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Concentrating more than 90% of the queries typed by Internet users, Google dominates the search engine market every year. The Mountain View giant has forged its reputation thanks to the power of its algorithms and its numerous products, which offer Internet users a plethora of functionalities. Google also presents itself as the search engine that most respects the privacy of its users. In practice, Google is much more intrusive than it seems. This is why we have been seeing other search engines appear for several years now. They are really interesting alternatives that have a lot to offer, not only in terms of privacy, but also in terms of functionality. 

Summary 

Why find an alternative to Google?

Google knows everything about you: it knows what you're looking for online, where you plan to travel, the dates of events in your calendar, your contacts, but it also knows what ads you click on and what you buy. In other words, everything that happens in the Google ecosystem is recorded. Like Facebook, Google has recently indicated its willingness to give more control over the personal life and published updates on its various tools. Since then, several security and privacy settings have been proposed to personalize its navigation.

If the intention seems commendable, in practice, privacy of Internet users is no more protected. Despite Google's recent announcement that it now allows users to automatically delete their history after three or 18 months, this is an option that most people will not think to activate. Google knows this and is playing on it. Indeed, data retention is of paramount importance for the search engine, which owes accounts to its shareholders. It must maintain the widest possible access to the private data...without it being too well known. Along with Facebook, Google is one of the two largest advertising platforms in the world. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid the conflict of interest between ad targeting and privacy.

Google, like other social networks, feeds on the personal data of its users, often without their knowledge, for example by offering practical tools that facilitate their daily life (calendar, mailbox, maps ...). The emergence of alternative search engines is therefore quite legitimate.

Generalist search engines

Bing

The second most used search engine is Bing and has been developed by Microsoft. It offers multiple functionalities such as translation, spell checking, sports results, flight comparisons, etc. Bing also has a mobile application on iOS and Android. In July 2009, an agreement was reached with Yahoo! Yahoo! now uses Bing's database to feed the search on its portal site.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is intended for Internet users concerned about the privacy of their data. This search engine does not track online activities, which means that you cannot be targeted by targeted advertising. DuckDuckGo can be added as an extension to the browser to keep your activities private and offers all the functionality of a search engine.

Qwant

Qwant is a French search engine. Just like DuckDuckGo, Qwant states that it does not store personal data for advertising purposes. The interface is very intuitive and highlights current topics and the latest trends. For music lovers, Qwant also has a dedicated section where it is possible to discover music thanks to artificial intelligence.

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Quora

Quora is a "response" engine. Its principle is simple: just like a forum, the user community can ask and answer questions. It is possible to create question-answer blogs and even analyze the statistics of other users. Today, Quora's database has about 500,000 users, thanks to which it is possible to find an answer to the majority of its questions.

Lilo

Lilo was born out of a crowdfunding campaign. It is a metaengine search engine that uses data from other search engines. Although Lilo cannot guarantee complete confidentiality of its users, it does not collect any personal data and disables advertising targeting. This search engine is distinguished by its projects focusing on social issues. Every time you perform a search, you earn a symbolic drop of water, which represents the money generated by the advertising linked to the web page. The water drop is then converted into real currency when you decide which project you want to support.

Millions Short

Millions Short is a rather revolutionary search engine that deliberately leaves out the "big sites" from its results, to favour only small and medium websites. It therefore offers a chance to discover sites that are not among the best results of the most popular search engines. If the idea seems ridiculous, it is actually very interesting because today it is often the same sites that are found in the natural results because they have the means to invest in the SEO. However, some small, sometimes nested sites can offer equally relevant results. The only downside is that Million Short does not disclose the origin of its search hits or how it calculates the best sites.

Yahoo!

Yahoo! has been around longer than Google but is at the bottom of the top 3 search engines. This portal broadcasts news and offers email, online stores, game centre, travel directory, etc. Since Flickr has been integrated into its algorithms, Yahoo! has been offering better image results. When it comes to protecting personal data, Yahoo! can boast of doing better than Google.

Xaphir

Xaphir is a French search engine that aims to be more exhaustive in its results of research. These are not based on the most popular themes, unlike Google. Xaphir favours so-called "trusted" results, so as not to lock the Internet user into a sphere determined solely by the searches of other Internet users. Xaphir also emphasizes the protection of user data.

IxQuick - Startpage

Ixquick is a meta-search engine that was merged with Startpage in 2016. Like DuckDuckGo and Qwant, Ixquick does not store user data. This is why it has been described as "the world's most private search engine.

SearX

Searx is a metasearch engine that by definition aggregates results from other search engines without storing personal data. It can offer personalized results like Google's, without storing your personal data. surfing habits and cookies in his database. It is an open source tool to which every user can contribute.

Yandex

Yandex N.V. is a kind of "Russian Google", used of course in Russia, but also in many other independent countries such as the Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or Turkey. This makes it the 5th search engine in the world after Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Baidu. This search engine offers many products and services to its users. It is best known for its involvement in many projects related to technology and the Internet. Yandex works much like other popular search engines.

Specialized search engines

Ecosia

Ecosia is a free search engine which most of the advertising revenues are donated to reforestation organizations. The company promises to use at least 80 percent of its advertising profits to plant trees around the world. They guarantee full transparency by publishing evidence of their financial support. Ecosia is used like Google. Just download the extension browser and make it your default search engine. Ecosia uses Bing's data, complemented by its own algorithm. It thus provides fairly relevant results. Finally, Ecosia is committed to neutralizing all carbon emissions associated with Internet searches. It is therefore a truly ecological search engine.

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Pickanews

Pickanews is an engine that makes it very simple to set up a watch on the paper press, internet press, media Twitter accounts and the main national television and radio channels. It is possible to find in a few clicks the articles related to the set keywords. Pickanews is therefore an indispensable tool for monitoring your e-reputation.  

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SocialMention

SocialMention aims to gather all mentions about a company or brand in one place. This web tool searches more than 100 social media services daily, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, for mentions of your brand or company name. All the results are listed on one page, indicating the different sources. Social Mention also looks at blogs, images and other videos.

Yippy

Yippy has his roots in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University. In the 2000s, researchers developed a tool called Clusty. Unlike traditional search engines, which use keywords and other metrics to display different search results. Clusty, as its name suggests, displays them as thematic clusters. Much of this technology is now incorporated into IBM's IA Watson search systems. 

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Vimeo

Vimeo is a platform for video sharing launched in 2004. Today it counts more than 80 million creators, most of whom are film artists or musicians using Vimeo to develop their reputation and promote their works. Vimeo is distinguished by its "artistic" character, unlike YouTube, which includes a whole bunch of vlogs, tutorials and other humorous videos from amateurs. Vimeo is therefore considered more like a professional network of artists that gives rise to more interesting and useful discussions than YouTube.

YouTube

YouTube is a video hosting platform originally purchased by Google in 2006 after the latter failed to win with its rival product, Google Video. It has grown from a simple video-sharing site to a powerful platform that can be used by amateurs and professionals alike. Every minute, more than 35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Today it is a source of income for many people around the world thanks to its targeted advertising system.

CC Search

CC Search (for Creative Commons) is a search engine that can be described as "cultural". It allows you to find photos, music, texts, books, educational material and more. It is possible to share your resources for free from the Creative Commons search services. CC Search is also accessible via the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

Conclusion

Google is still the most popular choice in the world, but many alternatives exist and are worth testing. Some of them can even offer a better user experience and more comprehensive results, which do not depend solely on the popularity of a query. Whether you're looking for a forward-looking search engine like Ecosia or whether you want to preserving your personal dataIf you're looking for an alternative search engine, you're bound to find what you're looking for in all these alternative search engines.

   Article written by Louis Chevant

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