When discussing search engines or SEO, Google is the first option we think about. And that comes as no surprise. The platform is visited 84.7 billion times monthly and dominates the search engine markets with an 83.84% share.
Though this sounds impressive, Google was more popular a few years ago. In April 2012, Google’s market share was 91.7%. The reasons behind this drop vary, but we imagine it’s because consumers are becoming more educated on search engines, how they utilize your data, more available choices, etc.
Why do I care?
Because I like to get appropriate results when I search. And also because all of us SEO practitioners gear our efforts almost entirely toward ranking on Google. I know I don’t spend a lot of time helping clients rank on DuckDuckGo or Yahoo.
But maybe that will change.
Let’s examine a few Google alternatives:
Bing: Second-largest market share
When looking for search engines better than Google, many think about its competitor Bing. This platform holds the second-largest market share. However, compared to its counterpart Google, Bing has increased in popularity recently, not decreased.
We believe that Bing is becoming more popular because of how the owners, Microsoft, have been integrating it into their other products. For example:
- Internet Explorer – Bing is the default web browser on Internet Explorer, which comes pre-installed on all Windows PCs and laptops.
- Microsoft Office – Over one billion people use Microsoft Office worldwide, which is Linked to the default browser of Bing.
If you’re looking for other search engines besides Google that are similar, Bing is an excellent option. It follows an equivalent structure with its own twist.
DuckDuckGo: Best for privacy
Another excellent option is DuckDuckGo. Despite having a childhood game as a company name, it’s remarkably good for those looking for extra privacy when using a search engine.
It’s now clear that Google is somewhat spying on us. The data collected by the platform is about how you use its devices, services, apps, etc. With this information, they use it to provide you with a better search experience—however, not many people like this.
That’s where DuckDuckGo comes into play. Their primary objective is to provide a safe search engine that allows you to take control of your information online, or as their tagline suggests – It’s privacy, simplified.
Yahoo: Definitely has longevity
The Yahoo search engine started way back in 1994. It has suffered from some bad publicity over the years as not offering great results in searches. The main problem with it is that it doesn’t have a sophisticated enough algorithm to discern intent, like Google does.
Therefore searching for a concept or research topic is likely to bring mixed results. However, Yahoo! Has in a way reinvented itself as a news and entertainment engine with its topic-centered categories and “Trending now” section. If you’re looking for up to date news events, you’ll be likely to find what you’re looking for on Yahoo.
Ecosia: Eco-friendly focused
One other search engine has popped up on the radar that looks interesting. While Google is a very efficient company, (recently they’ve managed to drop their carbon footprint from 4.9 million tons of CO2e to 1.2 million tons of CO2e yearly) its eco-friendliness doesn’t hold a candle (or is it a lumen?) to Ecosia.
The search engine based in Berlin, Germany, has a unique industry approach. To help our environment, they plant one tree for every 45 searches. As a result, they’ve planted over 159 million trees since their establishment.
Ecosia is powered by the Bing platform, but it does have its own algorithm. Similar to DuckDuckGo, Ecosia also boasts privacy features superior to Google. It says it doesn’t keep a permanent profile of users and doesn’t follow them around the web for future monetization purposes.
Above, we discussed four other search engines besides Google. They all have some interesting features and advantages, and depending on what’s important to you, you might be inclined to try them. If privacy is your main concern, DuckDuckGo is probably a good alternative. If the ecosystem is your focus, then give Ecosia a try.
Chances are you’ll end up coming back to Google, though. It’s just too smart to ignore, and getting smarter all the time, especially in its ability to understand user intent.
In terms of SEO, yes, we should still focus on Google as the primary search engine, and I think that will be the case for the foreseeable future.
Is the prospect of optimizing your website a bit mystifying? If so, don’t worry, I got you covered. Check out this guide to Google SEO, my Ultimate SEO FAQ. All your burning questions about ranking in Google are answered!