10 Essential Examples of Search Engines

The Internet has become a common thing in this technological era. Everyone nowadays carries a smartphone in their pocket, which is an important means of accessing information from the Internet on the go. Additionally, people also benefit from the Internet from other devices as well, including personal computers, laptops, tablets, and even smart TVs. However, whenever people need to search or find any information on the internet, they usually need to use any search engine through any web browser installed on their devices.


Although a web browser and a web search engine are two different things, people often get confused and think that they are the same. This is due to the products or services offered by Google and since Google dominates the industry with most of its products, it leads to confusion with its name. To make it clear, we first need to know that Google is a brand that provides many services, technologies, and even devices to contribute to the advancement in this technological era.

So, before we move ahead, we need to understand that Google Search is a specific service provided by Google, whereas Google Chrome is just another service from Google. Google Search is a web search engine, while Google Chrome is a web browser. However, it is totally up to the user which web browser and web search engine he/she wants to use. There are many options for both web browsers and web search engines.

In this article, we are discussing some of the most popular examples of search engines that are widely used across the world on various devices for specific purposes. Here, we are only focusing on web search engines, not video search engines like YouTube. Before discussing the examples of search engines, let us first briefly discuss the definition of a search engine.

What is a Search Engine?

By the definition, “a search engine refers to an online software or tool designed to help users find information based on input queries by searching through millions of websites on the Internet with related links.

Simply put, a search engine is a specialized website that enables users to navigate through the World Wide Web (part of the Internet) to find relevant information according to a given query, phrase, or keyword. It is also known as a web search engine and internet search engine.


Search engines keep refreshing the data on their database, and look for relevant information from the database when the user searches. The results are sorted using a unique search algorithm, creating an ordered list. A web page containing such a filtered list of results is called a SERP (search engine results page).

Note: Archie is considered to be the oldest search engine, but it cannot be compared with the standard of today's search engines. It was jointly created by three computer science students: Alan Emtage, Bill Heelan, and J. Peter Deutsch. They were students at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and introduced the tool on September 10, 1990. This led to the rise of other search engines like Excite, Lycos, Infoseek, Yahoo, Google, and so on.

What are examples of Search Engines?

With the availability of a wide range of content on the web, everyone wants to have a smooth research experience on the World Wide Web. Over time many search engines have come into existence, each with its own unique features. However, Google Search is the most well-known and widely used name in the modern era, making it the world's leading search engine at present. However, for some people, this may not be the best. Luckily, there are many other options.

Below, we discuss some of the most common names or examples of search engines that are widely used nowadays:


Examples of Search Engines

Google Search

As discussed above, Google Search is a search engine developed and managed by a leading international brand or company named Google. As of 2023, it is the most popular search engine and has achieved over 90% market share among search engines. Since Google search is the choice of most of the users around the world, it is also the center of focus for SEO and marketing experts.

Google Search was initially developed by two computer scientists, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It was originally launched in 1998 under the name Backrub, which was soon changed to Google. Since then, Google Search has undergone many improvements and several algorithms have been updated to ensure the best results and experience for the end user.

Google Search comes as the default web search engine in most web browsers, including Google Chrome. To make its wide presence and compete in this technological era, Google has also launched the application of Google Search for various platforms, including Android and iOS.

Although Google search is the most commonly used search engine, many people do not prefer to use it due to their privacy concerns as Google tracks various data and activities across its services to improve its products.

Microsoft Bing

As the name suggests, Bing is a web search engine developed by the American software company Microsoft. It is one of the primary competitors of Google Search, and even outperforms Google Search in some aspects. Microsoft has started working to improve its services based on the views and interests of the users. The company has recently discontinued its popular web browser Internet Explorer. Later, it came out with a completely new browser called Edge. Like its predecessor Internet Explorer, Microsoft's Edge browser also uses Bing as its default search engine.


With Windows 11 using Edge as its default browser, Bing's market share is growing as the new version of Windows OS (i.e., Win 11) is being used by a wider range of people. Developed and launched in 2009, Bing's journey didn't go quite as planned. An interesting fact about Bing is that it has gone through many names like MSN Search, Windows Live Search, and Live Search.

Bing was created with the hope that it could surpass rival search engines, notably Google Search. But, despite garnering worldwide attention, things didn't work out that way. Nevertheless, Bing is considered to have the second-largest market share of web searches worldwide after Google. The features provided by Bing are quite similar to those of Google Search. It also shows results in different formats under different categories including web, images, videos, news, maps, etc.

Yahoo! Search

Before Google, Yahoo used to be a top leader in the industry, providing most of the internet-related services. Some such essential services of Yahoo include Yahoo Search, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo News, Yahoo Dictionary, Yahoo Maps, etc. However, after the introduction of Google's similar services, Yahoo's market share saw a significant decline, and Google became the leader in almost no time.

Prior to Google Search, Yahoo! Search was the most popular, convenient, and reliable search engine. It was developed in 1994 by two graduate students at Stanford University in California, Jerry Yang, and David Filo. Yahoo! Search is credited in some way with providing user interface ideas for other search engines that followed.

Although Yahoo! Search is not as widely used as compared to Google Search, it is still active, including many other Yahoo services. It is still listed among the top 5 search engines worldwide. In addition, Yahoo Search's market share among search engines is considered to be the third in the US. However, it is also believed that soon other search engines, especially DuckDuckGo, may dominate it.


Some argue that Yahoo lost out to Google because it could not update its products or services according to user and time demand. Besides, a negative point about Yahoo! Search was that it relied primarily on others for a very long time to power its searchable index and web crawling. Simply put, Yahoo! Search depended on other search engines or similar services, including Inktomi, Overture, and even Google and Bing. It created the image of Yahoo! Search only as a directory rather than a typical search engine, which was developed to index links from other platforms while only managing the user interface of the results page.

Ask.com

Ask.com (formerly called Ask Jeeves) is a search engine with a slightly different approach. It is mainly based on a specialized question-answering platform, which enables people to enter questions and get relevant answers. Founded in 1996 by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen as Ask Jeeves, it was renamed Ask.com in 2006.

Initially, most questions on this forum were answered by other users. However, nowadays similar questions are linked to existing resources and therefore answers are often obtained from its vast archive collection. Because of this, the results are often not as up-to-date as what we usually get with Google Search.

In addition to gathering results from its archives, users' queries are also answered by other users. However, in order to keep itself up to date, Ask.com also uses some anonymous and outsourced third-party search providers to link users to a wide range of domains with relevant information like any other typical search engine. However, this is usually done when existing sources or archives do not contain answers to users' queries.


Unfortunately, this search engine only provides results in web format. With Ask.com, we don't get relevant results in other formats, such as images, videos, news, etc., in different categories like Google or Bing search engines offer. Also, most of the time, the quality of results is not good as results are often derived from archive data and answered by other users who may not be professional to give correct answers.

DuckDuckGo

When it comes to privacy while searching the web, DuckDuckGo (DDG) as a search engine is the best solution. This search engine gained popularity mainly because of its promise of not storing any personal data of the users. It helps users stay private as it offers multiple privacy settings, such as private search, tracker blocking, site encryption, and so on.

The DuckDuckGo search engine was introduced in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg. It was not intended to beat Google Search or any other search engine; instead, it was developed with the thought that there should be an alternative to the search engine for those concerned about their privacy. Don't get confused between a web browser and a search engine as DuckDuckGo's web browser is also available for mobile platforms like Android and iOS. It is believed that it will soon launch its desktop browser. However, DuckDuckGo's web browser also uses its own search engine, the DuckDuckGo Search Engine.

Although DuckDuckGo is not as widely used as Google Search, the results obtained for users' queries are often similar and reliable to those of Google Search. It has partnered with Yahoo, Bing, and Yummly to continue providing its services while maintaining privacy. Although it earns revenue from the Yahoo-Bing search alliance network and affiliates, it does not overload the search results page with advertisements. The user interface is clean, and results are provided in categories such as text, images, videos, news, and maps.


Yandex

Like Google or Baidu, Yandex is an ecosystem offering a combination of tools and services, including a web search engine, email, maps, analytics, translation, music, video, and more. It was introduced in 1997 by Russian developers named Arkady Volozh, Arkady Borkovsky, and Ilya Segalovich. However, it was already designed as a project in 1990 and filed for a patent under the company name Arkadia.

Although the Yandex search engine was launched primarily for Russian users, the search engine is also used outside Russia, notably in Ukraine, Turkey, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the respective countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The best thing about the Yandex search engine is that it is available in English, making it convenient to access it across the globe. Also, it provides category-wise results for the queries of the users. However, it also collects users' data and activity like Google to improve its services and serve relevant ads.

AOL Search

AOL Search is another well-known search engine from the very old times. In the 1990s, it used to be a top-ranked search engine and competed among the top five search engines at the time. AOL initially came into existence back in 1983, when it was established as a short-lived venture under the name Control Video Corporation (CVC). It was formed by William von Meister to provide Internet-related services, including email, a web browser, and a search engine.


In 1991, it was rebranded as America Online, and later in 2009, it was renamed AOL (often written as Aol). AOL Search was launched in 1999 and soon registered over 10 million user searches. AOL Search is said to have its roots attached to another search engine called NetFind. Although AOL Search is not widely used in the 21st century, it still deserves or secures its place in the list of top 10 search engines.

The user interface of the AOL search engine is clean and provides category-wise results, including text, images, news, etc. AOL has been rebranded and bought several times, most recently by Verizon Communications in 2015 for approximately $4.4 billion. The company is now also providing advertisement services to increase its revenue.

Ecosia

In 2009, the search engine named Ecosia was developed by Christian Kroll. Although similar to many other specialized search engines, the idea behind Ecosia was completely different. It was formed to help the environment and contribute to greenery through its revenue by planting trees, making it the world's largest not-for-profit-only search engine, and one of the biggest tree planters worldwide.

Like other search engines, Ecosia also depends on advertising revenue. However, it claims to use 80% of its profits earned from advertising revenue to plant trees. To put it another way, with about 45 searches in the Ecosia search engine, one can technically assist in the project of Ecosia's plantation. So, if you haven't used Ecosia, you haven't planted a tree!


Despite the eco-friendly concept, the search engine is not as powerful as Google Search or Bing. Although the text results can meet one's needs most of the time, Ecosia is not suitable for finding directions nearby. Maps section is present; but, it usually redirects the user to either Google or Bing to access the respective map services.

Brave Search

Like DuckDuckGo, Brave Search's main focus is privacy. Similarly, it also has its own web browser. By default, Brave Browser uses the Brave search engine to keep users' data secure and private. Both Brave products, a web browser and a search engine, are developed by Brave Software, which was founded in 2015 by Brendan Eich and Brian Bondy.

Brave Search is a web search engine that was first introduced in 2021 as a beta. It also announced an acquisition with Tailcat, a privacy-oriented search engine developed by Team Cliqz. However, it always uses its own independent built-from-scratch index to provide results for users' queries. To compete with others, it also offers some rewards programs to attract users to its services.

Some argue that Brave Search when used with the Brave browser has response times approximately three to six times faster than Google Search with Chrome. Additionally, it blocks ads within the content, blocks malware, blocks third-party scripts from tracking users' activities, and more. Hence, it would not be wrong to say that Brave Search has provided a private, free, and user-centric alternative to Google Search for users.


Baidu

Baidu for China is like Google for the rest of the world. Since the Chinese government does not allow Google services in the nation, Baidu is the main provider of most Internet-based services there. It has always followed to operate as Google for the nation, offering many of the same services Google provides to the world. With a similar approach, the Baidu search engine has been developed.

Baidu was developed as a search engine in the year 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu. However, it is said that this search engine has its roots attached to an earlier search engine called RankDex, which was introduced by Robin Li in 1996. With continuous progress, it has become one of the leading search engines worldwide. In fact, it is the primary search engine in China.

Although the Baidu search engine is widely known, it is not used to such an extent except in some specific countries, such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, etc. The reason behind this is that the user interface has been designed keeping the Chinese language as the default language in mind. Although the language can be changed, most of the results in SERP will still be in Chinese, making it inconvenient for many users around the world.

Note: It is to be noted that Baidu and many other Chinese services were banned in India in 2020 due to some security reasons, and hence this search engine is no longer available for Indian users. Since Baidu is no longer available to use in India, one may also refer to Info.com as another search engine. Nevertheless, there are still many more search engines pending on this list, and even new ones are being developed regularly.


Links to Access Listed Search Engines

The following table lists all the above-mentioned search engines along with their official website links that one can access using any modern web browser on their device:

Search Engine Official Website
Google Search Click Here
Microsoft Bing Click Here
Yahoo! Search Click Here
Ask.com Click Here
DuckDuckGo Click Here
Yandex Click Here
AOL Search Click Here
Ecosia Click Here
Brave Search Click Here
Baidu Click Here

Summary

A search engine is nothing but a medium of our go-to tools for information search and navigation on the web. However, when we know a specific domain name and address from which we wish to access the information, we can navigate directly to the domain site through a web browser without the need for a search engine. Nevertheless, nowadays most of the people are completely dependent on search engines to research and seek knowledge. So, it would not be wrong to say that search engines have become a part of human daily life.


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