Google is the biggest search engine on the internet, but that doesn’t mean it always gives you the best results for your searches. These specialized search engines are better than Google at finding exactly what you’re looking for.
Over the years, the use of search engine optimization (SEO) has led to skewed results on Google. You will often find that websites that use the best SEO practices rank higher than those with better content. So invariably you don’t get the highest quality search results. But if you turn away from Google, there are several other options for searching the web and finding these high-quality resources.
1. Blog Surf (Web): Find the Best Blogs Written on the Internet
Some of the smartest written content on the internet is found on personal blogs and single-author newsletters. But given how SEO works, Google rarely shows them on its first pages when you search for anything. Blog Surf tries to bring order to the blogosphere by organizing around 1000 of the best blogs written by one person and allowing you to search the directory.
The website uses the MarketRank anti-SEO algorithm to assign points to all blog posts, thus also getting the overall points for a blog. When you search for a term, the results will show you posts by blog rank. You can filter your results by period and by reading time of the article (less than 5 minutes, 5-10 minutes or more than 10 minutes).
Blog Surf also provides a directory of all the blogs it has, which you can browse by categories or tags. You can also check blog rankings and most popular blog posts to find something to read without searching.
Occamm is trying to make a more useful search engine than Google on the premise that people don’t always know what they should be looking for. So when you search for a keyword on Occamm, you’ll see a list of results much like what you get in Google, but with that you also get a set of tags.
These tags allow you to narrow your search by suggesting what you haven’t searched for, but are still interested in finding. Select up to four tags and Occamm will narrow your search results to provide the information you wanted but didn’t know how to find. Each refinement spawns a new set of beacons, allowing you to keep searching better each time.
Occamm also makes it easy to see if the search results are relevant or not before clicking on the link. Each result provides a brief preview of what the link will say, or alternatively an AI-generated page summary. You can also see the links linked to any link before you click on it. It’s time-saving and useful, especially if you don’t know advanced tricks, operators and commands for Google search.
3. YouCode (Web): best search engine for code and hackers
You is a new privacy-focused search engine with many other great features for you to check out on your own. But its code-focused sub-offer, YouCode, is what has really taken center stage recently. Hackers and coders appreciate the ease and speed with which to search for code snippets online.
YouCode highlights code results from popular sources for code like StackOverflow, Github, Code Complete, etc. You’ll see previews of posts from these sites in search results, making it much easier to find what you want. You can also view the full post without ever leaving YouCode by opening it to a side panel, where you can also copy code.
That alone would be reason enough to Google YouCode for code searches, but there are other nifty hacks out there as well. The website includes an AI code helper, JSON validator, and color picker for hex codes. Hacker Noon has a detailed review of YouCode and why it should be the go-to choice for hackers.
4. Studybyte (Web): Easy Search for Educational Content
When students want to know more about a subject, they need reliable information from trusted educational sources. Studybyte is a great alternative to Google Scholar, which only finds links from trusted educators.
The site is completely free and does not track you or collect data. However, it saves your previous searches on the same computer, which you can see in the History tab. Studybyte uses a proprietary search algorithm that only ranks educational content on its results page.
5. Memegine (Web): Search for memes on Reddit, including text in images
The internet loves memes. And if you’re looking for new or trending memes, they’ll likely be posted on the many meme-based communities on Reddit. Now, while you can search Reddit for the post titles or captions of these memes, you cannot search for the text used in the meme itself. And usually that’s what you remember, not the titles.
Memgine wants to solve this problem. The website is a repository of all the memes shared on popular subreddits, which you can search to quickly find the meme you want. Yes, it can read text used in memes, so you’re not only looking for post titles, but also meme content. Memgine does a job and does it well.
6. Needlel (Windows, macOS): Search Google, Notion and Slack for any file or chat
In the modern work environment, it’s hard to remember which app or service you used to talk about a project or share a file. Needl tries to be the universal search for files or chats in popular productivity apps, starting with Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Notion, and Slack.
Once you have connected Needl to your accounts, it will take a few minutes to index your files and chats for full-text search. But after that, it gives extremely fast search results for any keyword on all these services. For a completely free app with no hidden costs, it’s remarkably smooth and efficient, with a nice interface.
The team says it plans to expand to other productivity services soon and roll out more features.
To download: Needlel for Windows | macOS M1 | macOS Intel (free)
If you still want to use Google, consider this charity Google…
With so many niche search engines doing a better job of finding things than Google, you’re probably relying less and less on the search giant. But let’s face it, you probably want to do enough Google searches.
When that mood hits you, do the world a favor and use Ask.Moe instead of Google. Ask.Moe is a European nonprofit that still gets search results from Google, but thanks to some clever behind-the-scenes deals. Your searches are turned into monthly donations to charities such as Doctors Without Borders or Electronic Frontier Foundation. You literally won’t do anything different from regular Google searches, except it will be through a different site that helps those in need.