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Alternatives to Google

The BBC website recently carried an article entitled Google: Alternatives to the search giant.
The article promoted Google’s addition of photo auto-enhancement to its Google+ social network, launched air balloons to provide internet access from near-space, unveiled a subscription music service, teased a new smartphone and revamped its Maps product.

The company accounted for 90% of UK-based desktop searches and 92% of mobile searches in June, according to net analysis provider Statcounter – the kind of figures any company would envy. Its global figures were even higher – although its share of its home market, the US, is below average (78% share of desktop search), and the company remains an also-ran in China, Russia and South Korea.

“At one time Google was clearly a better search engine – now we can debate that point,” said Greg Sterling, a tech analyst who writes for the Search Engine Land news website.

“However Google’s brand strength, together with the company’s aggressive push into mobile have cemented its leadership in most markets for the foreseeable future.

“Nothing is certain but it’s difficult to imagine any competitor – outside of parts of Asia and Russia – making significant gains in general web search.”

Even so, others are still trying, offering different features or even trying to rethink the principles of the underlying technology.

Finally, the article offered several alternatives to using the Google search engine which included the following:

Microsoft’s Bing service is the leading search rival to Google when looking at the world as a whole – although it has less than a 20th of the traffic, according to StatCounter.

Russia’s most popular search engine also offers English, Turkish, and Ukranian-language versions among its options.

DuckDuckGo highlights privacy as its key feature, promising not to collect or share personal information about its users – a topical concern after revelations that Google, Microsoft and others had handed over data to the US’s National Security Agency.

Most search engines base their ranking of results on their analysis of the words and links on a page. Blippex instead orders sites according to their DwellRank – the amount of time people spend on a page once they have clicked onto it. The more seconds they linger, the more important the site is judged to be.

Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha describes itself as a “computational knowledge engine” and strictly speaking doesn’t see itself as a “search” service, even if many people use it to hunt for third-party information.

Most will never heard of the above, there were more lesser known search engine options offered. No mention was made of Yahoo, Ask or any of the other more commonly known search engine websites.