Has any company ever dominated its market quite as thoroughly as Google? With roughly 40,000 search queries processed every second, Google is by far the biggest player in the search engine game; you probably use Google more often than you use your toothbrush. The company's utter dominance is such that the word 'Google' itself has long doubled as a verb meaning 'perform an online search' - it's very much the Hoover of search engines.
Bing was launched in 2009, but despite Microsoft's best efforts, it has never come close to threatening Google's position as the internet's go-to search engine. Bing has always been the Pepsi to Google's Coca-Cola, and many of the people who do use it simply do so because they don't know how to change their browser's default search provider.
Why you might prefer it to Google: Some people argue that Bing actually gives better results than Google. Granted, a lot of those people work for Bing, but we'd encourage you to at least give Microsoft's engine a try - depending on what you search for, you may well be pleasantly surprised.
DuckDuckGo has been active since 2008, but the search engine's user base has shot up over the past year or so, largely due to the public's increasing interest in web services that preserve their privacy.
Why you might prefer it to Google: DuckDuckGo is all about user privacy. Whereas Google uses things like your location and your search history to deliver personalised results, DDG doesn't track you or collect any personal information whatsoever. The downside? Since DDG serves every user exactly the same results for each query, the search engine isn't very good at handling searches like hair salon near me (remember, DDG doesn't collect info on your current location). You can, however, work around this by supplying your location in the search term itself, e.g. hair salon in shoreditch.
Blackle is powered by Google Custom Search, so it's not a unique search engine in its own right like Bing and DuckDuckGo. However, it does have one advantage over the Google you're used to...
Why you might prefer it to Google:
Blackle's all-black design is actually more energy-efficient
than Google's homepage, which of course is predominantly white. Blackle's About Us
page suggests that, if everyone used their site instead of Google, it could save as much as 750 megawatt hours every year (that's enough energy to power a vacuum cleaner for 85 years straight!) A secondary benefit: by setting Blackle as your homepage, you're providing yourself with a regular reminder to save energy whenever and wherever you can.
At time of writing, the Common Search search engine only exists in the form of a UI demo
. However, the idea behind Common Search is well worth talking about: as their mission statement points out, one of humanity's most important resources (the internet) is currently in the hands of "profit-seeking companies", but Common Search's nonprofit search engine will eventually provide web users with an alternative. They aim to be "open, transparent and independent...just like an arbiter should be".
Why you might prefer it to Google: Since Common Search won't be run for profit, there will be no adverts (unless they have "exhausted all the other ways to be financially sustainable") and the organisation's decisions hopefully won't be influenced by the possibility of financial gain.
If you're a business owner looking to climb the Google (or Bing, or DuckDuckGo) rankings for your industry's top keywords, our Search Engine Optimisation specialists can help. Contact us now to request a quotation.