On 16th August Friday afternoon 4:52 Pacific time, all of Google’s services briefly went dark. The outage, which reportedly affected most of Google’s services worldwide, led to a staggering 40% drop in global Internet traffic (pageviews), according to analytics firm GoSquared.
Business Insider reported that the official downtime was between 1 and 5 minutes, according to Google. One observer estimates that even this brief blip might have cost Google $500,000 in lost revenue. The impact on the rest of the digital economy was likely far greater.
In case this ever happened again, here are some alternatives to Google you can use:
Microsoft’s Bing service is the leading search rival to Google when looking at the world as a whole – although it has less than a 20th of the traffic, according to StatCounter.
Russia’s most popular search engine also offers English, Turkish, and Ukranian-language versions among its options.
DuckDuckGo highlights privacy as its key feature, promising not to collect or share personal information about its users – a topical concern after revelations that Google, Microsoft and others had handed over data to the US’s National Security Agency.
Most search engines base their ranking of results on their analysis of the words and links on a page. Blippex instead orders sites according to their DwellRank – the amount of time people spend on a page once they have clicked onto it. The more seconds they linger, the more important the site is judged to be.
5. Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha describes itself as a “computational knowledge engine” and strictly speaking doesn’t see itself as a “search” service, even if many people use it to hunt for third-party information. Rather than deliver links to other sites, it gathers facts and figures from primary sources and then allows the information to be structured and compared with other data sets, presenting the results in a range of tables, graphs and other illustrations.
Blekko’s unique selling point is its use of “slashtags” – a tool to filter the results the user wants to receive. If, for instance, a visitor wants to know where to buy a cake they might type “chocolate cake / shop / restaurant” but if they want to see a list of articles about the topic with the most recent ones at the top they would type “chocolate cake / blog / date”. Results are then grouped into different categories – such as shopping, recipes and cake decoration – to help users focus on the kind of results they want.
South Korea’s leading search engine dates back to 1999, when it was created by a group of former Samsung employees. Queries deliver unusually long lists of links grouped according to where they were sourced from – blogs, social networks, advertisers, apps, books and news services. Links often direct users to material sourced from Naver’s own services including its “cafes” – areas where people sharing similar interests post content about a particular theme.
Pipl specialises at unearthing details about a specific person or material they have posted to the net. It allows queries to be based on a name, email address, username or telephone number. The developers say their product turns up results their rivals miss because Pipl “crawls the deep web” – including data on social network profiles, court records, member directories and other databases. Results include photos and sometimes the names of other people the subject knows.
Baidu is by far China’s most popular search engine, squishing Google’s market share into single figures. The firm says its strength is that it does not only provide links but, in many cases, the actual information the user wants. This can include songs and videos embedded into the results and even interactive web apps. For now the service requires its users to be proficient in Chinese. However it recently launched an English-language website for overseas developers wanting to use its services to sell apps to the mainland.
StartPage describes its service as being “enhanced by Google” – a cheeky reference to the fact it depends on the larger firm for all its results. Its selling point is that it strips all identifying information about users before submitting their queries, preventing Google from logging their internet addresses or installing cookies on their device. While all this may appeal to privacy-conscious web users, the trade-off is that results can’t be personalised to take account of their history or location – although StartPage suggests this makes them more “pure”.
Here’s 10 Search Engine Alternatives to Google – Click To Tweet
Via BBC News