Content Marketing
16 Alternative Search Engines and When They’re Used

16 Alternative Search Engines and When They’re Used

April 24, 2023
7 min read

For years, websites like Facebook and Google have been gathering user data for targeted advertising and sales to third-party sites.

At first, it seemed harmless to collect personal data from users to help show search results for relevant products and services. But, after a few data scandals, like the Microsoft Hotmail scandal and the Zoom scandal of 2020, users become much more weary of how their data was being shared and collected on the internet.

In response to the high demand for user privacy, alternative search engines, like DuckDuckGo, started to emerge as a popular (and safer) alternative. Today, DuckDuckGo is the second most popular search engine in the US, and holds 0.68% of the search engine market share worldwide. The DuckDuckGo Chrome extension app has over six million users, and its advertising costs are 10x cheaper than Google.

Whether you want to boost your search rankings or buy a new house, it’s important to leave no stone unturned. Google may always reign supreme, but when it comes to navigating search engines to benefit your business, you have to weigh all of your options. Here’s 16 alternative search engines you should know about, and when they’re best used.

Quick Takeaways

  • Alternative search engines have gained popularity because of concerns about data privacy and tracking
  • DuckDuckGo is a popular alternative search engine that prioritizes user privacy and transparency
  • By using alternative search engines, businesses can reach niche audiences and improve the ROI of their content marketing strategies
  • Marketers can use a variety of alternative search engines such as Ecosia, Dogpile, Buzzsumo, and Scribd to improve their search rankings

Business owners and marketing professionals can use alternative search engines to enhance their marketing efforts, reach new audiences, and improve their search rankings.

16 Alternative Search Engines You Should Know About

Here’s our list of alternative search engines you should know about, and how they can be useful to businesses. You’ve likely heard of some of these, but there should be some new ones, too!

1. DuckDuckGo

screenshot shows alternative search engine landing page for DuckDuckGo

Image Source: DuckDuckGo

Since we started with this one, we’re going to dig a little deeper. DuckDuckGo was created in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg, and is best known for its focus on user privacy. In contrast with other popular search engines, DuckDuckGo rejects the tracking of data and personalized search results.

When it comes to SEO, there are a few general challenges and opportunities for content marketers:

  • Since DuckDuckGo doesn’t use personal data, marketers can’t target specific audiences based on their search history or behavior
  • DuckDuckGo is great opportunity for businesses that value privacy and transparency, since many users actively seek out private alternatives to mainstream search options
  • SEO on DuckDuckGo requires a focus on high quality content, keyword optimization, improving website usability, and nurturing the user experience

DuckDuckGo is best used when you want to protect your privacy and find unbiased information, since this search engine won’t track your history.

2. You

screenshot shows landing page for you search engine

Image Source: You

Former chief scientist at Salesforce, Richard Socher, launched You.com in 2021. You.com is an AI-powered search engine that has two modes:

  • Personal. In this mode, users can create their own source preferences.
  • Private. While using private mode, users can search without the collection of data.

You.com also offers YouCode, an AI coding assistant, and YouWrite, an AI writing assistant. This alternative search engine specifically encourages software developers to build apps and contribute to open collaboration.

3. Ecosia

screenshot shows landing page for ecosia

Image Source: Ecosia

Ecosia was created by Christian Knoll in 2009 with a focus on environmental sustainability. Ecosia’s business model was designed to use search engine revenue to fund global tree-planting projects, and has funded the planting of more than 171 million trees since its launch.

From an SEO perspective, Ecosia offers a few opportunities for businesses focused on sustainability and environmental responsibility. Some ways that eco-friendly businesses can benefit from Ecosia include:

  • Optimizing content for eco-friendly keywords and topics to appeal to users who value sustainability
  • Supporting Ecosia’s mission by advertising on the platform and donating a portion of profits to tree-planting initiatives
  • Creating informative content about sustainability and environmental responsibility to attract and engage Ecosia users

Ideally, you should use Ecosia if you value sustainability and want to support environmental causes through your business’s presence on search engines.

4. Dogpile

screenshot shows landing page for dogpile search engine

Image Source: Dogpile

Dogpile is a metasearch engine that gathers and presents search results from several search engines, including Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, to provide searchers with a comprehensive view of web results.

Businesses can optimize content to appear on Dogpile by focusing on organic search strategies and avoiding “black hat techniques”, like keyword stuffing. Since Dogpile’s algorithm prioritizes quality over quantity, this alternative search engine is best used if you want to gain valuable insight from the collective.

5. Openverse

screenshot shows landing page for openverse

Image Source: Openverse

Openverse is an open-source search engine that was created by Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that promotes free and open culture. Openverse was designed to provide users with access to free content, including images, videos, and music.

Openverse is ideal for website owners who want to make their content more widely accessible, and contribute to more collaborative search results. One of the best ways to do so is by building backlinks from other open-source content to increase visibility and authority in search results.

6. Gigablast

screenshot shows landing page for gigablast search engine

Image Source: GigaBlast

Gigablast was created in 2000 by Matt Wells, and is best known for its comprehensive web-index and speedy search results.

Since Gigablast is less popular than its competitors, smart businesses use this alternative search engine to reach niche users and optimize content for a lesser-known space. By focusing on niche keywords and topics that are less targeted by other search engines, website owners can improve their visibility.

7. Qwant

screenshot shows landing page for Qwant

Image Source: Qwant

Qwant was created in 2013 with a focus on digital freedom. This alternative search engine is based in France and operates on a European-based server network.

Qwant’s mission is to provide users with a privacy-focused search experience that doesn’t track user data or sell it to advertisers. For businesses and website owners who prioritize privacy and data protection, we recommend using Qwant to:

  • Protect user privacy and avoiding targeted advertising
  • Appeal to a European audience or businesses with a focus on the European market
  • Provide unbiased and unfiltered search results that aren’t influenced by personalized data

Qwant is best used by businesses who want to support digital freedom and contribute to a more transparent web.

8. Keyhole

screenshot shows landing page for keyhole search engine

Image Source: Keyhole

Keyhole is a social media analytics and monitoring tool that allows users to search for:

  • Hashtags
  • Keywords
  • @mentions
  • URLs

It was specifically designed to help businesses and marketers track social media activity and gain key insights into their social media campaigns.

We recommend using Keyhole to monitor brand mentions, analyze competitor activity, identify opportunities for improvement, and plan based on real-time data. If you want to stay on top of your social media presence and reputation, Keyhole is the alternative search engine for you.

9. Buzzsumo

screenshot shows landing page for buzzsumo search engine

Image Source: Buzzsumo

We love Buzzsumo. This alternative search engine was launched back in 2012, and is our preferred choice for analyzing content and monitoring social media. It’s specifically designed to help content marketers and B2B businesses track:

  • Content performance
  • Analyze competitor activity
  • Gain insights into content marketing strategies

Buzzsumo features content discovery, influencer identification, and social media insight to help businesses improve their content marketing strategies and social media presences. It’s also a great way to discover new content ideas, identify trending topics, and build relationships for social media promotions.

10. BlogSearchEngine

screenshot shows blogsearchengine landing page

Image Source: BlogSearchEngine

As you probably guessed, BlogSearchEngine focuses on blogs and blogging content. It allows users to search for blogs and blog posts across a wide range of niche topics. Businesses that want to improve their visibility in the blogosphere can use BlogSearchEngine to:

  • Find relevant blogs and bloggers for outreach and guest posting opportunities
  • Track mentions of a brand or product
  • Monitor industry trends and news specific niches

Using an alternative search engine like BlogSearchEngine in conjunction with an SEO, blog-writing agency can really kick your content marketing game up a notch.

11. Scribd

screenshot shows scribd landing page

Image Source: Scribd

Scribd is a digital library and publishing platform that allows users to share books, documents, and other types of digital media. Scribd is ideally used by businesses that want to improve their content marketing strategy by:

  • Publishing high-quality content
  • Building backlinks from relevant Scribd content to improve website authority and search rankings
  • Gaining insights into industry trends, history, and topics through research

Marketers and website owners can also reach a wider audience through Scribd’s library and publishing capabilities.

12. SlideShare

screenshot shows landing page for slideshare search engine

Image Source: SlideShare

Slideshare is an alternative search engine for sharing and discovering visual content like presentations, images, and infographics. It was created in 2006 by Rashmi Sinha and was later acquired by LinkedIn in 2012.

Ideally, business owners can use SlideShare to reach a wider audience, build backlinks from relevant content, and learn about trending topics in their industry. SlideShare is a great way for businesses to learn from both industry experts and competitors, allowing them to improve their content marketing strategies.

13. Brave

screenshot shows landing page for brave search engine

Image Source: Brave

Brave blocks website trackers and ads by offering features like private browning and built-in ad-blocking. It also offers free video calls, offline playlists, and a customizable news feed.

This alternative search engine is especially appealing to tech-savvy and privacy conscious users because it supports digital freedom and contributes to a transparent content library. Brave also hands out rewards for users that opt into privacy preserving ads, and claims to provide a faster, safer online experience.

14. Neeva

screenshot shows landing page for neeva

Image Source: Neeva

Neeva is a subscription-based search engine that was created by former Google executives. Not only does it offer an ad-free experience, but it also allows users to identify preferred retailers and news sources, providing personalized, expert-recommended results.

Neeva makes personalization possible while still catering to the needs and preferences of a privacy-conscious audience. This is ideal since 72% of internet users say they prefer personalized marketing that is relevant to their interests and needs, yet many are concerned with privacy. It also offers a non-biased search experience, without influence from advertisers.

15. WolframAlpha

screenshot shows landing page for wolfram alpha search engine

Image Source: WolframAlpha

WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge search engine designed to provide users with computational answers to factual queries. This alternative search engine answers users’ questions by generating reports that summarize expert-level knowledge.

WolframAlpha’s features include:

  • Mathematical computation
  • Data analysis
  • Visualizations

WolframAlpha can be especially helpful to website owners who want to improve their knowledge graphs and online presence. We recommend using WolframAlpha to gain valuable industry insight that makes data-driven decision-making possible.

16. searX

screenshot shows landing page for searX search engine

Image Source: searX

SearX was created in 2014, and is an open-source metasearch engine designed to provide users with a decentralized search experience. SearX features anonymous searching, customizable search preferences, and results from multiple sources.

This alternative search engine can either be added to a browser’s search bar, or set as a default search engine. SearX is ideal for users who want to provide a private search experience without user-data tracking or display ads.

Start Ranking On Alternative Search Engines Today

While Google may be everyone’s go-to, there are many alternative search engines that we can’t forget about as content marketers and B2B business owners. Whether you’re looking for more privacy, uncensored results, or personalized content, there’s an alternative search engine designed to deliver.

Do you want to rank on alternative search engines? First, you have to start publishing high quality content consistently. Get started today by checking out our weekly blog content service, or schedule a free consultation now to learn more!

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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