Have you thought about what life would be like without Google? Less convenient, sure, but there would also be a lot less tracking and monitoring geared towards your online presence. Even when you perform a simple Google search you’re being tracked.
Not sure everything Google search is capable of? Tap or click here for seven things you didn’t know Google could do.
Like Facebook, Google has become a veritable dump of data-collection. And with Google’s digital footprint, it can quickly feel like there’s no escape from the tech giant. Fortunately, there are other search engines out there that take privacy more seriously than Google does. Here are four of the best options.
DuckDuckGo may have a silly name, but the primary aim of the site is actually quite serious. It wants to be the search engine of choice for the privacy-minded. DuckDuckGo offers a browser extension that works to make browsing across sites safer. And DuckDuckGo promises to never record your personal information, period. If privacy is your number one concern with Google, DuckDuckGo is the search engine alternative to consider.
StartPage is another search engine focused on privacy. However, StartPage’s answer to this problem is different from DuckDuckGo’s: StartPage actually pays Google for use of its search algorithm but strips out all the tracking and advertising that usually comes along with it.
StartPage aims to give you a comparable searching experience to Google but with the simple promise that your data will be your data, never to be sold or manipulated.
DogPile is a different kind of search engine from Google altogether. On Google, the site uses an algorithm to sort through billions of individual entries, i.e. webpages, while DogPile is a metasearch engine that fetches results from multiple different search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
So instead of just looking for a piece of content online and using Google’s search algorithm to locate it, DogPile will search for your request with different algorithms employed by its supported search providers.
Ecosia takes a different approach to search. Instead of not offering advertisements or meta searching, Ecosia is a traditional search engine that takes its ad revenue and uses it to plant trees. In effect, by searching on Ecosia you’re helping to plant trees all around the world, targeted toward areas that need it most.
To date, Ecosia has planted over 100 million trees, and by searching with Ecosia you can help the tree-planting effort from home and entirely for free! Plus, it never sells your data to advertisers, has no third-party trackers, and will anonymize all searches within one week. It’s definitely privacy-friendly.
Alternative search providers often take things in a different direction altogether from Google. Some, like DuckDuckGo, try to replace Google entirely with a more secure search, while others like StartPage focus on providing the same search experience you know and love, only safer.
In each case, these search engines allow you to do things that are impossible with Google, and no matter what, if you aren’t searching on Google your information won’t be collected.
Wonder what else is wrong with Google that is causing some people to look for alternatives? Tap or click here for a report that describes Google’s preferential treatment of certain sites.