Best Free Search Engine

Introduction

A rectangular text box lies near to the middle of your web browser and there is a search button to it's right. A user enters a query into the text box, hits the search button and... voila! The search returns various results scattered across the page. Wait, is that all? If you take a closer look, you can see that the search results are not limited on a single page, but across numerous pages with more than a million results. Ever wondered how do you get all this information right infront of your eyes? 

This is what search engines do. If search engines didn't exist, it would have been nearly impossible to find and locate various content of your choice across the web just by typing url's, because there are nearly or more than a billion url's and many more webpages. A search engine is a software that is designed to search information across the web.

How Search Engines Work?

Here's a simple idea of how a search engine works. There are 3 pieces of software that a search engine uses:- 

  • Spider software: This is a software robot that searches various internet pages, scans it's content and adds it to the search engine indices. This process is called Web crawling. To build it's list of words for the index, the spider starts out scanning the most popular webpages and heavily used servers, indexing various words within the page (especially the title, subheadings, meta tags and other words of relative importance), and also other links within the page. It then searches the pages within these links and the process repeats.
  • Index software: The information gathered by the spider software from the webpages is sent to the index software to be analyzed and stored. Therefore the software makes sense of the text, url's and other information gathered, then it stores the information in a useful way by assigning weight to each entry through various algorithms according to relevance of the text, encodes this information to save space, and finally records all this information to make it available and be found as quickly as possible by building hash tables.
  • Query software: This is actually the front-end of the search engine. When you type various keywords into the search engine (query) and click search, the search engine tries to match these words with relevant webpages. Actually the query software hashes the keyword into the table created by the index software, finds out the best matching words in these tables and thus the corresponding links to webpages are listed in the Search Engine Results Page [SERP]. More complex queries makes use of Boolean operators (AND, OR etc.) to extend and refine the terms of the search. 

Different results for various search engines? 

Since each search engine employ different algorithms and formulas for assigning weights to the words listed in it's index, and also different crawling habits for their spiders, a query for the same word on different search engines will produce different results across various pages. This is the reason why you don't get the same list of results and page order for Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing etc for the same search. 

6 reasons to find an alternative to Google Search Engine?
Google is the big daddy among all the search engines in the world. There are a million reasons why you should be using Google, and interestingly the same number of reasons why you should give other search engines a try.
  • Google's priority ranking system is based on the number of backlinks to judge how important a webpage is. Hence topic specific searches may not give you the best results on Google, and is dependent on the popularity of a website. 
  • Google is unreliable for searching deep web, referred content and searches are mainly limited to surface, visible web. 
  • Also the number of results for a specific query returned by Google is too many, most of which may not even match what we intended to get. Hence the quality of the search degrades.
  • Google search lists all kinds of results whether they are credible or not and hence you get a mixture of trustworthy and non trusthworthy results. 
  • The search engine has sparked privacy concerns all over the web by tracking your search habits and also displays 3rd party advertisements based on your surfing behaviour. Google also saves your search and clicks history. 
  • Here are the other criticisms of Google Search at Wikipedia

Discussion

Here we discuss about various excellent alternatives for Google search engine, each having their own specific goals and how they could be more useful to you in different ways.  

Note: This article is a stub only. I'll review all the search engines and update the article soon. 

To be Reviewed: -

Related Products and Links

You might want to check these categories too:-

Here's a list of related articles:-

Suggestions and Comments
If you have any suggestions and comments about various search engines do post it here in the Comments section. Your comments will help me to improve this article. Please help us by Rating this article. 

Editor
This category is maintained by volunteer editor George.J. Registered site visitors may contact me here.

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Comments

by Panzer on 25. July 2014 - 9:02  (117576)

"... YaCy is a free search engine that anyone can use to build a search portal for their intranet or to help search the public internet. When contributing to the world-wide peer network, the scale of YaCy is limited only by the number of users in the world and can index billions of web pages. It is fully decentralized, all users of the search engine network are equal, the network does not store user search requests and it is not possible for anyone to censor the content of the shared index ...":
http://yacy.net/en/

by Panzer on 4. June 2014 - 8:09  (116610)

SlideRule will help you discover the world’s best online courses in every subject:
http://www.mysliderule.com/

by Panzer on 26. August 2013 - 8:20  (110325)

"... Zeekly searches the web's best resources (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, etc) and provides this information to you in a safe and secure environment that protects your privacy. Contrary to most internet search engines, we do not store a history of your search activity (search terms & sites visited), and our site is running on 2048-bit SSL encryption to insure your web searches are private and protected from others.

How is Zeekly Different? There are several "privacy based" search engines on the internet. All of these companies solely pull search results from other places. However, in addition to doing this, Zeekly has it's own spider technology (ZeeklyBot) built on Hypertable (equivalent to BigTable that runs Google's high powered web indexing system). Zeekly is building it's own proprietary indexes of the web. So, in addition to protecting your privacy, we're in this to help shape the future of internet search ...:
https://zeekly.com/

by Panzer on 31. July 2013 - 8:21  (109801)
by Panzer on 18. July 2013 - 7:37  (109359)

http://www.ohmygodlol.com/
http://www.findthebest.com/

FindZebra - The search engine for difficult medical cases:
http://findzebra.compute.dtu.dk/

Quixey - a search engine for apps:
https://www.quixey.com/

by Panzer on 26. June 2013 - 8:50  (108733)

Search engine for 200,000 freely available resources online:
http://free.ed.gov/ (link for the old version is on the right side of the page)

by George.J on 5. June 2013 - 8:50  (108296)

Thanks :) Very helpful

by Panzer on 9. May 2013 - 7:41  (107583)

LanHunt is an advanced LAN search engine, which enable users to download and look for content shared on local area network. LanHunt is fast, typically giving results in seconds. Database update is required only once from the inbuilt updater. Supports parallel downloads, parallel searching, direct file open, direct location open, filetype based narrowing and much more:
http://lanhunt.picodomain.com/
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Network-Tools/Misc-Networking-Tools/LanHunt...

by Paxmilitaris on 10. April 2013 - 20:11  (106971)

Hi

Your Note says: "This article is a stub only. I'll review all the search engines and update the article soon."

How far away is "soon"?

by Panzer on 10. April 2013 - 8:12  (106956)

"... Shodan is a search engine that lets you find specific computers (routers, servers, etc.) using a variety of filters. Some have also described it as a public port scan directory or a search engine of banners ...":
http://www.shodanhq.com/

by Panzer on 5. April 2013 - 8:05  (106830)

"... Simeranya is a music search engine that everyone needs. Basically it searchs videos and musics on most popular services on the world like YouTube, DailyMotion, SoundCloud, GrooveShark, MP3Skull, Izlesene and gives you the ability to download them as a mp3 without wasting your time on the web via video converter services ...":
http://www.simeranya.com/

by Panzer on 30. March 2013 - 9:03  (106652)

Exelead Web Search:
http://www.exalead.com/search/

by Panzer on 1. March 2013 - 9:08  (105858)

George, some more search engines for you:
http://askboth.com/
http://specra.com/
http://www.goodsearch.com/

by Panzer on 23. February 2013 - 8:47  (105683)

Symbolab:

Features:

* Full-featured search engine for formulas
* Semantic search
* Shows answers and links for your search
* View most popular searches

http://symbolab.com/

by Panzer on 1. December 2012 - 11:27  (103162)

DuckDuckGoog - Get the best Of Google and DuckDuckGo in one:
https://www.duckduckgoog.com/

by Panzer on 3. October 2012 - 8:18  (100165)
by Panzer on 9. August 2012 - 10:01  (97454)

Bottlenose is a real-time discovery engine for the social web:
http://bottlenose.com/

by dark_genius on 4. July 2012 - 12:27  (95717)

What ABOUT Qrobe.it ????? i heard it is very good as it combines GOOGLE+BING+ASK !!!!

by George.J on 4. July 2012 - 13:59  (95723)

Looks interesting. Thanks for the suggestion. Also I noted that it incorporates WOT in it and its integration is better than what we have in DuckDuckGo because the doughnut appears only on mouseover, providing faster results.

edit: It seems that always the WOT icon appears on the first search result. I wonder if that's how they wanted it to be. Also the "Enter/Return" button doesn't show the search results you have to click the search button itself (weird).

by Dean Dawson (not verified) on 25. June 2012 - 22:45  (95374)

http://www.gigablast.com
http://www.yubnub.org
[Non English language site removed]
http://www.volunia.com
http://www.searchenginecolossus.com

by jer (not verified) on 17. June 2012 - 1:30  (94989)

Excellent write-up and intro into what you're taking on, George; thanks for doing this.

I especially appreciated your admitting -- and acknowledging alternatives -- to the "big daddy" (who seems to be trying to re-interpret, re-define "privacy"):

..................
"There are a million reasons why you should be using
Google, and interestingly the same number of reasons
why you should give other search engines a try".
..................

I'll be looking forward to what you've got coming; thanks again -

by George.J on 24. June 2012 - 11:17  (95304)

Thanks Jer [or Jerry?]. I'll do my best to live up to the expectations.

by Panzer on 16. June 2012 - 6:47  (94935)
by George.J on 24. June 2012 - 11:15  (95303)

Added it to the list. Thanks for recommending

by JoeRS on 29. March 2013 - 12:15  (106633)

According to engadget article (Feb. 2013), Yandex passes Bing to become fourth largest search provider.

by George.J on 29. March 2013 - 15:58  (106638)

That piece of info. is quite interesting, Joe. :)

by CB on 14. June 2012 - 11:51  (94842)

My Spidey-sense recommends that you give WolframAlpha a crawl. Different approach used here: you are simply given a handful of answers to your question rather than a million or so web pages that you must read to find your answer. Not saying that it can replace Google, but there are many times when it is more useful.

by George.J on 14. June 2012 - 13:39  (94854)

Wolfram Alpha is only an answer engine. Not a search engine in general but just return text results to your query instead of webpages. It seemed to me like a dictionary with calculation capabilities.

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