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8 Alternative Search Engines for 2023

Many challengers have tried to dethrone Google as the world’s dominant search engine.

Google is the search engine that most people prefer. As of October 2022, Google commanded over 83% of the global desktop search engine market.

Liz Reid, VP of search at Google, recently stated that Google has over a billion daily users.

Google83.78%
Bing9.89%
Yahoo2.55%
Yandex1.22%
DuckDuckGo0.85%
Baidu0.58%
Desktop Search Engine Market Share Worldwide – October 2022
Source: Statcounter

In a 2012 letter to investors, then C.E.O. of Google, Larry Page, wrote, “when our products don’t work, or we make mistakes, it’s easy for users to go elsewhere because our competition is only a click away.”

But former Google executive and alternative search engine co-founder Sridhar Ramaswamy told Freakonomics podcast host Steven Dubner it’s not as easy to become a competitor to Google.

“I joke to people that there’s a three-part formula for search. Part one, make a copy of the internet. Part two, figure out what is useful. And part three, whenever someone types in a query, you give them the top ten results, ideally within 500 milliseconds.”

Sridhar Ramaswamy speaking to Steven Dubner

Alternative Search Engines

Here are some of the Google challengers that have sprung up over the years. Can any of these competitors make a dent in Google’s dominance?

DuckDuckGo

The launch of DuckDuckGo was in 2008. Fourteen years later, the search engine has less than one percent of the global desktop market — at least according to Statcounter.

The company points out that the number of people who use DuckDuckGo can only be estimated.

Bing

Microsoft launched Bing in 2009. Despite Microsoft’s massive marketing budget, Bing has one-eighth the desktop market share of Google.

Yahoo!

The launch of the original Yahoo! Search was in 1995. Yahoo! Search has been using Bing as its search engine since 2009. Yahoo has less than two-and-a-half percent of the global desktop search market today.

You

In 2021, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff invested $20 million in a search engine called You. But, after a year, You.com is not yet on the adoption map.

Yep

In June 2022, SEO platform provider Ahrefs announced a beta version of its search engine Yep.

Ahrefs CEO Dmytro Gerasymenko presented a business model stating that Yep will share 90% of its advertising profits with content creators.

The idea is that content creators won’t have to plaster their sidebars with ads and their body text with affiliate links. Paywalls will no longer be needed. Writers won’t need to survive on donations as Wikipedia does.

Instead of writing clickbait articles, creators can focus on publishing quality content.

Neeva

Neeva is a search engine company co-founded by the above-mentioned Sridhar Ramaswamy, former SVP for advertising and commerce at Google. The company has introduced a subscription model to search.

The website states that in a blind test, 9 of 10 people preferred Neeva over Google.

Timpi

Another would-be challenger is Timpi, which is riding the wave of decentralization. The engine is built on a multi-chain. People worldwide can contribute to the engine in various capacities and earn rewards in the form of $TIMPI tokens.

As of the date of this post, the search engine has been announced but not launched.

Metaphor

Metaphor has a unique approach to helping people find information. Its search engine is based on generative AI.

Prompts take the place of search queries. The search results for a product category prompt we tried are vendor URLs rather than a traditional list of product review articles from high-ranking domains with titles like “Top 20 Best Marketing Automation Software Comparison for 2023.”

Metaphor SERP for Marketing Automation Prompt

To use Metaphor, you need to log in via Discord.

Can any of these engines dethrone Google?

Most of Google’s search engine competitors strongly emphasize data protection and privacy.

Chrome users can use these as their browser’s default search engine. So, as Page noted in 2012, it is easy for users to go elsewhere.

There has been slight erosion of Google’s global market share in desktop search. Statcounter reports a dip from 86.03% in October 2021 to 83.4% in October 2022. Bing’s share increased from 7.2% to 9.92% during the same period.

Google’s longevity as a search engine has resulted in much utility beyond text results. For example, many rely on Google Maps for travel to personal and business destinations. A lot of users rely on Google’s video and image results.

Google’s dominance may slowly erode. But there’s nothing yet to indicate a quantum shift to one or more alternative engines.

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