On Computing

Tired of Googling?

Try Some Other Cool Search Engines

Joel Howell

Article by Joel Howell Newsletter Editorial Board


Google is the search engine of choice for much of the world. The statistics are impressive: 3.5 billion searches per day and over 40,000 per second, averaging to about 1.2 trillion searches every year. Often, Google is the default search engine on many device browsers. However, there are search engine options that may cater to your search needs just as well, dare I say, maybe even better than Google.

Bing is a crowd favorite and one of Google’s biggest competitors. It features both a trending search list and layout that is customizable to your searching preferences. Would you to like to view a selection of various news sources to browse the latest headlines of the hour? Bing can accommodate this desire. It also offers a rewards program that pays users a tenth of a cent for each search. You can redeem your searching points for gift cards and sweepstakes entries.

DuckDuckGo will be your go-to engine if you have privacy concerns. The search engine’s slogan is simply, “The engine that doesn’t track you.” We have all experienced that slightly creepy moment when you are searching for coffee online, and then you “randomly” receive unsolicited coupons and emails from a coffee shop. DuckDuckGo provides users the ease of searching with the knowledge that it does not collect, store, or pass on information about its users.

Kiddle is another search engine option that protects user’s personal information, which is ideal because its users are typically under the age of 18. Kiddle is Google’s kid friendly search engine that provides a web environment devoid of inappropriate content.

A particularly useful search engine is JustWatch, which is specialized for television entertainment. It offers a single online space where users can find shows and movies on any entertainment viewing platform in the United States. It’s a great resource if you want to subscribe to a streaming service but need to know which one has all of your favorite shows and movies. It even includes YouTube and iTunes in its search.

Blekko is a search engine developed by ex-Google engineers. It presents categorized search results and promises to be devoid of any spam or annoying sidebar ads. Admittedly, it does log user information but deletes it after 48 hours.

Boardreader is the search engine for the blog, forum, and message board aficionados. It allows users to search for a general topic and provides forums, message boards, and blogs regarding the topic. It is a great way to find unique and different content that you would have otherwise had to stumble upon.

A really entertaining search engine is Giphy. In an era where a large amount of communication is through technology, GIFs help add a little personality to our messages. GIFs are the continuously looping animated images that are often sent via text or the private email chains that you and your friends banter on. Giphy allows users to search a desired emotion or message and scroll through hundreds of results until they find the one that aptly describes what they’re trying to convey.

Ecosia is a great option for the environmentally conscious. With every search inquiry, Ecosia donates as much as 80% of its profits to a reforestation program. At the time of writing this article, over 48 million trees and counting have been planted. It’s a pretty neat concept!

Yippy is a search engine that compiles the results of other search engines-and maybe even more. It is considered a deep web page which means it accesses web sites not indexed by most search engines. Yippy also boasts the ability to aid in locating obscure information quickly. It’s a great research tool to circumvent superficial search results and more readily view the results that typically would not have been found until the twelfth page.

Swisscows is a unique option for users who have trouble articulating what they are looking for. It claims to solve the frustration of not knowing how to word a search to yield specific results. Swisscows solves this problem with its use of semantic information recognition which offers users intuitive help in their searches. This search engine is also family friendly and promises to never track users.

ChaCha is a search engine rising in popularity due to its offer of real-time answers by independent contractors referred to as Guides. These individuals answer your questions for you and save you precious moments of continued searching. It offers users quizzes to help determine their searching style and preference.

These search engine options should improve your user experience. Challenge yourself to save a couple of them to your dashboard and you will be pleasantly surprised by how often you opt for these specialized engines over the more popular ones. Admittedly, Google is both convenient and user friendly, but these alternatives will undoubtedly expand your searching horizon. Happy Searching!

Questions or comments? Drop me an email: jwh3@mindspring.com