There is a Google alternative? Really?

by Tolovaj

When doing a research, don't rely on Google only. To stand out from the crowd, use Google alternatives and get better data than your competition!

Does Google have an alternative? Web is loaded with regurgitated content which can be found on the first page of the big G's results. When we try to search for information on Web, we often realize all pages, offered as best (quality, original, ...) results, contain almost the same text, which is in most cases conveniently summarized in Wikipedia.

Infamous black and white animals will not solve this problem. Can we do better? How to perform an internet research if you want to make a truly original article? Something, where your audience can find useful info, which is hard to find in other articles? Maybe even something worth quoting?

Yes, Google has an alternative. There are actually many alternatives, it's only up to you if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone presented on

page one and do something even an average six grader is able to.

(all used images are public domain, all come from Pixabay, and if you don't believe me, ask in comment section below)

Here's the list of top 10 Google alternatives!

... and they are all owned by Google

1. Enhance the power of Google with parameters!

Majority of users of search engines never use anything else than the simple blank rectangle. Often an additional word offers much better and less exploited results. About a decade ago I earned a living with writing biographies of celebrities for several magazines. But if I typed only name surname or name surname biography, I often had to go beyond page 10 before I managed to find a page with info which was not already included in all major magazines in every single country in the world. Then I noticed if I type Name Surname interview, much better results came to my screen and my articles drastically improved.

But there is of course more. Here are few examples what else is Google capable of:

2. Google Scholar

Like it or not, after Google - comes more of Google. Google Scholar is just one of many properties of this gigantic advertising agency search engine most of their users never heard of. But they should. Scholar with its signature Stand on the shoulders of giants offers search across many resources which may be hard to find for uninitiated, are less search engine friendly, but definitely more authoritative on academic subjects than average winners in SERPs.

As the name already suggests scholar offers results from scholarly literature, data repositories, academic journals, books and libraries. Results are a bit differently organized as you are accustomed, but you'll get the hang of it very fast. It is a great resource and it has several issues, including favoritism of big brands and vulnerability to spam, both annoying characteristics of Big G.

But if you need an alternative, this may be MUCH better than you possibly imagine. And it has much more serious competitors than the Google has at Bing, Yahoo, Yandex and others. Here are few of them:

Journals for Free

Each needs some adaptation before you get used to it, but advantages are huge, so it is definitely good investment of time!

3. YouTube

Yes, this is another of Google's companies, and no, it is not just a popular video sharing site. It is the second biggest search engine in the world with more than one hundred millions of searches every day and one billion unique visitors per month. Like the rest of the web it offers a lot of rubbish and a pinch of useful information which can come extremely handy at on line researches. YouTube proved highly efficient at many of my how to articles and I sincerely recommend it to everybody who is willing to invest some time to find original info on wide variety of subjects you might need to write about.

If you are dealing with scientific articles, major players like Animal Planet, NASA, National Geographic, The Science Channel uploaded a lot of useful content and even full length movies with very high quality content and surprisingly low number of visitors.

Don't forget YouTube can be useful as alternative resource of images for your articles as well. Sometimes it is very hard to find good photos without copyright restrictions, but the same stuff can be seen with a help of video modules or embed video. Although in this case copyright may still be an issue, you will not be penalized because the violation was done by uploader. Just don't forget to check if the video is still on from time to time.

As an addition YouTube proved as very good source of traffic to my landing sites (my on-line store).

When I do a research for articles I use:

Other search engines

4. Amazon

I already mentioned the second biggest search engine in the world. Do you know who occupies third spot? It's Amazon, the biggest retailer in human history. They started as a bookseller and books are still one of the best sources of knowledge. If somebody wrote a book, there a reasonable to expect he invested more time and knowledge than somebody, who wrote an article. With arrival of e-books you can access millions of them with just few clicks and many of them are -

Use Google Alternatives at your research
Use Google Alternatives at your research

Let me explain this one a bit more. Amazon offers to all the publishers a special promotion program called KDP Select which allows publishers to promote their stuff by giving away their e-books for free. If you are writing about certain niche, let's say about SEO, you just have to enter SEO in their search window and you'll find few SEO related books for free. Of course not every one of them will be of high quality, and not every one of them will be free today or tomorrow, but many will use the ability to give their books for free five days in 90 days interval, so with some patience you can build pretty good virtual library on any subject in only few months. When you have a niche, like SEO it's always good to check few related keywords as well. In this case 'writing on-line', 'affiliate marketing', 'keyword research', social media' and 'link building' would be good idea.

What about if you want to write about products. There not too many books about vacuum cleaners or binocular microscopes, right? While this is true, there are probably numerous products in these categories and many of these products have not only descriptions by sellers, but interesting info in comments section as well. If you are interested in products only, you should know there are there are four times more product related searches products on Amazon than on Google, so this is definitely the search engine to look at.

5. is huge repository of data with very ambitious mission - to make a backup of the web with their Wayback Machine which is only one of the options in the menu. This address connects hundreds of libraries which provide digitized material with different copyright restriction for free. It takes some time to find something useful in this archive, but for my passion - fairy tales - I managed to find thousands and thousands of copyleft illustrations which are now published on several of my blogs and dozes of my posts offer completely unique content, which brought me several good links with more to come in the future.

digital-libraryBy reading old books, available at, you can find a lot of info about people who lived hundreds of years ago. There are, for instance, all three autobiographies of Hans Christian Andersen, several books, published after his death, which are all forgotten now, but offer a lot of content which can't be easily find on web and definitely not among top 100 results of Google.

With Wayback Machine you can read a content published on pages which are off line for years. Many of them can significantly contribute to your research, if you only know their addresses. These could be often found through links on the pages which are still on-line, so when you get another 404 error, write down the URL and check Archive's Wayback Machine!


ISSUU is just one of the numerous sites which provide on-line magazines. It provides free content which can help building publicity to publishers and gives you, as researcher, good insight into countless of topics, from 'greek mythology' to 'wedding planning'. About half of publishers offer an ability to save their content in PDF format, so you can read it even when you don't have connection to internet. (You need to open free account for this option.)

You will probably find some junk and some copyrighted material in your chosen niche, but in general ISSUU provides a lot of useful content which is not indexed by Google and his followers, so you can grab data, include it in your research, arrange it at your convenience and provide a good alternative to already existing articles in your niche. Another good chance to stand out from the crowd, don't you think so?

By the way, if you become a publisher, ISSUU can be source of trafic to your site. Here is one of the examples coming from our publishing house (an article about famous people who probably suffered by Asperger's syndome before this was definied as an autism spectrum disorder:


JSTOR is completely different kind of publisher. It offers access to thousands and thousands of academic articles on numerous topics and many of them are available for free, you just need a free registration. It is my favorite site among several similar ones and in my case very precious resource of knowledge and inspiration about folklore, fairy tales and similar stuff.

With JSTOR you can access many articles which are more than hundred years old and many new ones, which will not enter too soon into mainstream pop scene where Google makes the rules and listings. It is your chance to find interesting facts which can be included in your researches. Unfortunately JSTOR offers slightly complicated system for free users. After registration you have a virtual shelf with a place for only three articles. These articles have to stay on the shelf for at least fiteen days, before you can replace them with new ones, so you can get full access (in general you can preview only first page) just six articles per month.

The good news is, with an article on the shelf you have an access to all other articles in the same journal. When I was writing about the Sleeping Beauty, I managed to find an edition entirely dedicated to this fairy tale / romance novel / myth, so I definitely had enough material. Just in case I also created an account in my library too ...

8. Visit forums and blogs

Forums are not just for people, who want to complain, but lack time or guts to do it in real life. You can find a lot of very skilled experts about all possible topics and many of them will be happy to provide you an answer if you have a specific question regarding your article. Of course, to get the best answers, you have to sound like a consumer in trouble. A role, which should not be too hard to empathize with, huh?

Almost the same approach is useful at blogs too. You just have to find leaders in every specific industry. A Google search:

best blogs about 'your topic'

can serve as great starting point.

Don't forget the basic etiquette on forums, where are especially sensible to spam. Open a profile, fill it out, try to contribute, in general - be a member, not abuser. By the way, the same approach works fine in off line life as well. If you, for instance, work on article about digital cameras, you can call a service dealing with the specific model you are trying to promote. Try to reach the man (in most cases this is a testosterone packed area) who repairs broken products. You have to sound like a nice, worried and not too smart consumer. Ask, for instance, what kind of repairs can you expect, in, let's say, next two years, if you buy a specific model.

With a bit of luck you will get info manufacturers NEVER provide, official reviewers RARELY discover and is ALWAYS in high demand among buyers. Sounds like a winner?

9. Exploit dedicated sites

Every niche has at least few authority sites about the subject. Some are very rich with content and supported with major off line magazines, other run by devoted enthusiasts for many years, so you can easily familiarize with professional jargon and get used to the theme. Instead of listing hundreds of magazines which can serve as great resources for your on-line writing, I'll give you a pro tip on very specific problem every serious researcher sooner or later bumps into.
Many of the best sites require some kind of membership to give you full access to the articles. Several of them allow Google to index their archive or articles (what helps them ranking), but don't allow visitors to read indexed content without registration. Well, in some cases you may go around this obstacle by reading the cached version (if any) or translate the content directly from search results without prior opening. When the content is translated (in any of gibberish versions), just simply click on the 'read original' option and you'll have full article.

This trick will not work always and I am not sure if somebody can claim any kid of copyright infringements in case you read something you are not suppose to, so I officially declare I don't use this method. I just mentioned it to look more cool competent.

For instance, in the wedding niche, you will probably want to check:

The Knot


My Dream Wedding Ideas

which all provide a lot of quality and unique info about weddings.

10. Visit your local library

More and more libraries offer more and more digitized content, so you can play a researcher without putting your slippers off. You can actually write without leaving your bed. But if you want to excel in your writings, some dirt on your soles will not hurt.

Libraries are still a great resource of very versatile knowledge which is in most cases written by much more qualified writers than the average contributors of different wikis or revenue sharing sites. The reason is simple. Even if you are dealing with vanity press, somebody had to believe in author enough to invest in paper, binding and other old fasioned materials which can still provide a lot of unique and quality info, just right for every niche writer.

I do that all the time. But enough about me ...

Don't forget libraries with real books!
Local library can be good alternative to Google
Local library can be good alternative to Google
Updated: 01/02/2016, Tolovaj
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What do you think about my alternatives to Google?

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Tolovaj on 09/16/2023

All alternative searches should give alternative results. But don't forget the personalization and always evolving AI.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/14/2023

Your first alternative, Enhance the power of Google with parameters!, alerts us that "Majority of users of search engines never use anything else than the simple blank rectangle. Often an additional word offers much better and less exploited results."

Does that mean that Google and each alternative responds to one set of Google-specific search terms and to one set of non-Google search terms? Or does it mean that all other alternatives respond to alternative-specific terms?

Tolovaj on 03/28/2017

Hi, gomezpeter. I believe I have listed 10 sites, all being useful as alternatives. I might expand the list in the future, because Google is loosing some share at several specialized search markets.

gomezpeter on 03/22/2017

This is an interesting concept which I've never heard of in years of
casual browsing. Is there a site you know of that does this, and is
the inspiration for your search?

Tolovaj on 02/25/2017

Thanks, katiem2. I'm glad you found it useful. This article should be just a start of a series, but somehow my time schedule still doesn't allow to make a step further ...

katiem2 on 02/22/2017

I cannot believe I have not read this, or have I and did it just come back on my research radar or retrieved from my collective memory of resources, regardless it is a gold mine. Thanks for the helpful alternatives.

Tolovaj on 02/07/2017

Thanks, cmoneyspinner. You are always welcome!

cmoneyspinner on 02/04/2017

Hi @Tolovaj ~ Rummaging through my old blog posts and came across a post that shared a link to your Wizzley profile. Revisiting this article. It is still a “precious gem”. Going to re-share this in my professional and social circles. My network has grown considerably since the last time I commented here in 2014 and your content is still relevant.

Tolovaj on 03/02/2016

Thanks, sandyspider, for your comment. I believe having alternatives is always good.

sandyspider on 03/01/2016

Good list of resources here. A lot I don't like with Google.

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