Did you know that, there were different types of search engines?
Google is undoubtedly the most used search engine but, its not the only one out there. There are different types of search engines that you should know about. But, let us first see what a search engine is.
What Is A Search Engine?
So, what is a search engine?
A search engine is nothing but a web based tool that enables the end user to locate information on the internet or the World Wide Web (www).
A search engine mainly has two components, a frontend where you can put your query to search & a backend which does the actual searching based on the query you have put.
Back-end component of the search engine has three main functions, crawling, indexing & ranking.
- Crawling – This is a process carried out by search engines, where they send spiders or bots to crawl all the websites present on the entire world wide web.
- Indexing – This is a process by which search engines organize & store the information that they get out of crawling.
- Ranking – This is a process by which search engines rank the websites. Ranking of a website depends on many factor which include quality & quantity of the content, number of visitors, SEO etc.
Why is Search Engine Needed?
So, why is a search engine needed in the first place?
Search Engines are needed since they essentially act as filters for all the information that is available on the world wide web (www) or the internet.
The main objective of the search engines is to provide the end users relevant information on high quality websites.
Search engines allows the end user to find all the information that is relevant to them, without wasting their time and energy on searching for irrelevant information that they don’t need.
They do this by crawling, indexing & ranking the search data & saving it in a database for later use. Search engines use complex algorithms to assess websites and web pages and assign them a ranking depending on many factors as discussed above. These algorithms keep on getting updated from time to time.
There are over 2 billion websites all over the internet, which have insane quantity of data. Just imagine, if search engines were not there. One would have to go through each & every website to find what they want. This is not a practical approach. Moreover, the amount of time & energy you would need to put in is not humanly possible.
And this is exactly why a search engine is needed!
Different Types Of Search Engines
There are four different types of search engines, which can be categorized as follows,
- Search Giants – Google, Yahoo, Bing.
- Privacy First Search Engines – Search Encrypt, Qwant, DuckDuckGo, OneSearch.
- Charity Search Engines – giveWater, Ekoru, Ecosia.
- Format Specific Search Engines – YouTube, Unsplash, Slideshare, GIPHY.
A tabular form is given below,
|Search Giants||Privacy First Search Engines||Charity Search Engines||Format Specific Search Engines|
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We will look at all of the search engines mentioned above in detail now.
This category includes, big IT companies like Google and Yahoo.
This is a web search engine developed by the giant company Google LLC. It is the most used search engine on the planet, capturing over 90% of market share, handling more than 5 billion searches each day.
Order of search results returned by Google is based on a rank system known as “PageRank”. Google Search also provides many different options for customized search such as flights, books, finance, shopping, weather forecasts, currency, unit, and time conversions, word definitions, and more.
The search results are displayed in various formats maps, videos, images, news etc. Google has also introduced “Google Voice Search” to search for the query by talking into a microphone, rather than typing.
This web search engine can be used instead of Google. Microsoft owns Bing Search Engine. Microsoft’s previous search engines evolved from MSN Search to Windows Live Search to Live Search and now to Bing.
Bing provides a variety of search services, including web, video, image and map search products. It is developed using ASP.NET framework.
Microsoft replaced Live Search with Bing in 2009. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Bing on May 28, 2009, at the “All Things Digital” conference in San Diego, California, for its release on 3rd June 2009. Some new features at that time included the listing of search suggestions while queries are entered and a list of related searches called “Explore pane” based on semantic technology from Powerset, which Microsoft had acquired in 2008.
Also, in July 2009, tech giants Microsoft and Yahoo announced a deal between them in which Bing would power Yahoo Search. The deal was later altered in 2015, which stipulated that Yahoo was only required to use Bing for a “majority” of searches.
As of the year 2021, Bing is the 2nd most used search engine globally, with a search share of 2.44% right behind Google which has a search share of 92.54%.
This is another IT Giant, which has a search engine. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale California. Once upon a time Yahoo used to be one of the most promising search engines out there, but recently its as 3rd number position after Google and Bing and has a market share of around 1.6%.
This search engine helps you find out the most relevant information on video, images, and answers from all across the Web. But, Yahoo Search is more prominent in the areas of News, Sport and Finance.
As discussed earlier, Yahoo search is powered by none other than Bing search engine.Yahoo search engine is written in PHP language.
Privacy First Search Engine
Privacy First Search Engines are those search engines which concentrates on privacy of the end user.
Search engine like Google ask for user’s personal data which might include, age, sex, date of birth, mobile number, address etc and they use this data to customize their searches and for many other reasons including advertisement. This might jeopardize the user’s data.
On the other side privacy first search engine like DuckDuckGo, OneSearch etc don’t collect any information for the any purposes mentioned above, so that your data is not distributed all over the world.
Lets have a look at few such privacy first search engines,
This search engine was designed from the ground up with Privacy as its core value. The Search Encrypt Search Engine protects your privacy by detecting searches that may be tracked and tied to your personal information.
It intercepts those searches and redirects them to Search Encrypt’s privacy-enhanced search engine which will be set to your default search engine. This search engine uses an advanced level SSL encryption which secretly and securely encrypts your search data, before sending it to the servers.
Also, if you are inactive for more than 30 minutes, the session expires and you can no longer see the search data.
The company which has developed this search engine is based in Paris. Qwant was designed in Paris & it protects the freedom of end users by providing them privacy and neutrality.
This Privacy First Search Engine delivers the best possible results without the need for your personal information. Qwant therefore does not store anything in the memory and does not use your personal data for advertisement purposes.
This Search Engine is another great option where you can protect your privacy from prying eyes. DuckDuckGo has bundled their search engine, tracker blocker, and encryption enforcer into one Firefox Extension.
You can search privately with the app or extension, add private web search to your favorite browser, or search directly at duckduckgo.com.
They also have a private browser for smartphones which is included by their privacy first search engine, tracker blocker & encryption enforcer.
DuckDuckGo is available on both iOS & Android.
This Privacy First Search Engine has got a lot of awesome privacy focused features such as no cookies, no tracking, no search history and unfiltered results.
Cookies follow you around and pry on everything that you do on the internet. That is how the internet targets & bombards you with advertisements. Now with OneSearch you don’t need to worry about that.
You can search for anything without the fear of your privacy getting violated.
Charity Search Engines
If you are a charitable person and believe in doing your part to support a great cause, you can do so by running your daily web searches through these Charity Search Engines. These charity search engines donate every time you search for something using them. At least that’s the idea behind it all. Let’s take a look at few such search engines.
This search engine helps clean oceans every time you search using it. Each and every search helps raise funds for the ocean cleanup process. Also they helps raise funds for Operation Posidonia, which deals with ocean reforestation.
They claim to have eco-friendly ‘Green Searches’ all of our servers are powered by hydro-electricity.
This is another search engine which helps in raising funds for a good cause. The cause is to deal with water crisis.
Each and every human being should have access to clean water & sanitation. This makes the cause really noble.
Whenever you search using giveWater Search Engine, paid search advertisement generate income for giveWater. Then, giveWater distributes those profits from the advertisement to the relevant charitable partners. The charitable partners in-turn use those donated funds to provide clean water and sanitation.
You can also install a giveWater extension for your browser.
This search engine deals in the field of tree plantation. As we know that trees provides a lot in terms of life to this planet, preserving the forests and the trees all over the world becomes inevitable. Trees benefit people, the environment and local economies. And Ecosia helps to promote this cause.
As of today they claim to have helped plant 103951599 trees and are still counting ahead each second.
Ecosia is like any other search engine, with one major difference i.e. they use their profits to plant trees. They claim to run their servers on 100% renewable energy with every search request removing 1kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
They are very transparent and publish monthly financial reports for the general public to see.
Format Specific Search Engines
Format Specific Search Engines are those search engines which search for a specific entity. For example, YouTube has its own search engine to search for videos, Unsplash has its own search engine to search for images. This is known as format specific searching. Lets have a look at these type of search engines in detail.
This search engine is the world largest search engine when it comes to videos. Videos are uploaded to from all over the world, by general people, movie stars, pop stars etc. So, its only justified that YouTube has its own search engine for sorting out millions of videos.
YouTube is a Google brand.
As we discussed, Google has the largest market share, when it come to searches carried out over the internet.
YouTube is no different. YouTube has largest market share when it comes to videos.
The search engine is highly complex, with ever evolving algorithm to cater to various types of searches. While someone is searching, YouTube makes video suggestions so that the end users get the exact video they want to find.
This is a search engine specifically developed for finding images. Unsplash is a website which has a huge collection of images free & paid. It has its own Search Engine with an algorithm to query through those images, so that, you can find the most relevant image you are looking for. This website is useful to bloggers who want to use free images on their blogs.
This search engine is best for those people who attend a lot of conferences, for business purposes. If you attended a conference and forgot to taken notes and are searching for them then, this is the right place to search. Slideshare hosts thousands of slide decks covering many topics you could imagine of.
This search engine is probably the world largest search engine for GIFs. GIF is a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images. Many people use GIFs for presentations, content writing and for fun sharing too.
You will find all types of GIFs through this search engine. Not even Google is a match for Giphy when it comes to GIFs.
GIPHY has over 10 billion GIFs, which are used extensively on platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and many more.
So, what is needed especially for bloggers to rank on these search engines?
The simple answer to that question is “taking some time to understand these search engines to figure out how they work”. For these format specific search engines, one needs to know their inner working, their algorithms and all their pro & cons.
Optimizing properly for each and every search engine is required, so that you can enjoy better results and receive more organic & relevant traffic.