Everyone uses Google, but what happens if you want a different result, or a specific result? Find out about the types of search engines that aren’t Google and how you can use them.
Sure, you can Google almost anything or anyone in the world. You can Google medical cures, DIY home projects, and the latest news from Omaha. Everyone Googles, but what happens if you want a different result, or a specific result? What if you don’t want to go poking through the “About 252,000,000 results (0.34 seconds)” you got for “sweater vest”? You need different types of search engines.
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If you want to start diversifying your browsing experience, there are other ways to find what you are looking for. Here are ten excellent boutique browsers and types of search engines to find that elusive and exotic search result you’ve been pining for:
FOR VIDEOS: YOUTUBE
Yeah, yeah, YouTube is owned by Alphabet, the conglomerate of companies of which Google is a part, but it provides some unexpected results, and EVERYTHING is in video form. YouTube is a favorite search for anyone looking to accomplish an unfamiliar task. You can become an immediate expert in everything from making a gourmet meal to assembling Ikea furniture.
You are met with a simple search box on top, then a list of “recommended” videos based on your past history (OK, that part is a bit creepy, but hey, it’s a Google affiliate, right?). The best part of the YouTube search is the sidebar, where you will find “trending” videos to keep you up on the latest fads, your subscriptions, and a a history of the YouTubes you (and your family members who might be sharing your computer) have accessed.
FOR SLIDE PRESENTATIONS: SLIDESHARE
Are you perplexed by AI? Do you want to know the latest about knee replacement surgery? Do you have to put together a presentation fast, and don’t want to spend hours messing around with PowerPoint? Enter Slideshare, the most underutilized fount of expertise in the digital universe. Slideshare is to PowerPoint what YouTube is to videos, but better! A lot of the slideshows you will find on Slideshare allow you to download and remix. This means you have permission to take some PowerPoint god’s awesomely designed slideshow, add a few of your own personalized lines or images, and Voila! You have the best presentation in the room with minimal effort. Slideshare.net is an excellent search engine powered by LinkedIn, and features access to slides, infographics, and even courses. The homepage features top slides (with millions of views), featured slides, courses, and headlines. It is also a handy place to keep your own slide shows, just in case the laptop you brought to that important meeting decides to die at the worst possible moment, and there is an option to show the slide on everyone’s laptop by sharing a simple URL.
FOR MATHEMATICAL, AND STATISTICAL INFORMATION: WOLFRAM ALPHA
Sometimes, when you really need the numbers to make your point, Google just doesn’t cut it. Sure, you can add an equation into the search box in Google, and Google will solve your problem, but what if you need a step-by-step breakdown of how you got that result? Maybe you want to know how many elementary school students there are in Rhode Island, or how many home games the Dodgers won in 2012. Don’t bother with Google, use an expert–the “Computational Search Engine”: Wolfram Alpha.
You can spend hours just playing with Wolfram Alpha if you love numbers. The homepage has a generic search bar, but then features columns of stuff that Wolfram Alpha can help you with. This is a place where you can find nutritional labels, mathematical how-tos, weights, measures, and statistics. Searches may take a few moments longer than a regular Google search, while the artificial intelligence algorithms of Wolfram Alpha do their magic, but the results are worth it. There is also a (highly recommended) premium version if math and statistics are your thing.
FOR ROYALTY FREE IMAGES: NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
Yes, it is one of the types of search engines. There are a ton of places that offer “Royalty Free” or “Creative Commons” photos (see Flickr’s Creative Commons, for example), but it is tedious to find the real “free” images. Often you will fall in love with an image, only to find that there is a cost connected to it. If you want to be sure it’s free, and you have absolute right to use it, try the image search at the National Gallery of Art. On the site there are 51,000 free high-quality images for zero cost.
The website includes information about why these images are free, and suggestions for their use. They can be used in commercial or non-commercial projects without permission from the gallery.
If want to find some great icons you can use for no cost, try searching The Noun Project, which is a collection of millions of icons crowdsourced from all over the world. They are free to use, but you must give attribution to the artists and the project if you want to use them for free.
FOR A GOOGLE-LIKE EXPERIENCE: BING
Bing is owned by Microsoft Corporation, and provides a similar experience to Google. For example, like Google, there is a translate feature; it can also give stock information if the stock name is entered in the toolbar, and you can do easy computation by entering an equation in the Bing search bar, just like Google. It also features news, health information, and video results.
The biggest difference you will notice is that Bing has a less minimalistic design on the homepage. You are greeted with a beautiful background each day, the latest news, videos, and a great little feature “this day in history.” It’s a slightly different experience, and o “Resisting the things you know you need to change polarizes your life. This keeps you stuck. However, when you embrace change, the pieces of your life will fall naturally into place and stay there, just like the magnets.” ne you might treasure after one too many Google Doodles.
Looking for more types of search engines? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Though it’s the third most popular search engine behind Google and Bing, it still has many functions, including email and shopping. It’s a great source for news, as the homepage already has several articles listed before you even have a chance to do a search. It also has the weather on the homepage which is something that Google does not offer. Yahoo! saves you some steps that you would normally have to take when using Google. It even provides you with daily horoscopes for those who live by the stars and planets. In fact, there are so many other things to look at on the homepage that you might forget what you went there to search for in the first place.
All in all, Yahoo! is an excellent search engine. It’s easy to use and like Google, but the added bonus of homepage articles and updates makes it one of the most informative search engines on the market. Consider making it your new go-to and give Google a break.
Qwant’s motto is “the search engine that respects your privacy,” so right off the bat you know that their main thing is privacy. As previously mentioned, Google takes your search information and uses it to target ads to you later. Qwant doesn’t do that. It claims not to employ user tracking and doesn’t personalize search results in order to avoid trapping users in a filter bubble. Founded in France in July of 2013, it offers web searches, news, maps, and even a junior version, meaning children can safely browse the Internet without worrying about malicious content. Though it’s been criticized for taking some ideas from Google and Wikipedia, it remains as the 41st most visited website in France and the 879th most visited website in the world.
It looks like Google upon first glance, but it also respects the privacy of its users and chooses not to use peoples’ searches against them. Founded in 2014, it retrieves search results from a bunch of sources, including the famous ones like Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Wikipedia, etc. Unlike other options, it gives you the ability to customize your preferences to protect your privacy. Once you perform a search, it will provide you with numerous results so that you have plenty of options to choose from.
Sear X is a metasearch engine that aims to make the Internet freer and more decentralized, and those are ideas that we can all support.
Yandex is more than just a search engine. In fact, it has over 70 functions, including eCommerce, navigation, and online advertising. It’s a Russian multinational Internet company that specializes in your Internet needs. This is another Google-looking website, but it does more than just look like it. Yandex has even made the act of searching for something easier for you. Above the search bar, you’ll find pictures labelled things like images, video, mail, etc. Clicking on any of the links will take you the exact place you need to go. It’s like Google, but it has its own style and works just as well.
Formerly known as Ask Jeeves, Ask is a question-based search engine. Ask any question you want answered and Ask will provide you with said answer. In addition to asking your question, Ask provides you with answers to questions that are similar to the one you asked. For example, if you asked, “where is Alaska?” it will give you links to answer that in addition to questions like, “does Alaska have mountains?” or “why is Alaska called Alaska?” This gives you information that you didn’t know you needed, or it simply saves you time when figuring out the answer.
It’s hard to imagine a world where Google isn’t the most popular search engine, but these options offer you a way to change up your usual routine. They even provide you with new ways to learn, and who doesn’t want to learn more? Give them a try and see how well they can work for you. They might change your mind on Google!