Google’s presence on the web is ubiquitous. However, we have become so ultimately dependent on the search giant, that when you want an alternative, it is hard to know where to look. This post explores alternative search engines and websites that will let you search the internet without Google.
Duckduckgo- Tor Browser
If you are concerned about privacy, then Duckduckgo is a great alternative to the big search engines like Google.
Secondly, Duckduckgo doesn’t follow you around the web with targeted adverts like Google does. Duckduckgo won’t save your search history, so they don’t have anything to sell to advertisers that want to track you browsing the internet.
Thirdly, don’t let “Private Mode” in Google fool you. They are still tracking what you are doing. Duckduckgo doesn’t do this.
Avoid the filter bubble
A big advantage of Duckduckgo not collecting browsing information is that it avoids creating a so-called “filter bubble” around your web use. The “filter bubble” happens when Google uses an algorithm to guess what information you would like to see in your search based on information they have stored about you such as location, search history and click behaviour.
The result of the filter bubble is that you become separated over time from information that disagrees with your views, and the information that Google gives you largely reflects your own bias. Many people warn that the so-called “filter bubble” isolates individuals in their own cultural or ideological bubbles and goes against what the internet should be about.
By using Duckduckgo you should be able to avoid this phenomenon and get a more objective search of the internet.
Duckduckgo puts an emphasis on using quality sources instead of the most sources. Search results are generated from crowd-sourced sites like Wikipedia and from other search engines like Yandex, Bing and Yummly.
If you need to break your reliance on Google, then Unbubble is undoubtedly another one of the best search engines to use.
In 2013 Edward Snowden opened the eyes of the world by leaking thousands of classified NSA documents to the world. Post-Snowden we now know we live in a world where no computers are safe from the prying eyes of the government. Like Duckduckgo, Unbubble has made a commitment to never store any data from their users. Instead, they use a safely encrypted connection to obscure the origin of visitors to their site. On top of this, their German data centres are highly secured meaning by using this search engine you can guarantee your right to privacy on the net.
Unbubble will help remove you from the Google filter bubble that shapes how you see the world. They define a neutral search as one that does not add irrelevantly or remove relevant information from search results. They claim their algorithms reduce censorship and increase the visibility of comprehensive and relevant search results.
- This search engine is CO2 neutral. The company gets all its energy from the renewable German power grid NaturEnergie AG. If global warming and the environment is something you think is important, then this is an advantage. Note that Google has also made the move to green energy and will be using completely renewable sources from 2017 on.
- Using Unbubble helps reduce the monopoly of Google.
- It is made in Germany, a country that takes its citizens privacy seriously.
- Unbubble uses results from many sources. This includes newspapers, marketplaces, Q&A portals, Wikipedia and other search engines.
- It can be made the default search engine in your browser.
Faroo is a unique google alternative. It acts as a “distributed search engine”. This means it uses peer-to-peer technology to search the web. Search data is stored on users computers instead of a central server.
Whenever a user of Faroo visits a website through the search engine, this action is indexed and distributed to the network of connected peer computers. Web results are ranked based on statistics of the users. Top results depend on the popularity of the page among users, a number of time users spend on the site and whether the page is bookmarked by users or printed.
By looking at the behaviour of its users like this, Faroo claims they can produce more relevant results than standard search engines like Google.
This is a truly alternative approach to other search engines. It will be interesting to see how this site develops.
Similar Site Search
Do you find yourself using the same websites all the time? Do you find you always use Youtube for videos, last.fm for music and Amazon for shopping? Well if you want to expand the websites you visit this may be one of the best search engines for you.
SiteSearch has been helping people find similar and alternative websites to suit their needs since 2009. They do this through machine learning and social data gathered from searches.
This is an invaluable resource if you find yourself stuck in the same parts of the internet all the time and want to branch out.
I absolutely love Wolfram Alpha, and readily concede that it is not like the typical search engines out there. Wolfram Alpha can give you powerful results with amazing clarity on facts, history, data, demographics etc.
It can be argued that the monopoly that Google has on our internet lives is not a good thing. Google arbitrarily filters how you see the internet, affecting your opinion, perception of the world and ultimately the decisions you make. We really don’t know how or if Google favors certain websites in its results, which ultimately affects our freedom.
If you want to break out of this, I suggest you begin to use search engines like Unbubble or Duckduckgo.
Let us know what you think, and if you have other alternative search engines that you use.