Best Search Engines On The Web

Thomas Gilham
The internet is filled with many search engine choices. Some of us may have simply latched onto the search engine recommended by pre-installed platforms when we first purchased our computers. If you were unaware that the world of search engines has more to offer, buckle up. We’re going to take a look at some of the most popular search engines being used today and break down what makes them awesome as well as some of their cool features.




Heading our list, Google is incomparably the best and most used search engine in the world. Google’s search algorithm was created by Sergey Brin and Larry Page while still students at Stanford University. In 1998, two years after the creation of the algorithm dubbed BackRub, Brin, and Page launched the Google company, going on to become a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Why it’s awesome:

One of the things that makes this search engine so amazing is the significant number of sites that it indexes. With over one trillion sites indexed, Google search ensures that search results will have a high probability of giving you the information you are looking for as well as additional sources to compare.

Googles massive server sizes allow for quick and efficient search results that are likely to give you the most relevant websites in relation to the information requested.

Cool Features:

In addition to a standard search engine, Google also has specialized search tools such as:

Google ScholarAccess full-text scholarly literature with this search engine

Images: Allows users to search for image content satellite imagery, three hundred and sixty-degree panoramic views of streets, route planning and other map-related features.

News: News articles from thousands of publishers and magazines where users can customize the flow.

Books: With over twenty-five million scanned book titles, users can use this feature to search the full text of books and magazines scanned.

Flights: This feature helps users search for and book flights via third-party suppliers.





Once the most popular search engine in the U.S, Yahoo also has its roots in Stanford University where it was created in 1994 by two graduate students David Filo and Jerry Yang. This search engine started out as a directory to help web users to find websites based off an organized hierarchy. In fact, the name Yahoo is an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle”.

Today Yahoo is considered the fourth largest search engine in the U.S., offering a wide range of services and features. It also has a large international presence with its search interface being available in more than thirty-five countries.

Why it’s awesome:

A notable feature Yahoo offers is its access to Link-from-domain. This feature allows the web search to provide the exact number of Wikipedia articles related to a specific website. This feature is not available with Google.

Another cool feature is the ‘anytime’ search option that allows you to narrow your search results based off of the time the web-page was published. With this feature, you can filter searches posted anytime, the past day, the past week, or the past month.

Cool Features:

Answers: This community-driven feature allows users to submit questions to be answered by other users and to also answer questions submitted by users.

Recipes: Allows users to search through an index of recipes.

Sports: Stay up to date on the latest sports news as well as search for past scores and sports-related articles.

Mail: Allows users to create a free email account hosted through Yahoo.



Bing, a newer search engines, is actually a re-brand of three older Microsoft search engines. In an effort to create a new identity for their search engine, MSN search, Windows Live Search, and Live Search, officially became known as Bing in 2009. The name was chosen using a focus group to create a name that was short, memorable, and would make a good global URL.

The third largest search engine in the US, even Yahoo uses this search engine for the majority of its searches. Apple also dropped Google as its search engine provider in favor of using Bing, solidifying Bing as a major player in this industry.

Why it’s awesome:

Bing offers a variety of search options that set it above even the most popular search engine, Google. Easy access to licensed photo searching makes searching for images to use in work or school projects simple. The licensed option is prominent and not hard to locate.

Cool features:

Daily changing of background images: These images stunning high-resolution photos of places around the world, animals, people and sports and also include education snippets about the image.

Mathematical calculations: Serves as a high powered calculator

Translator: Allows users to translate entire texts or websites into different languages. This translator is user facing and powered by Microsoft.




DuckDuckGo was launched in 2008 by its creator Gabriel Weinberg. Weinberg was influenced by the popular children’s game Duck Duck Goose in naming the search engine. Unlike Yahoo, there is no additional meanings or metaphors other than Weinberg simply liking the name.

Why it’s awesome:

Although this search engine is advertising supported, users have the option to turn off ads, making DuckDuckGo stand out among its competition. Avoiding personalized search results, this search engine protects users privacy by not profiling its users. Their emphasis on protecting user privacy is one of the search engines bigger draws.

With other search engines, users may not receive the same search results as a different user, even if they are entering in the same search terms. This is based on gathering user information and search patterns to generate results. This search each provides the same results for each user.

Cool features:

Instant Answers: This feature is displayed on the top of the search page and includes relevant results pertaining to your search.

Voice Search: Allows users to search indexes using voice commands.

Bangs: “!Bang” commands allow users to search for results on specific third-party websites.
Privacy Browser: This feature protects users by rating websites based on their privacy practices and blocking web trackers. It also makes websites use HTTPS, ensuring the user’s privacy.




Dogpile was created in by Aaron Flin in 1995 and eventually became the acquisition of System1. Dogpile is a meta-search engine that uses data from other search engines to make its own results. This search engine pulls its data from multiple sources such as Yandex, Google, and Yahoo.

Why it’s awesome:

Multiple search engines can yield immensely different results. If you’re only using one search engine to find answers to your queries, you may not be aware of this problem. The benefit of a meta-search engine is that you’re able to access the data from multiple search engines while only searching through one.

Cool features:

Favorite Fetches: This feature shows recent and popular searches from other users.

IntelliFind: Users can see additional content based off of their original search term.

Search Filter: This feature comes in handy when you want to block potentially explicit content for multimedia searches.

Are You Looking For?: Users are offered spelling suggestions for possibly misspelled words as well as related keywords.




Another site founded by Stanford students, Excite made its way onto the internet scene in December of 1995. Initially, before accessing websites found using this search engine, users were taken to reviews of the sites written by paid journalists. This format was eventually ditched as it was seen to be too diverting to users.

Why it’s awesome:

Although nowhere near the powerhouse that is the Google search engine and some of its competitors Excite still offers comprehensive search options such as images, news, video, and flight fares. This search engine is available in ten different countries including the US.

Cool features:

Educational Portal: Users can search and apply to thousands of US-based universities for various degrees and online courses using this portal.

Tickets Portal: This feature allows users to search through thousands of events and buy tickets online.



The Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is like a supercharged yearbook for the internet. It was founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle to provide ‘universal access to all knowledge’ by granting users access to archived internet data. Users can upload and download digital material to the archive’s data cluster. So far, over twenty petabytes of information have been gathered.

Why it’s awesome:

This unique search engine allows you to travel back in time with the Weyback Machine to view websites, books, and audio files that may have been altered or are no longer active. To date, four hundred and forty-five billion web pages have been archived by this archive.

Cool features:

Archive-It: This feature is subscription based and allows users to build and preserve collections of digital content.

Weyback Machine: Users can view archived web pages with this feature.

Text Collection: Users can access millions of books archived from various libraries and cultural heritage institutions from around the world.




One of the pioneers of internet search engines, AOL was founded in 1983 but didn’t enter the internet search engine age until 1991. Prior to this, AOL was one of the largest providers for internet dial-up globally. Recently it was acquired by Verizon and over two point one million Americans still use AOL dial-up service.

Why it’s awesome:

AOL still gets the job done and will help users find exactly what they’re looking for. With multiple search features, users can customize searches.

Cool features:

Related Searches: This appears at the bottom of the search page and displays terms similar to the one the user entered.

Safe Search: Allows users to filter potentially explicit material.




This search engine started off as a research projected out of Carnegie Mellon University by Michael Loren Mauldin in 1994. By 1998 it was the most visited online destination in the world. Lycos has expanded beyond being a search centered portal and now has several network sites, including and Angelfire.

Why it’s awesome:

Weathering the ups and downs of the search engine gambit, Lycos has stood the test of time, with many of its features till retaining its old properties such as Whowhere and Tripod. This will appeal to users who don’t like the hassle of having to learn new interfaces that change frequently.

Cool features:

Whowhere: Allows users to search for people using a massive data index.

Angelfire: This feature provides blogging and web publishing tools as well as free web hosting.

Tripod: This feature also allows users access to free web hosting, blogging and web publishing tools.




Yippy, previously known as Clusty, is a meta-search engine created by Vivísimo. Its search engine technology was created by Carnegie Mellon University researchers.

Why it’s awesome:

Yippy offers an easy to read interface and the meta-search feature allows users to pull data from multiple search engines. Yippy has a Deep Web engine which allows the search engine to locate Deep Web pages that other search engines may miss.

Cool features:

Meta-search engine: Pulls results from multiple search engines.





This French search engine was launched in 2013 by creators Jean-Manuel Rozan, Éric Leandri and Patrick Constant. In 2015 Qwant Lite was launched, offering users a faster and lighter version of Qwant that is compatible with older browsers and computers that aren’t as powerful.

Why it’s awesome:

Qwant protects its users from third-parties gaining information on their search histories. This is based largely in part to tough European privacy laws as well as regulations by the French government.

Cool features:

Twenty-six interface languages: Allows non-French speaking users access to the search engine and its features.

News: Provides up to date news articles from various sources.

Images: Search a vast index of images and filtering options.



Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha was created by Wolfram Alpha, LLC in 2009. Instead of providing a list of websites that might contain the answer to your search, Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that answers queries directly using externally sourced data.

Why it’s awesome:

This search engine can provide expert level answers on queries related to a wide range of subjects. The examples listed on their homepage are categories such as mathematics, science and technology, society and culture, and everyday life.

Cool features:

Problem Generator: Instantly generates answers to questions providing step by step solutions.

Web Apps: Users can download apps from fitness to finance, getting faster responses to their questions.

Wolfram Alpha Pro: A subscription service that provides users with richer results.




Ask began as a search engine called Ask Jeeves created in 1996 by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen. A helpful valet character named Jeeves was used to fetch answers to any question asked. The goal was ease of use by allowing users to ask questions in the regular language they used day to day.

Why it’s awesome:

Staying true to its roots of providing answers to questions in everyday language, Ask has a Q&A community that allows users to get an answer from real people. In the event your query cannot be answered, Ask draws data from a third party search provider.

Cool features:

AskEraser: Allows users to protect their privacy by erasing their search results.

Q&A community: An online community where users can ask questions that are answered by other users and also answer the questions submitted by other users.




Webopedia was founded in 1996, serves as an online dictionary that provides data on information technology and computing definitions.

Why it’s awesome:

Perfect for IT professionals, students, and educators, Webopedia’s goal is to provide definitions that are easily understood by all. They try not to use heavy jargon that may confuse readers. The definitions are frequently updated as technology advances to reflect trends in these fields.

Cool features:

Study Guides: This feature is designed to help high school and college students prepare for science exams and quizzes.

Slide Shows: Popular topics are presented in a fun and informative way with these slides.




Baidu is a Chinese based search engine that has risen in ranks to become the second largest search engine in the world. Launched in 2000 by creator Robin Li, Baidu’s name means ‘a hundred times’ and is a quote from the classical Chinese poem ‘Green Jade Table in The Lantern Festival’.

Why it’s awesome:

Baidu allows users to search using Chinese language search terms to generate a vast array of websites and services. This search engine has many of the same features as its counterpart Google, making it the premier search engine for those using the Chinese language.

Cool features:

Baidu Space: Users can create personalized homepages in this query-based searchable community.

Baidu Library: Allows users to upload and share documents online.

Baidu Statistics Search: Users can search volume and trend for keywords and phrases with this feature.




As you can see, there are many choices for search engines out there. You are not limited to the search engine pre-installed on your browser. Hopefully, this information gives you the courage to try a different search engine today. You may find there’s something out there that fits your needs better than what you’re currently using. In any event, it’s a good idea to bookmark the search engines listed, so that if your search engine isn’t giving you the results you need, you can have alternative resources.

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