Top Unbiased Google Alternatives

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Best unbiased search sites

In recent years more and more people have become worried about their internet privacy. While that’s an important issue, many people are also concerned about search bias or censorship. Some subjects, like politics and religion, are clearly being monitored by the big search engines. So, are there alternatives to Google? Thankfully, yes.

What you see below is a list of the main alternative search sites. However, for this review, I will concentrate solely on the less-biased search sites.

Bing Search X Yahoo
Startpage Mojeek Gibiru
Ecosia Disconnect Search DuckDuckGo
Search Encrypt Yandex Lukol
Swisscows Gigablast Metagear
Ask Qwant Infinity Search

How did I decide which ones are unbiased? Very simple. I searched for sensitive topics like politics and religion and checked whether there were mixed results in the first three pages. Of course, most of the search engines above are probably less biased than Google, but I decided to focus mainly on the ones that perform better.

Besides checking if there was any partiality, I also researched two other factors: User experience and User privacy. Using these three different aspects, I reached a conclusion.

If you are a time-sensitive guy (a.k.a. ‘lazy’) that just wants to jump to a conclusion, you can go to the end of the article and check the results. Otherwise, you are welcome to continue reading.

Bing

Microsoft Bing is one of the most popular search engines on the planet. It’s currently second-place, but still very far from Google. Bing, previously known as MSN Search, Windows Live Search, and Live Search, provides a variety of search services, including web, video, image, and map search products. It has one of the most powerful search engines, which also powers Yahoo, Mojeek, Swisscows, DuckDuckGo, and others (you can see the entire list here).

Search bias results:  Bing does an excellent job searching general topics—I like it better than Google. However, using different (sensitive) keywords, I found out that it does “censor” some material—but not all. Bing seems to be more worried about politics than religion. If you are looking to find a broad view of information about politics, Bing is not the place to go. For other things, Bing is probably not a bad option.

User experience: Bing’s interface is similar to Google’s—yet better. It offers snippets and related search results. They also offer images, videos, maps, and a translator. It has a simple and modern design, but the settings are very limited and I could not find any interesting features as in other search engines.

Privacy: Like Google, Bing doesn’t offer much privacy. Being part of Microsoft doesn’t make things better, since the corporation has recently been accused of surveillance.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo was founded in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg. It is fairly a small company, but it has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It emphasizes users’ privacy and avoids personalized search results. It’s powered by Bing but it also uses its own crawler.

Search bias results: DuckDuckGo offers slightly better results than Bing. When it comes to politics, DDG seems to be blocking content on the first page, but it’s giving you some interesting results already on page two. If you search for other topics, the search is even better: you will find mixed results on the first page. However, for general search, Bing or Yandex offer better results.

User experience: DDG has a clear and simple interface. It has a settings tab next to the search bar which allows you to make some tweaks to the interface (changing to dark mode, choosing other font types and colors, etc.) Like Bing, DDG also offers images, videos, and even a map. It also has a feature called ‘bangs’, shortcuts that quickly take you to search results on other sites (e.g., typing ‘¡w’ takes you to Wikipedia).

Privacy: DuckDuckGo states that “Our privacy policy is simple: we don’t collect or share any of your personal information. We don’t store your search history. We, therefore, have nothing to sell to advertisers that track you across the Internet”. When it comes to privacy, DDG has a good reputation, however, it does not offer the same protection as a VPN. Of course, compared to Google, Bing, or Yandex, it’s night and day.

Mojeek

Mojeek is a promising company based in Great Britain. It was started by Marc Smith using his own computer until it was officially incorporated as a limited company in 2009. Their mission is “to build the world’s alternative search engine…that values and respects your privacy, whilst providing its own unique and unbiased search results.”

Search bias results: Mojeek offers some very—very— interesting search results. That’s because Mojeek uses a crawler-based search engine that provides its own index of web pages. In regards to politics, Mojeek does an excellent job. Even on the first page, we can find a wide variety of results. It will even show results from unpopular or less known websites, which Google usually puts in the back of the trunk. It seems that Mojeek does not limit the search results by their popularity—something that many people will thank.

User experience: Mojeek’s interface is very simple and modern. However, it does not offer the same features as Bing, Yandex, or Qwant, except for the image search, which uses Bing or Pixabay results. It does offer a unique feature for searching based on emotions, but probably most people won’t use it.

Privacy: Mojeek’s privacy is something similar to what you will find in DDG or Swisscows. Mojeek promises not to use any cookies or tracking. Searches are not stored nor personalized. But, like DDG, it’s not a VPN. If you want complete control of your device, you will have to install one separately.

Yandex

Yandex was started in 1993 by Arkady Volozh and Ilya Segalovich, and since then it has grown to be a multinational corporation competing with Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Baidu. It’s the second most popular search site in Russia and its popularity worldwide is growing. The Russian government has tried to gain access to their database, but it has not (apparently) succeeded until now.

Search bias results: I was quite surprised with the Yandex search results. General search results proved to be as good or even better than Google (some people might disagree with me, but that’s my personal opinion). When it comes to political or religious (sensitive) content Yandex does a superb job. Like Mojeek, Yandex gives you a wide variety of search results already on the first page. Even more, Google’s blacklisted materials are shown in the first results in Yandex. I also tried searching content critical of the Russian government, and to my surprise, it showed me a wide variety of entries.

User experience: My experience with Yandex was also quite satisfactory. The design appears to be a bit outdated, but it’s still modern, simple, and easy to use. On the other hand, I like that it’s not the same as the Big Three (Google, Bing, Yahoo) when it comes to design. Yet, like Google, it comes packed with features. Besides pictures and videos, Yandex also offers a translator, cloud disk with a document editor, mail and even an analytics platform, easily accessible from a menu bar just below the search bar.

Privacy: Everything looks perfect until you jump to the privacy section: you can’t do much about it. Yandex works pretty much like the other big competitors. There are probably some differences between them, but that’s of no concern for this article. Of course, there is always the option of installing a VPN.

Swisscows

Swisscows was started in 2014 by Andreas Wiebe. It’s a family-friendly site that values privacy and aims to protect people against violence, pornography, and surveillance. All their data is secure in their top-notch underground bunkers —literally, bunkers—located in the Swiss Alps. Swisscows is pretty much powered by Bing, although they don’t share or store any relevant data like IP addresses, cookies, or locations.

Search bias results: My search experience with Swisscows was fairly good, but it was somewhat similar to Bing. In regards to political (sensitive) content, it also appeared to be a bit biased—but still much better than Google. Other topics seem to be more diverse and did not show bias at all.

User experience: Swisscows has a very sleek design. It’s very simple and easy to use—and extremely fast! It doesn’t come with all the features we see in Yandex or Bing, but it does have pictures, videos, and music. Something unique to Swisscows is that it has an extra feature called Digest, which lets you paste or upload a text or introduce an URL so that it quickly shows you a summary of that particular text.

Privacy: Like other privacy-oriented sites, Swisscows puts your privacy first. Their topics, IP addresses, and personal information are not stored or used for any additional business—they say. Swisscows is financed by a technology called AdAnounce, which works similar to Google AdWords technology, with the exception that user data is not passed on to the advertiser. You can also buy a VPN extension if you want extra protection; although it’s somewhat pricey.

Qwant

Quant is a French search engine launched in 2013. According to the company, they don’t track users nor personalize search results. Qwant uses its own crawlers and indexing. It’s one of the most popular alternatives to Google, but still behind Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and Yandex.

Search bias results: For general use, Qwant seems to perform fairly well, although I would say Yandex and Bing perform better. In regards to unbiased search, Qwant works better than Google, but it’s far away from other engines like Yandex, Swisscows, or Mojeek. Like Bing, it also seems that Qwant is filtering political material, but is more open with other topics.

User experience: Qwant is very similar to Google or Bing. It has a modern and simple design. It also offers extra features like images, videos, music, and maps, which you can quickly access by clicking on one of the tabs below the search bar. But they are not that great. It also doesn’t offer any extra features like Swisscows, DDG, and Mojeek.

Privacy: Qwant guarantees that it doesn’t target us with ads, tracks, or keeps search results. While that might be true, it’s a bit more difficult to know what they are doing with your IP address. Qwant put a lot of attention on privacy but it’s still not as private as Swisscows or Mojeek.

Metagear

Metagear is a German non-profit organization that started running in 1997. They value privacy and data protection. Metagear can be accessed through the Tor anonymization network or used with the “Open anonymously” function that provides a proxy service. It’s also open-source, claiming to “produce diverse results” thanks to their metasearch engine. Metasearch relies on a variety of search engines, including Yandex, Bing, and Scopia.

Search bias results: Search results were somewhat similar to what I found in Bing. That’s not surprising since they rely heavily on Bing. What I liked about Metagear is that each entry shows what search engine is coming from. But most of the results come from Bing, OneNewsPage and Scopia. You will hardly find Yandex or other search engines. When checking political content, Metagear also appears to be quite biased. But like Bing and DuckDuckGo, it shows more even results when searching other topics.

User Experience: Metagear’s interface is quite outdated. It does offer some extra features like the Associator and Citation Search, but I did not find these to be so useful. Like other search engines, it also offers pictures, shopping, and news. But that’s pretty much it. One unique feature of Metagear is that it has a blacklist feature where you can add those pages that you don’t want to see in the search results.

Privacy: If they truly do what they promise, Metagear is probably one of the best search engines with privacy. Unlike other search engines, they offer some free extra features that enhance your protection.

Conclusion

Scoring and reaching a verdict was not easy. It was not a scientific research experiment, just a personal review. If you truly want to know how these search engines perform, then the best option is to try them all yourself. I hope, however, that the review and the following results will help to give a general overview of the best alternative (unbiased) search sites available.

Name
Search bias results 
User Experience
User   Privacy
Total
Mojeek
10
6
8
24
Yandex
10
8
5
23
Swisscows
7
7
8
22
DuckDuckGo
7
7
8
22
Bing
7
8
5
20
Qwant
6
7
7
20
Metagear
6
6
8
20

What I recommend

My favorite search engines were Mojeek, Yandex, and Swisscows—but not necessarily in this order— followed by Bing, DuckDuckGo, Metagear, and Qwant.

If you are looking for an unbiased search site that values privacy, then Mojeek is the winner. It offers a wide variety of search results while respecting your privacy. Swisscows is another good option, but only if you are not concerned about getting the best unbiased results. I also like Swisscows’ family-focus approach and their simple and powerful engine. For general use, Swisscows is probably better than Mojeek, but not the best for sensitive topics. Mojeek does an outstanding job in getting you a wide variety of views, even from less-known websites.

On the other hand, if you are not so concerned about privacy and just looking for an alternative to Google then Yandex and Bing are the best options. I was especially impressed with Yandex. It shows a variety of search results while offering the same features as Google or Bing. Yandex even has its own analytics portal, email, and drive. I was also quite impressed with their video search results. Unlike most platforms, it provided a wide range of results from different sources: Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Rumble, and others!

What is the best option? It all depends on what are your priorities. What I recommend is to install different search engines on your browser and switch according to your needs. As for me, I’m going to start using Mojeek, Swisscows, and Yandex.

Whatever you choose, the good news is that there are alternatives—and good ones!


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