The Best Search Engine in 2023

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The Best Search Engine in 2023d-tags
13 April 2023
Did you know Google isn’t the only search engine receiving tons of monthly traffic? Indeed, there are at least 10 more search engines immensely popular among certain groups of internet users. Here is a list of the best search engines in 2023 your audience uses to get their daily portion of news and entertainment.

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According to Statcounter, almost 9 in 10 internet users living currently in the U.S. see the search results provided by Google whenever they need to look something up or do online shopping.

It isn’t any different in Europe, where Google has 92,24% of the search engine market share:

Even though Google dominates the market globally, there are some world regions where it isn’t considered the go-to search engine. More interestingly, there are some people – quite many as you’re going to find out in a moment – who simply prefer to use other search engines than the currently undisputed search giant.

Take Bing or DuckDuckGo, for example. For some users, those search engines are considered superior simply because, to them, one offers a better search experience and the other less user behavior tracking.

Best search engine - Worldwide

Screenshot from April 13, 2023. Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share

That’s why focusing solely on optimizing your website for Google may result in losing the chance to reach more people who would love to buy your product or service.

To put it differently, despite Google’s immense popularity, trying to reach your target audience through other top search engines is worth the effort. In a moment you’ll understand what is at stake.

Ok, let’s think outside the… Google, and see what are the best search engines whose policy/user experience/resources seem to be more appealing to various groups of internet users.

The Best Search Engine for Particular Groups of Users

Truth be told, there is no such thing as the best search engine. Or to put it differently, the best search engine is the one your target audience uses.

Although Google clearly dominates the search engine market share, ignoring for example Bing users wouldn’t be a wise strategic move – in 2022 it received over 1.2 billion visits a month! Not to mention Baidu or Yandex, which are the two most popular search engines in China and Russia respectively.

Read also: Foreign Search Engines – Alternatives to Google

optimize webiste for any search engine

So, let’s go through a list of the best search engines now. In a moment you’ll recognize their strongest and weakest points (mainly from the SEO and e-commerce store owner’s perspective).

Also, you’re going to get the estimated number of active monthly users, which helps you realize how many people actually type queries into a given search bar. Finally, you will get an insight into what groups of people are targeted by a particular search engine company.

By the time you finish reading this article, you will have understood which search engine is the right fit for your online business given the targeted audience and location.

Google

Founded: 1998
Headquarters: USA

Backend ownership: Google

Monthly users: 80 billion

The undisputed king of search engines, Google has been ruling the global market for many long years. Surprisingly, it’s not only the most popular search engine but it’s also the most-visited website in general. Apart from providing users with relevant search results, Google also offers software products (e.g. Gmail, Google Meets, and Google Workspace), infrastructure (Google Cloud), and platforms (Google Maps, Google Flights).

This means it’s pretty omniscient. It also offers numerous built-in tools and resources such as a calculator, currency converter, and weather forecast.

google logo

Pros Cons
  • the most popular search engine globally
  • excellent text search algorithms which currently make Google the leader in providing users with the most accurate results
  • SEO trendsetter
  • offers advanced filtering options, thus directing valuable traffic to the most relevant websites
  • Google Shopping tab is designed to greatly facilitate online shopping, which benefits both the customers and e-commerce store owners
  • includes separate searching services that make finding and comparing particular things way easier; Google Flights, Google Books, and Google Travel are just three examples
  • allows for reaching precisely-defined groups of audiences with particular products and services (Google Ads)
  • good at recognizing and downgrading the ranking of spammy websites
  • the competition is huge (everyone is competing for the same traffic)
  • you may not get significantly less traffic if your piece of content appears in one of Google’s SERP Features
  • video and image algorithms aren’t as good at matching queries with results as the text search algorithms
  • there are some concerns about violating the privacy of Google’s users connected with the user behavior tracking

Download our free checklist and find out the most impactful SEO ranking factors to boost your online visibility!

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DuckDuckGo

Founded: 2008
Headquarters: USA

Backend ownership: Bing

Monthly users: 106 million

It can’t be denied, DuckDuckGo is primarily known for being a strong privacy promoter. Reportedly, it’s a go-to search engine for those who are discouraged by pervasive advertising and profiling. Interestingly, the majority of people browsing the internet via DuckDuckGo are male, accounting for 73% of all users.

Most of the traffic comes from English-speaking countries (USA, UK, and Canada).

duck duck go logo

Pros Cons
  • popular among internet users valuing their privacy; DuckDuckGo neither collects nor stores users’ personal information
  • ~2% of search engine market share in the USA
  • no ad tracking, hence no ads targeting based on users’ searchers – they are based on the keywords used to formulate the query
  • no personalized search results – every user is presented with the same list of results called out by a given keyword
  • search algorithms aren’t highly advanced
  • except for having a strong backlink profile, there are no clear ranking factors you may follow to improve your SEO for DuckDuckGo

Bing

Founded: 2009
Headquarters: USA

Backend ownership: Bing

Monthly users: 1 billion

Launched and operated by Microsoft, Bing has always been one of the most recognizable search engines worldwide. Currently, Bing provides its users with a wide range of search services, including web, image, maps, and video. One of the biggest advantages of Microsoft Bing is its reward program – user is given points every time they search.

Those points can be redeemed by making purchases in places like Amazon, Burger King, and Starbucks.

bing logo

Pros Cons
  • the second-most popular search engine globally (~3% search engine market share)
  • excellent image search engine
  • offers more autocomplete suggestions than most search engines
  • uses social media integration for personalized news and social topics
  • Bing’s CPC is significantly cheaper than Google’s (even up to 60%)
  • load time takes longer when compared to other top search engines
  • YouTube videos are often pushed down the list of search results, making room for clips published on other platforms
  • websites following non-standard format (e.g. forums) have little chance to be ranked high

Yahoo!

Founded: 1994
Headquarters: USA

Backend ownership: Bing

Monthly users: 700 million

In the pre-Google era, Yahoo! was the search engine most internet users go to daily. This is a portal, meaning people use it not only to search for stuff but also to read the news. Due to some problems with compromised data records, this company has been facing decreasing customer satisfaction in the USA.

This, however, doesn’t discourage over 700 million users living in Asia from looking up information on Yahoo! monthly. Actually, this search engine gets impressively high traffic from people living in Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

yahoo logo

Pros Cons
  • the second-most popular search engine in Japan (~15% of search engine market share)
  • display and targeted advertising capabilities are considered to be really good
  • ad management happens to be confusing for some users due to the not-so-clear distinction between organic and paid search results
  • reportedly server crashes seem to be more common for Yahoo! than for other search engine providers

Baidu

Founded: 2000
Headquarters: China

Backend ownership: Baidu

Monthly users: 648 million

Baidu is the go-to search engine for Chinese people. Its popularity in this country is so huge that Baidu is said to be “the Chinese Google.” Even though it can be accessed from all corners of the world, this search engine focuses solely on satisfying the search intent of people living in China.

Interestingly, every search result is expressed in Mandarin, even if a query is in English. Baidu keeps expanding its company by introducing new products and services, including those powered by AI.

baidu logo

Pros Cons
  • the most popular search engine in China (~56% of search engine market share)
  • constantly expanding the rich features in the SERP
  • uses more advanced AI than most of the top search engines, and therefore doesn’t fail to display highly relevant content to their users
  • huge advertising opportunities for entrepreneurs (e.g. in-feed ads) as the paid ads are favored over organic results
  • high censorship on images and content related to political issues
  • to rank on Baidu, a website must be Chinese-written, meaning there is no other way to rank on Baidu unless having a 100% Mandarin website
  • Baidu crawlers index only simplified Chinese
  • websites hosted on Chinese servers, as well as domains ending with .cn, are favored by the search engine

Yandex

Founded: 2000
Headquarters: Russia

Backend ownership: Yandex

Monthly users: 104 million

Like Yahoo!, the homepage of Yandex offers definitely more than just a search bar. Being one of the most popular websites in Russia, this portal brings together numerous built-ins such as games, images, videos, mail, and maps. This means that Yandex is more than just a search engine – it’s a web-based platform combining various types of media.

Since this browser is designed primarily for the Russian audience, it has the best capabilities to pull out relevant search results written in Cyrillic.

yandex logo

Pros Cons
  • the most popular search engine in Russia (~55% of search engine market share)
  • can be adapted to various localities and countries
  • offers a view range of build-in tools
  • works better for Russian-language queries than other top search engines
  • due to some issues with page optimizations, the results displayed on the results page may not always be relevant to the query
  • Yadex is said to exploit its users personal data
  • this search engine doesn’t use backlinks as a ranking metric

Ecosia

Founded: 2009
Headquarters: Germany

Backend ownership: Bing

Monthly users: 15 million

This search engine comes into existence to fight back against the climate crisis with every search. Ecosia cares for users’ privacy and the environment. It exhibits the latter by using 80% of its income to plant trees all around the world.

Transparency seems to be one of Ecosia’s main priorities, therefore the company publishes monthly financial reports and tree-planting proofs. Undoubtedly, Ecosia is marketed as a search engine created for people who value sustainability and love nature.

ecosia logo

Pros Cons
  • popular among people caring for the planet; Ecosia is engaged with environmental initiatives (e.g. plants trees for every search made)
  • Ecosia neither tracks nor uses users’ data, meaning targeting particular groups of audiences for ad purposes isn’t possible
  • search results are less relevant than those generated by other top search engines

Google Scholar

Founded: 2004

Headquarters: USA

Backend ownership: Google

The main characteristic feature of this search engine is the database it uses to display search results – it looks through conference and legal papers, academic books, and all sorts of academic resources. Most documents found on Google Scholar are free, however, it may happen that once a user is directed to a publisher page (which is pretty common), they may be asked to pay for access to the full article.

googlescholar logo

Pros Cons
  • popular among academic publishers, scholars, and researchers
  • super easy to use and get an overview of legal documents, patents, scholar’s publications, and grey literature
  • provides library links
  • even though the ranking algorithm is unclear, there are 2 factors that increase the chances of getting top positions on Google Scholar: #1 high citation count; #2 query term featured in an article’s title
  • Google Scholar doesn’t recognize synonyms, meaning the users may not find a document that is relevant to their search intent unless the very word is typed into the search bar
  • the number of keywords used in a text doesn’t seem to have an impact on its ranking
  • text embedded via images is not indexed

Internet Archive

Founded:1996

Headquarters: USA

Backend ownership: own collection of uploaded media

Truth be told, Internet Archive is less of a search engine per se, but more of a massive online library storing countless numbers of websites, software, books, and other types of documented material. Unlike other search engines, its main source of income isn’t generated by ads, but rather by donations and payments that have to be made to access certain items.

internetarchive logo

Pros Cons
  • gives access to online history, thus enabling the users to discover useful content that is no longer available on a particular website
  • helps retrieve lost content
  • if some of your pages aren’t temporarily available for users, you may direct them to the archived captures of the pages available in Internet Archive’s library
  • facilitates finding possible errors in HTML and robots.txt file and spotting possible causes of sudden traffic loss
  • the frequency of archiving is unclear
  • no ad tracking, no personalized search results

How to Choose the Best Search Engine

As we settled earlier, the best search engine is basically the search engine your target audience uses, which basically comes down to their preferences, location, and sometimes even beliefs.

Let’s recap briefly what we’ve found out so far:

  • The best search engine for those valuing privacy is probably DuckDuckGo.
  • The best search engine for those speaking Mandarin and living in China is probably Baidu.
  • The best search engine for those who care for the environment and make sustainable choices is probably Ecosia.
  • The best search engine for those who do research or want to access scientific data is probably Google Scholar and Internet Archive.
  • The best search engine for those who like being rewarded for their activities (collecting points) and/or expressing a dose of antipathy to Google is probably Bing.
  • The best search engine for those living in Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hong Kong is probably Yahoo! – provided they are reluctant to use Google, of course.
  • The best search engine for those living in Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, as well as those using the Cyrillic alphabet, is probably Yandex.
  • The best search engine for the rest of internet users is Google.

Once again, the above list is just a very general summary of the search engines your target audience can be reached. Treat it as the starting point of your market research.

The Best Search Engine in 2023 – The Takeaway

Whenever you need to learn something, check something out, or buy something online, you probably grab your phone and open either Chrome or Safari whose search results are powered by Google.

That’s totally normal for you, however, are you sure your prospects use the same search engine as you?

To help your online business thrive, you need to make your products and services available in the same places your audience is. Therefore, knowing the characteristic features of Google’s alternatives is a wise thing to do for every online business owner.

This applies especially to the e-commerce business owners who think about doing International SEO, trying to rank for certain counties and/or among certain audiences.

The good news is that all search engines’ main goal is to bring their users the most relevant results. This means that you need to:

as these elements help rank your website well on top search engines. This in turn opens new opportunities to gain more traffic.

Naturally, if you happen to need help with any of the above, we will be more than happy to assist you – just send us a short message and we will reach back to you shortly.

In closing, let me leave you with one thought, or rather a piece of advice, which is…

Think beyond Google.

This is an update of an article published in 2019. 

Author
Wojciech Urban SEO R&D Specialist
Author
Wojciech Urban

SEO R&D Specialist

R&D specialist in SEO and web analytics. He feels most comfortable in the area of technical SEO, and his main task is to ensure that websites are optimized for search engines and achieve high rankings in search results.

Author
Wojciech Urban SEO R&D Specialist
Author
Wojciech Urban

SEO R&D Specialist

R&D specialist in SEO and web analytics. He feels most comfortable in the area of technical SEO, and his main task is to ensure that websites are optimized for search engines and achieve high rankings in search results.

FAQ

What are most common foreign search engines?

There are a lot of alternatives to Google in the online world. The most well-known and popular foreign search engines are:

  • Seznam
  • Yandex
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Yahoo!
  • Bing
  • Baidu
  • Naver

and a few more listed in the article above – check it out!

Are there countries that use search engine different than Google?

Google is the most commonly used international search engine. However, in some countries, users tend to use their native alternatives. Usually, it’s due to the strong cultural belonging, different alphabet (which foreign search engines are adjusted to).

Native search engines are used in, among others, China, Russia, Czech Republic or Korea.

Should I optimize my website for other foreign search engines or just stick to Google?

It depends 😉

There are some countries (mentioned above) that require optimization for their local search engines. However, in many cases, Google still will be a considerably big part of online traffic. The best option is to focus on Google, but include other search engines in your strategy.

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Awards

Award - Deloitte 2021 Award - European eCommerce Awards 2022 Award - European Search Awards 2022 Award - Global Agency Awards 2022 Award - IPMA Award - US Search Awards 2021