Google is the default search engine for most of us. But did you know you can give to charity through search engines, or even earn cryptocurrency by searching? Check out these cool alternatives to Google.
You don’t need to quit Google cold-turkey or switch to any of these search engines immediately. Both can co-exist happily, and you can pick and choose when to use it. The idea is to try going away from Google to discover features and results that you won’t see otherwise.
1. Mojeek (Web): Search by Emotion, While Staying Private
Anything published on the internet gets a lot of reactions. Mojeek, an alternative to the likes of Google, says it can filter search results based on how people feel about that link. And it surprisingly works well.
There are five emotions currently available: love, wow, haha, sad, and angry.
Type your keywords and click the emoji to get search results that match the emotion. Click a different emoji and the results will change. It actually works, and you might discover links that you wouldn’t find otherwise. I found it a truly different, cool way to browse search results.
Mojeek is also a full web-crawling search engine, which means it uses its own results unlike many of the metasearch engines that repackage Google or some other search giant’s results. It is also completely private, does not track its users, and prides itself on hosting its servers with an eco-friendly partner.
The company’s founders conducted an extensive AMA on Reddit, if you want to know more about their philosophy or product.
2. Givero (Web): Raise Money for Good Causes Through Web Searches
How awesome would it be if every time you searched for something on the web, the money went to a good cause instead of lining the pockets of a private company like Google or Microsoft? Well, that’s what Givero is offering to do.
The idea behind Givero is similar to Ecosia and a few other such charity-focused tech companies. How does it work? Like Google or Bing, Givero earns revenue through advertising when you use it to search for anything. But unlike the others, half of the ad revenues from these searches will be given to a charitable cause.
You can choose the causes too. This includes global organizations (Mozilla Foundation, WWF, ocean cleanup) and local Danish causes since it’s a Denmark-based website. Add a charity to your causes, and the ad revenue from your searches will be diverted to only those causes.
All you have to do is search on Givero instead of Google. This might be one of the easiest ways to change the world.
3. Gibiru (Web): Uncensored, Privacy-Protected Google Results
You like Google, but you don’t like how it invades your privacy? Gibiru might be the best way for you to see Google search results while protecting your privacy. And you’ll also see some of the results that Google might censor.
Branded as an unfiltered, private search engine, Gibiru claims to have a modified version of the Google algorithm. So you will likely see the same results as you would on a Google search, and in fact, the interface is a little similar too.
But there’s a second tab called Uncensored. This tab shows links that you won’t see on Google or would be drowned into the back pages. Be warned, some of these are a bit out there, and you need to be wearing a tinfoil hat to click them.
But at its core, Gibiru does a good job of protecting your identity while doing search queries. It uses 256 bit encryption for all searches and does not keep search logs. It does not store any cookies on your device and doesn’t sell your data.
4. SearX (Web): Metasearch to Get Results From Multiple Search Engines
Different search engines use different methods to find the best results. SearX is a privacy-friendly metasearch engine that aggregates results into one central page. It’s based on open-source software.
In the Preferences, you can set which search engines you want to use.
These include popular giants like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo, as well as smaller names like Qwant and Startpage. In fact, you can choose specific engines for each type of search category, namely General, Files, Images, Map, Music, Videos, News, and Social Media.
The About page says SearX does not store any data, doesn’t generate a profile on your behavior, doesn’t share what you search with a third party, and can’t be used to compromise you. Website choices are saved locally on your computer, and you can clear all cookies through Preferences.
5. Presearch (Web): Earn Cryptocurrency Through Searches
Presearch is a fun little search engine that lets you earn some cryptocurrency with every search. It’s called PRE tokens and is not of much value at the moment. CoinMarketCap values one PRE token at $0.001 USD. But hey, it’s something.
Each search gives you a few decimals of PRE tokens, with a maximum of 32 searches per day giving that payout. Presearch’s tokens can be redeemed at an online store for merchandise like stickers and beanies. But it might be wiser to stack them up and use them to buy advertising space on Presearch.
The search app itself is quite cool though. It uses its own search engine by default, but you can add shortcuts to other services like Google, DuckDuckGo, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc. One click and you can search their catalogs.
Find What Google Can’t
It’s surprising to discover how many other great search engines there are. There’s Ecosia, which plants trees around the world to offset your search results’ carbon footprint. There’s Yippy, which clubs search results into “clusters” so you can find more links in the sub-category of what you’re looking for. And there are many more.
In fact, you might be shocked to know that Google can’t even find everything on the web. Heck, can it tell you which streaming service to play a movie or TV show on? No, you need a different app for that. There is much more to the world of online search results, which you can see through these alternative search engines to find what Google can’t.
By Mihir Patkar