Alternative Search Engines to Google
A search engine is a solution for searching the web with text-based search queries, images, voice, and more.
The search engines present their findings as search engine result pages (SERPS) to the users. A goal of a search engine is to provide the most relevant search result for any given term, keyword, or image.
While Google is the biggest search engine, no doubt, utilizing other alternative search engines can have multiple benefits for your websites and businesses.
Some engines provide a more niche product when compared to Google, and optimizing various search engines can increase your results from your search engine optimization strategy.
Even if you’re worried about privacy, you will have a wide range of search engines to pick a favorite.
We are going to list a few search engines and their benefits to your business. Some are larger than others, but worth the optimization and worth looking into more in-depth in your online marketing strategy.
All the search engines listed here have less traffic generation potential than Google. Still, as competition in specific keywords can be rough in Google, these alternative search engines offer an opportunity to grow organic online traffic.
Most platforms allow advertising on their platforms. Learn more about search engine marketing (SEM)
It’s important to note if your target audience isn’t using Google as their primary search engine, targeting that audience will be harder. Understanding the search patterns of your target audience will help you build a more robust optimization strategy online.
Look in the images, how we used the same keyword in all of them to see how differently they display different results.
First, we’ll look at how a keyword, and it’s search results look in Google for reference.
Bing is a universal search engine like Google Search, and they have a lot in common, but Bing has overall fewer users and a market share of 2.55% (March 2020). Like Google Search, Bing offers a search function for images, and videos too.
Bing is produced and owned by Microsoft and is currently the second most used search engine around the world. In some markets such as the U.S and U.K, optimizing for Bing is essential.
Optimizing for Bing Search can be an opportunity depending on your target audiences and their locations.
In Bing, there’s slightly less competition as SEO resources tend to favor Google Search for higher traffic. Therefore, Bing can offer a place for smaller websites to compete for more valuable keywords, and utilizing Bing in your SEO strategy is beneficial.
As the second biggest search engine globally, taking the time to optimize for Bing and using its webmaster tools or Bing ads (Microsoft Ads) is crucial.
Bing powers many other specialized search engines. Bing is an excellent opportunity for websites and companies to optimize to gain more traffic.
Gaining traffic from valuable and relevant keywords is a benefit of Bing. Underestimating the power of Bing will lead companies and websites to lose valuable online traffic.
Yahoo! Search is a Yahoo-owned web search engine, which is the third-largest in the world, with a share of 1.66% of the market.
On the back-end Yahoo! Search uses Bing Search to facilitate their search results. Therefore it has the same benefits as Bing Search generally.
When their users are combined, it makes them an excellent choice for gaining additional traffic from the web.
Amazon is the de facto search engine for products and shopping online. The impact of Amazon in the search engine market has been growing, and many online shoppers start their customer journeys directly on Amazon.
Searches in Amazon have a purchase intent behind them and, as a whole, will produce more sales conversions as in traditional search engines.
Also, many online shopping related search terms and keywords from Amazon ranks high in other search platforms as well.
To benefit from the search aspect of Amazon, you would have to be selling products online and be a part of the Amazon network as a seller.
If you’re an online store listing your products on Amazon can be a great source of sales for your business. To improve your listing visibility on Amazon, you will have to learn more about Amazon SEO.
Yandex is the fifth most significant search engine in the world, with a market share of ~ 0,97% (March 2020). Yandex is the third largest search engine in Europe.
Optimizing for Yandex can provide a website with more organic traffic, especially from countries where Yandex is more popular such as Russia, Turkey. While Google is more prevalent in these markets, there’s an opportunity cost involved if not considered in your SEO strategy, especially if your target audience is more likely to use Yandex.
Like other alternative search engines, Yandex offers companies generally less competition and lower cost-per-clicks in advertising.
Baidu is the largest search engine in China, with currently a market share of 72.73% (March 2020) in the country.
As an international search engine, Baidu doesn’t hold well, and it’s mostly useful for companies that are active in the Chinese market.
Companies and websites actively trying to enter the Chinese market, Baidu is essential, and not being seen there would hinder your visibility in the market.
Compared to international SEO, optimizing for Baidu will require extensively more local expertise and a more in-depth understanding of the language itself.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that protects users’ privacy. DuckDuckGo is unique as it doesn’t provide personalized search results for its users.
DuckDuckGo has grown fast from six million queries a day in 2015 to 46 million queries a day on average in 2020 (April 2020), and the trend shows that it will keep on growing in the future.
Every search made in DuckDuckGo will display the same result for every user, and that this drastically changes how users see and interact with search results.
For marketers to access the DuckDuckGo search engine, advertisers will have to advertise through Microsoft ads.
For the search results, DuckDuckGo combines many data sources and includes its DuckDuckBot web crawler to serve queries.
As DuckDuckGo is growing, benefiting from its search visibility could pose an opportunity in your SEO strategy.
Startpage is another privacy-friendly search engine that serves Google search results with added privacy-related features. Startpage won’t track your search activity.
As privacy concerns are increasing, the privacy-based search engines are growing their user bases rapidly.
For marketers relying heavily on paid advertising: Improving your organic results might be the only way to target the increasing privacy-concerned target audiences.
To increase traffic from Startpage, improving your Google Search SEO would do the trick.
Swisscows is a search engine that emphasizes being a family-friendly choice for its users. Swisscows is also a privacy-friendly search engine that won’t store personal data.
Family-friendliness is done by not serving any explicit content on search results.
A unique feature of Swisscows is that it uses a semantic map for search results to answer queries.
Swisscows also won’t usually serve ads from any ad network but will serve banner ads for those who donate.
As Swisscows serves search results from Bing, improving your Bing SEO will lead to increased traffic from it.
Ecosia is a search engine that emphasizes donating most of its profits for reforestation nonprofits, and it has over 15 million active users.
Ecosia is a privacy-friendly search engine that won’t create personal search profiles, sell data to advertisers, encrypts users’ searches, and won’t use external tracking tools.
Bing provides the search results for Ecosia as of now. To advertise on Ecosia, you’re required to use Microsoft Ads and include Ecosia in your campaign settings.
Improving your Bing ranking will improve your visibility on Ecosia as well.
SlideShare, as the name implies, is all about sharing slides, and other professional content like presentations, infographics, and documents.
SlideShare’s search function has made it a powerful search engine for curated professional content, with over 80 million users currently. Professional search terms and keywords are available for the taking with more ease than in the highly competitive search engines.
As an online marketing tool, SlideShare offers a unique marketing approach, especially companies trying to expand their B2B reach.
SlideShare is part of LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft. Utilizing SlideShare in your overall LinkedIn strategy could bring more professional audiences to your business.
Social Search Engines
Social media platforms tend to maximize user data collection and heavily influence search results based on prior behavior more so than other search engines.
But still, a popular keyword is a popular keyword, with or without personalized data, and that has opportunities for optimization that websites can use to gain ahead against the competition in social media platforms.
Social media platforms offer highly personalized searches that increase content consumption and tend to favor highly shareable content.
When trying to achieve growth with social media search engines, the emphasis on the target audience is even more crucial.
Youtube is the second most visited website globally, and through its search engine, everyone can find all kinds of videos.
Video content has grown the past years massively, and being found on crucial keywords in video searches is an opportunity that companies and websites have to take to develop their online traffic.
As competitive as video search can be, there are still many opportunities to tackle your competition online, whether organically or through advertising.
Utilizing Youtube videos in your content strategy can provide immense traffic generation opportunities. While just uploading anything won’t work on Youtube, and more research into keywords and content types are required to stand out. Learn about Youtube SEO.
Like with other social media platforms standing out and creating content that resonates with your target audiences, builds traffic to your business.
Pinterest is a social media platform used by over 300 million monthly active users. The Pinterest search engine provides mostly images and in some form, videos, and GIFs to users’ search queries.
As an image search tool, Pinterest provides relevant Pins (images) to match a search query. The Pins acts as posts that can be shared and found on the platform and can be targeted with relevant keywords to optimize visibility from Pinterest.
Pinterest acts in a more social way that encourages commenting, sharing, pinning posts when compared to Google Images.
Marketers can utilize the platform in their content distribution strategies to promote content created for other platforms and optimize their visibility to maximize views on Pinterest and clicks to your main website.
Companies that have access to high-quality images can utilize Pinterest to grow organic online traffic to their landing pages and websites.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram deal with more search queries than many search engines combined.
For gaining organic traffic, the significance of Facebook or Instagram has been dropping. Still, it can offer companies with specific target audiences an opportunity to grow their presence on the platform to increase traffic.
Quality content can still be rewarded with virality and boost to online traffic.
Facebook Search is heavily influenced by user data, which makes it a strong player in serving local search results.
Facebook uses data to match relevant content to users rather than basing with just location or a keyword. Taking time to optimize for the search can open up missed opportunities that your competitors might have missed.
The benefit of Facebook and it’s network is the ability to access it with paid advertising, which in itself provides many opportunities for websites and businesses alike.
LinkedIn is the social network for professions with 660 million users, which makes it one of the best places to target companies, and professionals alike.
LinkedIn should be the search engine of choice for companies that want to optimize and achieve organic professional traffic to their websites and businesses.
Optimizing your business pages, LinkedIn posts, groups, services, and jobs correctly on Linkedin will bring them closer to your target audience.
The search function in LinkedIn focuses on searching with a search term through:
Companies can access professionals and businesses through advertising on the platform efficiently. Learn more about LinkedIn ads.
Twitter had 152 million mDAUS (Monetizable Daily Active usage/user) in Q4 2019, which amasses to significant amounts of unique tweets every day to for the search engine to organize.
Tweets are mostly news, updates, conversational, and promotional. Use All styles to share interesting content from your website to target different keywords within hashtags, profiles, and tweets themselves.
Twitter’s benefit is its speed. With Twitter, users can see your tweets right away after you have published them, which is a useful function for marketers to use.
Twitter has started promoting relevant topics to their users, which means more users can reach more content more organically.
Twitter topics could be optimized for when publishing content on the platform.
Other Useful Alternative Search Engines
Some search engines have specific purposes: to find information under a strict set of rules more easily. These search engines can be more useful when you have a goal for particular search results in mind.
- CC Search – Search and find copyright-free content that you can use.
- Internet archive – Use the Wayback machine for researching old websites and older versions of websites.
- Wiki.com – The search engine for wiki pages
- Boardreader – Easily search through message boards and forums.
While Google leads when it comes to gaining online traffic, the other alternative search engines can be useful in many instances, depending on your target audiences and goals.
Achieving high SERPs in a less competitive search engine can bring you more traffic than a lower rank in Google.
Including alternative search engines into an online marketing strategy for any business can develop a more diversified plan online and establish more security when you’ve more than one source of traffic, whether organic or paid.
While not optimizing for Google, might hurt your business more than not including other search engines, taking the time to optimize for the most relevant alternatives will be helpful in the long-term.