At ROI.COM.AU we’re all about scouring the online world for what’s making waves, shaping how real life people connect, no matter the distance.
In this particular post we’ve focused on search engines both new and old that have had great influence on how people obtain information online.
These are some great tools you can use to get exactly what you’re after, from community approved sources to pure visuals.
Check out each of our employee reviews to get candid opinions on each of our 14 featured search engines.
Dogpile by Brett
Dogpile is not actually a search engine itself, rather it collates the results from other popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
It is powered by Metasearch technology which aims to provide the best combination of results from other search engines.
Advanced internet users will sometimes struggle to find exactly what they want with Google.
So they move on to Bing, then Yahoo! until they come across the perfect result.
Dogpile takes the hassle out of jumping between websites by listing the most popular results from a range of search engines.
Every search engine has developed their own unique algorithm, which creates the difference in search results.
Dogpile is one for the nostalgic.
It has been around since 1995 and was developed by Aaron Flin.
It is ranked as the 770th most popular website in 2010 – with approximately two million unique visitors each month.
Personally, I have never been let down by Google.
My general theory in life is that if I can’t find it on Google, it doesn’t exist.
I haven’t found exceptions to my rule thus far – but maybe if I used dogpile I would. Woof woof.
Giphy by Nadia
Founded in 2013, this engine’s inception occurred over a breakfast conversation about the rise of “visual communication” amongst the youth.
Fast forward three years later and Giphy has made its mark on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, allowing account holders to embed gifs on their personal pages.
Giphy in its simplest form is a search engine of gifs; basically, files coded and organized in such a way that they appear animated when viewed online.
Imagine it, an unlimited search engine of visuals provided by the public based on cult films, cartoons, home videos, personal illustrations, all based on any keyword you can think of.
Giphy is the Google of moving pictures, only x100 more hypnotic.
Understandably, this engine is wildly popular with the young crowd of tech savvy professionals.
My last work place attached “Giphy Roulette” to their Slack channel so if anyone typed in the words “bat” or “man”, a Batman gif would appear.
Statistics show that online videos result in more engagement than traditional images.
The same goes for gifs.
Hence, with partnerships with global brands such as Universal Studios, Disney and GE, all asking for gif contributions for their campaigns, the longevity of the company appears both secure AND lucrative.
Creative Commons by Nadia
Creative Commons might not sound like familiar words but the acronym of “CC” should indicate what they’re all about.
This search engine is run by the international copyright authority that polices use of intellectual property around the world.
The engine itself, however is a shared media space where people can search for videos, pictures and audio files to use for their own work without fear of breaching copyright laws.
Its goal is to monitor the use of intellectual property as well as ensure a standard is met in respecting IP rights.
From all faculties ranging from illustration to biology, this is the perfect site for those wanting to obtain and repurpose quality assets to suit their artistic and academic endeavors.
With the rapid production of content on the internet, protecting the property rights of creators is a feat that bodies like Creative Commons must engage in.
Thus, as the law begins to evolve to answer the call of intellectual property in an online world, this search engine shall hopefully remain popular to maintain a standard that all people online should adhere to.
Yandex by Nadia
Founded in 1997, Yandex is, in short, Russia’s answer to Google.
Being the largest search engine in Russia and the 4th largest in the world, they’re not doing too bad, especially considering that they own about 60% of the market share in their homeland.
Not only that but they’re also opening headquarters in Switzerland and China, showing no indication of slowing down.
The company is also currently buying out tech startups that specialize in online security, geolocation and have begun filming a biopic of their origins, showing a desire to expand and stand on an equal footing with Google, but specializing in the east.
The Yandex website can be translated into all languages and is often used by Chinese and Eurasian businesses who seek to build relationships with other Russian firms, attesting to Yandex’s internationalism.
The searches are quite streamlined, as opposed to Google where thousands of results can pop up.
Despite being an international student, I always used Google, yet I can imagine that this was due to my cultural surroundings.
If I was however in Eurasia or Russia, I’m sure Yandex would be my go to search engine without a doubt. A true contender.
Boardreader by Nadia
If you’re savvy as to how commercial bodies get to the top of search engine listings (*whispers* SEO) and prefer publications that are community approved, then Boardreader is for you.
All search results that are pulled through are purely from forums, message boards and community sites such as Reddit, Quora and 4chan, where discourse and conversation by the masses occur.
This is perfect for those who are after a bit of transparency in their searches, away from all the frills of commercial pages.
Founded in 2000 by Michigan engineering students, the site was created to address the lack of search engines catering to real community conversations, aiming to connect “human to human” discussions that happen on the internet every day; making the internet a bit more personal.
While I have no problem with using Google and using a healthy dose of critical thinking to separate the gold from the dirt, I reckon I could see myself using broad reader from a professional perspective to see what the public truly think about particular topics in real time.
IxQuick by Nadia
Founded in the late 90’s, IxQuick is a unique search engine, with headquarters in New York and the Netherlands.
Almost like the “Incognito” mode of Google, IxQuick is a search engine that keeps all your details private.
While users can customize particular preferences for their searches, these will be deleted within 90 days of inactivity on the site.
However, you can be rest assured that search results will be thoroughly comprehensive as it’s connected to Google.
IxQuick has been awarded with a “European Privacy Seal” and is the first and only EU approved search engine.
While I’m not sure what that means, or why the EU is so impressed by this (are Europeans particularly secretive?) I suppose the engine would be good if you’re planning on doing to surreptitious research that you’d rather not share or if you’d just like to remain “off the grid” for a bit.
I personally would struggle to remember the same though. Perhaps some rebranding could do the company good seeing as privacy is becoming more and more of an issue in today’s digital age.
DuckDuckGo by Mark
DuckDuckGo, founded in 2008 advertises itself as “The Search Engine that doesn’t track you.”
Name originates from the kids game Duck Duck Goose. Direct searches : 11,600,000 per day average in Oct 2016.
- Doesn’t profile its users
- Shows all users the same search results
- Emphasizes getting information from the best sources rather than the most sources.
- Generates search results from crowdsourcing sites such as Wikipedia and partnerships with Yandex, Yahoo, Bing and Yummly.
- Only information kept by DDG is logs of all search terms used.
- Bangs – the ability to search on specific websites related to the search. Example type in starwars and it will automatically direct user to Wookiepedia.
- Instant Answers – Intended to provide what the user is searching for on the page itself so it doesn’t have to click a link to find it.
Clean look with minimal advertising. No images, no PLA’s, maps or inbuilt DDG products.
Infinite scrolling so no ranking pages.
I enjoyed using the site as it’s not as cluttered as Google.
If you are used to searching on Google and set in your ways then the DDG isn’t for you.
DDG is growing year on year and is now seen as a genuine search engine competitor to Google.
Whilst it doesn’t have the reach of Google what it offers is a clean search experience that invites the user to find what they are after without the fear of having every movement tracked.
The issue is new users finding DDG and it doesn’t have the same level of features or intuition of Google
Vimeo by Ben
Founded in 2004, Vimeo rapidly grew as a video –sharing website, being the first of its kind to support high-definition video.
With over 100 million unique views per month and upwards of 22 million registered users Vimeo follows YouTube and Facebook as one of the most popular places to share, upload and view videos.
Originally started as a creative channel for passionate filmmakers, like-minded people helped grow its community to develop it into the vast video-hosting site it has become.
Vimeo welcomes 11% of its traffic through mobile devices, and also enjoys a high volume of shares and impressions through the major social media platforms.
All of this makes Vimeo an ideal platform and tool for businesses within the digital and creative industries.
Companies and individuals can both gain exposure through shares, advertising and their niche sub-categories and use it as a search engine for insight into their interest area or industry.
With just a few searches you’ll soon see that Vimeo is not clogged up with a lot of the irrelevant, amateur videography that can clog your YouTube feed.
Whilst YouTube dominates all video broadcasting and sharing and is the natural site of choice, I believe we could all benefit from turning to Vimeo when the time is right.
The range of intriguing channels and creative contributors make it a useful alternative particularly for professional research and requirements.
Quora by Luke
Quora is a community-driven website where people post questions to get advice from others in their industry.
It’s a place where you can ask specific questions on your topic, and get helpful answers from credible sources, such as entrepreneurs and CEO’s.
For example, Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, is highly active on Quora. He uses the platform to provide insightful answers to people asking questions related to his business.
Australian’s have been relatively slow to jump on the Quora bandwagon, but interest is growing in recent years.
So how can businesses jump on this trend?
The best way is to offer genuine answers to others who have questions related to your products.
By providing helpful answers, business owners can build their personal and professional brand.
Building a reputation as a thought leader on Quora can lead to networking opportunities and sales.
Ask.com by Rochelle
Ask.com, (aka Ask Jeeves) is a question answering focused e-business and web search, founded in June 1996 by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen in Berkerley, California.
The Ask.com headquarters is now based in Oakland, California, USA and is owned by a parent company called IAC Search and Media.
The original idea behind Ask Jeeves was to allow users to get answers to questions posed in everyday, natural language, as well as by traditional keyword searching.
Ask’s technology “looks at the Web differently”. Whereas Google’s PageRank ranks its search results by popularity, Ask has something it calls “ExpertRank”. Essentially this is an automated search algorithm (like Google has), but results are ordered using topic communities and editorial functions that create ‘Smart Answers’, where the top results in searches are determined by expertise – not popularity.
Whereas Google’s PageRank ranks its search results by popularity, Ask has something it calls “ExpertRank”.
Essentially this is an automated search algorithm (like Google has), but results are ordered using topic communities and editorial functions that create ‘Smart Answers’, where the top results in searches are determined by expertise – not popularity.
These days Ask.com (Jeeves) is ranked as the 4th most successful search engine on the web. This seems impressive until you consider that Google holds the top spot with 95% of the market.
Ask.com reaches 100 million global users per month through its website, with more than 2 million downloads of its flagship mobile app.
In 2010, Ask.com abandoned the search industry, because it could not compete against more popular search engines such as Google.
Ask.com bills itself as a Q&A site, but behind this facade it is no different from any other lowly search engine like Viewzi or the one with the dog.
Wolfram Alpha by Rob
Wolfram Alpha is a search engine that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from externally sourced “curated data”, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer a search engine such as Google might.
The site builds a portfolio of automated and manual methods, including statistics, visualization, source cross-checking, and expert review.
This allows you to build queries and compare datasets to find specific factual
For example, searching for “Am I drunk”, will prompt you with the following dialog where it prompts you to enter “Number of Drinks”, “Time”, “Body Weight” and “Gender” and allows you to find more specific answers.
Slideshare by David
Slideshare was launched in October of 2006, and acquired by LinkedIn in 2012. In its preliminary stages Slideshare was considered to be similar to Youtube but for slideshows rather than Videos.
Slideshare is a Web 2.0 based slide hosting service.
Users can upload either PPT, PDF, Keynote or OpenDocument presentations up onto the website, either privately or publicly.
Slideshare original intention was to enable businesses to share slideshows among employees more readily, but has since evolved and some slide shows are merely uploaded for entertainment purposes.
Users can comment, rate, and share the uploaded content.
In regards to the longevity and personal opinion, the slideshares on offer seem to be quite appealing, but videos are generally more watchable than a slide show, allowing the users to engage more with the content.
In a world that grows increasingly impatient when denied instant gratification, a slideshow is not the best way to quickly convey information.
Bing by Cate
Bing is a search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. Launched mid-2009, Bing replaced Microsoft’s Live Search and as of November 2015, Bing is the 2nd largest search engine utilised in the USA behind Google.
Bing offers search results for web, video, image and map searches as well as instant predictable answers on sports, finance, conversion, mathematical, dictionary, product, health, flight tracking queries, and more.
Local information is offered regarding business listings, current traffic, people listings, collections, restaurants, services, reviews, and more.
Not to mention the Bing translator allows for seamless language translation, keeping the internationalism alive.Its influence is exhibited with its inclusion in Windows 8.1, Bing ‘Smart Search’ reaches and its use by most Windows users.
Its influence is exhibited with its inclusion in Windows 8.1, Bing ‘Smart Search’ reaches and its use by most Windows users.
Regarding its future, Bing is set to continue to grow, by being built in with Windows. It’s currently the 2nd largest search engine behind Google, Bing is a significant competitor in the world of search engine competition.
I like how Bing offers suggested searches, topics and articles for you to browse when you don’t know what you’re looking for. This differentiates it from Google for me, as it becomes a form of entertainment rather than just information.
Addictomatic by Jessica
This search engine prides itself on providing users with the latest information regarding their searches.
Once a query is provided, results appear under a variety of tabs from online channels where the topic is trending.
You may get a twitter tab with top posts featuring your search, or a WordPress tab where your query has featured in a variety of articles.
Other tabs included in a search performed by myself included Flickr results, Youtube, and Bing News (amongst a plethora of others).
After your search you can customize the sources that the engine pulls from, providing more control for the user.
The whole idea of the engine is to provide the BEST results available regarding your query as well as allow freedom for the user to tailor their results to their tastes.
Users can even suggest sources they want their material to come from!
This would be a great tool for businesses who want to see who has blogged about them, however though it’s a great tool, it certainly sits in the shadow of bigger companies like Google and Bing, something that could be used to a business’ advantage in ascertaining the effect of their performance amongst the public, or to even see what people are saying about their competitors!