When it comes to search engines, there are the big three, the middle three, and then everybody else. The names of the biggest (Google, Bing, and Yahoo) have actually become synonymous with searching. When it comes to everybody else, however, chances are there’s a fairly large group of search engines that you’ve never heard of. In case you like to conduct your searches off the beaten path, here are seven of the more notable, if not noticeable, lesser-known search engines:
1. Blekko – The creators of Blekko strived to create a system that uses their own original search index, curates results and organizes content into categories. They use a dynamic inference algorithm which helps to get truly unique results that you might not get from the big boys.
2. Blippex – Blippex is a very democratic search engine, claiming to be built “by the people, for the people.” It keys on how long people spend on a searched web page, not how often they search for it. This provides an interesting result, kind of a list of websites based on quality, not quantity. Blippex also prides themselves on their privacy and security.
3. DuckDuckGo – Would you believe that this search engine has been around for more than five years and generates 4.5 million direct searches per day? DuckDuckGo takes privacy seriously, never tracking their users, and they have a simple design that lends itself to less clutter and spam. By not tracking user data, they offer “cleaner” results, unbiased by what the search engine thinks you want to see.
4. Gigablast – With a searchable index of over a billion pages, it’s surprising that Gigablast isn’t more commonly known. It is a large-scale search engine that provides high performance in the retrieval of data in real time. It provides topic generation and the ability to index multiple document formats.
5. Ixquick – Ixquick makes several bold claims, from the claim that they share no personal information of any kind to the claim that they are the most powerful search engine in the world, thanks to their advanced metasearch technology. They also claim that their results are more accurate and more comprehensive than those of their competitors.The reason they can make these claims is that Ixquick actually combines results of multiple other search engines, working as kind of a “Best of” which works to combat marketing tricks like Search Engine Optimization, since each engine searches differently. Ixquick also has an “advanced search” function and allows searches in 18 different languages.
6. Wolfram Alpha – Wolfram Alpha is a search engine that does not really search the web for you, but basically provides a huge collection of data on which calculations are run to get you answers to questions posed in any form you want. The goal is to give you a one-stop shop to compute anything that can be computed.
7. Yippy – This is the most family-friendly of search engines. Yippy is a conservative search engine that removes all search results that contain content that it deems to be unsuitable for children, including pornography, sexual content, gaming content, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, anti-American or anti-conservative content.
There are two search engines that deserve honorable mention on this list, because you’ve probably never heard of them, but you’ve heard of their parent companies. The first is Alexa Internet, which is Amazon’s internal search engine, and AllTheWeb, which belongs to Yahoo and uses its massive database, but presents the results in a different way.
Other Notables (updates):