“Really? There are search engines other than Google? Why?”
I feel ya.
It’s no secret that Google rules the online search world, but there are other options available.
What’s more, some of these alternative search engines are hugely popular in their own right – they just don’t appear very popular when compared to the colossal titan that is Google.
Some of these alternative search engines seem like ancient relics left over from the birth of the internet many moons ago.
Others dominate a specific region, such as China, South Korea, or the Czech Republic.
So buckle up.
Here are the top search engines in the world.
Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.
The Best Search Engine in The World: Google
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 92.18%
It’s difficult to comprehend Google’s epic size.
The search engine is so popular that it’s many times larger than all of the world’s other search engines combined.
Specifically, Google currently holds a whopping 92.18 percent of the worldwide search engine market share.
The search engine was born in 1996 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but here’s the fun part: the two partners actually offered to sell Google in 1999 to internet company Excite for just $750,000.
Excite rejected the offer and have spent the last 20 years kicking themselves.
As a result, Page, Alphabet’s CEO, is the eighth-richest person in the world with a reported net worth of $53.5 billion, and Brin, Alphabet’s President, is the ninth-richest person with a reported net worth of $52.1 billion.
Also, fun fact: The name “Google” is derived from the word “googol.”
A googol is a mathematical term meaning “10 raised to the power of 100” or 1 with 100 zeros after it.
These days, Google is far more than a search engine.
Google also powers other search engines – including Ask, which is the sixth largest search engine in the world.
All hail the mighty Google.
Search Engine #2. Bing
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 8.04%
Bing is the second largest search engine in the world with an 8.04 percent market share
While Bing is small in comparison to Google, it maintains a respectable market share in many countries.
The search engine is owned and operated by Microsoft and has its origins in the previous search engines MSN Search and Windows Live Search.
Just like Google, the search engine also filters search results into different tabs such as images, videos, maps, and news.
Unlike Google, Bing’s homepage always features a stunning image and news stories.
In July 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a deal in which Bing would power Yahoo!’s search engine – which is currently the fourth largest search engine in the world.
Businesses shouldn’t disregard this search engine.
Although it doesn’t have as many users as Google, Bing still receives 1.3 billion visits per month.
Plus, with most businesses and experts focusing their attention on Google, there’s less competition on Bing.
Search Engine #3. Baidu
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 7.34%
Meet Baidu, the third-largest search engine with a 7.34 percent market share.
This search engine is China’s largest. In fact, Baidu absolutely dominates the Chinese market with 74.73 percent of the market as of February 2019. In comparison, Google has managed to capture only 2 percent of China’s search engine market.
Baidu was founded in 2000 and has its headquarters in China’s capital, Beijing.
It’s one of the largest artificial intelligence and internet service companies in the world. That said, Baidu holds very little influence outside of China.
It’s worth noting that China has the “largest and most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world.”
This is often referred to as “The Great Firewall of China.”
So, for Western search engines like Google to enter the Chinese market, they must comply with strict and complex censorship laws and regulations.
Search Engine #4.Yahoo!
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 3.39%
Yahoo! Lands fourth place in the list of the world’s largest search engines with a 3.39 percent share of the global market.
Yahoo!’s story is as interesting as it is embarrassing.
The company was founded way back in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo.
They originally named the website, “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” before quickly renaming it Yahoo!, which stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Organized Oracle.”
Yahoo! Mail and other web services propelled the company to a valuation of $125 billion in 2000.
But then things went downhill.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin tried to sell Google to Yahoo! in 1998 for a measly $1,000,000.
Yahoo! turned them down.
Today, Yahoo!’s search engine is actually powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine. So the results from both search engines are very similar.
Search Engine #5. Yandex
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 1.53%
Yandex scores the fifth position on the list of the top 10 search engines with a global market share of 1.53 percent.
It’s the most popular search engine in Russia with 55% of total Russian search traffic, closely followed by Google.
The search engine is also popular in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey.
Yandex provides more than 70 different services, including tools such as Yandex Disk, a cloud-based storage service similar to Google Drive.
The name “Yandex” was adopted in 1993 and stands for “Yet Another iNDEXer.”
One of its key advantages for Russian-language users is its ability to understand Russian inflection in search queries.
In Russian, words can take on more than 20 different endings to indicate their relationship to one another. “While this makes the language precise,” says MIT linguistics professor David Pesetsky, “it makes search extremely difficult.”
Back in 2011, Yandex went public on the New York Stock Exchange with an initial public offering (IPO) of 1.3 billion – making it the second largest in the sector after Google at the time.
Search Engine #6. Ask
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 0.72%
Ask is the sixth largest search engine in the world with a 0.72 percent market share – 100 times smaller than Google and 10 times smaller than Bing.
Founded in 1996 by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen in California, the site was originally named “Ask Jeeves.”
The idea was not to create another directory or search engine, but a question-and-answer service much like a virtual concierge. This is why the founders chose the name after P.G. Wodehouse’s character, Jeeves the butler.
The company dropped “Jeeves” from the name in 2006 when the company rebranded to “Ask.”
In 2010, Ask.com gave up on the search engine market after facing insurmountable competition from more successful search engines like Google.
Now, Google actually powers Ask.com search results.
Search Engine #7. DuckDuckGo
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 0.39%
DuckDuckGo is the seventh largest search engine with a 0.39 percent share of the global market.
This search engine is all about privacy.
These days, there are countless Google privacy concerns. The giant is well-known to track, monitor, and collect reams of data about its users.
So if you feel a little uneasy about your data being harvested and stored, or you don’t like targeted advertising, you might want to give DuckDuckGo a chance.
The search engine’s tagline is “Privacy, simplified.”
It describes itself as, “The Internet privacy company that empowers you to seamlessly take control of your personal information online, without any tradeoffs.”
Sounds pretty good, right?
DuckDuckGo doesn’t store your personal information or follow you around with ads.
This means that if you look at a pair of shoes, you won’t have to spend the next two weeks being bombarded with shoe advertisements.
There’s even a handy Google Chrome extension to make switching easier.
Essentially, it’s the perfect solution for anyone concerned about keeping their personal information and browsing activity private.
DuckDuckGo now receives 27.4 million daily search queries and it’s consistently growing.
Search Engine #8. Naver
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 0.13%
Introducing Naver, the eighth most successful search engine in the world with a 0.13 percent market share.
Naver began in 1999 as the first web portal in Korea to develop and use its own search engine. Today, the Naver corporation provides a multitude of services, such as an email client, encyclopedia, children’s search engine, and news web portal.
As popular as the search engine is in South Korea, it seems unlikely that the search engine will grow internationally in the near future.
Search Engine #9. AOL
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 0.06%
AOL currently holds just 0.06 percent of the world’s search engine market share. This is surprising when you consider that AOL was once an internet trailblazer.
AOL – short for “America Online” – first came into existence way back in 1985.
The web portal and online service provider based in New York City was one of the early pioneers of the internet in the mid-1990s.
If you weren’t around to experience dial-up internet, it was a time when you literally had to dial-in using a phone line to connect.
It was always an exciting moment.
Those of us old enough to remember dial-up will recall the glorious and unmistakable sound of the phone line connecting…
In 2000, AOL bought the traditional media icon Time Warner for $165 billion.
AOL was on top of the world.
Around this time, AOL had its own branded search engine called NetFind, which was renamed “AOL Search” in 1999.
However, over time, AOL lost its dominance of the internet as new competitors like Google swamped the market.
So AOL turned its attention to acquiring major online media companies.
It acquired TechCrunch in 2010 for $25 million, purchased The Huffington Post for $315 million in 2011, and acquired many more recognizable internet brands.
Then in 2015, AOL was acquired by Verizon Communications for $4.4 billion.
Today, AOL Search lives on, but it’s only a tiny fragment of AOL and Verizon’s business.
Search Engine #10. Seznam
Worldwide Search Engine Market Share: 0.05%
Last on our list of the top search engines in the world is Seznam.
This search engine and web portal is hugely popular in the Czech Republic. In fact, it was the leading search engine there until Google came along.
Today, Google holds 84 percent of the Czech Republic’s market share, leaving only 16 percent to Seznam and others.
Seznam was founded in 1996 by Ivo Lukačovič in Prague.
It began as a simple search engine and online directory. By 2001, Seznam had developed financial, social, and political news, as well as TV programs, dictionaries, maps, weather forecasts, and more.
Today Seznam runs more than 15 different internet services and associated brands.
Bonus Search Engine: Ecosia
It might not be one of the most popular search engines in the world, but we feel Ecosia deserves a special mention.
This means that just by using the search engine, you can contribute to the environment.
Ecosia’s homepage keeps score of the number of trees planted by Ecosia users – 51 million and counting at the time of writing
Plus, the search engine provides an individual counter that tells you how many trees your searches have planted.
Ecosia is a great search engine too.
Its search results and ads are powered by Microsoft Bing, “enhanced with Ecosia’s own algorithms”.
Like DuckDuckGo, Ecosia also focuses on privacy.
This search engine doesn’t store your searches permanently, use external tracking tools, or sell your data to advertisers.
Your searches are encrypted and you can simply turn off all of Ecosia’s tracking if you want.
In October 2018, founder Christian Kroll gave some of his shares to the Purpose Foundation.
As a result, Kroll and Ecosia co-owner Tim Schumacher forfeited their rights to take profits out of the company or sell Ecosia for a profit in the future – talk about putting your money where your mouth is.
Ecosia also has a Chrome extension to make switching easy.
It seems likely that this list of the top 10 search engines in the world will change in the coming years.
Although one thing seems fairly certain: Google will have a long and fruitful reign.
To conclude, here’s a table of the top 10 search engines in the world as of January 2019 according to worldwide market share: