Search Engines Other than Google

These tools are essential and part of the internet. A search engine provides an easy and convenient way to search for anything and all sorts of information. The search engine is your way to find “whatever you ever need to see”. Google is the most relevant and widely used search engine currently. Many devices come with Google as the primary search engine, and many people choose to continue using Google due to its’ fast speed and reliable results. Yet despite that, there are plenty of alternative search engines. Engines that fulfill the same functionality as Google and possibly surpass it. Some search engines even include alternative features to overtake Google.

What are Search Engines?

To explain how Google has risen to the top of the market, we must first define what a search engine does. The internet consists of billions of websites. Search engine companies utilize “spiders” to scan and catalog websites by downloading them and following every link on the website. The content is then indexed. These indexes are similar to a database, and their only function is to store information on different topics that allow content to be easily made available during searches.

How Search Engines Function

Search engines scan the databases using the URL, keywords, and other qualifiers. A significant part of these searches and categories are based on the keywords, content, and website structures, but the Google algorithm has only continued to become more natural. Search engines use a wide variety of algorithms to sort and categorize the most relevant pages to the user. Practically, search engine companies have two aspects to them. The “spiders” and the database, and the search engine themselves, sort through the database and provide the most relevant information.

The article by goes further in-depth about search engines.

What Made Google so Successful?

So, with search engines defined, we can move on to explain what made Google so successful. As I’ve previously mentioned, the biggest and most widely used search engine is the one provided by Google. Despite Google’s expansion into many markets, they had started as a search engine company.

According to this article by Britannica, Google was started by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, who saw the opportunity to capitalize on a vast market. Rather than creating their website, they wanted to develop a way to catalog through existing sites to compete with existing search engines. The business was fine. Google was picking up traction and had amassed a decent consumer base. However, in 2000 usage exploded due to a partnership with Yahoo.

For four years, Google was the primary search engine that was used by Yahoo websites. After the end of the four-year partnership, Google had reached 200 million queries a day. This partnership had solidified Google’s spot on the internet. It had become the most widely used search engine through the partnership with Yahoo. And Google had kept up that momentum to solidify their place at the top of the market with three billion searches a day in 2011.

Googlers Search Success

Google’s success can be attributed to a simple insight into the market. Google got an early start in the market, and with a boost from Yahoo, rose to the top with their consistent performance. Having an early start in a market like this could be detrimental or the ultimate factor in your company’s success. Once again, a significant factor in Google’s success is having an early jump in the market. Despite competitors cropping up here and there, having an early start in the market and consistent performance allowed them to rise past the competition. Having an expansive database of websites would surely help attract people to use your engine instead of the competition.

Why Aren’t the Alternatives as Successful?

Google has a monopoly on the search engine market. According to Investopedia, Google owns 97.68% of the market share in the search engine department. Their biggest competitor, Yahoo, only owns 2.32% of the market share, meaning that the other competitors outside of Yahoo own fractions of 2.32%. With numbers this drastic, it’s hard for any competitor to break the mold and outdo Google, which is why it hasn’t happened and probably won’t happen any time soon.

The sheer grasp that Google search has on the market nearly locks out competitors. A towering tech giant that evolved from a simple search engine has enabled Google Search to be more widely used. Realistically, the only way for a competitor to outshine Google would be from outside influence. Google has a profound grasp on the market that competitors don’t choose to submit and compete for low market percentages.

There isn’t a tangible way for them to compete or Google be replaced. Be it from the government, stakeholders, etc. The only place where Google is not a dominant search engine is in China. China is the prime example of that. But anywhere Google isn’t banned or restricted, they have completely dominated the market.

How do the Alternatives Compare to Google?

The alternatives to Google are endless. There are countless alternatives to Google that provide nearly the same service at the same price and similar results. There are over 18 alternatives to Google Search, each of which has its own identity, use, purpose, etc., most notable are Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and countless others.

A lot of these engines have a particular trait about them that differentiates them from Google. For example, DuckDuckGo is focused on privacy and preserving user data from commercial uses, and allows the users’ search to target specific Wiki articles or other encyclopedias available on the internet. While these competitors are perfectly capable of comparing with Google’s results, they most likely can’t compete with Google. As I’ve previously stated, with how much of a grasp that Google has on the market, outdoing Google isn’t exactly possible without external influence. Google comes pre-installed on many devices, it’s the default engine on many browsers, and its’ power leads people to keep using it above any other competitors.

The only way for these competitors to make a dent in the market is to provide something that Google can’t, and so far, that hasn’t happened. While these competitors offer something unique while achieving similar results to Google Search, they aren’t enough to persuade the users. The main thing is about the competitors is that the value of their services can’t compete with how fast and efficient Google is in comparison. Despite having external features and quirks, there is no way for them to outshine Google at their own game.

Google’s Controversies

Google’s controversies involving privacy and data collection have made it re-think. Google had accusations of collecting data from user’s searches and service usage information and selling it to China.

“But their business model is to collect as much data about you as possible and cross-correlate it so they can try to link your online persona with your offline persona.” — A computer science researcher from Vanderbilt University.

Overall, Google’s slight hit on users did not affect their bottom line.

What can be Taken Away from the Situation?

The main takeaway from this is how Google Search’s monopoly on the market is. Owning a majority of the market is no easy feat, primarily related to the internet, where competing is much simpler. Another big takeaway is the importance of investing in a market early. If you can capitalize on a growing market, similarly to Google, it may lead to something grand. Google had done precisely that and expanded into the tech giant it is currently, offering more than 50 services on top of their bread and butter search engine. Despite the competition, Google still has a firm grasp on the online market due to its successful launch and continued performance.

Consistent performance and presence in the market allowed Google to come out on top after many years of competing with other search engines. Realistically, the only way for Google to be outdone is from outside influence from stakeholders, the government, etc. Despite the external features and quirks that these alternatives offer, it’s not enough to surpass the leading search engine already widely accepted and used. Despite the controversy, Google still hasn’t wavered in numbers at all. Overall, the biggest takeaway from Google’s situation is the importance of investing in a market early, dominating that market, and maintaining a hold of that market throughout the company’s lifespan. Google excelled in all of these so far, which is why they’re so successful now.

Originally published at on September 19, 2021.

A Seattle web design and online marketing agency that delivers high-end websites. A passion for web development and SEO.