Alternatives to Google Search

We get so used to using Google as our “go-to” for searching everything. It has become so common that even the word “Google” is used as a verb– “If you don’t know the answer, then google it.” There are other ways, sometimes fresher, more focused, and private ways to get Internet search results that you should know. In this tech tip, we will explore some alternatives that might enhance your online life! 

We focus on several issues associated with searching– 1) Privacy and Security, 2) Just the News, and 3) Regional search.

Issue #1 Privacy and Security

Our online activities “leak” too much information these days, what we search, what we buy, what we read are unwittingly becoming a data commodity.  Some of the big Internet search companies have an uncanny ability to track our online activities and commoditize these for business and other purposes.  But, you can opt-out of some of this by using privacy-oriented search engines listed below.

Privacy Oriented Search Engines

duckduckgo logo

A privacy-oriented search engine.

Duckduckgo.com – this is the top search engine for privacy. DuckDuckGo collects no data about you or track you in any way!  It gets better… they block Google trackers– the company states that “Google trackers lurk on 75% of the top million websites. No thanks.”

Startpage.com – they claim to be the “world’s most private search engine.”  Though interestingly enough, they pay to use Google’s search results, but every user search is anonymously proxied so Google knows nothing about who, where, or other related user information.  Pretty nifty!

Notable others in this category: lukol.com, qwant.com, and search.disconnect.me

 

Issue #2 Just the News, Please! 

I run into this scenario often– when searching for the latest news and developments about a particular topic, I get almost as many advertisements that are ”related” to the search as well as non-news than actual results.  Typically, the mega-search-providers have analytics that identifies the searcher as belonging to a particular target demographic. After doing so, they will pepper your search results with lots of ads, non-news, and many irrelevant links to wade through.  Rather than wade through screens of this data– I want news only!!

News Search Engines

digg.com logo

Digg a portal and search engine dedicated to news stories.

Digg.com – Digg is a news search engine that benefits from crowd-sourced curation.  They have “channels” devoted to particular topics. My favorite is science– https://digg.com/channel/science

Newslookup.com – specializes in news stories, so you will never have to wade through irrelevant links that come back from traditional search engines.  Pick a region, pick a topic, or just search via keyword. It’s very easy.

Elephind.com – specializes in historical newspaper archives.  This search engine focuses on identifying newspaper archives that might contain relevant data.  One “catch” to searching old newspapers is that the digitization process is never perfect thus a bit more patience is required in looking through search results.

 

Issue #3 Search Engines with Regional Character

Some search tasks are region-specific.  These are best served by a regional provider that specializes in finding websites and pages that originate in a particular locality and language.  Worth noting is that these search engines don’t always offer English language versions of their site. This can be solved by “Google Translate” to evaluate the site content.  It is a breath of fresh air to look at the curation and organization that has local (non-US) editorship.

Regional Search Engines

goo japan search logo

Goo is a search engine with a focus on Japan in the Japanese language

Goo.ne.jp – Goo is a Japanese language web-portal and search engine.

Naver.com – Similar to Goo in its focus on being both a portal and a search engine.  Naver.com is based in South Korea and is in the Korean language.

Baidu.com – Baidu is China’s biggest and most important search engine.  This site is very broad-based and extensive in its search capabilities– dare we say China’s equivalent to Google?

Rambler.ru – Rambler is headquartered in Russia and presented in the Russian Language.  You can see many news stories with a very different focus and editorial motif than found in other parts of Europe.

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