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One of Google’s greatest achievements is to make itself indispensable to its users. As the graph from Statcounter below shows Google is utterly dominant in world search engine use. If you look at the chart for mobile search engine use it’s even more ubiquitous.

Such is this dominance that other search engines, however good, will face the immediate problem of legitimacy. If you actually compare Google, Bing and Yahoo results there isn’t an enormous amount of difference but most users will probably be inclined, even if using another search engine, to check Google as well to be safe.

As a librarian I see it as my duty to try out other search engines and as a result I’ve managed to ween myself off sticking everything in Google. My current search engine of choice is DuckDuckGo but I’ve also tried many of the search engines from this list to see how my results change.

Google is a very powerful search engine which gains relevance every time it is used however it is worth remembering that that which is popular isn’t necessarily that which is best.

Global search engine use in 2011

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Image representing Duck Duck Go as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

Fed up of Google constantly adding things, trying to sell you things based on your private data or being evil in general?

Don’t want to try Bing because let’s be honest Microsoft aren’t exactly angels themselves.

Don’t want to try Yahoo because it’s Bing with a different dress on…

Try DuckDuckGo then! It’s very simple (a bit like Google was 10 years ago), produces relevant search results, has little to no advertising, doesn’t collect private data, provides instant answers and is easy to plug-in to Firefox.

10 Search Engines to Explore the Invisible Web.

Saikat Basu’s article above showcases a number of search engines to penetrate the murky world of the deep or invisible web. In it Saikat Basu notes that:

“ the size of the open web is 167 terabytes. The Invisible Web is estimated at 91,000 terabytes. Check this out – the Library of Congress, in 1997, was figured to have close to 3,000 terabytes!”

This means that the open web makes up just 0.18% of the web. This also means that search engines like Google and Bing only index a minuscule fraction of the web given that neither indexes the deep web.

So folks when a librarian tells you not everything’s on Google they really do mean it!

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