are drinking the (Google) cool-aide saying Google's search results > the search results it delivers to us are perfectly tailored to our personality, our tastes, habits and interests - to everything the marketeers call 'consumer behavior.
The search results of filled with repetition, white papers, irrelevant listings, and noticeably biased towards page 1 ads by larger directories (Yelp,YP,etc).
As a webmaster, I know all too well how invasive Google is changing Title, Description, posting irrelevant portions of my site. As a user, I am too often disappointed with Google's providing results either not relevant or repetitious.
As with most extremely large entities, Google has become unresponsive to its public. It is near impossible to get things removed, fixed, corrected.
Look carefully and be objective at Google search result pages... you can easily see all the repetition, etc mentioned above. Speak to small-mid size website owners. Hear the complaints about Google's big brother i know best attitude.
The bottom line is a website is the creator's design. Some folks prefer wordy sites, some prefer more subtle, shorter phrases, etc. Google THINKS they know what user want, Google is mistaken. There are 300 million Americans, no two things alike! That is arrogance.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

It is a bit biased also to consider the planet made of just 300 million Americans

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Huh?

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Why not use Google but not sign in? That's just as anonymous, isn't it?

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

I'd like to know the answer to this too.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Google log your IP address and other information, so it's not anonymous in any way as you can be identified from you IP address.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

You create an article that pretty much tells the truth about Google, and I agree, Google is a billion dollar company that makes a lot of money on our personal data.
Still, when looking at the source of this very page, I can see you are loading JQuery via CDN, more precisely, via Google's content distribution node. Moreover, you are using Google analytics.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Ben Adam

Startpage using Google, gives you privacy but still has the Google bias in search results.
Google search results have a bias.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Try Ecosia - it's a search engine that plants trees!

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Thanks a lot for your tips!

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Love them all. Startpage was my choice. To hell with Google! When your eyes are open, there is no looking back.

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Very interesting that I was not able to get either DuckDuckGo, Ixquick, or Startpage to stick to my Top Sites, but Google goes right in....

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Impossible to add them in Omnibox in Chrome. I start having a very bad feeling about Google Company right now. And I am forced to change them as I can't set my language on Google as English, is resetting immediately in German. Unbelievable! I am totally disappointed.

 –  3 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

I tried DuckDuckGo for a couple of weeks. Ok - but needs uk suffix for UK searches. I'm not so happy with DuckDuckGo using the Russia based Yandex as the search source.

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Another new mobile search engine, Gynius.com, is in beta launch. Internet browsers, mobile apps, blogs, games, e-mail and social inbox services, and much more.

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)
Mike Barrett

There's always good old bing by Microsoft. http://www.bing.com/

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

My heart belongs to DuckDuckGo because of its cheerful symbol To be more serious, I think Startpage deserves attention. But most people'll choose Google: down with privacy!

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

I love Startpage, thank you for introducing me to it!

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Exalead is also a very interesting search engine.

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

You ask for a vote for choices you offer - but, I prefer not to trust anyone and thus...I would randomly use the first three, with Google only when the three cannot give me an answer (it does happen).

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)

Let's be honest about keeping details private. I would prefer the search engine that would provide that type of safety net.

 –  4 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)