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Google Search dominates global search with a market share of approximately 90%. However, alternative search engines offer many benefits, such as enhanced privacy, niche content and users, and new growth areas.

Here is a list of alternative search engines. There are engines for media-specific searches, community-powered platforms, social search, encrypted search, and more.

Search Engine Alternatives to Google

Bing is the second largest search engine in the U.S. A recent upgrade of enhanced shopping features, including proactive price comparisons and a shop-the-look deals hub, has made Bing even more useful for consumers. Bing offers search for web pages, images, video, shopping, maps, and news. Brands can advertise through the Microsoft adCenter.

Bing

Yahoo! Search is the third largest search engine in the U.S. The search is powered by Bing, and advertising is via the Microsoft adCenter. In addition to search, Yahoo! offers editorial content, including news, finance, and sports.

Yandex is a Russia-based search engine platform that uses machine-learning in nearly all its services, including search-result rankings and serving online ads. Recent platform improvements include video timestamp responses to search queries, detailed quick answers to a greater number of queries, improved object recognition in real-time, and the ability to view a summary of customer feedback. Brands can serve ads through Yandex.Direct.

Amazon is the world’s largest search engine for eCommerce products. A9, Amazon’s algorithm, runs the engine. Text, price, availability, selection, and sales history determine whether or not a product appears in a customer’s search results.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine dedicated to safeguarding user privacy. It delivers the same search results to every user. Its mobile browser and desktop extension come with private search and seamless protection from trackers for all users.

duckduckgo

CC Search accesses more than 300 million free images from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset, aggregating results across multiple public repositories into a single catalog. A planned expansion will add texts, audio, and images. Creative Commons, the nonprofit behind CC Search, is the maker of CC licenses, which facilitates creators sharing their work online.

AOL Search offers results from web, image, video, shopping, and local content. Organic listings primarily come from Google, though additional results appear as well. Sponsored links appear from the Google Ads program. Users can set SafeSearch to avoid explicit content in results.

Gibiru is an uncensored private search engine. Find sites that have been shadow-banned or blocked from mainstream search engines and browse anonymously. The Gibiru Wormhole acts like a browser but automatically blocks history, cookies, and malware from being saved in your browser.

Swisscows is a “family-friendly” search engine that excludes pornography and violent content from its results. It does not collect or track data and, to ensure privacy and security, does not work with cloud or third-party servers.

Swisscows

Ecosia is a socially-responsible search engine, using the profit made from advertising to plant trees. Ecosia does not sell data to advertisers and has no third-party trackers.

Mojeek, based in the U.K., provides a global alternative search engine. It does not track users nor retrieve results from another engine. Mojeek has its own searchable index of web pages and its own ranking algorithm according to what it considers the highest quality and most relevant.

Searx is a free metasearch engine that aggregates results from more than 70 search services. Users are neither tracked nor profiled. Searx can also be used over Tor for anonymity.

Qwant, an E.U.-based search engine, does not track user devices. User queries are encrypted and confidential. Qwant unites all search results from the web onto a single page, including news, social networks, images, videos, and shopping.

Qwant

Facebook Search includes people, posts, photos, videos, places, Pages, groups, apps, links, events, and more — all on Facebook. Results are based on your Facebook activity, shared content, and community content.

Twitter is a microblogging platform. Search for real-time news, trends, and content from industry leaders and influencers.

Neeva is an ad-free, private, and customizable search engine founded by two ex-VPs of Google. Choose retailers and news sources you want to see results from. Discover products aggregated in one place and easily read through reviews from reputable sites and verified customers.

WolframAlpha is a resource for obtaining knowledge and answers, driving computations based on a collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods. Its mission is to collect and curate all objective data, implement every known method and algorithm, and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything.

Brave Search offers a new way to get relevant results with a community-powered index, while guaranteeing privacy. Brave Search is built on top of an independent index, and doesn’t track users, searches, or clicks.

Brave 1

OneSearch has enhanced privacy features, such as encrypted search terms and search-history links that expire after one hour. OneSearch doesn’t use cookies to identify users or track their online behavior uniquely. OneSearch doesn’t share users’ personal data with advertisers, doesn’t allow ad retargeting, and doesn’t support behavioral retargeting of users.

Wiki.com lets you search Wikipedia, independent wikis, and encyclopedias. Find content from collaborative community-led wikis.

LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, searches for jobs, professional contacts, or new skills to learn.

YouTube Search lets users search through the site’s massive video content (over 500 hours uploaded every minute). Results are prioritized by relevance, engagement, and quality.

The Internet Archive is a resource of internet sites and other digital artifacts. It works with 750-plus libraries and partners through its Archive-It program to identify important web pages. It provides 25-plus years of web history accessible through its Wayback Machine search engine.

[Source: This article was published in practicalecommerce.com By Sig Ueland - Uploaded by the Association Member: Deborah Tannen]
Categorized in Search Engine

WHEN IT COMES to looking something up on the web, most of us default to Googling it—the search engine has become so dominant that it's now a verb, in the same way that Photoshop is. But using Google for your searches comes with a privacy trade-off.

Google's business is, of course, based on advertising, and every search you make feeds into the profile of you that it uses to target the ads you see around the web. While Google isn't telling marketing firms what searches you're running, it is using those queries to build up a picture of you that ads can be sold against.

While Google has made moves to limit this data collection—introducing tools for auto-deleting your web history after a certain time period, for example—you might want to switch to a different search provider that doesn't log your queries. And if you want to stick with Google, there are ways to limit the amount of data that gets recorded.

Brave Search

braveBrave isn't going to keep track of what you're looking for. SCREENSHOT: DAVID NIELD VIA BRAVE

Having previously been known for a privacy-focused browser, Brave has now launched its own search engine—albeit one that's labeled as a beta product, so expect the occasional bug and technical issue to appear. Even at this early stage, it's impressively comprehensive, and of course, you're trying it as much for its security and privacy as for the results you get.

Simply put, no logs of your queries are kept by the search engine. While that might make for a slightly less convenient user experience—Google might automatically know you're more interested in the Miami Dolphins than actual dolphins, for instance—it does mean that you can search without worrying that you're going to see any related advertising.

"It's impossible for us to share, sell, or lose your data because we don’t collect it in the first place," says Brave. While the service might eventually become ad-supported, those adverts won't know anything about you or what you've been looking for on the web, making it distinctly different from Google's offering.

You can access the Brave search engine from any web browser and any device (you don't have to use the Brave browser to use it). Getting around the interface is as simple and straightforward as you would expect: Simply type out your query, hit Enter, and wait for the results to show up. You can look for Images, News, or Videos as well as websites using the buttons at the top of the results page.

You'll also see drop-down menus above your search results that let you filter them by location and time. Depending on what keywords you've used, you might also see a Local results tab—this will temporarily make use of your IP address to find results from regional sites, but this IP address isn't saved. As soon as you close down the Brave search tab, everything is forgotten.

DuckDuckGo Search

duckduckgo searchDuckDuckGo is simple, secure, and private. SCREENSHOT: DAVID NIELD VIA DUCKDUCKGO
 

DuckDuckGo has been around for much longer than the Brave search engine, and so it has more in the way of features and options. Its focus is the same: to help you search the web privately, without your queries being registered. It pulls data from hundreds of different sources, including the Microsoft Bing search engine and Apple Maps.

As with the Brave search engine, your searches are never logged or recorded—every time you turn up at the DuckDuckGo portal, you're seen as a new user. You will notice advertising alongside the search results that you get through DuckDuckGo, but these ads aren't targeted, and the advertising networks behind them don't know anything about you.

"Our privacy policy is simple: we don’t collect or share any of your personal information," says DuckDuckGo, which also develops a browser extension and mobile apps for Android and iOS. You don't need to register an account with the service, and you won't find a history of your searches anywhere in DuckDuckGo, making it impossible for the company to monetize them. The portal is now handling about 80 million searches a day.

DuckDuckGo is very straightforward to use: Just type your query into the main search box and hit the Enter key to get started. For certain queries, like celebrity names or places that can be found on a map, you might see pop-out boxes alongside your main search results. For topical searches, a few recent news updates might be included too.

Along the top of the search results list, you'll see ways of filtering the matches that you're seeing. You can focus on Images, Videos, News, Maps, or Shopping for example, as well as set filters based on location or the time that a page was last updated. Use the Settings link on the right to change the appearance of the results page and to change various other DuckDuckGo options.

Limiting Google

google
You can break the connection between Google Chrome and your Google account. SCREENSHOT: DAVID NIELD VIA GOOGLE

It's worth bearing in mind that if you're using Google Chrome and you're signed into Google, you may well be syncing your DuckDuckGo or Brave searches back to your Google account. Your Google web history and your Chrome browsing history (if you're signed into Google) will match up most of the time because Google keeps them in sync by default, partly to make it easier to use Google across multiple devices.

To stop this from happening in Chrome, click the three dots in the top right-hand corner, then choose Settings. If you see that you're signed in to your Google account at the very top, click Turn off—this will break the connection between Google and your browser, and you'll be given the option to delete all the data that's stored locally on your device (including your browsing history, bookmarks, and stored passwords).

Perhaps an easier option is to simply switch to another browser altogether—as we've already mentioned, Brave has one. Other good cross-platform alternatives to Chrome are Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Safari from Apple—but whichever one you switch to, be sure to check out the settings for deleting your browsing history as you go. (All of these browsers have simple-to-use options for this.)

Whichever browser you decide to use, opening up a private or incognito window while you're searching will prevent those searches from being logged inside the browser—as soon as you close the window, the search is gone forever. Bear in mind that these modes don't necessarily stop online companies from tracking your queries though. (If you sign into your Google account while in private mode, Google will still be able to track you.)

If you can't bring yourself to be parted from the search results that Google serves up, you can at least make sure that they're not remembered for too long. Open up your Google account settings page on the web, then click Data & personalization and Web & App Activity: You can choose either Manage activity to remove history and searches manually, or select the Auto-delete option to have this data wiped automatically once it's been stored for a certain amount of time.

[Source: This article was published in wired.com By David Nield - Uploaded by the Association Member: Eric Beaudoin]

Categorized in How to

Pro-privacy browser Brave, which has been testing its own brand search engine for several months — operating a waitlist where brave (ha!) early adopters could kick the tires of an upstart alternative in internet search — has now launched the tool, Brave Search, in global beta.

Users interested in checking out Brave’s non-tracking search engine, which is built on top of an independent index and touted as a privacy-safe alternative to surveillance tech products like Google search, will find it via Brave’s desktop and mobile browsers. It can also be reached from other browsers via search.brave.com — so doesn’t require switching to Brave’s browser to use.

Brave Search is being offered as one of the multiple search options that users of the company’s eponymous browser can pick from (including Google’s search engine). But Brave says it will make it the default search in its browser later this year.

As we reported back in March, the company acquired technology and developers who had previously worked on Cliqz, a European anti-tracking search-browser combo that closed down in May 2020 — building on a technology they’d started to develop, called Tailcat, to form the basis of the Brave-branded search engine.

The (now beta) search engine has been tested by more than 100,000 “early access users” at this point, per Brave. It’s made this video ad to tout its “all in one” alternative to Google search + Chrome.

The company recently passed 32 million monthly active users (up from 25 million back in March) for its wider suite of products — which, as well as its flagship pro-privacy browser, includes a newsreader Firewall+VPN service.

Brave also offers privacy-preserving Brave Ads for businesses wanting to reach its community of privacy-preferring users.

Growing public awareness of surveillance-based business models has been building momentum for pro-privacy consumer tech for a number of years. And several players which started out with a strong focus on one particular pro-privacy product (such as a browser, search engine, or email) have been expanding into a full suite of products — all under the same non-tracking umbrella.

As well as Brave, there’s the likes of DuckDuckGo — which offers non-tracking search but also a tracker blocker and an email inbox protector tool, among other products, and reckons it now has between 70 million-100 million users overall; and Proton, the maker of E2E-encrypted email service ProtonMail but also a cloud calendar and file storage as well as a VPN. The latter recently confirmed passing 50 million users globally.

There is also Apple itself too, of course — a Big Tech giant that competes with Google and the adtech complex by promising users a privacy premium to drive sales of its hardware and services. (At the start of this year Apple said there are now over 1 billion iOS users globally — and more than 1.65 billion Apple devices.)

Tl;dr: The market for privacy consumer tech is growing.

Still, even Apple doesn’t try to compete against Google search, which perhaps underlines the scale of the challenge involved in trying to poach users from the search behemoth. (Albeit, Apple extracts massive payments from Google to preload the latter’s search engine onto iOS devices — which does conflict with [and complicate] its wider, pro-privacy, pro-user promises while also adding a nice revenue boost for Apple… ).

DuckDuckGo has, by contrast, been at the non-tracking search coalface for years — and turning a profit since 2014. Though clearly not in the same profit league as Apple. But, more recently, it’s also taken in rare tranches of external funding as its investors spy growing opportunities for private search.

Other signs of expanding public appetite to protect people’s information from commercial snoopers include the surge of usage for E2E-encrypted alternatives to Facebook-owned WhatsApp — such as Signal — which saw a download spike earlier this year after the advertising giant announced unilateral changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service.

Credible players that have amassed a community of engaged users around a core user privacy promise are well-positioned to ride each new wave of privacy interest — and cross-sell a suite of consumer products where they’ve been able to expand their utility. Hence Brave believing the time is right for it to dabble in search.

Commenting in a statement, Brendan Eich, CEO, and co-founder of Brave said: “Brave Search is the industry’s most private search engine, as well as the only independent search engine, giving users the control and confidence they seek in alternatives to Big Tech. Unlike older search engines that track and profile users and newer search engines that are mostly skin on older engines and don’t have their own indexes, Brave Search offers a new way to get relevant results with a community-powered index, while guaranteeing privacy. Brave Search fills a clear void in the market today as millions of people have lost trust in the surveillance economy and actively seek solutions to be in control of their data.”

Brave touts its eponymous search offering as having a number of differentiating features versus rivals (including smaller rivals) — such as its own index, which it also says gives it independence from other search providers.

Why is having an independent index important? We put that question to Josep M. Pujol, chief of search at Brave, who told us: “There are plenty of incentives for censorship and biases, either by design, or what is even more difficult to combat, unintentional. The problem of search, and how people access the web, is that it is a mono-culture, and everybody knows that while it’s very efficient, it’s also very dangerous. A single disease can kill all the crops. The current landscape is not fail-tolerant, and this is something that even users are becoming aware of. We need more choices, not to replace Google or Bing, but to offer alternatives. More choices will entail more freedom and also get back to real competition, with checks and balances.

“Choice can only be achieved by being independent, as if we do not have our own index, then we are just a layer of paint on top of Google and Bing, unable to change much or anything in the results for users’ queries. Not having your own index, as with certain search engines, gives the impression of choice, but in reality, such engine ‘skins’ are the same players as the big two. Only by building our own index, which is a costly proposition, will we be in a position to offer true choice to the users for the benefit of all, whether they are Brave Search users or not.”

Although, for now, it’s worth noting that Brave is relying on some provision from other search providers — for specific queries and in areas like image search (where, for example, it says it’s currently fetching results from Microsoft-owned Bing) — to ensure its results achieve adequate relevancy.

Elsewhere it also says it’s relying upon anonymized contributions from the community to improve and refine results — and is seeking to live up to wider transparency claims vis-à-vis the search index (which it also claims has “no secret methods or algorithms to bias results”; and for which it will “soon” be offering community-curated open ranking models to ensure diversity and prevent algorithmic biases and outright censorship”).

In another transparency step, Brave is reporting the percentage of users’ queries that are independent by showing what it bills as “the industry’s first search independence metric” — meaning it displays the ratio of results coming exclusively from its own index.

“It is derived privately using the user’s browser as we do not build user profiles,” Brave notes in a press release. “Users can check this aggregate metric to verify the independence of their results and see how results are powered by our own index, or if third-parties are being used for long-tail results while we are still in the process of building our index.”

It adds that Brave Search will “typically be answering most queries, reflected by a high independence metric”. Although if you’re performing an image search, for example, you’ll see the independence metric take a hit (but Brave confirms this will not result in any tracking of users).

Transparency] is a key principle at Brave, and there will also be a global independence metric for Brave Search across all searches, which we will make publicly available to show how we are progressing towards complete independence,” it adds.

 

On the monetization side, Brave says it will “soon” be offering both a paid ad-free version of search in the future and an ad-supported free version — while still pledging “fully anonymous” search. Though it specifies that it won’t be flipping the ad switch during the early beta phase.

“We will offer options for both ad-free paid search and ad-supported free search later,” it notes. “When we are ready, we will explore bringing private ads with BAT revenue share to search, as we’ve done for Brave user ads.”

Users of the search engine who do not also use Brave’s own browser will be served contextual ads.

“In Brave Search via the browser, strong privacy guarantees for opt-in ads are a norm and a brand value that we uphold,” adds Pujol, confirming that users of its search and browser are likely to get the same type of ad targeting.

Asked about the pricing of the forthcoming ad-free version of the search engine he says: “Although we have not finalized the launch date or the price yet, our ad-free paid search will be affordable because we believe search, and access to information, should be available on fair terms for everyone.”

In an interesting recent development in Europe, Google — under pressure from antitrust regulators — has agreed to ditch a pay-to-play auction model for the choice screen it offers regional users of its Android platform, letting them pick a default search engine from a list with a number of rivals and its own brand Google search. The move should expand the number of alternative search engines to which Android users in Europe are exposed — and could help chip away at some of Google’s search market share.

Brave previously told us it would not participate in Google’s paid auction — but Pujol says that if the new model is “truly free to participate” it will likely take part in the future.

“Google and free-to-participate seem difficult to believe, given plenty of precedents but if this model is indeed truly free to participate, without contracts or nondisclosure agreements, then we would likely participate,” he says. “After all, Brave Search is open to everyone who would like to use it, and we are open and happy to put Brave Search on any platform.”

“We have localized browsers throughout the European market, so in addition to growth via the Brave browser growing, we intend to grow Brave Search’s usage by marketing our best-in-class privacy on all media that reach prospective users,” he adds.

[Source: This article was published in techcrunch.com By Natasha Lomas - Uploaded by the Association Member: Martin Grossner]
Categorized in Search Engine

GOOGLE’S GRIP ON the web has never been stronger. Its Chrome web browser has almost 70 percent of the market and its search engine a whopping 92 percent share. That’s a lot of data—and advertising revenue—for one of the world’s most powerful companies.

But Google’s dominance is being challenged. Regulators are questioning its monopoly position and claim the company has used anticompetitive tactics to strengthen its dominance. At the same time, a new wave of Google rivals hopes to capitalize on the greater public desire for online privacy.

Two years after publicly launching a privacy-focused browser, Brave, founded by former Mozilla executive Brendan Eich, is taking on Google’s search business too. The announcement of Brave Search puts the upstart in the rare position of taking on both Google’s browser and search dominance.

Eich says that Brave Search, which has opened a waitlist and will launch in the first half of this year, won’t track or profile people who use it. “Brave already has a default anonymous user model with no data collection at all,” he says adding this will continue in its search engine. No IP addresses will be collected and the company is exploring how it can create both a paid, ad-free search engine and one that comes with ads.

But building a search engine isn’t straightforward. It takes a lot of time and, more importantly, money. Google’s search algorithms have spent decades crawling the web, building up anindex of hundreds of billions of sites and ranking them in search results.

The depth of Google’s indexing has helped secure its market-leading position. Globally its nearest rival is Microsoft’s Bing, which has just 2.7 percent of the market. Bing’s own index of the web also helps to provide results in other Google rivals, such as DuckDuckGo which uses it as one of 400 sources that feed into search results.

Eich says Brave isn’t starting its search engine or index from scratch and won’t be using indexes from Bing or other tech firms. Instead Brave has purchased Tailcat, an offshoot of German search engine Cliqz, which was owned by Hubert Burda Media and closed down last year. The purchase includes an index of the web that’s been created by Tailcat and the technology that powers it. Eich says that some users will be given the ability to opt-in to anonymous data collection to help fine-tune search results.

“What Tailcat does is it looks at a query log and a click log anonymously,” Eich says. “These allow it to build an index, which Tailcat has done and already did at Cliqz, and it's getting bigger.” He admits that the index will not be anywhere near as deep as Google’s but that the top results it surfaces are largely the same.

“It's the web that the users care about,” says Eich. “You don't have to crawl the entire web in quasi-real-time as Google does.”

The Brave Search team are also working on filters, called Goggles, that will allow people to create a series of sources where search results are pulled from. People could, for example, use filters to only show product reviews that don’t contain affiliate links. A filter could also be set to only display results from independent media outlets.

And Google might soon have even more competition. There have been unconfirmed reports that Apple is building its own search engine, although this could see it lose billions of dollars that Google pays it to be the default search choice on its Safari browser. Further competition comes from Neeva, built by former Google engineers who plan to use a search subscription model; You.com, which is in an early testing phase; and British startup Mojeek, which has crawled more than three billion webpages using its own crawler tech.

It remains to be seen how much of a dent any of these rivals can make in Google’s dominance—or if they actually need to if they’re going to succeed. Google’s rivals can be successful in local markets and make profits on a much smaller scale. Search engine Seznam has an 11 percent market share in its native Czechia, while Russia’s Yandex has 45 percent of its local market share. DuckDuckGo, which has most of its users in the US and Europe, has made a profit since 2014 and passed 100 million daily searches for the first time in January.

The closure of Cliqz offers some important lessons. When it shuttered in April 2020, the company said that despite having hundreds of thousands of users it couldn’t cover its own costs. In the search business, some scale matters. “The world needs a private search engine that is not just using Bing or Google in the backend,” Cliqz said when it announced its closure.

Brave has one advantage when it comes to people who might use Brave Search: its web browser. The company says the browser, which launched in 2019, already has 25 million monthly active users— in the future they may all be potential search users too. However, Eich says Brave Search won’t be forced upon people as a default, to begin with.“We will have it as an alternative not as a default because we'll still feel like there's more work to do,” he says. “As it gets good enough, I think we will try to make it the default engine in Brave.”

[Source: This article was published in wired.com By Elena Lacey - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne]
Categorized in Search Engine

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