When asked to name several search engines, most people would probably be able to name at least 3: Google, Bing and Yahoo!. The truth is that there are many other search engines as well as different types.
As the king of search engines, Google has refined and is still refining its search algorithms to give Googlers exactly what they’re looking for. Since its launch 23 years ago, Google has set the standard for search engines worldwide and continues to raise the bar.
Microsoft’s answer to Google. Descended from MSN Search and Windows Search Live, Bing is a neat and sleek reply to Google’s minimalist design. Its capabilities do not lose out to Google in the least, being integrated with all of Microsoft’s products. It also powers most of Yahoo! search since the new agreement in 2014.
Outside of Microsoft integrations, one of the reasons behind Bing’s popularity is that many Googlers also use Bing depending on what platform they’re using at the moment.
Older than Google and outlasting many other search engines since the first launch of Archie in 1990, Yahoo’s story is as interesting as it is embarrassing. The founders of Google actually attempted to sell Google for $1,000,000 in 1998, but were turned down. Since then, Yahoo! has lost continuously against Google on nearly every front.
Despite this, Yahoo remains the 3rd largest search engine, with a large percentage of users coming from FireFox.
As China’s main search engine, Baidu draws its market share from a large part of Chinese. As Google’s services remain banned from China, it is difficult to draw a fair comparison between the two. Notorious for its rampant advertising (97.7% of Baidu’s income comes from ads), Baidu has since made strides to improve its user-friendliness and continues to dominate China’s search market with 72.73% of market share.
Created before Google specifically for the Russian market, Yandex holds Russia’s majority share at 55% (Google has 45%). One of Yandex’s advantages is how it was created for the Russian language. Despite attempts, Google has not proven as effective in languages outside of English. Yandex is both Russian-based and comparable in standards to most of Google’s services.
One of the biggest arguments against Google is the lack of privacy. All of Google’s target search abilities are based on its huge database of online user behaviour. While exact user counts are unavailable due to lack of tracking, DuckDuckGo has seen a notable rise in number of searches since its launch in 2008 (56,256,596 daily searches on average as of March 2020).
Another of China’s search engine providers, Sogou’s main advantage is that it has integrated content from WeChat and QQ, the extremely popular social media networks. All 3 are owned by Tencent, China’s leading technological giant (closely followed by Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi).
Sogou’s main draw is from voice search and services 14.89% of China’s market.
Unlike the other search engines in this list, Ecosia champions an eco-environmental cause. This search engine donates 80% of its search ad profit to planting trees. While some people may argue that the Yahoo! and Bing algorithms it uses may not be as developed as Google’s, it still services over 92,000,000 of the environmentally conscious.
The 3rd of China’s top search engines, Shenma is a mobile-only service that acts as both an app-store and a portal to other platforms. With nearly all of China’s internet users on mobile, this strategy has enabled Shenma to snatch 4.45% of China’s search market, a share that continues to grow as it improves its algorithms.
South Korea’s search market seems to elude Google’s grasp. Language remains one of the biggest barriers, while layout preferences are a close second. South Korea’s searchers seem to prefer busier layouts than Google’s clean design. With images and banners and the most popular search topics included on the main page, Naver has managed to keep 70% of South Korea’s market share firmly in its corner.