Here are the best Google alternatives. The primary reason why you may be looking to switch is privacy. Google sure is one of the most controversial companies on the planet when it comes to user privacy.
However, even if you need a different search engine than Google for other reasons, this piece is for you.
Some of these search engines are built for specific purposes (e.g. WolframAlpha), while others are more local (e.g. Baidu). You make your pick!
Let’s get you what you came here for?
Best Google Alternatives for Privacy
These sites like Google offer the closest Google experience:
DuckDuckGo (Recommended: Extremely privacy-centric, no tracking), Bing, Yahoo, Startpage, SearchEncrypt, Yandex, WolframAlpha, Baidu
Let’s start with something that respects your privacy eh?
DuckDuckGo is the first alternative to Google that crosses anyone’s mind. It’s the most popular primarily because it’s just as good as Google but with a ton more privacy and anonymity.
For starters, DuckDuckGo doesn’t profile you, or your searches. Unlike Google, they do not log or store what you search for, which links you click on or other sensitive data.
Again, unlike Google, it doesn’t place trackers on your system which trail you around the web.
Each time you arrive on DuckDuckGo, you arrive as a first-time user, without any history whatsoever.
It also forces encryption on all your searches just in case there’s a leak. There’s a browser extension you can download for most major browsers. It even has native mobile applications which makes it the perfect Google alternative for Android and iOS.
Finally, the search interface or results themselves are equally impressive. It has an image/video search, news search and even maps! You can even optionally choose to enable location-based searches, you’ll get local results when enabled.
The auto-fill feature too is available, start typing and it’ll offer suggestions.
Alike Google, it too shows “related searches” and information boxes (Knowledge Panel) come up for important keywords as well.
It offers immense customization options. You can choose between a light/dark theme, choose URL style, font, enable infinite scroll and much more.
There’s also a safe search if you need a kid-friendly environment. Similarly, you can filter results based on their date of publication.
Bing is a Microsoft-owned search engine. Hence, do not expect the same privacy standards from it that DuckDuckGo is offering.
Now, the homepage here massively differs from what you see at Google or DuckDuckGo. The homepage primarily displays the top news articles in your country along with thumbnails.
Also, the search page interface in my personal opinion is better than that of Google. Every search generally combines results from normal websites, as well as news platforms.
For certain keywords, it even lets you browse almost entire websites without going to them. Simply hover over the website’s URL and it gives you a navigational panel on the left, hovering over these sections lets you read content directly.
One of its most unique features is the “bulb” icon you’d see next to each search result. Clicking on it brings up a preview of the site’s content.
The search engine is available in over a dozen different languages. Bing too lets you search for images, videos, news, maps and shopping sites specifically if you choose to.
It too has browser extensions you can download, as well as apps for mobile devices.
Yahoo was launched in 1994, Google only came 4 years later. Yahoo has been one of the biggest alternatives to Google literally from the day Google came out.
On the homepage, you get a very simple search bar and a list of trending searches. Again, it has image/video/news and shopping filters. You can also choose to see only local results.
The search interface is very similar to that of Google’s. It does include the knowledge panel for important keywords as well. Every search includes a combination of image and news results.
Again, it lacks the privacy features DuckDuckGo offers. Being the oldest player in the game, it obviously has browser extensions as well as mobile apps.
Fun fact: Yahoo actually had the opportunity to buy Google just for $1 Million back in 1998. They refused. Google again asked $5 Billion in 2002, Yahoo only offered $3 Billion. As today, Yahoo’s is a “barely profitable” company while Google made over $257 Billion in 2021 alone.
Startpage doesn’t have the database that the three other Google alternatives above do. However, if it’s privacy you’re looking for, it’s certainly the best choice after DuckDuckGo.
Just like DuckDuckGo, it too blocks third-party trackers from following you around.
As for the search interface, it may not be “impressive” but definitely isn’t a disappointment. You do get to search for images/videos or news. While the Knowledge Panel does exist, it’s not as informative as the other Google alternatives above.
You can optionally turn on a family filter. Unlike other options above, it not just lets you see “local” results but you can choose specific countries to view results from. The time-filter too is available.
Again, another search engine that prioritises privacy over money. For starters, it identifies searches which may be tracked and then redirects them to a more secure version of itself. That more secure, enhanced version than processes the search and prevents tracking.
It auto-deletes everything you search for after 30 minutes. Also, whatever you search for is encrypted before its sent to the server. The search interface is pretty traditional and there’s no learning-curve there.
It does have extensions for your browses although no mobile apps are available for now.
Yandex is basically Russia’s Google. It’s the 8th most popular website on the planet and #1 in Russia.
It has a pretty modern interface. It’s very similar to Google in the sense that it too has additional apps you can use. It has a map feature, translation tool, video platform, storage app, news site and even a browser to counter Google Chrome.
Alike Google, it too has the auto-fill feature once you start typing in the search box. You can choose to search for images, videos, news, and so on.
The Knowledge Panel does exist for popular keywords. It’s very similar to Google’s, complete with basic info + social media links when available.
Not private or anonymous though.
WolframAlpha is sure a site like Google, but it’s very different from Google or anything we’ve discussed so far.
Sure, it’s a search engine. You enter a keyword and it brings up results. However, it’s primarily built for computational intelligence. It’s basically a free A.I that can do complex math for you, or answer questions.
E.g. you can ask “average age of top 3 hollywood actors at their peak”. Or “50 lb wet dog shaking frequency”.
It sure isn’t a search engine most of us would use. However, it totally can be used for basic searches as well. Depending on the search, the information you get would differ. E.g. if you search a famous person’s name, it would show personal information, no. of pageviews the person’s Wikipedia page got, a timeline of their life, and so on.
Baidu is the biggest search engine and a direct replacement of Google in China. Baidu holds over 63% dominance while Google only has 3.57% as far as China is concerned. However, you can use Baidu from anywhere else.
As expected, the homepage displays news articles mostly from China. Alike Google, it too has many apps/subsidiaries such as Wikipedia, video-streaming services, music streaming, translation tool and so on.
Alike Google, it too has images, videos, shopping, and other features you can use the search engine for. However, the search engine is exclusively in Chinese. You must use a translator to translate its content.
However, it’s worth it because Baidu results will always be different and unique from most other search engines. Baidu mostly shows websites from China, or China-approved content which exposes us to content that other search engines may miss out on.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the best Google alternatives.
Which search engine is better than Google?
DuckDuckGo is better than Google in terms of privacy and anonymity. Although, there’s no search engine better than Google if you purely consider “no. of sites indexed”.
Is DuckDuckGo owned by Google?
Absolutely not. If anything, DuckDuckGo is openly and publicly anti-Google. They’ve dozens of statements and comparisons where they slam Google and show how they’re better. DuckDuckGo is privately owned.
Which is the most powerful search engine?
“Powerful” is a subjective term. Google is obviously powerful in terms of index-size, influence or even financially. However, WolframAlpha is way more powerful if it’s computational results you’re searching for.
Does Google steal data?
It doesn’t exactly “steal”. However, it does trace & track you and your searches then uses that data to profit off of your information.
DuckDuckGo is the best of these Google alternatives if you ask me. You get the biggest site database without selling your privacy.
Any other search engine here will serve as an equally good site instead of Google if you’re looking for basic searches. Of course, not all of them offer privacy but they’re all search engines.
It’s not just about search engines, I’d recommend moving from Google Drive to any E2E Encrypt Cloud Storage and Gmail to Protonmail if you value your privacy.
In any case, I do hope you found at least a few Google alternatives on this piece. Do share this with others and help them search better.