Blog Post

Life Beyond Google: Eight Great Alternative Search Engines

Ask most people which search engine they use and they’ll say Google, but there are mountains of searchable information online that you can get to with alternative engines. In a previous post I rounded up 11 general alternative search engines for web workers. In this post, I’ll gather some of my favorite targeted types of alternative search engines. They can often get you straight to the information you need.

Everyzing is one of my favorite sites for searching for audio- and video-based information found on the web. It actually indexes the words spoken in podcasts and videocasts, and then it displays excerpts as text when you search for something, so you know exactly what is in the podcast or videocast. For example, type in Obama and hit Zing It! When your results show up, you’ll see several “Play here” citations that let you go right to the point in the audio or video where your search topic shows up. Also give Blinx a try.

IncyWincy crawls the Invisible Web. It’s especially good at executing searches within targeted search engines on the web and letting you know exactly which rock it’s finding promising results under. To see this in action, type in a search at the home page, and when the results come back, go up near the top of the page, and switch from “all results” to “results with searches.” This gives you details on the niche areas where search results are cropping up.

Are you searching for an article that appeared in a magazine or journal, but having no luck finding it with Google? You can often go straight to it with FindArticles. The site houses over 10 million articles, and I frequently find things I’ve seen before with it when I can’t get anywhere with Google.

Foreign countries have their very own popular web search engines, and SearchEngineColossus is great for doing targeted searches in any language using the actual engine that locals use. For example, click on the China link, and you’ll see the Baidu engine listed up top. Or do some digging in Espanol at Abacho.

It never fails to surprise me how few people use lets you type in a question and then sifts through your search results to find the answer to your question. This is where you go if you want to know when the first pyramid was built.

Are you searching for federal, state, or local government related information? SearchGov is a great way to search for government institutions and offices, and divisions within them. From finding the closest post office to searching for EPA-related information, you can find what you need quickly here.

If you remember a string of text from a book, you can often find it in context at SearcheBooks. This is a great resource for writers.

Do you have any tips on good alternative search engines?

15 Responses to “Life Beyond Google: Eight Great Alternative Search Engines”

  1. A search engine should have the capability to offer information in more than one language and be user friendly, because is an online source of information, and it should not have language barriers, one search engine that is for sure breaking those barriers is with 15 million US businesses that can be explored in English, Chinese and Spanish. Want China in Spanish and English? How about the first multilingual search engine in English, Chinese and Spanish. Tyloon is also developing more multilingual search engines for countries such as Canada, UK, Germany, France, Spain and Brazil, coming soon Italy and Australia.

  2. I am a big fan of I use it a lot to find the definition of a word, and to do blog searches. I usually find just what I’m looking for. Thanks for the rest of the list, I’ll give them a try.

  3. If you’re into serious Web research and you own a Mac, I’d like to point you to DEVONagent. It’s not a web tool but an application, but it queries as many search engines as you like, compiles the results, and even gives you a digest of the info without having you visit those sites yourself. Note: I am representing DEVONtechnologies, maker of DEVONagent.