Google’s search engine and app services have become so powerful on today’s internet that it’s hard to imagine that there are alternatives. Google Maps, Google My Business, Gmail, and others are dominating many aspects of our lives other than just our searches.
However, there are reasons to give up Google and look for more specialized alternatives. Some of them serve the needs of a particular niche and most of them have better privacy policies and fewer risks than Google.
Here are a few alternatives to Google and why you might choose them.
Learn the Risks
Google often tracks your location and collects your data when you use its search services. It does so in order to personalize your experience. Why is this a bad thing?
Since this data is being collected and sold to third party companies for use in ad trends, you no longer have control over it. Not only does this mean that you’ll be dealing with aggressive personalized ad campaigns, but scammers can send you junk that a lot of people have fallen prey to.
I myself recently received a scam through a search based on my history of looking for jobs. In addition, trackers, information from your IP address, and cookies saved to your computer all become a conspicuously large profile that companies can use to find you.
This is why it’s becoming so important to find safer alternatives. Here are a few.
DuckDuckGo is a staple in privacy-focused search engine alternatives to Google. Their mission statement is “Privacy, simplified,” and if you read their policy you can see in black and white that they keep the promise. Unlike Google, they don’t collect your data or track your IP address.
There are ads on DuckDuckGo, which a lot of the smaller engines don’t have, but they’re based on data from the entire site rather than your searches.
Speaking of censorship, Hot.comoffers its users the content they’re searching for without censoring or saving it. Its users may not want to use a public engine like Google and would rather take advantage of Hot.com’s promise to keep your search queries completely private.
For a similar experience to DuckDuckGo, Qwant offers an ad-free search engine with a lot of the same features. It promises never to collect and use your personal data or host those annoying personal ad campaigns that are becoming more aggressive on Google every year.
Even though the selections aren’t personalized, the newsfeed section of Qwant may provide a viable alternative to Google News, for those used to that particular interface.
When looking for an alternative to Google, censorship becomes an issue. Gibiru promises its users a completely anonymous and uncensored search experience and it’s been keeping the promise since its founding in 2009.
For an extra amount of privacy protection, Gibiru also erases your search history from its servers just a few seconds after you make them. For those who are especially concerned with their personal info being sold to ad agencies or third parties, Gibiru makes a lot of enticing promises.
Privacy isn’t the only concern when looking for alternatives to Google. Utility for certain searching needs is a great reason to look for specialized services like WolframAlpha, which has been servicing mostly academics and professionals but has a lot of uses for the average user as well.
Computation sounds like something you only need if you’re majoring in physics, but many aspects of daily life from budgeting to calorie intake can make use of WolframAlpha’s advanced systems. Particularly in matters of finance, you may want to use a more private alternative to Google so that your entire life isn’t collected and sold to a company you don’t even know.
There are a few reasons to look for alternatives to Google. The big one is that Google is becoming more and more notorious for its aggressive ad campaigns and data collection practices. This can be nerve-wracking for someone looking for information on finances or on any of their more private interests.
Another great reason to seek out other options is that Google doesn’t do everything better than everyone else. There are specialized search engines out there that may be more efficient at getting you exactly the information you need. All you have to do is search for them.