As the web has grown larger with every passing year, it’s become a fantastically bulky information space. The branch of study known as “library science” can tell you that any archive eventually becomes a challenge to manage. The web, growing exponentially, is a case in point since it could be defined as humanity’s largest archive.
Traditionally we’ve all used a general-purpose search engine to navigate the web, from one of the big three or four standard engines. But that’s changing, as the first couple of generations of digital natives have come along. Lately, the trend is to narrow down searches by specific criteria. Today’s savvy web user asks “Why shouldn’t I get more out of my search engine?” Check out this list of new frontiers in search, and discover new, more efficient ways of navigating the web. So, here’s are some of the most popular search engines out there.
HotBot is actually an old-school search engine from back in the 1990s, still powered by the Inktomi web crawler, but it’s keeping up with modern times. HotBot is one of the leading engines to explore how we can handle search differently, and may well be the bridge to a new generation of thinking about how to do a search.
HotBot is rigorously devoted to user security, by way of practices such as not collecting your data, not targeting ads, and sanitizing its content to eliminate spammy hits, malware, and other security concerns. HotBot also adds a few choice features and has an informative security blog on the side.
DuckDuckGo has been the plucky search engine at the forefront of the privacy advocate movement. Alarmed users have noticed that the bigger search engines and social media sites get a little too casual with mining user data and profiling users for ad targeting. DuckDuckGo has answered this call by providing an engine that browses bigger search engines’ queries for you by proxy, then offering the results without mining your data. It offers a simple, clean interface and no-frills search, taking search back to a simple page of links.
Microsoft’s rival challenge to Google or should we call it an attempt in the direction, Bing found its origin in Microsoft’s previous search engines: MSN Search, Windows Live Search and later Live Search. It offers web search, images search, video search, news search, and access to outlook.com.
Developed using ASP.NET, Bing lets you look for information around the web, video, image and map search products. As of October 2018, Bing was the third largest search engine globally, with a query volume of 4.58%. It is yet the second-largest search engine by market share in the US. As per Alexa’s website index, it is also one of the 50 most visited sites on the internet.
If the above secure searching options aren’t quite private enough for you, SearchEncrypt offers the ultimate in user privacy: Not only is your data not mined and your queries performed anonymously, but your session is actually encrypted on-the-fly for both queries and results. They’re a meta-search engine, where you get results from other engines stacked together in one results page, with the additional security layer of encryption to prevent any third-party snooping. It even automatically purges your local browsing history so if you share a device with someone else, even the next user can’t tell what you did.
Turning to niche results, MillionShort is a customized search engine for users who are tired of seeing the same top ten most popular sites dominate their results. MillionShort lets you set the interface to show results with a filter that screens the top-ranking domains, showing you the lesser-known websites instead. You can set this to chop off the top 100 incrementally to the top million. It’s a clever way to find out what the more independent voices on the web have to say, without being shouted down by major corporations.
Hot.com is another privacy-focused search engine, with a specialized search space. It only returns results from adult-oriented websites, whether that be dating sites, webcams, escort services, or other media. It’s like a reverse-censor filter, and it does the extra work of removing those false positives you’d get from similar keywords when you’re not looking for unrelated results.
BoardReader is another niche search site, this one searching only discussion forums, message boards, and social media. Instead of professionally published content, you get only the comments and discussions. It’s perfect for finding out the “man on the street” points of view, seeing public opinion, and researching topics where the subjective answer is more important. Use it for your next tech support question, you might be surprised!
A Chinese search engine, Baidu started in January 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu. If going by the Alexa internet rankings, Baidu is the fourth largest website. Baidu holds a 74.6 % market share in China’s search engine market for its online search queries, as of February 2019. It is listed on NASDAQ and remains focused on dominating the local Chinese market and it continues to do so. It offers a large suite of products and services just like Google
An aggregator search engine that aggregates results from other search engines upon a search query, Ask.com originally used to be a question-and-answer platform. It comprises of three main pages: Homepage, Answers, and Videos. Originally launched as Ask Jeeves in 1997, the search engine has seen quite many changes. It offers general functionality of search but the results lacked quality when compared to the leading search engines.
Marketed as a Computational Knowledge Engine rather than just a search engine, WolframAlpha provides computer expert-level answers based on its breakthrough algorithms, knowledgebase, and AI technology. It can provide you information on a number of topics such as step by step solutions, Units and measures, Plotting & graphics, Engineering, Calculus & Analysis, Food & Nutrition, Dates & Times, etc.
So, that was our listicle of some of the most popular search engines apart from Google. Let us know your favorite ones by dropping a comment below.