General SEO

23 Alternative Search Engines to Google

Si Quan Ong
Content marketer @ Ahrefs. I've been in digital marketing for the past 6 years and have spoken at some of the industry’s largest conferences in Asia (TIECon and Digital Marketing Skill Share.) I also summarise books on my personal blog.
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    Google is by far the most popular search engine, but it’s not the right choice for everyone.

    Here are the best alternatives (in my opinion):

    1. Yep


    Yep is a privacy-oriented search engine with a 90/10 revenue share model—90% of advertising revenue will be paid directly to creators. It’s created by us, Ahrefs.

    We only collect personal data when you voluntarily provide it to us, such as when you contact us for customer support. Otherwise, we do not permanently store your search history, IP address, or User-Agent strings.

    Unlike most of the private search engines on this list, our index is populated by our own crawler.

    My favorite feature

    Yep summarizes the top search results for you.


    2. Startpage


    Startpage is Google without the tracking.

    I say this because it uses search results from Google. According to the Netherlands-based search engine, your queries are anonymized before search results are pulled from Google. This means all identifying information is blanketed, including your IP address. No tracking cookies are used either.

    Startpage also complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European Union regulation that protects users’ data.

    My favorite feature

    The “Anonymous View” feature lets you visit websites from search results anonymously for both desktop and mobile. It essentially behaves like a VPN.

    Startpage's Anonymous View

    3. DuckDuckGo


    DuckDuckGo is easily the most well-known private search engine—privacy has been its focus since 2010.

    Your search history is saved in a non-identifiable manner. This means tracking cookies and personal identifiers, such as IP addresses, are not stored.

    Despite the fact that DuckDuckGo’s results are pulled from over 400 sources, DuckDuckGo assures its users that it doesn’t share any personal information with them.

    My favorite feature

    DuckDuckGo’s “Bangs” feature takes you directly to search results on other sites. For example, typing “!w” and a keyword like “singapore” (i.e., “!w singapore”) takes you directly to Wikipedia’s page for Singapore.

    DuckDuckGo's bangs feature

    4. Brave Search

    Brave search

    Brave Search is a private search engine developed by Brave Software, which makes Brave—a privacy-focused browser. Its founders include Brendan Eich (creator of JavaScript and co-founder of browser Mozilla Firefox) and Brian Bondy (former senior platform engineer at Mozilla).

    While it used to be reliant on Google and Bing for its SERPs, it’s now moved on to complete search independence. Every web result is now served by its own index.

    However, if you’re unsatisfied with Brave Search’s results, they give you the option to search Google, Bing, or Mojeek.

    Brave allows you to search elsewhere

    Like most search engines these days, Brave Search also offers an AI summarizer with citations.

    Brave's AI summariser

    My favorite feature

    The Goggles feature allows you to alter the ranking of Brave Search using a set of instructions (rules and filters). When you select Goggles, a set of pre-built filters will appear.

    Brave's Goggles feature

    If you dislike any of these Goggles, you can create your own.

    Create your own Goggles on Brave

    5. Swisscows


    Swisscows is a Switzerland-based, private search engine that is also family-friendly. It automatically filters out violent and NSFW search results. It also omits the use of tracking cookies and geo-targeting.

    Even though it uses search results from Microsoft’s Bing, they assure users that all search queries are stripped of personal identifiers. However, if you’re searching in German, they have their own index.

    My favorite feature

    Swisscows has music search, which is powered by Soundcloud.

    Swisscows music search

    6. Mojeek


    Mojeek is a UK-based private search engine with its own search index of over six billion pages. This makes it excellent for unbiased information. But it also means there may be limited results, as it doesn’t pull results from other search engines.

    Your personal data will also never be sold or distributed. If you’ve filled out its contact form, you can request to have the information deleted, as per the GDPR.

    My favorite feature

    The emotion-based search classification feature allows you to enter a keyword and search by emotion.

    Mojeek emotion search

    7. Qwant


    Qwant is a Paris-based search engine with search results powered by Bing and its own web crawler. It’s fully accessible in 39 countries but, alas, not Singapore.

    Qwant claims to be private, and it says it doesn’t track your geolocation, collect data, or use tracking cookies. However, it keeps your IP address for fraud detection purposes.

    My favorite feature

    Qwant offers a “maps” feature without tracking.

    Private maps in Qwant

    8. Gibiru


    Giburu is an anonymous search engine that offers uncensored search results. That means it doesn’t filter results based on any specific content policies.

    It also doesn’t install cookies on your browser, store your search information (like IP addresses or search history), or sell your information to third parties.

    My favorite feature

    Besides being a search engine, Gibiru also offers a mobile app that allows you to surf the web completely anonymously. All sites are opened and viewable via the app, so the websites can’t track you.

    Gibiru's app

    9. Kagi


    Why do search engines need to track you? The simple answer is because that’s how they make money.

    Search is free, so search engines have to make money via advertising. To serve better ads and help advertisers reach customers efficiently, search engines need data.

    But what if it doesn’t have to be that way? Kagi thinks there’s a different way. Rather than the standard ads model, Kagi has decided to go for a subscription model.

    Kagi's pricing

    But will people actually pay for search? Certainly. As of January 24, 2024, Kagi has 20,000 paying members.

    My favorite feature

    Kagi allows you to block domains you don’t want to see or boost domains you want to see more often.

    Kagi allows you to block domains you don’t want to see or boost domains you want to see more often.

    10. MetaGer


    MetaGer is a Germany-based, open-source metasearch engine. Its servers run on renewable energy.

    Results are pulled from Scopia, Bing, OneNewspage, and OneNewspage (Video), so they’re pretty timely. You can also deselect the search engines used or create a blacklist of websites in the settings.

    My favorite feature

    If you don’t want to see results from certain websites in the search results, you can blacklist them.

    Blacklisting domains in metaGer

    11. SearX


    SearX is a free and open-source metasearch engine. Its main aim is privacy, which means it does not share users’ IP addresses, does not use tracking cookies, and even prevents users’ query keywords from appearing in server logs.

    If you click a search result, you’re sent directly to the site—rather than a tracked redirect link like what Google does.

    My favorite feature

    SearX is designed for users to run private instances on their own computers. Here’s SearX’s documentation. But if you’re not technically sophisticated but still want to be protected privacy-wise, you can use publicly available instances. Here’s a list.

    12. Whoogle


    Want to use Google without all the tracking? Try Whoogle.

    Whoogle is similar to SearX—it’s a private instance hosted on your own computer. Except that this time ’round, you’re getting Google’s search results. And you’re getting them without ads, JavaScript, AMP links, cookies, or IP address tracking.

    The only downside of using Whoogle is that you’ll need to be somewhat technically proficient. Here’s the GitHub documentation and how to deploy.

    My favorite feature

    Here’s the list of Whoogle public instances.

    13. Presearch


    Presearch is a decentralized search engine. Instead of using a central server to store and serve data, search engine work like crawling, indexing, and query processing is distributed among nodes. The nodes then get rewarded with Presearch’s token (PRE) for processing the search results.

    This act of decentralization, advocates believe, removes Google’s ability to “play God” and censor/restrict search results.

    My favorite feature

    If its results don’t satisfy you, Presearch offers shortcuts to other search engines.

    Presearch's search shortcuts

    1. Ecosia


    Ecosia is a Berlin-based private and charitable search engine that pledges to donate 80% of profits to tree-planting projects, or roughly one tree for every 45 searches made. After all, using Google is environmentally unfriendly—It’s accountable for ~40% of the internet’s carbon footprint.

    As of February 1, 2024, Ecosia claims to have planted more than 200 million trees.

    Ecosia also claims it’s carbon-negative; it even built its own solar plant so that its servers can run on clean power.

    For its search results, they’re provided by Bing.

    My favorite feature

    If there are companies that are environmentally friendly, Ecosia will point that out in the search results with a green leaf icon.

    Ecosia's green leaf feature points out websites that are environmentally friendly

    On the contrary, if the company promotes coal mining, it is also indicated in the search results with a fossil fuel icon.

    Ecosia's fossil fuel feature points out websites that are not environmentally friendly

    2. Ekoru


    Ekoru is a charitable search engine that pledges to donate 60% of their revenue to ocean conservation.

    When you click on an ad in Ekoru, the money goes to Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit dedicated to cleaning waterways, coastal areas, and oceans and Operation Posidonia, an initiative led by the University of New South Wales to replant ocean seagrass.

    To ensure that they do not generate any CO2 emissions, Ekoru is powered by hydroelectricity and their servers are housed in data centers that utilize natural convection cooling instead of air conditioning.

    My favorite feature

    When you search in Ekoru, you’re essentially redirected to Bing search. So, it’s a great way to use a reliable search engine while contributing to ocean conservation and cleanups.

    3. giveWater


    663 million people currently drink dirty water. More than 840,000 people die each year from diarrhea due to unsafe drinking water and sanitation.

    giveWater is a charitable search engine that wants to change this. How? By distributing a portion of its profits to charity partners like and Living Water International.

    giveWater’s search results are powered by Bing.

    My favorite feature

    Isn’t helping to rid the world of unsafe drinking water enough? 😉

    1. Goodsearch


    Goodsearch is a charitable search engine that donates a portion of its revenue to charities chosen by its users. For every search conducted on Goodsearch, Goodsearch contributes $0.01 of that revenue to the user’s designated charity.

    Its search results are powered by Yahoo.

    Do note that there are some concerns regarding the Goodsearch browser extension. PCRisk has classified them as a browser hijacker, meaning they can alter browser settings without user content, thus potentially compromising user privacy and security.

    My favorite feature

    Goodsearch allows you to choose specific charities to support.

    Goodsearch allows you to choose specific charities to support

    2. YouCare


    YouCare is a France-based charitable search engine that donates 80% of its profits to good deeds. What’s amazing about YouCare is that it brings receipts: You can check their donation certificates page to see them walk the talk.

    YouCare's donation certificates

    Their search results are provided by Microsoft.

    My favorite feature

    YouCare has a counter that tracks the number of searches you’ve done.

    Convert your searches to good deeds with YouCare

    You can then choose which ‘good deed’ you want to support.

    YouCare lets you choose the good deed you want to support

    1. Perplexity


    Perplexity is an AI-powered conversational search engine. Using sources from the web, it generates answers and then cites links within the output. You can also tell Perplexity to focus on specific types of sources, like YouTube, Reddit, or academia.

    Perplexity's Focus search feature

    I’m a big fan of Perplexity and have been using it in place of Google at least 90% of the time.

    My favorite feature

    Perplexity’s paid version (Pro) will ask clarifying questions if it does not understand your query.

    Perplexity Pro asks clarifying questions

    It also allows you access to other large language models like GPT-4, Claude 3, and Mistral Large.

    2. ChatGPT


    ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by OpenAI. It allows users to converse and ask questions. While it’s not technically a search engine, nor built to be one, it has a feature called “Browse with Bing” that allows ChatGPT to search the internet to help answer questions that require recent information.

    My favorite feature

    The paid version of ChatGPT allows access to custom GPTs. Custom GPTs are user-created versions of ChatGPT that are designed for specific tasks, roles, or industries. Here are some created by the ChatGPT team.

    Custom GPTs

    1. Openverse


    Openverse is an open-source search engine developed as part of the WordPress project, designed to help users find free and openly licensed content like images and audio.

    Openverse indexes over 700 million items and searches Creative Commons licensed and public domain content from 45 different sources, including Wikimedia Commons and Flickr.

    My favorite feature

    You can use search operators in Openverse.

    Search operators in Openverse

    1. Bing


    Bing is Microsoft’s search engine and is Google’s closest competitor. In fact, Microsoft’s addition of AI into Bing search in 2023 caused Google to ‘panic’ and race to create Search Generative Experience (SGE) into their search results.

    Even though Google still dominates the search engine landscape, Bing has seen its U.S. market share improve from 6.35% to 7.87% and its global market share from 2.81% to 3.43%.

    Interestingly, some people have started to find Bing more reliable for search results than Google.

    My favorite feature

    Bing has its own chatbot called Copilot.

    Bing Copilot

    2. Yahoo


    Yahoo existed even before Google. It was originally a web portal and created its own search engine in 1995. Interestingly, Yahoo doesn’t have its own crawler (it was discontinued), and its search results are powered by Bing.

    Yahoo is now 90% owned by Apollo Global Management, an asset management firm.

    Impressively, despite all its setbacks, Yahoo still manages to occupy a decent market share of 2.67%.

    My favorite feature

    Yahoo is probably more famous for its news and finance section.

    Yahoo finance

    Final thoughts

    Despite its criticisms, Google still dominates the global search engine market. One way to make a ‘dent’ in its market share is to use alternative search engines.

    Whether you have a specific concern or are just looking for alternatives, try out the ones on this list and see if any of them work for your use case.

    Any questions or comments? Let me know on X or LinkedIn.

    Article Performance
    Data from Ahrefs
    • Organic traffic
    • Linking websites

    The number of websites linking to this post.

    This post's estimated monthly organic search traffic.