We know all the names of the big guys who can give us instant access to information, but with far-reaching data leaks and continued concerns about how our data is shared online, many people are looking for alternative search engines. Here is a primer on search engines and some alternatives you can use in 2020.
A search engine is a program that searches for results in its database based on your particular search query and delivers results in the form of world wide web pages. Special algorithms are used by search engines to quickly cycle through billions of pages to deliver the results it deems most relevant to users.
Some of the biggest search engines include:
The primary reason people want to use an alternative search engine is due to privacy concerns. According to this report, Google tracks everything you do online while you are signed into your Google account and sometimes even when you are not, including:
Additionally, consumers’ confidence in big tech companies like Google have waned in response to reports that they secretly share users’ private data with third-party advertisers. While Google has responded to these concerns by creating a privacy hub that lets users access the information collected on them, the steps to do this are often confusing and users may not know what they are giving permission to do or not do. Furthermore, when users take this action, they are presented with a pop-up message that says that Google will not function as well.
For these reasons, users look to alternative search engines.
Here are some of the best alternative search engines to Google, Bing, and other big names:
Swisscows markets itself as a family-friendly search engine that also respects users’ privacy. It automatically blocks out violent and pornographic results. It does not collect, store, or track the data of its users. It uses semantics and AI to determine the context of your query and often yields accurate results to users’ questions.
Search Encrypt does just that – it searches while encrypting your data. Local encryption helps to block your identifiable information so that you are not tracked. Rather than giving you results based on your search history, the program works by giving you results from its network of search partners. Additionally, the program automatically erases your local browsing history after 15 minutes of inactivity. This provides an additional layer of privacy protection in case you share your device with others.
This innovative solution allows you the benefit of receiving results from the largest search engines without compromising your privacy. Disconnect Search lets you use any search engine. Once you input a search term, the query is rerouted and made anonymous through the program’s servers. It is then run in the search engine you chose. This gives you the best of both worlds: you can use your favorite search engine without having to worry about your privacy.
Keyhole is an effective search tool that lets you search specifically for social media content and statistics, such as how many times your blog post was shared or tracking the latest hashtag.
Social Mention is another effective tool for tracking comments, posts, and other social-media related communications. You can use this site to search across multiple social media networks, as well as blogs, images, news, and more.
If you are trying to track down a particular person instead of information, you may want to consider using people search tools since search engines are not always the best at finding people. Adding to the last list are:
RecordsFinder lets users find people in a number of ways, including using a reverse email lookup. It is ideal for verifying someone’s background. You can get additional data such as property or business asset information for an extra fee. You can choose a monthly plan to have access to unlimited background reports, criminal record searches, and address and email lookups.
The LinkedIn People Search can help you find new connections on this popular employment site. You can narrow results by email address, name, language, relationship and other search parameters. With a premium membership, you can also access other search factors, such as years of experience and company size.
Infotracer is a very good tool to find people. It provides comprehensive services, including searching for people by corralling through more than 43 billion records, using an address lookup to see a history on property, searching criminal record databases, and court records for specific case information. You can also run reverse phone lookups and username search with the service.
Now that you know where you can go to look for information and people, you can reserve your general search engine queries only for those purposes that you do not mind sharing with mega tech companies. However, now you can protect your privacy when you want to by using these alternative search engines in 2020.