How Many Search Engines Are There

List of Search Engines – Top Search Engines in 2012

There’s so many old list of search enginestype pages and blog posts out there with the top something search engines that were popular back in 1995 or 2001.

Many of the search engines that were once populare are now either extinct or have become mere echoes of Yahoo, Google or some other search engine with a feed. So where do you find the search engines of today?

Here’s my take: A list of the top search engines of 2012 including the big ones, some new promising start-ups and a couple of old ones that are still going strong.

The Search Engines, In Alphabetical Order

Altavista was the first well known search engine for the world wide web and that’s about the only thing it’s known for. Today it’s mantioned mainly for it’s role in history. The search results are from Yahoo so don’t expect anything original here, still it can bring a nice dose of nostalgy to those of Us that remember the time when Yahoo was just a free directory and Google didn’t exist. Altavista

Ask, formerly known as Ask Jeeves, is one of the small but big search engines with a 3.9% market shart as of November 2009. Ask was one of the first search engines to mix it’s search results with other sources like encyclopedias, images and maps. A simple query test indicates that Ask has billions of pages, or 1/8th of those in Google, at least for Enlish language results.

Bing is Microsofts latest facelift on the search engine that was first named MSN Search, then Live Search and now Bing. Bing is considered by most to take the third spot after Google and Yahoo in terms of search quality. It’s also third in search as far as market share is conserned. Bing

Blekko is a brand new “Google killer”. It’s run by Rich Skrenta, previously on Topix and Netscape’s Open Directory and is not live yet but they have promised to open soon, let’s see… Blekko

Clusty calls itself a clustering search engine. This basically means that in addition to the traditional list of search results it gives you a list of alternative topics that you search phrase could be related to. I don’t like the quality of search results though, there’s a fair bit of low relevancy results returned, not spam though. Clusty

Cuil is a new search engine that markets itself as the worlds biggest search engine with three times the pages indexed as Google. It made a big bang when it launched in 2008 by craching on launch day and gives fairly good results and presents them in a new, somewhat strange, way. Cuil

Dogpile is a meta search engine that combines the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask to let you search from all the big search engines in one place. Despite a minimal market share dogpile has still managed to get several J.D. Power & Associates awards for best customer satisfaction, this according to Businessweek. Dogpile

Do Great Good is a charity search engine, a fenomenon that’s sprung up lately where you search and they pay a part of the advertising revenue to charities. Be aware though that they mix sponsoded results with organic to make you click more ads. DoGreatGood

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DuckDuckGo, founded by Gabriel Weinberg, is a search engine with it’s own bot and index but it also uses data from other sources, like Yahoo BOSS. Despite it’s funny name DuckDuckGo provides compelling search results that is a combination of facts, disambiguations and links. DuckDuckGo

Entireweb is a search engine founded in 2000 by the Swedish company AB. Currently they index several hundred million webpages and serves over 100 million searches per month. Entireweb

Excite was founded in 1994 by Graham Spencer, Joe Kraus, Mark Van Haren, Ryan McIntyre, Ben Lutch and Martin Reinfried, all students at Stanford. Over the years it has been through the dot-com bubble, mergers, aquisitions and bankruptcy. Today it’s a meta search engine and portal with search results from Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Ask through an arrangement with InfoSpace. Excite

Faroo is a distributed search engine that stores data on users computers instead of in a central repocitory. All three search functions: Crawl, index and search are distributed to the end user allowing a large scale search engine with little hardware cost. Faroo

Gigablast was founded in 2000 by Matt Wells to index up to 200 billion pages. They don’t say if they have indexed that much but judging from the number of search results I’d say it’s closer to 20 billion. Anyway Gigablast has a large, frequently updated index and gets to play with the big boys though it doesn’t have much of a market share in search. The search results in a quick test is not up to the same standard as Google and Yahoo. Gigablast

Google is the worlds most popular search engine. Cuil said they have a bigger index but it’s going to take years before anyone can knock big G down from the position as market leader. Google

Hakia is a semantic search engine that organizes the results into categories looking at the search term from different angles. It uses a database of sites recommended by librarians to provide credible results, it then ads web results where the credible sources does not have enough info. It blends all this with news, photos and social media feeds to make it a different search experience. Hakia

ImHalal is a search engine mainly for muslims and includes web, image and Quran search. It returns highly relevant results quickly and looks nice so I included it here with the others. ImHalal

Leapfish combines the results from Google, Wikipedia, Digg, wikiHow, Answers, Amazon and Twitter to make an information page about your search term combining the media from many services. It looks neat enough to include on the search engine list even if they don’t have thir own index. Leapfish

Lycos which began as a research project by Dr. Michael Loren Mauldin of Carnegie Mellon University in 1994 grew to become the most visited online destination in the world in 1999. After several years of decline the search market share of Lycos was at 0.01% in the end of 2008 but if you visit them you’ll see that they still deliver relevant results with thumbnails attached. Lycos

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Monster Crawler is a meta search engine founded in 1999 by several Southern Illinois University graduates. It combines results from Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask on a clean robot spider themed results page including “Did you mean..” suggestions and related searches. Monster Crawler

Omgili is a forum search engine that only returns forum threads in the results. I tried a couple of searches and yes it’s really useful, I get to see what people are talking about which sometimes is just what I want. Omgili

Scrub The Web is one of the oldest search engines on the internet with operations since 1996 and it’s also one of the few original search engines that stil maintains it’s own index. Scrub The Web also provides a paid SEO memebership with SEO and submission tools for webmasters that want’s to learn more about SEO. Scrub The Web

Search Hippo, one of the older search engines, is a hobby project by Kevin Marcus, cofounder of and delivers “The important internet, ultra fast!” according the homepage. Search Hippo

Secret Search Engine Labs was started in 2007 as a hobby project by Simon Byholm (that’s me by the way) and is aiming at providing highly relevant search results with a really small index size. The search software is made to run from any old shared host with PHP and mySQL while the architecture is at the same time made to scale into server farms. Secret Search Engine Labs

Spezify is a totally cool new search engine that instead of the normal search result listing provides a flash based view that looks like you had pinned newspaper clips and photos to a board. You can see and read a whole paragraph of text from the website which makes it a lot more easy, at least for me, to decide which page I want to visit to learn more. Definately the first search engine with a non-traditional interface that has made an impression on me! Spezify

Stinky Teddy is a real-time gossip search engine developed by “Physicist turned search engine innovator” David Hardtke. It uses a combination of news, videos, tweets and web results from Bing, Yahoo, VideoSurf, Twitter, Oneriot and Collecta to create a buzz-o-meter score and a results page that is based on what people are talking about online. Stinky Teddy

Stumpedia is an exiting new people powered search engine. Unlike most of the social sites popping up Stumpedia is focusing on search instead of top stories. Members can submit new search results selecting which keyprases they should appear for. They can also vote for search results and make friends, and results will be tailored to what you and your social network likes. Stumpedia

WayBackMachine of the Internet Archive lets you search old versions of webpages, sometimes all the way back to 1996. It can be fun to see what your own webpage looked like three years ago as it’s easy to forget all the facelifts that is has had over time. WayBackMachine

WolframAlpha is not a traditional web search engine but instead helps you find answers from structured data, that is databases, statistics and scientific knowledge. It’s new and has received a lot of hype in the press, let’s see how successful they will be… WolframAlpha

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Yahoo! Search is the eternal runner up always trailing big G with almost as good search results and a significantly smaller share of the search market. Yahoo has a lot of portal features in addition to search which sets it apart from Google in many ways. Yahoo Search

Yandex is a Russian IT company which operates the largest search engine in Russia (with 64% market share , ranked eighth-largest in the world  and develops a number of Internet-based services and products. The company’s mission is to give answers to users’ questions (explicit or implicit.Active Since 1997. Yandex

Blog Search Engines

Blog search engines finds blog posts and usually favor recent posts as blogs are often about news and you want to get the latest news. Blog search engines are also often real-time as the pinging system and RSS feed of a blog makes it a lot easier for the search engine to fetch content as it is created.

Bloglines is a blog search engine and news aggregator that was founded in 2003 by Mark Fletcher, former CEO of ONElist. In addition to searching through millions of blog posts you can also combine news (RSS) feeds to have all your online information collected in one place. Bloglines

Google Blog Search is the blog search engine by Google. It finds a lot of relevant answers to a query and feels comfortable to use. Google Blog Search

Social Search Engines and Other Weird Stuff

goby is a travel planning search engine where you can find things to do and where to sleep in different places in the United States. Seems to work well, it found a hot air ballow company near NYC for me. goby

Hunch is a decision enging that asks you fun questions to learn what type of person you are. With some questions answered it will use it’s knowledge of your interests and social associations to give you answers tailored to your personality. I think it’s quite fun, but I’m not sure if it’s useful.. Hunch

Mahalo is a questions and answers type portal much like Yahoo Answers, you can type in any question and other users can answer them. You can earn Mahalo dollars if you provide the best answer to a question. Mahalo

Powerset is a natural language search engine that tries to understand the question asked instead of just looking for keywords. Powerset was founded by Barney Pell, a graduate of Stanford with a Ph.D in computer science from Cambridge, aquired by Microsoft in 2008 and it currently searches and organizes articles from the Wikipedia. Powerset

Aardvark is a social engine where users can ask their friends and contacts for advice. The software automatically directs the question to the persons best eqipped to answer based on the personal profile they have entered into the system. Sounds like a good idea and they have an offer from Google to buy them for $30 million. Aardvark

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