Did anyone notice Google crashed for a few minutes yesterday?  More to the point, if you experienced it, did you just throw up your hands in despair and wander off to make a cup of tea, or did you use another search engine to find what you were looking for?

This highlights the issue that’s being hotly debated within search teams across the UK, if not the world: Can anyone challenge Google? Although that in itself is a different blog-post, I’ve quickly thrown together a list of some nifty alternatives to the search engine giant. 

I’m aware that a few of them actually use Google’s data for results, but if you can’t access Google’s homepage directly, then they’re likely to be reasonably good alternatives.

Feel free to add any others I may have missed, such as Dogpile, into the comments at the bottom

Bing – Microsoft’s shiny new Live Search and the subject of much debate as to whether or not Google can be dethroned.

Boogami – The Beta search engine that apparently “delivers exact results”. Check out the Million Dollar Homepage influence that’s happening there. 

Cha Cha – The web and mobile search engine. Text your search query and wait for the results via SMS.

Cuil - The failed “Google Killer,” but the search results are fairly accurate and the interface easy to use.

Duck Duck Go – Crispy interface which allows you to filter your results into different channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. 

Hunch – Ok, so not strictly a search engine, but the new decision-making engine has been causing a stir over the past couple of days.  Pretty neat idea. 

Powerset – Searches Wikipedia articles to answer your query. Reliability of results may need to be questioned...

Sperse! – All search query results are generally accompanied by a small screenshot of the landing page.

Spezify – Aggregates different channels into an awesome collage when you search. 

Viewzi – Displays search results in “tiles” and allows a powerful amount of interaction, including filtering and rating. 

Jake Hird

Published 17 June, 2009 by Jake Hird

Jake Hird is Econsultancy Australia's Director of Research and Education. Follow him on Twitter and Google+, connect with him on LinkedIn or see what he's keeping an eye on via diigo

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Comments (5)


Al Fox

Good list. You may also be interested in trying this brand new service.  Not only does it aggregate results from different search engines, it enables visitors to search via 19 different categories.


about 9 years ago


Colin Gilchrist

Hell... what about the legend that is: http://www.wolframalpha.com/

A phemomenal search engine - if a little techy geeky...

about 9 years ago



dooblet (this SE helps to find alternatives)

about 9 years ago


Neil Bant

Also check out the new search portal called www.targ8.com which enables you to search lots of search engines, social networks, image and video sites all from one search box. Follow me on twitter @neilbant

about 9 years ago


Jason Wiggins

Thanks for the list.

I didn't know about Powerset and am finding it really quite useful. I came across http://www.search-thing.com recently which allows you to search a whole host of different sites from a single page. Images, video, news, social networking sites and the usual google stuff. Pretty handy.

almost 8 years ago

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