If you’re reading this article, you probably have at least a vague idea about what a search engine is. After all, somehow you’ve found the article, right? Whether you use Google or Bing or Yahoo or any other tool to find information on the Web, you use a search engine.
Rapid development of the Internet raised questions on what is the most efficient way to navigate the web. Really, it seems so natural today that you just type in a query in a search bar and get tons of information on any subject, but at the dawn of the Web finding things was a serious technical issue to tackle.
The problem of quick and effective information retrieval from the Web was solved in the early 90s; and, since then, search engines began to pop out one after another. As a result, we have dozens of different search engines on our hands. The only problem is – we do not need so many.
In this article, we’ll talk about 15 most popular search engines. Frankly speaking, no one needs all of them (you’ll see that most people prefer Google to any other search engine); however, they have their audiences, their advantages and disadvantages, so we’ll present some brief info about each. Here’s the list of 15 most popular search engines by estimated unique monthly visitors as of May, 2015:
- Google. It’s hardly a secret to anybody that Google is by far the most popular search engine in the world. Every month over 1.1 billion people use it to find all kinds of information on the Web. Google’s popularity allows it to trump its competitors all over the globe, except such regions as China, Japan and Russia.
- Baidu. China’s “we-have-our-own-internet” policy is of much help to Baidu – country’s leading search engine and local analogue to Google. Despite its popularity only in one country, Baidu has over 564 million unique monthly visitors. China’s huge population is to thank.
- Bing. Being the second most-used search engine in the United States, Bing manages to attract over 350 million unique monthly visitors. Unfortunately, this search engine is known in the U.S. only. The interesting fact about Bing is that although it was released in 2009, it’s actually one of the oldest search engines – its legacy comes from Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search.
- Yahoo! Search. Originally an online website directory, Yahoo! Search is the third most-used search engine in the United States with over 300 million unique monthly visitors. Since 2009, Yahoo! Search has been powered by Microsoft’s Bing. Except the U.S., Yahoo! Search is very popular in Japan.
- Ask. The question-answering focus makes Ask quite a unique search engine as you search not just any data but answers provided by other people. Also, Ask is one of the oldest search engines – it was founded in 1995. Maybe because of that, more than 245 million people find it useful.
- AOL Search. This powered by Google search engine allows users to look for any information on the Web and offers nothing really special. However, the company itself says that “it searches the way people think.” (Really?) As of May, 2015, AOL’s audience stands at 125 million unique monthly visitors.
- Wow. This search engine is quite similar to AOL Search, and it is no wonder why: it is powered by AOL which is powered by Google. Despite this strange “layering,” over 100 million people use it every month. Maybe they want to find something about World of Warcraft?
- WebCrawler. With its 65 million unique monthly users, WebCrawler really offers a very unique feature: it shows the top search results from Google and Yahoo on a single page, making it easier to look for desired info. Also, this search engine can be used to search for yellow and white pages.
- MyWebSearch. This search engine used by over 60 million people every month is a bit of a dark horse of a search engine world. Don’t believe us? Just type “mywebsearch search engine” in Google’s search bar and you’ll see that most results tell people how to get rid of this tool they did certainly install to their browsers by mistake.
- InfoSpace. Although Infospace has been around since 1996, its monthly audience is no more than 24 million users. Maybe it’s because you cannot filter your search results much. (Only Web, Images, Videos, and News! Really?)
- Info. Info search engine has no more than 13.5 million unique monthly visitors, and it is sad. The thing is that this metasearch engine combines search results from other search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo! Search to name a few) and directories surprisingly well. It partners with numerous search providers to deliver tons of data to its users – from articles, videos and images to jobs, directory listings, maps, etc.
- DuckDuckGo. In a world obsessed with online privacy, DuckDuckGo, which is the only search engine that does not track users’ activity, has only 13 million unique monthly users. Strange, isn’t it?
- Contenko. About 11 million people use Contenko every month – a smidge in comparison to Google. Our guess is that people don’t like Contenko’s system of showing only 10 sponsored and 10 ordinary results for each query.
- Dogpile. This search engine with no more than 10 million unique monthly users offers all special features of InfoSpace, including blending search results from different search engines, directory search, video and audio search, and more. Dogpile is an old search engine, created back in 1995.
- Alhea. Having less than 8 million unique monthly users, Alhea search engine is definitely an underdog. It offers quite nice features like search results from Google and Yahoo! Search, directory search, etc.; however, it seems that it is not enough. After all, why would I use Alhea if I can use Google or Yahoo! Search?
To sum it up
It is hard to imagine the Internet without search engines. Without them you won’t be able to find your favorite websites, your favorite movies and music, even your favorite social networks. In short, search engines and the Internet are inseparable.
People who once went into a search engine niche knew that it would yield big, but only a few succeeded in making something that really worked (and still works). Frankly speaking, you might not have heard about half of the list of search engines from the list above, and it’s only a smidge of them. It is so because developing an effective search engine is very hard. It takes time, effort, and tons of innovation to make the difference.
Although Google, Baidu, Bing, Yahoo and other giants roam around, smaller search engines also manage to survive. Somehow they do it, despite all the odds. We hope that our list will help you learn more about the most popular search engines, and maybe you even start to use Alhea instead of Google. Who knows?!