Online search has evolved, discover the new search engines
Online search has evolved, discover the new search engines
We all know that Google rules the online search world (currently standing at 86% according to Statista), but there are other options available and not just Bing (only 7%) Baidu or Yandex. To gain new users the alternatives need to develop compelling USP's to meet current user challenges, such as Duck Duck Go, Qwant, Search Encrypt and Yippy among others which are geared towards simplifying privacy and anonymity online. Or initiatives such as Ecosia, where for every search made (powered by Bing), the revenue generated goes towards its tree-planting scheme.
The aim of this article is to cover three newer online search players who are making waves and warrant further attention ... These are NEEVA, ASK MOE, and EKORU
Neeva, founded by ex-Google employees and launched in 2021 is exploring a new business mode, unlike other Google alternatives, Neeva is completely ad-free. It also includes features such as the ability to sync internet search with personal email, calendar, documents, and slack conversations. This allows users to search for all the information they need—both privately and from the web, in one single search bar. Users can also customise their search results by highlighting brands they like, and news sources they trust.
One interesting feature of Neeva for privacy-minded users is its browser extension that blocks web trackers – pieces of code embedded in web pages that collect data about user habits. The blocked trackers are highlighted to the user in a ‘hall of shame’.
For all Neeva’s benefits, going ad-free is not free. The search engine recently unveiled plans to employ a ‘freemium’ model, introducing a subscription fee if you want a premium service. A free tier will continue to be available to users – and this will also be ad-free in keeping with the company’s founding principles. However, monthly limits on usage will apply to the basic tier, and some of Neeva’s features, such as integration with Slack will be restricted.
Ask.Moe was developed in Denmark as a non-profit search engine, and donates 80 per cent of profits to other non-profit organizations and charities with a proven track record.
Ask.Moe currently uses Google’s Programmable Search Engine, which is free to use as long as it includes Google’s advertising. However, this means that Google also knows who submitted the search query. The company decided that instead of being privacy-focused, they would strive to donate 80 per cent of their profits to organisations and charities with a proven track record. Ask.Moe is also working on implementing support for users to allow them to vote for non-profit organizations and charities of their choice.
Ask.Moe offers separated key categories, including Search, Finance, Domain and Maths which the company believes will further differentiate them from other search engines. Future plans involve expanding their own services, such as media hosting and note-taking.
Everything that is built by Ask.Moe in-house will focus on protecting user privacy. For example, their currency exchange relies on data from the European Central Bank, stores the data in cache, and does not log any requests. Similarly, their domain name finder uses DNS lookup rather than third-party APIs and does not log the lookups, meaning users don’t have to worry about somebody else snapping up their desired domains after checking for their availability.
Ask.Moe is working on implementing their own browser as well as creating search-specific categories that sift through a small subset of the internet to provide high-quality data. Currently, Ask.Moe supports “Code” search, which searches about 150 websites related to software development. According to the team, this is a great way to filter out websites that engage in SEO spam while also providing high-quality results.
At present, Ask.Moe is similar to Ecosia, a search engine that spends 80 per cent of their profits on planting trees. The main difference, however, is that Ask.Moe uses Google while Ecosia uses Bing. Ecosia also focuses exclusively on tree planting.
EKORUYou may not have considered the environmental impact of using a search engine - but recent estimates suggest that searching for information on Google alone produces around 500kg of carbon dioxide every second. Ekoru was founded as a greener way to search.
Ekoru works like most other search engines — users can enter any search term and view the results. However, unlike other search engines, 60 per cent of Ekoru’s revenue goes to partners engaged in ocean cleanups. Further, all of Ekoru’s servers are based in data centres powered by hydroelectricity, which use air and water cooling to eliminate the need for power-hungry air conditioning.
Even Ekoru’s underlying architecture is green. It costs around 2.9 kWh of energy to transmit 1 GB of data on a 3G mobile device, and to help reduce this energy expenditure, Ekoru has optimised their software code to make the pages it delivers as small as possible. The company, which is named after a Maori symbol of creation, also promises to encrypt all data and not to store any searches.
Ekoru was founded by Australian software engineer Ati Bakush, after witnessing the effects of deforestation in Malaysia and elsewhere, first-hand.
Bakush explained in an interview to innovation intelligence platform, Springwise: “While working on these projects it occurred to me that I could be applying the same skills and knowledge for the benefit of the environment instead of profiting a large corporation.”
Ekoru is not the only company to take steps to reduce the environmental cost of data centres and server farms. Recent innovations covered by Springwise includes a town that is powered by heat from a nearby data centre and a data centre in the Arctic Circle that runs entirely on renewable energy.
Liverpool based specialists web-aviso, have been providing local SEO and digital marketing solutions to UK and International businesses since 2004. Visit web-aviso for further details or see their seo-digital marketing articles section for more insights.