What is a search engine? A search engine is a web application making it possible to find relevant results responding to a request from an Internet user, made in the form of keywords. The results can be in the form of a web page, an image, a video or even a commercial offer. The search engine simplifies navigation and the search for information. They have become essential.
Google is the reference internet search engine for all SEO experts. Indeed, by concentrating more than 90% of the market shares. Whatever the browser (Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox, Safari…) or the device, the American giant is the most popular. However, you might be interested in discovering a new search engine that allows you to search and obtain the same or very similar result. Each tries to differentiate itself by focusing on Google’s weaknesses, sometimes with original ideas such as planting trees, for example. Here is a list of the most notable search engines and research tools.
Google benefits from 90% of global queries but two other players, Bing and Yahoo!, rely on a search engine with a good user experience and above all a wide choice of features and tools.
Here is a list of the best-known alternative search engines to Google:
- Bing : Historical search engine developed by Microsoft since 1998 (MSN Search), 2nd largest search engine in France after Google
- Yahoo! : Very complete search engine with unique features
- Qwant : French search engine that has been focusing on data protection since 2011
- DuckDuckGo : “The search engine that doesn’t spy on you” according to its developers
- Ecosia : A German search engine that is committed to the environmental cause
- StartPage by ixquick: A web metasearch engine that protects your privacy
- Lilo : A philanthropic search engine that redistributes its income to Internet users
- Quora : A question-and-answer engine enriched by the collaborative system
- Xaphir : French search engine (acquired by Qwant)
- Yippy : Search engine that sorts the results into folders according to the needs of the user
1 – BING: SEARCH ENGINE BY MICROSOFT
This search engine was developed in 2009 to replace Windows Live. Microsoft is enriching its algorithm in order to provide more features and better search quality for Internet users. Very similar to Google, Bing is a search engine and a complete environment: web, news, photos, videos, a map (Bing Maps), a translation tool (Bing Translation) or even a price comparison tool.
For website administrators, Bing is considering integrating an equivalent of Google Webmaster Tools. Bing Webmaster integrates tools for monitoring natural referencing SEO for Hospitals (Search Engine Optimization) or page indexing or incoming links, indexed pages, important keywords of requests from Internet users and even the submission of a sitemap.
“Bing” is meant to be quick to remember and somewhat reminiscent of when you find what you’re looking for like “Eureka”. Others see it as a hidden message: “Bing Is Not Google” or “Best Is Not Google”. It captures 5.2% of searches in France: 18 times less than Google.
2 – YAHOO! : A VERY COMPLETE SEARCH ENGINE
Yahoo! exists since 2005. By creating a lot of features, Yahoo hopes to nibble market share and become the outsider of Google. The very rich news can be divided into several categories (Sport, Finance, Cinema, Music, etc.) to facilitate the reading of the latest information in a very short time. Today’s trends and a selection of relevant content are available. There is also multilingual search, My Web (customization tool), videos, photos (Flickr), Del.icio.us… This search engine has benefited from the takeover of Altavista to develop.
It is considered one of the best search engines by various studies.
Search engines that protect your personal data
Google uses personal data to offer personalized results but also to sell more targeted advertisements. This type of practice is very unpleasant for users who sometimes turn to alternative search engines that protect personal data.
3 – QWANT: THE “FRENCH GOOGLE” THAT WANTS YOU WELL
“The search engine that respects your privacy” is the promise made by the French search engine, which has been active since 2013 after 2 years of development. Qwant guarantees that users’ personal information is not stored and used for commercial purposes. No cookie traces the Internet user: the list of results is not personalized like Google is, for example. The results are very oriented by current events and trends.
We find this desire in the display of the results. Finally, Qwant offers a very rich results page with a vertical menu with the following categories: Web, News (Media), and Social networks, Images, Videos, Shopping and Music (Beta). The SERP displays a dashboard with a Web, News and Social section (latest tweets in particular).
Qwant Junior is a search engine dedicated to young people: 6-13 years old. No access to violent, pornographic or e-commerce sites. Adapted news and educational sites are highlighted as well as educational content: games, quizzes. The National Education plebiscite besides this search engine. Emmanuel Macron defined it as the “French Google”. COCK-A-DOODLE DOO! The search engine had 48 million monthly visits in August 2017 (+11 million in 8 months). The French market is the largest (78% of total requests) followed by Germany (7%), China (2%), Belgium, Italy, etc.
4 – DUCKDUCKGO: LONG LIVE THE PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA
Like Qwant, DuckDuckGo is committed to protecting personal data: “the search engine that doesn’t spy on you”. Promised, the American search engine, created in 2007, does not track the Internet user. The IP address is not used: sponsored ads are displayed thanks to the user’s request.
DuckDuckGo offers image searches and video searches. It uses nearly 400 reference sites: Wikipedia, Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp, etc. In 2016, the number of daily searches rose to 13 million per day, or 400 million searches per month.
Search engines with an environmental and social dimension
Some Internet users highlight Google’s energy consumption and the impact of research on the environment to create initiatives and engage in social and environmental initiatives.
5 – ECOSIA: THE ECOLOGICAL SEARCH ENGINE
“We want to create a world in which the environment no longer needs to be protected. “. Ecosia is an eco-friendly search engine that aims to reduce the energy consumption attributable to a search. A Google search consumes about 7G of CO2, according to several recognized studies. This German charitable engine donates the profits to a reforestation program present around the world. 5.5 million Active and regular users have planted more than 14 million trees.
A small team of less than 20 people make this search engine work. Search results and advertisements are provided by Yahoo! and Bing.
6 – STARTPAGE BY IXQUICK: “THE MOST CONFIDENTIAL” SEARCH ENGINE
Another search engine that protects your personal data. Startpage uses Google to display results on the SERP. However, startpage acts as an intermediary: no data is stored and reused. For CEO Robert EG Beens, “privacy is a fundamental human right”.
7 – LILO: THE SOLIDARITY SEARCH ENGINE
In the same vein as Ecosia, we find the French Lilo who uses the money collected to reinvest it in solidarity, social or environmental projects. Each search allows you to accumulate a drop of water. Users can then allocate their credit in drops of water transformed into real money to the project of their choice.
8 – QUORA: A COLLABORATIVE SEARCH ENGINE
Quora is a search engine based on the questions and answers of Internet users. The community comes to enrich a very important database and ordered by subject or theme. The site which is positioned between the search engine and an online encyclopedia claims 100 million unique users per month.
Search engines different from Google
9 – XAPHIR: THE DIFFERENT SEARCH ENGINE
Xaphir is a rather special search engine. Indeed, Google will seek to display results whose order (Page Rank) is defined by algorithms according to specific criteria. Xaphir works on the same principle but it will ask the Internet user several keywords to refine his search. In addition, the popularity of the site does not come into play. A very popular site will not be displayed in priority.
This French beta search engine tries to make us discover other websites that everyone consults almost mechanically. A way to improve your navigation? Maybe, but he quickly shows these limits.
10 – YIPPY: THE “CLUSTERING” SEARCH ENGINE
Yippy is one of the few search engines that practices clustering, the partitioning of data. Each result, each indexed page is analyzed and gathered with others, according to its content. Homogeneous subsets are created. This is done in the form of a list (to the left of the SERP) which allows the results to be segmented.
The best search engine
Impossible to make a list of search engines without making a small selection and answering the following question: What is the best search engine? I think the answer will depend on each person. Aspirations, needs and browsing habits are unique to everyone. This will result in a different choice.
In my opinion, the best search engines are:
- Google: For its incredible ability to find the answer quickly and its ability to understand our needs and expectations. It is quite simply the most efficient, the most functional and the most complete. It’s almost a web within a web, useful information can be found even before clicking on a site.
- Qwant: Because it allows you to browse and get answers without being spied on. When we know what Google does with our personal data, it’s a real asset. In addition, its pedagogical scope is very interesting for the young population who are not helpless in the face of the excesses of the web.
- Xaphir (In a few years): Because his idea of offering less popular websites is very interesting. Hundreds, thousands of sites would surely benefit from being better known. Xaphir will probably help us do this when his algorithm becomes more efficient.
Search engine market shares in 2021
To realize Google’s lead over alternative search engines; it is necessary to ask the question “What are the market shares of search engines in 2021, in France?” These data are made public by Global Stats Counter, a site specializing in the analysis of real-time data on the web.
- Google market share: 91.99%
- Bing market share: 3.77%
- Yahoo market share: 1.36%
- DuckDuckGo market share: 0.51%
- Qwant market share: 0.98%
- Ecosia market share: 1.11%
If Google’s reputation is based on its search engine and its market shares are huge compared to the competition, some competitors have decided to take the American giant on the wrong foot. This strategy can be effective with a strong algorithm that can compete with Google. What is certain is that Google will not be endangered for years. So, to position yourself on the first page, you will have to follow Google’s SEO rules. You have been warned!