CheckList | 4 alternative search engines to help wave farewell to Google
Google has been the top dog for so many years - and for a good reason. The company has all it takes to be the search engine to use daily; after all, most smartphones in use right now run on Google's software, lending the company a unique opportunity to be with its clients literally everywhere.
Some of the company's tools are amazingly good and have no real competition; Google Books, for example, lets users search billions of books by short phrases, quickly and easily preview ones that appear interesting, and buy ones that indeed are.
That's not to say that Google is perfect. The company's core product, web site and web page search, has been steadily deteriorating over the years, in significant part because of the immense amount of advertising it is plagued by. A certain portion of those ads might be intrusive because they were picked based on the specific user's past search queries.
This is where the lesser-known options come in. They have the same set of basic tools (web page search, image search, and so on), they are fast, intelligent - and they look great, too.
Google Alternative #1: Brave Search
Brave Search is US-based; prior to launching Search in 2021, the company behind the project was mostly known for its Chromium-based and privacy-focussed browser, Brave.
This search engine gets better by the day. Typing "20 Canadian dollars in USD" into the search box returns a straight, easy-to-digest, up-to-date answer instead of a plain list of links; this would not be the case several months ago. Image search works well, too, no matter if one is looking for a wallpaper or for a photo of a rare chemical compound.
Unlike some less fortunate search engines, Brave Search is capable of processing search queries in various languages. It will thus be of use to people from many parts of the world. Then again, this applies to the other search engines on this list, too.
Google Alternative #2: Swiss Cows
Swiss Cows comes, just as the first word suggests, from Switzerland. This search engine will actually celebrate its ninth birthday this year.
While Swiss Cows is a notch or two lower than Brave Search in most respects, this is still a respectable option for day-to-day search queries like "the highest mountain in Kenya".
For better or worse, Swiss Cows appears to be prioritising family friendliness over everything else; this means that certain search queries are very likely to return 0 results.
Google Alternative #3: DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo is the second US-based search engine on our list. The project first saw the light of day in 2008.
While DuckDuckGo hardly ever excels at anything, it's a solid option overall; little wonder, then, that it is set as the default search engine for Private windows in current releases of Mozilla's Firefox web browser.
Google Alternative #4: Yandex
Yandex is more than 25 years old at this point. What initially was a small Russian company with an uncertain future is now a juggernaut with employees in the US, the Netherlands, Germany, China, and other countries.
Apart from the usual web page search, image search and news search, Yandex users have access to Maps, Translate and other Google-style tools. Yandex is sometimes able to deliver surprisingly accurate search results where all other search engines fall face down; much like it is with Google, it is the ads that tend to spoil the party.
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Brave & Swiss Cows & DuckDuckGo & Yandex