There is only one true winner when it comes to Search Engines, and that is Google. It enjoys more than 91% share of searches worldwide in 2020. In India, Google's share is 98.84%.
As searchers have become more internet savvy in recent years, it is no surprise that users have become more conscious of cybersecurity. Marketers have seen a noticeable rise in the number of search engines that are putting privacy at the heart of their platform. Here are a few privacy-focused alternative search engines:
While DuckDuckGo has increased in popularity recently, it still only holds around a 1.5% share of the search market in the U.S.
DuckDuckGo is regarded as one of the best search engines for private browsing, and it is for this reason why it has gained market share in recent years. It does not collect any data around the searches you make or around your personal information, and this alone is one of the primary reasons for its recent surge in popularity.
And one feature to take note of is ‘Bang’ search. You can use this function if you know when you want to search on other platforms (Wikipedia, eBay, Amazon, etc.). Simply click on your ‘bang’ and it will take you to your chosen site.*
*DuckDuckGo makes it clear that if you are visiting other sites, you will be subject to policies, including how they collect your data, and not theirs.
Startpage.com makes the bold claim that it is the world’s most private search engine. That statement lead to a fair amount of media coverage as well as a third-party audit by the European Privacy Seal.
Startpage.com’s claims can be backed up by their ‘no-logs’ policy. The ‘no-logs’ policy means that the search engine has no idea who their users are; they do not store the IP address of searchers or store tracking cookies.
If you are simply looking for relevant results with the confidence they put privacy first, Startpage.com is the choice for you.
Qwant claims that they ‘respect your privacy,’ and it is another reliable option for those looking for a true alternative to Google.
Unlike some of the other privacy-first search engines, Qwant uses its indexing engine combined with Bing results to emphasize avoiding personalizing search results to prevent searchers from getting stuck in a filter-bubble. As this search engine is based in Paris, it is essential to know that European privacy protection laws are typically much stricter than other places in the world, such as the U.S.
Swisscows is another European search engine focused heavily on the privacy of its users. They promote themselves around three core promises that make them a great alternative to Google and others:
- They do not store your data
- They place great importance to family-friendly content
- They have created an innovative search engine
Letting children surf the web is a concern for many parents, and Swisscows is committed to delivering a search engine that is a safe environment for the whole family to enjoy the web.
5. Search Encrypt
On its face, Search Encrypt looks pretty much like Google does, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
There is a clear emphasis on doing one thing: getting a user to search.
However, Search Encrypt’s goal is to “protect your privacy by detecting searches that may be tracked and tied to your personal information. It intercepts those searches and redirects them to Search Encrypt’s privacy-enhanced search engine, which will be set to your default search engine.”
Unlike some of the alternatives here, it does store your history for 30 minutes. Wondering if this search engine is right for you? See what users who have completely switched to this from Google have to say about it.
6. One Search
OneSearch, the brand-new search engine from Verizon, touts six core privacy-focused features that they have built their search engine around:
- No cookies
- No user tracking
- No search history
- Pure, unfiltered results
- Share links with confidence
- Keyword encryption
And it is an attractive option given that parent company Verizon also owns Yahoo. And it is no secret that Yahoo has come under fire for numerous data-breaches and privacy blunders in the past. However, the results are powered by Bing, offering you a way to return results from a platform you are already familiar with. Another bonus of OneSearch is that you are enjoying extra layers of privacy.