Could there be life beyond Google? You'll never know until you explore! Periodically, we hear about the so-called "dark web," an alleged layer of websites and online services that lie beyond the reach of most Internet browsers. In fact, most of this deep web is merely sites that Google doesn't show you for various reasons: They censor it, or it doesn't fit into Google's monetary scheme, or in some cases the site is excluded from Google indexing by request.
The other search engines of second-tier popularity follow Google's practices as well. So Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and the other heavyweight contenders also restrict your results, have more interest in monetizing your data than finding what you were actually looking for, and consequently don't show you all of the web that you could be finding.
If you're bored seeing the same tired news sources and ad-riddled results, try out these alternative search engines for a refreshing change of pace:
Launched in 2008 at the crest of the earliest Internet concerns for user privacy, DuckDuckGo emphasizes your privacy and doesn't filter results based on user activity. It aggregates results from other search engine crawlers which it concatenates anonymously to show open links free of bias. It's also one of the few major search engines to refuse to bow to censorship from any country. While the results are still limited to what other major engines will index in the first place, DuckDuckGo is a healthy balance between removing the annoyances of major search engines while still delivering an experience close to the mainstream web.
An old standard on the web from the era before Google, HotBot started out in the age of Lycos and AltaVista but set out determinedly on its own path. HotBot is another engine which puts user safety first, by not collecting user data and by screening out dangerous links to malware and the like only. HotBot has boasted the most complete web index online, at times integrating index databases from Inktomi or Teoma. Using HotBot feels like the 1996 web returning modern-day results.
Stack Exchange Network
Stack Exchange has been around for a while, originally a peer-to-peer question and answer forum seeded from the Y-Combinator start-up incubator. Its focus was programming and IT tech, but it branched out adding specialty domains one after another for everything from science to gaming to shopping, until now it's become a huge collection of conversations about anything at all, going back a decade. Searching Stack Exchange's many subdomains is like visiting a version of Quora where everybody has a white collar and a degree.
As original an idea as its name, SwissCows is based out of Switzerland and uses a semantic data recognition method to deliver more focused results to a given query. It's also one of the few search engines with an international and multilingual scope, which provides a global view of a topic. SwissCows does filter out adult-oriented search terms, so if you want a family-friendly experience that screens out the sordid side of the web, this is your engine.
On the other hand, if the sordid side of the web is what you're looking for, that's just what Hot is for. Hot.com is unique in that it crawls the whole web anyway, but only serves up adult-oriented results - dating sites, escort services, cam channels, erotica, and more. Hot.com is also an engine that values user privacy, in a space where you're more concerned about not having strange eyes peeping at what you're typing.
Mojeek is a UK-based search engine that stands unique as having its own crawler database, its own algorithms, and keeping itself separate from major search technology. It is another privacy-focused web search engine that tends to turn up results from lower-tier sites and less commercialized entries. Being so ruggedly independent, its user experience is like visiting an alternate universe.
Do you want to get the whole web, and nothing but the web, with nobody holding your hand? Gibiru is committed to not censoring or filtering search results in any way. Beware, because this can also lead you into spammy results and malware sites. However, if you're confident in your security profile, Gibiru is a visit to the wild frontier of the fringe web.
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