Alternative Search Engines for 2024

A man trying an alternative search engine.

Over the years, many challengers have tried to become a legitimate alternative search engine to Google.

However, as of June 2024, Google commanded over 91% of the global search engine market.

History tells us that no one company dominates its sector forever.

In a 2012 letter to investors, Larry Page, then Google’s CEO, wrote, “When our products don’t work or we make mistakes, it’s easy for users to go elsewhere because our competition is only a click away.”

Page’s concern was a non-issue for a decade.

However, in 2023, the concept of online search took a significant turn with the proliferation of AI chat answer engines.

This post will look at long-time and more recently formed Google challengers.

Search Engine Alternatives

Here are some of the Google challengers that have sprung up over the years. Can one or more of these competitors have a measurable effect on Google’s search engine dominance?

Perplexity

Perplexity is an easy-to-use AI chat-based answer engine with the search prompt “Ask anything…”

Answers include four or five sources with links to the source pages. The answer engine provides three related questions.

Free users have a limited number of Copilot queries (five every four hours). Copilot is powered by AI models such as GPT-4 and Claude 2.

Pro users have unlimited Copilot queries, can select from and switch among popular AI models, and can use these models’ multimodal capabilities.

In January 2024, Perplexity announced it raised $73.6 million in Series B funding.

At the beginning (about 1:45) of a 2024 Freakonomics episode, Steve Dubner interviewed Perplexity CEO Arvind Srinivas.

Perplexity.ai - What is CRM?

Bing

Microsoft launched Bing in 2009. Despite Microsoft’s massive marketing budget, Bing had one-eighth the desktop market share of Google in 2022.

However, there have been positive reviews since Microsoft incorporated ChatGPT in Bing in early 2023.

ChatGPT

Some people with a ChatGPT subscription use it as a search engine.

On May 2, 2024, Barry Schwartz indicated that OpenAI may launch a search engine on May 9.

You

In 2021, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff invested $20 million in a search engine called You. But, after a year, You.com was not on the adoption map.

However, You introduced an AI chat search assistant called YouChat in December 2022.

You has since pivoted to more of a Perplexity-like answer engine with a similar subscription model.

You.com YouPro Paid Version

Yep

In June 2022, SEO platform provider Ahrefs announced a beta version of its search engine Yep.

Ahrefs CEO Dmytro Gerasymenko presented a business model stating that Yep will share 90% of its advertising profits with content creators.

The idea is that content creators won’t have to plaster their sidebars with ads and their body text with affiliate links. Paywalls will no longer be needed, and writers won’t need to survive on donations like Wikipedia does.

Instead of writing clickbait articles, creators can focus on publishing quality content.

Yep’s AI Chat is called yep.TLDR. It uses a large language model to summarize the top search results with links to the source.

In March 2024, Ahrefs announced that its SEO tool would submit data to IndexNow, and its search engine would receive data from IndexNow.

Yep SERPs and Yep.TLDR

Exa (Formerly Metaphor)

Exa has a unique approach to helping people find information. Keyword searches are discouraged — prompts should be used instead.

Users get up to 1000 requests/month & 10 results/search for free. Payment plans start at $50 per month.

Exa SERP for Marketing Automation Systems

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo launched in 2008. Fourteen years later, this search engine has less than one percent of the global desktop market—at least according to Statcounter.

The company points out that the number of people who use DuckDuckGo can only be estimated.

Timpi

Another would-be challenger is Timpi, which is riding the wave of decentralization. The engine is built on a multi-chain.

When released, people worldwide can contribute to the engine in various capacities and earn rewards through $TIMPI tokens.

Can any of these engines dethrone Google?

Google’s longevity as a search engine has resulted in much utility beyond text results. For example, many rely on Google Maps for travel to personal and business destinations. A lot of users rely on Google’s video and image results.

But things are changing rapidly in 2024.

Google’s dominance as a search engine faces more significant threats than ever.

It will be interesting to see how big a dent, if any, the new generation of search engine alternatives will make in Google’s market share in 2024.

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