40 Advanced and Alternative Search Engines
There’s tons of information on the internet, and without search engines, it would be next to impossible to find much of this information.
When you mention the term search engine, most people automatically think of Google, and this is not in any way surprising.
Owing to its high personalized user experience, dominant advertising platform, and powerful algorithms, Google has become a behemoth in the search industry, accounting for about 89% of search traffic, according to search engine rankings by Statista.
In addition to Google, the other two big players in the search market in the United States are Bing and Yahoo.
With these three capturing majority of the search traffic, it is easy to assume that there is no room for any other players. However, these are not the only reliable search engines.
There are numerous other advanced and alternative search engines, some of which allow you to do much more than you can using the big three search engines, and others which cater to niche requirements.
Knowing some of these alternative search engines and their specific features make it easier for you to find information you are looking for without spending valuable time browsing through tons of endless stuff.
For instance, if you are looking for word documents or PDF files, it is much easier to search for them on a document-oriented search engine rather than on a general search engine.
Similarly, if you are looking for social media content, it is much easier to find it when using a social oriented search engine.
With knowledge about the different search engines and their features, you can found just about anything you are looking for on the internet.
Below, we have compiled for you a list of 40 advanced and alternative search engines, grouped by their category.
GENERAL SEARCH ENGINES
Before going into niche specific search engines, let’s start by looking at some alternative search engines that you can use for your general search.
With online privacy increasingly becoming a concern, DuckDuckGo has recently gained a lot of popularity due to its privacy focused features.
Unlike Google, which keep a record of everything you do online, DuckDuckGo does not track your search queries or results.
In addition, they don’t use your search data to target you with ads. DuckDuckGo also has a highly intuitive, easy-to-use user interface. I
f you are concerned about your online privacy, this is the best search engine for you. Their privacy features are so advanced that DuckDuckGo is the default browser for the privacy focused Tor Browser.
If you are looking for a privacy-focused search engine but have your reservations against using DuckDuckGo, Search Encrypt is a great alternative.
Search Encrypt ensures your searches remain private by locally encrypting your searches before they are redirected to the Search Encrypt search engine.
This means it is impossible for anyone snooping on your network to access your search terms. What’s more, all your search results on Search Encrypt expire after 15 minutes and can no longer be accessed by anyone.
Unlike the others in the list, Dogpile is not exactly a search engine in itself. Instead, it is a search aggregator. When you search for information on Dogpile, it aggregates results from other popular search engines and presents the information in a clean organized list.
This saves you the trouble of having to search for the same information on multiple search engines.
Like its name suggests, Ecosia is a search engine that is geared towards environmental conservation efforts. It gives you a chance to contribute to environmental conservation by doing nothing more than searching for information online.
All the surplus income that Ecosia earns is dedicated towards tree planting initiatives. According to Ecosia, one tree is planted by the Ecosia community every 7 seconds.
The Ecosia search engine uses its own search algorithms in conjunction with Bing search algorithms.
This is another search engine that is focused on user privacy.
In addition, your search terms and your search history do not get recorded or stored. All all your searches are also instantly dissociated from your IP address to anonymize the search.
Qwant allows you to create an account that allows you to customize your preferences, language, and so on. However, even when logged into your Qwant account, your settings and preference are stored locally on your computer, rather than on the Qwant servers.
Though it is most extensively used in Russia, its native country (it controls 60% of Russian search market share), Yandex is the fifth most popular search engine across the world.
It is a user-friendly search engine that allows you to search for all kinds of information online.
Just like Google, it also offers services like translation, maps, cloud storage, and so on.
This is yet another search engine that is focused on user security and privacy, which are two major concerns for internet users today.
Just like the other privacy-focused search engines discussed above, Peekier does not track your browsing sessions or keep a record of any information that could be used to identify you, such as your unique IDs, your browser’s user agent, or your IP address.
While your search queries are temporarily stored for caching purposes, they are not associated with any personally identifiable information. Peekier does not store your search history and does not use any cookies.
In addition, Peekier does not use any services that collect user data, such as external CDNs, social buttons, or analytics suites. Peekier pulls its search results from Bing.
Wolfram Alpha is a search engine whose results are based on computational knowledge and metrics. Unlike most other search engines, which simply cache web pages, Wolfram Alpha curates data and facts about various topics from external sources.
Whether you are looking for sports statistics, stock data, website data, unit conversions, or historical information by date, Wolfram Alpha ensures you get factually accurate information.
Wolfram Alpha also allows you to compute answers, perform all sorts of calculations, perform complex analyses and generate detailed reports about whatever information you were searching for.
In addition, the information available on Wolfram Alpha is categorized by topics to make it easier for you to find.
This is yet another search engine that is focused on ensuring user privacy. Gibiru does not store records of user searches on their servers. They also don’t place cookies on your computer or log your IP address.
This means that you don’t have to worry about your data being sold to third parties or being used to target you with ads. In addition, Gibiru has an awesome feature known as Proxy IP service, which constantly changes your IP address for anonymized searches.
The most distinctive thing about Gigablast is that it is an open source search engine.
It provides fast results and provides a retro look, which is somewhat similar to the now-defunct Google Instant. One study even found that Gigablast search results to be better than results from Google and Ask.com.
This search engine is a lot similar to DuckDuckGo due to the fact that it is also highly focused on user privacy.
Just like DuckDuckGo, StartPage does not track or store your browsing data, and you won’t be targeted with ads based on what you are searching for.
In addition to search, Startpage also has a proxy service that makes it possible for you to surf the web anonymously.
Initially started as Ask Jeeves, Ask is a search engine that provides information in Q&A format.
The good thing with this approach is that it makes it possible to conduct natural language searches, which makes Ask quite a user-friendly search engine.
In addition to giving you results related to your search terms, Ask will also give you other questions related to your search that are frequently asked by other users.
Disconnect is not really a search engine. Instead, it is a service that allows you to search for information from other search engines while allowing you to remain anonymous.
When you conduct a search on Disconnect, your search is anonymized and rerouted by Disconnect, and then transferred to your chosen search engine.
This way, the actual search engine that delivers the results cannot keep track of you, because they do not know you.
Based in Switzerland, this is another privacy focused search engine that does not store any of your data, such as your search data or your IP address.
What’s more, with its serves located in Switzerland, you can bet that it offers great security, since Switzerland has some of the strictest privacy policies in the world.
To make results even more relevant, Swisscows even puts semantic information into consideration when performing searches.
It also has built in violence and pornography filters, which makes it a great choice for parents who want to put restrictions on what their kids can search for.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIFIC SEARCH ENGINES
Social media is a sea of information. Every single minute, over 3.3 million posts are updated on Facebook, over 65,000 photos are uploaded on Instagram, and close to 500,000 tweets are sent.
This is a lot of data, and if you need to look for some specific information from this sea of data, you need some specialized search tools.
Below are some of the best search engines you can use to search for information on specific social networks.
15. Facebook Search
Facebook has a very powerful search engine that allows you to find information posted on the social network.
To use this search engine, all you need is to type your search terms in the Facebook search bar.
The Facebook search engine also gives you the option of using filters to sort the search results based on parameters such as upload date, source, group, pages, tagged location, people, and so on.
This tool is the best way of finding information on the world’s largest social network.
16. LinkedIn People Search
LinkedIn is the best social network for professional networking.
However, with over 610 million users, and over 300 million active users, finding the people you are looking for can be a bit hectic without a proper search tool. This is where the LinkedIn People Search comes in.
With this search engine, you can search for people and sort the results by language, relationship, industry, company, location, seniority level, and so on.
Premium members have access to even more advanced search options. They can filter results using filters such as company size, groups, years of experience, and so on.
17. LinkedIn Job Search
In addition to professional networking, LinkedIn is also a great place to look for job opportunities, with over 20 million open jobs posted on the platform. The LinkedIn Job Search allows you to find information about these jobs.
The search engine also allows you to filter the job search results using information such as the industry, location, company, and so on. You can also customize the search so as to see the most relevant results based on your level of experience.
18. LinkedIn Content Search
Aside from people and jobs, LinkedIn also allows users to share professional content with their followers.
The LinkedIn Content Search allows users to search for and find relevant user generated content based on their search keywords.
19. Twitter Search
With over 500 million tweets being sent every minute, it can be a bit difficult to find relevant information on the micro-blogging site.
However, the Twitter advanced search makes it a lot easier to find whatever information you are looking for.
What’s more, you can even find geography-specific information using the “Near this place” option.
The social media search engines we just looked at above are great when you want to find information within a specific social network.
Sometimes, however, you want to search for information on multiple social networks.
For instance, if you are a business owner who wants to learn what customers are saying about your business on social media, you need to conduct searches on multiple social networks.
However, searching individually on each network can be burdensome.
In this case, your best option is to use a social search engine.
Some great social search engines include:
20. Social Mention
Social Mention allows you to search across multiple platforms for all kinds of user-generated content, such as news, status updates, tweets, bookmarks, comments, blogs, videos, images, and so on.
This tool is great for finding the topics people are talking about, as well as following what people are saying about your business online.
Once you perform your search, all the content from multiple platforms is presented as a single stream of information.
This search engine allows you to search various social platforms for things like mentions, hashtags, keywords, and URLs.
Keyhole is a great tool for brand monitoring, campaign monitoring, event monitoring, and market research.
Using Keyhole, you can search for hashtags, mentions, URLs, and keywords on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and so on.
This is another great search engine for social content.
With Buzzsumo, you simply type a topic you are interested in and you will see the most shared articles that are related to that topic.
Buzzsumo also comes with a premium version that gives you access to more advanced search tools.
23. Social Searcher
This is another great search engine for searching through social platforms.
It is great for finding people’s profiles on various social networks.
Simply enter a person’s first or last name, email address, username, or phone number, and Spokeo will give you results showing all the various social profiles associated with your search query.
Anoox is a search engine that allows you to search for topics and find what conversations people are having around the topic on various social platforms.
Anoox also doubles as a social platform itself, which means you can also ask questions and receive answers from other Anoox users.
BLOG AND FORUM SEARCH ENGINES
Blogs have also gone mainstream, with over 4.4 million blog posts getting published each single day.
Below are search engines you can use to find relevant blogs.
This search engine allows you to use keywords to search for blogs and blog posts. Blog Search Engine also allows you to submit your own blogs to their database or subscribe to an RSS feed on whatever topic you are interested in.
This is another blog search engine that allows you to find blogs by searching for relevant keywords. In addition to blogs, Twingly also keeps track of forums, news sites, and so on.
At the moment, Twingly keeps track of updates from over 5 million blogs, over 110,000 news and media sites, and over 11,500 forums.
BoardReader is a search engine that allows users to search for topics and conversations on various forums.
Simply enter your search terms and BoardReader will bring up all relevant results from multiple forums. It also gives you the option of sorting these results by language, date, and so on.
SEARCH ENGINES FOR ATTACHMENTS
Sometimes, you might be interested in search results that have downloadable attachments, such as PDFs, Word documents, presentations, eBooks, and so on.
While you can find such attachments by applying filters on Google, there are some alternative search engines that are dedicated to this kind of content. These include:
IMAGE SEARCH ENGINES
If you are looking for images to use on your project, below are some of the top search engines you can use to find awesome images from across the internet:
31. Google Image Search
This is an image focused search engine that also doubles as a social media channel. While the search results are restricted to images within the Flickr network, it is still one of the best options for searching for images.
You can even filter your results to only view images that have the Creative Commons license.
This is a reverse image search engine that allows you to upload an image and find out everywhere else it appears online.
If you have an image and would like to know where it came from, or if you are a creative who wants to know how your images are being used, this is the perfect search engine for you.
PicSearch can be compared to the Google Images Advanced Search.
Simply type in whatever term you are interested in and PicSearch will find all associated images on the internet. PicSearch claims to have an index of over 3 billion images.
36. Bing Advanced Image Search
This is the image search feature of the general Bing search engine.
You can access it by simply searching for something on Bing and then clicking on the images tab.
This search engine also gives you the option of filtering results by layout, size, date, license, and so on.
CREATIVE COMMONS SEARCH ENGINES
If you want to find images and photos you can use freely on your site or project without having to worry about intellectual rights, you need to look for images with the creative commons license.
Below are some search engines that will help you to easily find Creative Commons images.
The Creative Commons search engine crawls through other search engines such as Flickr, Google, Pixabay, Wikimedia, and so on and only gives you results of images that are under the creative commons license. Still, before using the images, it is advisable to confirm that they are actually under this license.
Wikimedia Commons is a repository of that contains a collection of freely usable images, videos, and sound clips.
Simply type your search terms on the search bar and Wikimedia will bring you free to use images associated with your search terms.
Video has become one of the most consumed types of media on the internet, with more than 500 hours of video uploaded on YouTube every single minute, without taking into consideration other sites. Below are some search engines you can use to search for video files:
Not only is YouTube the largest video sharing platform, it is also one of the largest search engines.
Every single month, YouTube processes over 3 billion searches, and has even been dubbed the second largest search engine.
Whatever topics you are interested in, simply search for it on YouTube and you’ll find videos related to the topic.
40. 360 Daily
If you are looking for video content that is not on YouTube, then 360 Daily is your best bet.
This search engine indexes videos posted on hundreds of video sites.
There is no doubt Google is the best and most powerful search engine on the internet.
Unfortunately, using Google comes at a cost.
Google constantly tracks your online behavior and uses this data to personalize the search experience for you and target you with ads.
Most people do not think this is a huge concern, but if you are a focused on your privacy, using the alternative search engines covered in this article can help you hide from Google’s prying eyes.
Aside from allowing you to keep your data from Google, some of the alternative search engines covered in this article also act as specialty tools that allow you to perform niche searches based on what you are looking for.
Starting your own business can be a very challenging task because it requires that every piece of …
When I landed my first job several years ago at a small tech startup, I was getting introduced to …