Google is undoubtedly the most used search engine in the world. However, its popularity tends to decrease because of the various scandals about the collection of personal data of Internet users. Every query made is carefully collected and recorded in order to establish user profiles for marketing and surveillance purposes (American PRISM program).
Indeed, this GAFA records logs, inserts tracking cookies and traces all its users. There is no browsing history that escapes it from the moment you use it.
Unfortunately, this practice tends to spread more and more and under the guise of security, Google asks more and more sensitive information to those who use it. With Microsoft’s Bing or what’s left of Yahoo, it’s exactly the same problem as far as privacy is concerned. More and more Internet users are looking for an alternative search engine that does not track its users and ensures a more confidential navigation.
Which alternative search engines to Google will be presented on this page?
This toggle pane is designed to make your navigation easier. Quickly access what you are interested in.
- Search Encrypt
- Surfshark Search
- The case of Yandex
- Other options
What is a search engine?
A search engine is an application that allows you to search the Internet. It works by means ofa system of indexation of resources; pages, images, videos, site, blog..
All you have to do is enter the terms you are looking for and it will query its database and propose the results that its algorithm considers to be the most relevant. Most search engines are financed by advertising.
Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo is the engine that has benefited the most from the PRISM data scandal. It does not spy on its users and is completely free of filtering bubbles. It is actually a meta engine, the search results that DuckDuckGo offers are the sum of various results from other engines (Bing, Yahoo …).
Quite relevant in its results, this alternative to Google search is displayed by default on the Tor browser, is accessible on the .onion network and even has its own exit node. DuckDuckGo has developed a dedicated extension for Firefox and applications for iOS and Android.
Please note that the mobile browser apps are not open source. DuckDuck is fully funded by displaying ads during searches.
However, there are a number of rumors about a possible takeover of DuckDuckGo.
Unquestionably the best known alternative search engine in France, Qwant is a French creation that went online in 2013. It is a search engine that claims not to track its users, nor sell their data, in order to guarantee their privacy. Respecting net neutrality, Qwant is neutral in the display of its results.
Qwant also has an extension for Firefox, and Qwant junior is a search engine designed for children aged 6 to 12 without a tracker. Aiming to be competitive in its service offering, this search engine also recently launched a mapping service similar to Google map without tracking.
Although much loved and supported for its privacy-friendly initiatives, many users criticize Qwant for its lack of relevance in terms of results and sometimes find themselves having to return to Google to refine a search.
Launched in 2009, Ecosia is a German search engine that donates 80% of its profits to associations fighting against deforestation in the world. It is estimated that it costs an average of 45 searches to finance the planting of a tree.
In reality, Ecosia is partly based onBing’s algorithm and relays part of Yahoo’s advertisements. It is possible to deactivate the display but in this case the engine is no longer able to finance the cause it defends. Ecosia’s servers are powered by solar energy.
Ecosia does not store search data permanently. It does not create profiles from the history. After a week, all searches are anonymized. They also do not resell to advertisers. Ecosia protects the data from possible third parties by using an encrypted connection.
This alternative search engine does not use external tracking tools like Google Analytics.
Formerly known as Ixquick, Startpage is a privacy-oriented meta search engine. It claims not to track or store data. This application also does not target ads based on Internet browsing behavior. The results of this search engine are known to be highly relevant. Indeed, Startpage acts as an intermediary between its user andthe access to Google results . This meta search engine pays Google to have access to its entire database.
Startpage also offers a proxy service that allows for a more confidential browsing experience Attentionwhile there are many differences between proxies and VPNs, Startpage’s services provide neutral searches without tracking, they do not secure your connection in any way and your ISP still has access to your data.
With a similar principle to Ecosia and giveWater, Lilo is a French solidarity search engine launched in 2015. Half of its revenue is used to fund projects to help the environment and defend the animal cause around the world. Lilo does not collect or sell personal data of its users.
Founded by two young French engineers, Lilo’s operating principle is quite similar to that of Ecosia. Indeed, this search engine rents the algorithms of Bing and part of Google and Yahoo in order to provide relevant search results.
Search Encrypt is a search engine that uses local encryption to make its users’ information unreadable. It is a metasearch engine that bases its results on different sources.
Search Encrypt has made privacy on the Internet its keyword. Indeed, this alternative search engine automatically erases the history after 15 minutes of inactivity.
Peekier is a new way to search the web. Browse search results quickly and securely on a search engine that respects your privacy. Still quite slow, Peekier shows you a preview of the search results in thumbnails. If you click on a result, the preview expands and you can scroll through the site to get an idea. You can then decide if you are interested in the information displayed on the site or not before clicking on the link.
No personally identifiable information, such as your IP address, browser user agent or unique identifiers, is stored or recorded on Peekier’s servers. Search queries are temporarily stored for caching, statistical and service improvement purposes. This alternative to Google does not store your search history.
Peekier does not have analytics suites, social buttons or any other service that collects data about users.
This is the big news for 2021 of Surfshark VPN. The release of several additional modules allowing better control and more security for its personal data. The complete Surfshark One suite includes Surfshark Search, a powerful and ultra-lightweight search module that allows safe and private internet searches without ads or trackers.
The search is done using theBing API to get the best results. This principle is similar to those used by DuckDuckGo or StartPage (Google API).
Very little used in the US, Yandex is a Russian search engine. Very similar to Google, this site also offers mobile applications, detailed maps, a translation service and even cloud storage.
There are hundreds of search engines in the world, in this article we have discussed the alternatives to Google that we consider the most relevant.
If you want to know more, you can also go to :
- OneSearch which encrypts keywords and does not track its users.
- Lukol which offers Google results but anonymizes searches.
- Oscobo which does not track or trace its users.
Give up on Google for good?
Let’s be honest, if Google is so successful, it’s because of its ability to respond correctly to our various requests.
For the time being, many Internet users oscillate between Google Search and an alternative search engine that respects privacy. Until something really worthwhile comes out in terms of relevance in terms of results, this is still the most reasonable option.