7 Google Alternatives for Search

For decades, search engine optimization (SEO) has been a critical component of any modern marketing strategy. But SEO doesn’t just mean Google: To the contrary, there are a number of alternative search engines worth exploring.

I learned this first hand when I was working for a company with operations in China, where Google wasn’t accessible. While my team had been almost exclusively focused on optimizing for Google, it quickly became clear that we had to invest in SEO for platforms like Bing, Baidu, and other widely-used tools. Moreover, as generative AI has rapidly progressed, a wave of new AI-powered search engines has emerged, further complicating the search engine landscape.

Today, 88% of consumers use search engines to find answers to their questions online — but Google isn’t the only engine they’re using. In this article, I’ll walk through seven of my favorite Google alternatives for search, sharing everything you need to know to stay up to date on the tools your customers are using every day.

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Best Search Engine Alternatives to Google


DuckDuckGo is a popular alternative to Google, and it’s best for anonymous searching.

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One of the most well-known Google alternatives, DuckDuckGo is famous for its commitment to data privacy. Its privacy policy begins: “​​We don’t track you. That’s our Privacy Policy in a nutshell.” And it lives up to this reputation, offering a cookie-free searching experience.

Testing It Out

Visually, DuckDuckGo offers a simple, minimalist design, and its user experience is clear and easy to navigate. The search results seem relevant and consistent, and the layout is similar to that of Google, with a search bar at the top and options to view images, videos, and other content types. As a user, searching with DuckDuckGo feels pretty similar to Googling — but behind the scenes, it’s much more private.

Best for: Anonymous searching


Known for its powerful AI integration, Bing is a popular Google alternative.

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Powered by Microsoft, Bing is one of the most widely-used search engines after Google. It is functionally very similar to Google, and has historically been considered Google’s main competitor. However, Microsoft’s acquisition of Open AI (the company behind ChatGPT) has enabled Bing to soar ahead in AI capabilities. Specifically, its AI search tool, Deep Search, has achieved impressive results, becoming a major differentiator for the platform.

Testing It Out

Bing’s interface is somewhat more cluttered than that of some other search engines, with an additional content section as well as a list of related searches filling the right-hand side of the page. While its user experience was similar to that of other engines, I personally found its results a little less relevant, and I found its busier navigation bar a little distracting. That said, I really enjoyed using the Deep Search tool, and I’m excited to see how it continues to develop!

Best for: AI integration


Ecosia is an eco-friendly alternative to Google.

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Based in Germany, Ecosia is unique among search engines in its explicit focus on environmental sustainability. The company reports being carbon negative, and according to its homepage, it has planted more than 200 million trees and donated more than 83 million Euros to organizations dedicated to climate action.

The platform has less of a focus on privacy and anonymous searching than some of its competitors, as evidenced by the prominent cookies disclaimer on the website. Its functionality is also slightly more limited that some other search engines, and it has not yet developed any AI-powered integrations.

Testing It Out

The first thing I noticed when testing out Ecosia’s search engine was its colorful, green branding and adorably little tree icon in the upper right corner. It’s immediately clear that Ecosia is passionate about the environment, from its visual branding alone! Its search results seemed reasonable, though I didn’t feel that they were quite up to par with those of some other engines, and I also found that the large cookies banner detracted substantially from useability.

Best for: Saving the planet


Mojeek stands out among search engines thanks to its Emotional Web feature.

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Mojeek isn’t as well-known as some of the other alternative search engines that I’ve included in this list, but it offers many of the same functionalities. In addition, Mojeek stands out with its “Emotional Web” feature: This tool enables you to filter your search based on the emotional content of the results.

As Mojeek explained in a blog post announcing the launch of this feature, “This functionality is incredibly useful for users that wish to try and help filter certain emotions out of their day — sad news, for example.” The blog post continues, “For the first time, people are able to find what they’re looking for without being exposed to emotions that they do not desire.”

Testing It Out

Compared to other typical search engines, I found Mojeek’s results to be a little strange. For example, one of the search terms I tested out was “small business marketing.” While other search engines returned HubSpot’s comprehensive blog post, 50 Small Business Marketing Ideas for 2024, in their first few results, Mojeek’s first few results instead included HubSpot’s downloadable guide on digital marketing for small business — arguably a less helpful and less relevant result. On the other hand, I absolutely loved Mojeek’s emotional filtering capability. With so much negative content online, I really appreciate the ability to be able to search for content that’s both relevant and a little more positive in tone.

Best for: Emotional filtering

Seekr News

Seekr news uses AI to rate the reliability and political leanings of news articles.

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While most of the search engines on this list can be used for almost any kind of search, this one’s a little different: Seekr News is specifically focused on news articles. That means it’s more limited than some of the other options I’ve shared — but it also has some really interesting features that I think are worth highlighting.

Specifically, Seekr provides both a Seekr Score and a Political Lean tag for each result on its search results page. The Seekr Score is an estimate of how reliable the news article is, while the Political Lean indicates what (if any) political leaning the article seems to have. Both are powered by AI, and they enable users to gain greater visibility into the content they consume.

Testing It Out

Seekr does ask you to “Accept All Cookies” when you use the site, meaning it’s a little less privacy-focused than other search engines. However, I was really impressed by its interface for indicating reliability and political ideology. Seekr manages to convey a lot of information about each search result, including not just the Seekr and Political Lean scores, but also tags for the type of reporting, the number of quotes in the article, and other pertinent context, all with a clear user experience and a design that doesn’t feel too cluttered.

Best for: News search


Baidu is the biggest search engine in the Chinese market.

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If you’ve never been to China, you might not have heard of Baidu. But Baidu is the dominant search engine in the Chinese market, with more than 600 million monthly active users.

Of course, as a Chinese product whose users are largely based within China, the user interface is, unsurprisingly, all in Chinese — so it may not be a great fit for searchers who don’t speak the language. That being said, it’s definitely an important platform to keep in mind for any marketers looking to target the Chinese market.

Testing It Out

Baidu’s user interface is largely similar to that of Google and other search engines: There’s a search bar at the top, and options to search for photos, videos, maps, etc. One additional element is its “hot searches” list on the right hand side of the page, where you can see currently trending topics. As far as its search results, Baidu’s English results are fairly limited, but in my experience as a native English speaker who studied Chinese for several years, if you are able to search in Chinese and read Chinese search results, Baidu is pretty effective.

Best for: Chinese search

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is a math-focused search engine.

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Wolfram Alpha is primarily known as a calculator website. It can interpret mathematical or natural language input for math problems, and then walk you through a solution. But this tool isn’t just for helping you with your homework. It can also function as a wide-ranging search engine in its own right.

For example, you can ask it questions like “how to calculate ROI,” “what time is it in London,” or even, “who created Spiderman,” and it will provide up-to-date, helpful input, often with extensive additional context and a list of related queries. Moreover, unlike other search engines, Wolfram Alpha doesn’t generally give you a list of links to look through yourself. Instead, it simply offers an answer to your question directly on the page.

Testing It Out

As far as functionality, Wolfram Alpha is obviously a lot more limited than a traditional search engine. That said, I really appreciate how it clearly walks you through a solution. If I want to know how to calculate ROI for a specific investment, a long list of article links isn’t nearly as helpful as Wolfram Alpha’s clear, tactical steps and automated calculator interface. Of course, this engine won’t work for a lot of search needs — but for certain queries, it’s a fantastic, highly efficient tool.

Best for: Calculations and facts

Going Beyond Google

Clearly, there’s a whole lot more to the world of search than Google alone. While Google is still by far the biggest search engine with respect to global market share, the tools I’ve shared above have a lot to offer as well.

In particular, Ecosia’s commitment to environmental sustainability and Seekr’s focus on addressing unreliability and political bias in news make them two of my favorite alternative search engines.

In addition, while I don’t have as many opportunities to use it, I’ve found that Wolfram Alpha can be a real lifesaver for certain, more mathematically-focused questions.

At the end of the day, if you’re interested in optimizing your content for search, it’s vital to go beyond Google and consider the wide range of search engines that your customers may rely on. From Bing to DuckDuckGo, Baidu to Mojeek, there are countless places today’s internet users can go for answers and information.

So, to stay relevant, today’s marketers must make sure that their content is optimized not just for Google, but for all the platforms that their leads and prospects may use for search.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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