What You Need to Know About New Search Engines

What You Need to Know About New Search Engines

Google is still the undisputed king of search. However, privacy concerns and the potential for search results to be distorted by paid search and the filter bubble—in which a searcher misses vital information because the algorithm is sorting their results based on previous clicks—are causing users to look at other options.

So, what are these new alternative search engines, and what makes them special?

Bing & Yahoo have been around for decades (Yahoo actually predates Google Search), but we mention them here for two reasons. First, they will likely remain Google’s main competition for years to come. Second, they are relatively easy to optimize for, and both use Bing’s search algorithms. Bing has recently added AI tools to its search functions, which may draw more users away from Google.

The big selling point for DuckDuckGo is privacy, as it doesn’t track your internet activity or past searches.

Startpage and Gibiru both offer privacy with a twist: They use Google’s search engine to give you better search results, but don’t track your activity. Dogpile uses a similar approach, drawing in results from Google, Bing, and other search engines.

Swisscows uses Bing’s search engine, but filters results to ensure all are family friendly. It also uses AI assistance to understand context and does not track user information.

Openverse is focused on helping users find copyright-free material to use for their own creative projects.

Yandex and Baidu can best be described as Google for Russia and China, respectively, and each is used by well over half the searchers in those countries.

YouTube and TikTok are not search engines per se, but it’s smart to treat them as such. Many users begin topic searches on these sites, and YouTube videos are often placed high in Google search results.

SEO for Alternative Search Engines

Is it worth the effort to optimize for these when Google is the 800lb gorilla of search? Absolutely, because your target market can likely be found there. Of course, this may depend on your audience for some engines; paying attention to Swisscows will pay off more for a company selling educational games than one selling hydraulic presses. But alternatives to Google are winning more fans as time passes, and many use algorithm’s you should already be optimizing for.

Bing, Yahoo, and Swisscows

Many of the best practices for optimizing for Google will also boost your results on Bing, but there are some ways you can make your site more attractive to Bing and the sites based on it:

  • Make sure you pay attention to voice search—Did you know Amazon's Alexa routes all her searches through Bing? The likelihood your customers are asking a full-sentence question instead of a short keyword string rises every day.
  • Target onpage SEO—Bing pays more attention to keywords in titles, metatags, and copy than Google does.
  • Keep your social media up to date and use high quality images on your website—Bing pays more attention to your social media presence than other engines. Its image search functions are more advanced than Google's, so great images will help your page rank, especially in image searches.
  • Add your business to Bing places—This is Bing's equivalent of GoogleMyBusiness, and will be a big help for local SEO.


Since DuckDuckGo doesn't track users' location data, you'll need to use a keyword strategy for local SEO instead of relying on "[type of business] near me" searches. DuckDuckGo also takes a site's UX into account, upgrading sites that are easy to use and scannable while downgrading sites with pop-ups. You'll also want to make sure you have good backlinks in place.

Startpage & Gibiru

Optimizing for these is a breeze: Just optimize for Google. That said, don't forget that you'll need to build a keyword strategy for local SEO, because neither site tracks user locations.

YouTube & TikTok

A winning strategy for YouTube is to conduct keyword research related to your segment, producing short videos that answer the questions your target market is asking. Matching titles closely to the wording of searches phrased as a question will help even more. For both platforms, choose high ranking keywords for the subjects you're addressing and make sure they are included in titles and video descriptions.

Yandex and Baidu

Optimizing for Yandex is only worth your time if you're doing business in Russia, former Soviet Republics, and Turkey; Baidu is mainly used in mainland China. It's best to get help from a native speaker when optimizing for foreign language sites; even a qualified translator may miss local nuances. This is especially important with Baidu, which measures a site's bounce rate and can downgrade it in rankings based on that measure alone. Baidu also prefers sites that have keywords concentrated in the earliest portions of the page copy.

Looking for help to navigate the everchanging world of search and SEO? Get in touch with Cain & Company for help creating winning strategies for search engines that boost your bottom line.

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