9 Unique Search Engines You Haven’t Used Yet
Updated January 2022.
If you asked yourself to think of a search engine, which one would you think of first?
Yahoo! might be the first thought for some of you. For others, it might be Bing.
While these engines are great, there’s probably one that most people would call to mind first.
That’s right: Google.
Receiving more than 63,000 queries per second and making away with over 90% of the market share, Google is currently the world’s leading search engine.
But wait (and pause for dramatic effect)—are there other search engines out there? New, unknown, cool search engines that most people have never heard of?
Your ironic “search engine search” starts now. Keep reading to discover 9 unique search engines you haven’t tried (or maybe even heard of) yet.
These days, privacy is a top concern for pretty much everyone who goes online.
That said, DuckDuckGo is one of the Internet’s most well-known private search engines—even though nobody quite knows how ducks and privacy go together.
With a plain and clear promise to never store a user’s personal information, DuckDuckGo maintains that your data should stay yours and yours alone.
This doesn’t stop you from seeing search ads on DuckDuckGo. So what makes these different from all of the ads on Google and the other search engines? Ads on DuckDuckGo are only targeted based on the search query (the actual words the user types into the search bar). On Google and many of the other search engines, ads are targeted based on the search query too but also all of the other demographics and behavioral data that the tracking cookies know about each user. DuckDuckGo does not allow all of this other targeting, just simple query targeting with ads. Businesses can target DuckDuckGo users through the Microsoft Advertising network–learn more here!
Still prefer to use one of the big search engines? DuckDuckGo has you covered there too! Their mobile apps and browser extensions protect you from Google, Facebook, and other trackers, no matter where you go online.
When you click on your browser and type into a search engine, you do so expecting to find a quick answer to your query, right?
With Shodan, the scope of what you can search for becomes a whole lot bigger.
Capable of fully exploring the Internet of Things, this search engine crawls servers, webcams, security cameras, and anything else with an online connection (which may or may not include your refrigerator).
Although Shodan may seem a little too Black Mirror for your liking, don’t worry. It mainly serves enterprise and security professionals who want to track their devices and proactively assess vulnerabilities within the networks and systems of such devices. Rather than helping attackers find new targets, Shodan helps defenders gain greater insights into their network so they can better prepare themselves against attacks.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, or so they say. Has anyone ever said the same could apply to search engines?
To TinEye, that answer is a yes. Put simply, its mission is to make images searchable.
As a reverse image search engine, TinEye allows you to search for photos and pictures with actual photos and pictures, rather than typing words into a search bar.
Image recognition technology instantly scans your image of choice. From there, TinEye will tell you where on the Internet your given image pops up and if it’s changed in any way from what you originally uploaded.
Did you know that you could help the environment simply by searching the web?
With Ecosia, even typing in “how to be a jerk to the environment” can still be an eco-friendly query. Why? Because the cost of every search, along with ads listed on results pages, helps Ecosia plant trees where they’re needed most on the planet.
As of this blog’s update date in February 2022, Ecosia has planted more than 140,000,000 trees worldwide.
As added perks, this engine is also private and uses servers that run on 100% renewable energy.
5. The Wayback Machine
Time travel still isn’t a 21st-century possibility, but we might not necessarily need it to be thanks to the Wayback Machine.
Developed by the Internet Archive back in 1996, this search engine has indexed more than 300 billion different web pages in its pursuit to chronicle the Internet.
Provided that you know a site’s URL or specific keywords referencing its homepage, you can search for most anything created online, even previously deleted pages.
If you somehow get bored giving yourself Internet blasts from the past, browse the Internet Archive’s own collection next. As a digital library, they share millions of books, videos, music, and more with users every day.
Your work presentations just got a whole lot more interesting.
FindSounds is a search engine whose main objective is all in its name: to help you find sounds.
From evil laughs to volcanic eruptions and cow moos to plenty of laser pews, it offers you thousands upon thousands of different sound effects at the click of a free download button.
Search for a sound you like in FindSounds’ search bar or click on one of the many preset categories to add some cool (if not unsettling) audio to your next project.
Hate having to choose between search engines? What you need is a metasearch engine like Dogpile.
A metasearch engine compiles different results from different engines and directories.
In other words, Dogpile combines the findings of Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and other sources to give you the most complete search in the least amount of time.
Its home screen is also home to Arfie, a pleasant canine mascot allegedly responsible for “fetching” your search results.
8. Million Short
The purpose of every search engine is to show you the most relevant search results faster and better than its competitors can.
Not for Million Short. It gives you the option to remove the top 100 to 1,000,000 results from its SERP, providing you with a truly differentiated search.
Sure, this engine redefines what we think search engines do on the regular. Such redefinition is a good thing, though, as Million Short can show you sites you may have missed.
Had we not removed the top 1,000,000 results on the search “chicken wearing pants,” we might never have discovered Pampered Poultry, an e-commerce site that sells hand-made chicken attire.
We know what you’re thinking. This search engine’s name is just “Google” written backwards. Shouldn’t we be writing a blog post about unique search engines other than Google?
What can we say: we’re huge Google fans. Such big fans, in fact, that we became a Google Premier Partner back in 2016.
But that’s beside the point. Even though Elgoog still conducts Google searches, it’s unusual in that it lets you search within several different modes.
Its default, called Google Mirror, shows you the reflected opposite of everything you’d normally see from Google. Other modes include an anti-gravity Google, a tilted Google, an energy-saving Google, and an underwater Google. Thanks, elgooG!
Looking for the perfect digital marketing partner for your brand or business? No need to use one of these unique search engines—turn to the experts at Perfect Search. Contact us for more information and request a comprehensive site audit!
Sarah Kincius is a Naperville resident and student at Loyola University Chicago. She loves going to the Green Mill to read whatever’s etched on the bathroom stalls (and to listen to the music, of course). Sarah is currently teaching herself Italian from a book she found in Wisconsin.