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While many would say that Google is the driving force of the Web, Google Search is not the only search engine out there.  In fact, there are numerous options for doing a specialized search and still retain privacy, reduce spam and retrieve information. These sites offer the ability to customize your search queries based not only on keywords but also by interest and relevance to your needs. So, if you are interested in testing the waters without the good ship Google Search Engine, here are 20 alternatives to try.
  1. Bing - This is one of the best-known alternatives to Google available. Bing covers the same wide range as Google with unique extras like Visual Search, video thumbnails and travel visualization. You can also select a content category, like images, and only images will be shown in the results.
  2. Blekko - Blekko uses slashtags to group results. A general search might be “/web designers” while a specific search would be “/web designers/professional/Raleigh/North Carolina”; the more detailed the search query the more particular the result, and with less spam, the results will be.
  3. Duck Duck Go (DDG) - With DDG, you can move beyond any of the issues people have recently had with Google Search. Partnering with Blekko, DDG pulls data from Wikipedia, the Free Dictionary and various Stock Exchange sites to provide more than 5 million Internet queries each month. In addition, when using DDG, tracking is not a concern.
  4. Twitter -While many may view Twitter as just a social media site, it is also a viable search engine where you can keep with the latest news. Just go to search.twitter.com, type in a keyword and you will see results displayed in the site’s main tweet stream. This function allows you to save up to 10 search results or use hashtags to search tweet streams for notes, keywords, conferences and more.
  5. Indeed - Out of work? Looking for a new job? Check out Indeed.com for job listings pulled from multiple online sources; enter your desired position, field and location to save time in your search.
  6. LinkedIn -To keep up with Web trends, business news and companies of every size, LinkedIn is the place. Plus, when you use the search options for companies, people or jobs you can do a specific search based on the criteria entered.
  7. Data.gov - If you love to read about all aspects of government, from traffic to taxes and housing to health, then this is a prime resource for government search queries.
  8. iLike – This is the perfect search engine for the money conscious fashionista. With iLike, you can get a preview of a specific item as well as search by price, brand and style.
  9. Blinkx – For info about television programs, audio, video, podcast and music, Blinkx is a great search engine. You can search for lyrics, movie clips and other media related items, all in one place.
  10. IMDB – The Internet Movie Database is the biggest movie database on the Web. When you are looking for movie news, trailers, show times, reviews, celebrity profiles or any other type of movie info, IMDB is the place on the Web to find what you are looking for.
  11. Auction Mapper – From maps to animation, Auction Mapper is a search engine for a wide range of fun, and perhaps a bit geeky, things. Of course, it is not just fun, it is also quite useful.
  12. Health line – Looking for a way to manage migraines? Want to know what to do for an upset stomach? Perhaps you want to understand diabetes, then check out Healthline.com where finding medical information is easy. Healthline offers medically filtered results developed by trained medical personnel.
  13. Technorati-This real-time search engine combs blogs to find what you want to know. It tracks more than 2.2 million sites and over a billion links.
  14. Clusty – A meta search engine that has combines results from numerous sources, helping your search become broader. In fact, quite often, Clusty will have results that you would not have thought of it without the clustering feature.
  15. Greplin – Search Facebook, Basecamp, Google Docs, Salesforce and other similar sites easily with the far-reaching search engine at Greplin. Sign up for a free account to get a personalized search engine that delivers results from a long list of cloud based accounts.
  16. Infomine – This search site “mines” information from databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, articles and many there online resources. It was develope
  17. oped by pooling libraries at places like California State, Wake Forest University, University of California and the University of Detroit.
  18. Wolfram Alpha – For data, stats and “I wonder” statements, Wolfram Alpha is a great resource. It is considered by many to be the ideal place to ask left-brain questions. On Wolfram Alpha, queries are answered with information culled from a variety of sources, then displayed in charts, graphics, specific calculations and other user-friendly results.
  19. Blogumbus- This is a unique search engine designed specifically for mobile phones. It searches for blog posts and finds relationships, allowing you to browse those relationships with a point and click or with a pinch and zoom.
  20. Radio Locator- Find radio stations based on a specific geographic location in America. Radio Locator considers the station’s transmitter power, antenna height, frequency and antenna pattern in addition to the topography and geology of the surrounding area.
  21. Ask.com – Have a question about how to save money on school supplies? Looking for ideas for the next company dinner? Then visit ask.com, where you can submit questions in everyday language or with traditional keyword searching. Ask.com offers the standard Web search along with images, news, maps, local search, weather, encyclopedia listings, blogs, and more.
Google Search may be the most recognized, but it is not the only option. Take some time to try out some of these specialized search engines. You just might find that some of the alternatives out there may provide even better results than you’re used to.

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share your own favorite alternatives in the comments below. 

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