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The Ultimate Guide to Alternative Search Engines for Improving Your Website Ranking

Google dominates the search engine market with 88% of the market share and 63,000 searches per second. However, Google is not the only big player in the game. There are more search engines out there than consumers and businesses realize. Many of these search engines may be a better match for you to change how you employ ranking factors on your website when your target audience is searching with a very specific purpose. Here’s our ultimate guide to finding the perfect search engine for your business.

Search Engine Giants

“Giants” might be an exaggeration compared to Google’s numbers, but these other top-performing search engines should definitely be considered.

YouTube (Owned by Google)

Did you know YouTube is the second largest search engine? Though owned by Google, YouTube has a completely separate algorithm that impacts your channel’s chances of showing up at the top of search engine results pages (SERP).

Important statistics:

  • One billion hours of video are watched daily around the world. [1]
  • With 70% watch time on mobile devices, YouTube reaches more people in the US audience than any TV network. [1]

Why this matters:

Consumers are heavily influenced by video. If you use video to connect and communicate with your audience, optimize your YouTube channel to rank high in their results.

Bing

Many devices and browsers use Microsoft’s Bing (formerly MSN) as a default search engine. Many consumers also never change it. Bing offers many similar services to Google, like Bing Places, which is the equivalent of Google My Business.

Important statistics:

  • Bing accounts for 4% of all organic searches in the United States. [2]
  • Over 70% of Bing users are older than 35. [2]
  • Bing is on 1.5 billion devices. [2]

Why this matters:

Although Bing holds a small percentage of the market, it powers a lot of the smaller search engines out there. This means the search engine optimization for many of the smaller search engines follow the same Bing Webmaster Tools guidelines.

Yahoo (Powered by Bing)

In 1996, Yahoo was one of the most significant search engines in the world. Today, it holds just about 3.5% of the market share. In 2009, Microsoft’s Bing formed a partnership with Yahoo, allowing Bing to power Yahoo’s search engine. Extending their partnership in 2019, Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) now also serve on Yahoo.

Important statistics:

  • Although Yahoo holds a small percentage of organic searches, it still receives roughly 340 million searches per day. [3]

Why this matters:

There’s no extra search engine optimization specifically for Yahoo. This search engine follows Bing Webmaster Tools.

Privacy-Driven Search Engines

Savvy consumers are getting more cautious about what happens with their data and who is collecting it. In recent years, privacy-driven search engines have been on the rise to avoid being tracked by big tech.

DuckDuckGo

Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo has always promised not to store personal information. Ever. Because they don’t track their users, they are unable to know exactly how many users they even have. Their statistics and estimates are based on the number of searches.

Important statistics:

  • DuckDuckGo grew 55% in 2017, with a total of 20 million private searches per day. [4]
  • As of June 2020, they estimate they have 60 million active users. [4]

Why this matters:

DuckDuckGo’s mission is to educate its users about the importance of Internet privacy, and users are eager to learn. This search engine has an unconventional approach to providing search results, including site crawls with their DuckDuckBot and partnering with other companies like Bing. They do not partner with Google.

OneSearch (Powered by Bing)

Verizon Media’s OneSearch launched in January of 2020. This search engine offers a new consumer search experience with a primary focus on consumer privacy. Features include:

  • No cookie tracking, retargeting, or personal profiling
  • No sharing of personal data with advertisers
  • No storing of user search history
  • Unbiased, unfiltered search results
  • Encrypted search terms [5]

This is another search engine powered by Bing and serves Microsoft Advertising.

Search Encrypt

Search Encrypt offers an enhanced privacy search experience for its users by using an advanced SSL encryption. Plus, after 30 minutes of inactivity, search results expire and can no longer be viewed.

Swisscows

Founded in 2014, Swisscows is a Switzerland-based search engine company focused not only on privacy of its users but also creating a family-friendly search environment.

StartPage

Formerly lxquick.com, StartPage was founded in 1998 and became “the world’s most private search engine” in 2006. [6]

Qwant

Based in France, Qwant promises putting privacy first to better showcase the whole web [7]. Privacy and neutrality are the core components to all Qwant products, which have seen more than 1.6 billion search requests in 2016. In their line of products, they offer Qwant Junior, a kid-friendly search environment to help them grow and learn.

Disconnect Search

Built by former Google and NASA employees, Disconnect Search allows users to use DuckDuckGo, Bing and Yahoo with complete privacy. This is just one of the products offered by Disconnect – the innovative privacy solution company and the leading VPN provider for iOS and Mac. [8]

MetaGer

Although privacy is a main focus for MetaGer, this search engine also promises protection against censorship by combining results from multiple search engines. They guarantee 100% renewable energy power and even have their own non-profit organization. [9]

Yippy

Powered by IBM Watson, the open multi-cloud artificial intelligence platform, Yippy is a search engine that focuses on privacy and delivers results in clusters according to the needs of the individual. [10]

Charitable Search Engines

Your online searches can make a difference. These search engines use their profits to donate to non-profit organizations around the world.

Ecosia (Powered by Bing)

Ecosia plants trees and is powered by their own solar plants, all while protecting your privacy. [11]

Privacy features include:

  • No storing of your personal data
  • No selling data to advertisers
  • All searches are encrypted
  • No external tracking tools
  • Users can turn off all tracking at any time [12]

So how does Ecosia make money for their non-profit? They make money the same way all commercial search engines do—with pay-per-click advertising. Ecosia is another search engine powered by Bing and using Microsoft Advertising.

Ekoru (Powered by Bing)

As featured in Forbes, Ekoru is the search engine that is cleaning up our polluted oceans. 60% of the profits generated from the infamous pay-per-click advertising model goes toward their partner with non-profit organizations like Big Blue Ocean Clean Up and Operation Posidonia. [13]

In addition to being as eco-friendly as possible by using their hydro-electric servers, Ekoru is yet another privacy-driven search engine that does not store your data and is powered by Microsoft’s Bing. [14]

giveWater (powered by Bing)

Partnered with Living Water International and Water.og, giveWater provides clean water and sanitation to parts of the world without access. Similarly to all the other charity-driven search engines we’ve reviewed, this search engine is also powered by Bing and serves Microsoft Advertising. [15]

Format-Specific

Oftentimes, consumers are looking for more than just a webpage. Maybe they want to browse through videos, podcasts or products. These search engines make finding media much easier.

Media

Unsplash

Image licensing can become very expensive. Unsplash eliminates the hassle of finding freely-usable images without the worry of licensing. Their entire library is made of beautifully crafted imagery to use. No strings attached.

GIPHY

In May of 2020, the media search giant GIPHY was acquired by Facebook, Inc. This search engine contains over 10 billion items in their library that reaches 700 million daily users. [16] Their library is more than just gifs, too, with stickers, videos and more available.

SlideShare

LinkedIn’s SlideShare is a presentation and document-sharing platform for businesses and professionals to share their work with a larger audience. The network has 80 million active users. [17] Although this tool used to be free for LinkedIn users, SlideShare will start operating under Scribd starting September 24, 2020. Scribd is a subscription-based e-book, audiobook and media outlet service.

Listen Notes

With over 1.5 million podcasts, 80 million episodes and 35 million listens, Listen Notes is the top search engine to find your next podcast. [18]

Retail

Amazon

Many forget Amazon is actually a search engine—the world’s largest e-commerce search engine, in fact. In 2018, Amazon surpassed Google with 54% of all online product searches. [19]

Stats to know:

  • Nearly 90% of Amazon searches come from the company’s own products. [19]
  • Amazon has approximately 300 million monthly users, compared to one of its largest competitors, eBay, with only 167 million monthly users.

Groupon

Groupon is the leading search engine for online shopping deals and coupons. The localized search allows small businesses to gain the brand awareness they need to stand out in their community.

Stats to know:

  • Groupon’s global revenue in 2018 was $2.2 billion. [20]
  • In 2020, Groupon is reported to have more than 38.1 million active users. [21]

Business Directories

Yelp

Since 2004, Yelp has been publishing crowd-sourced reviews of large and small businesses all over the world.

Important statistics:

  • As of June 2020, Yelp reported over 214 million reviews on their site. [22]
  • More than 370,000 businesses are paying for advertising on Yelp. [22]
  • The Yelp app is downloaded on over 28 million unique devices. [22]

Voice Search

Voice search is becoming a part of our routine daily lives. According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches in 2020. [23] Though Google powers its own voice-assistant devices, the following are the search engines that power the other leading voice-driven devices in our homes, cars and pocket:

  • Amazon Alexa: Bing
  • Apple’s Siri: As of late 2017, Apple switched from Bing to Google. However, Apple users can change the default search engine to the search engine of their choice, including privacy-driven choices like DuckDuckGo.
  • Android: Google, but like Apple, Android can also switch their default.
  • Microsoft’s Cortana: Bing

Siri is the most commonly used voice assistant, holding about 35% of the market share, whereas surprisingly, Microsoft’s Cortana is not far behind with 22%. Google products and Amazon Alexa are much further behind with each holding less than 10%. [24]

Summary

Although Google dominates the search engine market, other search options are available to find the information you want. Knowing the best options for yourself or your business is an important and good practice.

References:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/intl/en-GB/about/press/
  2. https://99firms.com/blog/bing-statistics/#gref
  3. https://www.brightlocal.com/research/yahoo-does-anyone-care/
  4. https://spreadprivacy.com/how-many-people-use-duckduckgo/
  5. https://www.verizonmedia.com/press/2020/01/14/verizon-media-launches-privacy-focused-search-engine-onesearch
  6. https://www.startpage.com/en/about-us/
  7. https://about.qwant.com/fr/
  8. https://disconnect.me/
  9. https://metager.org/
  10. https://www.ibm.com/watson
  11. https://blog.ecosia.org/why-carbon-neutral-is-not-enough-ecosia-has-built-its-own-solar-plants/
  12. https://info.ecosia.org/privacy
  13. https://www.forbes.com/sites/meimeifox/2020/01/19/how-the-search-engine-ekoru-is-cleaning-up-our-oceans/#3a0a46f01456
  14. https://www.ekoru.org/about/
  15. https://www.givewater.com/about-givewater/
  16. https://giphy.com/about
  17. https://www.slideshare.net/about
  18. https://www.listennotes.com/
  19. https://www.retaildive.com/news/amazon-now-dominates-google-in-product-search/531822/
  20. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-using-groupon-can-hurt-your-business-3867065
  21. https://www.statista.com/statistics/273245/cumulative-active-customers-of-groupon/
  22. https://www.yelp-ir.com/overview/default.aspx
  23. https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/just-say-it-future-search-voice-personal-digital-assistants/1392459
  24. https://gadgets.ndtv.com/smart-home/news/apple-siri-leads-virtual-assistant-market-share-alexa-google-assistant-cortana-report-2151436

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