Search engines are one of the most beneficial tools on the World Wide Web. . They instantly give you information and help you find what you need on the Internet. In addition, there are a wide variety of search engines to choose from. Each one offers their own features and benefits. Some of the more popular search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Having a background in search engine optimization since 2001, I've seen the game change a few times, with it ultimately landing on Google being the powerhouse search engine in around 2004. Prior to that, I saw a lot of demand for Yahoo!, Alta Vista, and HotBot. My, how times have changed!
A Brief History of Search Engines
The history of search engines dates back quite a few years. The first search engine was launched in 1990 by Archie. It is a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site that hosts an index of directory listings that can be downloaded. However, the idea of indexing was developed in 1945 by Vannevar Bush. Vannevar recommended a memory mechanism called the Memex. It is used to store and condense data and information which could then be quickly retrieved when needed.
The primitive directory listings were quite popular until search engines advanced to utilizing indexing and crawling (auto fetching of web pages) to index the content). Eventually, algorithms were created to optimize importance or pertinence. Algorithms are a fixed sequence of distinct, viable computer instructions.
Today, search engines are extremely smart, using devices for learning to assist with ranking and processing data and information. In fact, most search engines can understand human speech. In addition, search engines can index a site automatically whereas the dinosaur versions sometimes took weeks to finish.
Most Popular Search Engines
Today there are a lot of advanced search engines available. In fact, according to Wikipedia, there are more than 50 search engines on the World Wide Web.
In addition, search engines can be found in different categories such as news, people, reality, medical, legal, jobs, food or recipes, enterprise, dark web, business, and so forth. As well, search engines are categorized by data type like multimedia, maps, email, blog, question and answer, source code, price, kid safe, and other data types.
Rendering to the Search Engine Journal, the most popular worldwide search engines according to March 2014 data are:
- Google and affiliated websites – 67.5%
- Baidu 11.5%
- Bing– 10.9%
- Yahoo! – 9.31%
- AOL – .53%
According to a ComScore Report, the most popular search engines in the United States are
- Google and affiliated websites – 67.5%
- Microsoft- 18.6%
- Yahoo! – 10.1%
- Ask Network – 2.5%
- AOL -1.3%
The Top 50 Search Engines
There are numerous search engines available to fit your needs. Here are the top 50 search engines –
- Google and affiliates including Google Image Search, Google UK, etc. Google is the most often used search engine on the World Wide Web. According to Wikipedia, they have 92.62% market share as of June 2019. Google utilizes Page Rank algorithms to measure the importance of web pages. In addition, Google offers a variety of options for customized searches and specific interactive involvements like weather forecasts, package tracking, flight status, time , and currency.
- Bing Bing is a renowned search engine that is often considered to be the second most powerful search engine today. Bing offer suggestions for your search in the leftmost column. It also gives a variety of search options on the top of the screen. What is more, Bings has a reward page that allows you to earn points to spend or donate where you want such as Amazon, Target, and donations for the Wildlife Foundation.
- Yandex Yandex is a very popular Russian web search engine. In fact, about 51.2% of the traffic comes from Russia. However, it is quickly growing and becoming more popular in several other countries such as the Ukraine, Turkey, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
- CC Search CC Search is the ideal search engine if you need to find copyright-free content. It has a huge index of music for videos, artwork, and images for blog posts. CC Search simply scans creative Common sites like Flickr, Wikimedia, and Soundcloud.
- Swisscows Swisscows is a privacy safe search engine that was founded in 2014. It is based on semantic data recognition that offers faster “results” to queries. In addition, Swisscows does not store, collect, or track a user’s data.
- DuckDuckGo DuckDuckGo iis has quickly become one of the most prevalent search engines on the Internet. This is because they do not store any personal information or data. In addition, DuckDuckGo does not track you search history or follow you around with advertisements. They are the ideal choice for those who want to keep their browsing history private.
- StartPage StartPage is another private search engine that does not store your browsing information. In addition they retrieve their information from Google. This is the perfect search engine for people who like the Google but don’t want their search data tracked or stored.
- Search Encrypt Search Encrypt is the privacy-based search engine that delivers quick results. In fact, the company’s core value is the privacy of their users. Search Encrypt combines different encryption methods plus AES-256 encryption and Secure Sockets Layer encryption for their users privacy and protection.
- Gibiru Gibiru has been protecting its user’s privacy since their launch in 2009. Their search engine allows you to surf the web without any trace or records of your search. In fact, the site that you visit is viewed through the Gibiru Wormhole App. And since cookies are not installed, you have much faster results.
- OneSearch OneSearch has a full list on how they protect your privacy such as no cookies, no sharing personal data with advertisers, no storing search history, encrypted search items, and no retargeting or personal profiling. There is also an option to turn the advanced privacy on or off.
More Popular Search Engines
Here are a few more search engines that are not as well know but have amazing features.
- Boardreader Boardreader is a search engine for searching messages or forums about a certain subject. It queries the result from a wide variety of online message boards.
- giveWater giveWater is a well-known search engine that allows you to search the Internet while contributing to their cause for finding quality water in those of need. They have paid search ads that generate income for the company. giveWater then distributes the profits from the ads to charitable partners who in turn donate the funds to provide clean water and sanitation.
- Ekoru Ekoru is a charity search engine that supports the planting of trees and other charities. In fact, they donate 60% of their monthly revenue to one of several partner charities. The charities range from reforestation and climate action to conservation and animal welfare.
- Ecosia Ecosia was founded in Berlin, Germany. Its prime core is to help save the planet. They actually donate 80% or more of their profits to nonprofit organizations that focus on reforestation. Moreover, in the 10 years since their launch, they have planted over 101 million trees. This is the perfect search engine if you want to help save our forests. Help save tress with free searches.
- Twitter Yes, Twitter actually has a search engine. In fact, their search engine is really fast when you need information right now. It is the perfect real time search engine when you need the latest news and updates.
- SlideShare SlideShare is a LinkedIn platform that allows you to search and share data and information. The search results are generally in a list and are frequently called hits. SlideShare lets you search for documented slideshow presentations, business PDF files, and eBooks.
- Internet Archive Internet Archive or Archive is a nonprofit company that provides a library of thousands of free books, movies, music, websites, and much more. It is a great search engine for finding old websites and documented material.
Popular, But Sometime Forgotten
When searching for information, there are a few search engines people forget about. The search engines have been around for a while and have an abundance of useful stored data.
- Wikipedia Wikipedia is more than just a search engine; it lists factual articles on every topic you can imagine. As well, you can find other Wikipedia affiliates like Wikimedea Commons, MediaWiki, Met-Wiki, Wikispecies, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikidata, and much more.
- Ask.com,Ask Jeeves and also Ask Jeeves UK & Jeeves For Kids Ask Jeeves is an advanced online search service with an emphasis on a question and answer format. The search engine is amazingly accurate with simple language queries. Ask Jeeves also has other search engine affiliates such Ask Jeeves UK and Jeeves For Kids for a more specialized query.
- Lycos & Lycos UK Lycos was one of the first search engines available on the internet. It is one of the more popular search engines today. Established in 1994, the company has perfected crawler based technology and employs real people for editing. Lycos lives by their name, which means “wolf spider”.
- LookSmart LookSmart is a novice in the online search advertising industry. It has been around since 1997. LookSmart was actually one of the first directories for consumer-facing directories that search for relevant websites. LookSmart has now advanced and expanded in other fields like search advertising, pay-per-click text ads, and other platforms. LookSmart was also one of the first to develop tools for catching unusual traffic like bots, spiders, and click fraud.
- Yahoo! – Yahoo! UK Originally launched in 1994 and incorporated in 1995, Yahoo! has remained one of the most popular search engines around. Not only does Yahoo offer a search engine but they have email, Yahoo! News, a Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Answers, and Yahoo! Groups. As well, they have online mapping, advertising, social media, and video sharing. According to Alexa, Yahoo! ranks tenth for the most visited website.
- MSN (Microsoft) Microsoft’s MSN has a variety of services including search engine results and directory listings. It has one of the most prevalent search engines around due to its many data collections such as weather, money, sports, news, travel, entertainment, health, and lifestyle. MSN is also a great service when merged with Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Outlook, and more.
- GigaBlast Gigablast is a free and open source directory and search engine that delivers quick results. Launched by Matt Wells in 2000 and based out of New Mexico, the independent company has an extensive index of billions and trillions of pages. In fact, it is the only non-Big Tech search engine in the U.S. that utilizes its own algorithms and search index. This search engine offers large scale, real time retrieval, and top performance.
- The GO Network The GO Network or Go.com is a portal for Disney information. It is the re-creation of the search engine Infoseek. The GO Network is presently operated by Disney Park and was launched by Jeff Gold. The new site is 50% bigger and search results are 30% quicker. It delivers portal features such as email, personalization, ABC news, and other general-interest portals.
More Widely Held Search Engines
Here are a few more widely held search engines that you may want to check out.
- HotBot Launched in 1996 by Inktomi (University students of Berkley), HotBot originally provided search results by LookSmart and then DMOZ from in md 1999. It began by utilizing a “new links” approach of marketing by indexing a whole weekly (more than their competitors such as AltaVista). It has a colorful interface and amazing features like being able to search with any words and even phrases of words. This attribute alone helped draw popularity and praise.
- Teoma Search Teoma Search was launched April 2001. However, it was acquired September 2001 by Ask Jeeves. It was released again on January 21, 2003, with great improvements such as enhanced search result relevancy, advanced search functions, and more search tools.
- Webcrawler Webcrawler is one of the oldest search engines on the World Wide Web. In fact, it was the first search engine that offered full text search. Originally a desktop application (launched January 27, 1994) and later it produced a list of the top 25 websites (March 15, 1994). At one time, Webcrawler was so popular that you couldn’t use the search engine at prime times because it was so busy. Today, Webcrawler still offer top quality fast results.
- AAA Matilda AAA Matilda is a popular search engine based out of Australia. In truth, it is one of the most prevalent search engines outside of the United Stares. It offers popular searches for coupons and A-Z subjects from animals and art to Woman’s fashion and work from home ops.
- Direct Hit Direct Hit is one of the more popular search engines. It actually tracks the sites that people select for search results. Direct Hit then analyzes the activity of millions of searches. In result, the search request is placed in the most relevant site that matches their collected information and data.
- Dogpile At one time, Dogpile was one of the most efficient and fast search engines around. The site faded for a while during the onset of Google. However, today it has made a great comeback and has a fast growing index with a nice presentation. In addition, the site does not track or store user information and there and you receive many favorable crosslink results.
- Britannica Search Engine The search engine for Britannica is all encompassing and inclusive. Not only does it have data for Britannica archives but it a great resource for all around encyclopedia information. The Britannica Search Engine offers high quality and fast results on most any subject. Perfect for high school and college students needing information on certain history subjects.
- ANZWERS ANZWERS is an Australian and New Zealand based web enquiry and research system. It delivers fast and efficient searches. It also provides local search engine advertising services.
- Mamma Mamma is the ideal search engine for business reviews. It actually sends requests to seven major search engines to get the best results. It is also the second most popular metasearch engine site aside from Dogpile.
- NewsTrawler NewsTrawler enables the user to send a query to one or more news sites from one location. Their database includes multi listings by category and country. This search engine is ideal for undergraduates searching for current news stories.
A Few Different Search Engines
Here are a few different search engines that have large indexes and quick responses.
- EuroSeek EuroSeek offers a multi-lingual interface with a huge variety of subjects such as arts, business, finance, home, news, sports, shopping, automobiles, science, and much more. It has an amazing index and has been around since 1996. In fact, it was the first search engine established in Europe.
- Northern Light Northern Light is a machine learning knowledge base that offers social analytics, top notch intelligence, and market research. The site has over 250,000 users and 40 insights per search. Other areas of expertise include product development, product management, and technology research.
- BrightGate MetaSearch The BrightGate MetaSearch has over 20 search engines that use parallel metasearch functions. It is a private search engine designed for MSPs supporting business networks. It offers state-of-the-art security plus fast research results.
- GoTo Since its launch in 1997, GoTo has remained a popular search engine among many. It actually sells listing where companies pay a certain amount of money to be placed high on the list of search results. Created and developed at Idealabs, a major incubator that is reasonable for renowned companies such as Answers.com, Picassa, and NetZero.
- Isleuth Isleuth is designed for searching people and genealogy. In fact, the site searches multiple genealogy search engines at one time. Afterward, you get very fast and accurate results. Isleuth also list other directories such as AltaVista, Colleges by state, MSN, Yahoo!, DSLs, and other search directories.
- SavvySearch SavvySearch is a meta search engine designed to proficiently query keywords. It quickly scans through other search engines to find the best results. SavvySearch efficiently utilizes metacrawler type technology.
- Mirago Mirago is a UK directory and search engine specifically designed for delivery platforms and complete programmatic as management. It is ideal for both startup and mature networks that want a complete white label ad server.
- HealthLinks HealthLinks is a huge directory listing that consists of over 4,600 health related websites in 150 categories. The advanced search engine will also check your spelling and offer alternative words or terms if it does not recognize the one you enter.
- Alta Vista The Alta Vista search engine was launched in 1995. In fact, it was one of most often used search engines prior to Google. Alta Vista has made a great comeback since Yahoo! bought it in 2003. However, it was shut down on July 8thby Yahoo! and is now redirected back to the Yahoo! site.
- Microsoft FAST Search Microsoft FAST Search is the search engine to use with the Microsoft's SharePoint affiliate platform. It is specially designed to assist SharePoint users find and retrieve stored content. Unlike the typical public web search engines, Microsoft FAST Search is a private network similar to Intranet with its own data library.
A Few Unusual Search Engines
Here are a few unusual search engines that are worth using.
- SnapSearch SnapSearch is the ideal search engine for computer savvy designers and programmers. It is a search engine optimization for HTML 5, Javacript, and single page applications. Atypical search engine shows all of the animated and asynchronous content. This specialized search engine responds to a request by showing HTML content, status code, headers, and optional screen shot.
- Internet Sleuth Internet Sleuth is a popular search engine for finding people. It also offers standard search engines categories and a large number of specialty sites. It is the ideal site for researching online investigation.
- McKinley Search Voyeur The McKinley Search Voyeur is similar to the Excite Search Voyeur. However, this search engine offers a plethora of attributes for finding your next home such as the state, featured communities, latest news, and more.
- Traffick This search engine offers web portals for feature reviews, comparison charts, daily web portal news, and typical analysis. This search engine is mainly for search marketing, the newest developments in technology, business, and digital marketing.
- What-U-Seek What-U-Seek have an intuitive interface that delivers meta-search engine queries. It delivers a professional level of search and can easily be added to your personal or business website.
- PureSearch The PureSearch Company is claimed to be experts in the search and recruitment field. Their objective is to find the next business leaders. They identify, engage, and introduce talent. Their search engine connects the gap between companies searching for business to the talent across the World Wide Web. Simply enter a query, select a search engine from those listed, and results pop up in a new window. Their search engine is the ideal tool to connect talented people and businesses.
Other Search Engine Sites that May be of Interest
There are actually other search engines that specialize in certain areas. Here are a few unique search engines that may be of interest.
- Profusion Profusion is a metacrawler that was developed at the University of Kansas. It has the capability of allowing up to six major search engines for a query. It also will detect broken links.
- Scout Scout is one of the newest and most innovative search engines available on the Internet. It offers quality content plus organic results. Scout actually delivers human-curated and cloud sourced results. In fact, they are anti-bot and believe that it is cool to be human.
So Many Search Engines to Choose From
Today you can find a wide array of search engines to fit your needs. Although many search engines have phased out through the years, there are still quite a few that have been very successful. The great thing is, there are search engines for every lifestyle and individual personality. In addition you can select a search engine that fits the needs of your website or business.