Search engines are becoming increasingly innovative as behemoths like Google are being challenged from every direction. Some newcomers are being designed specifically to protect their users’ privacy, others to solve age-old business problems. Whether you’re looking for a new search engine to use or an up-and-coming business to follow and invest in, this list explores some of the most innovative and exciting search engines out there.
Yippy has been described as an obscure but scrappy company (powered by IBM’s Watson AI platform), designed to help users find those websites that are really hard to find on major search engines. It was originally released as Vivisismo Clusty, a pointer to the fact that it clusters search results into meaningful categories. Its revenue comes from enterprise search appliances and there are no adverts or tracking scripts installed by third parties, so it claims to offer unrivaled privacy, but it does log IP addresses and browsing features.
It’s good for those looking for specific pieces of information (like academic papers) or things like the independent hobby sites that used to litter the internet before Wikipedia started assimilating as much information as it can manage (and dominating the SERP). A great feature that the site offers is that you can refine your search as you’re making the queries. When you make a search you get the option to choose more specifically what you are looking for, as well as shown a list of the other items you could search that are related to your current search. This can be great for assimilating sources and exploring a topic in great depth.
Oscobo is another search engine that sells itself on its privacy features. It made its debut in 2015 and new users will find a landing page that looks similar to Google. That’s (obviously) done on purpose – it wants to set itself apart from search engines like DuckDuckGo, which are highly privacy-focused but often struggle at delivering the same quality of results as Google. Oscobo seeks to deliver similar results to Google but it completely anonymizes its users, starting with a UK user base. It gets its licenses from Bing and Yahoo, so don’t expect exactly the same results as you would get with Google. It does, however, come with some major privacy-oriented features. It does not log your IP address; it doesn’t rely on any cookies at all. Instead, it generates all its revenue from PPC advertising and has a business model that proudly declares it does not sell any of your data at all.
Octopart is a search engine that was started by three PhD students who were frustrated by the struggle to find electronic components when they were doing their physics degree. Niche, definitely, but Octopart has grown from 2007 into a major source of delight for engineers all across the globe. Who knew how hard it was to get information about the wealth of electrical components that engineers have to use on a day-to-day basis!
Octopart is free for users and boasts about 700,000 unique visitors per month, according to the last records available. They are highly innovative and seek to make life easier for engineers in other ways – including by offering an API. The Octopart API gives electrical engineers instant and easy access to electronic part data, unlocking access to millions of electronic parts that might otherwise be hidden from view! Its parent company, Altium, has been tipped as an investment to watch, as its share price has risen by 500% over 5 years.
Omnity is designed for those who need relevant research materials, as well as semantic mapping and was launched in 2016. Although it sounds a little complex, it is simple enough to operate – it allows users to find related documents and discover how articles, journals, pdfs and more are interconnected on the web. This is obviously far more practical for those who deal with reports on a regular basis, and it is a great help for those who have an interest or business in science, medicine, engineering, law and finance. It’s being used by academics and business professionals alike and has proved popular with marketeers who want inspiration for unique content.
Midomi is an innovative new search engine designed for music lovers. It is designed to provide a solution to an all-too-common problem – remembering just a part of a song, but not remembering its name or its artist. All you have to do is sing or hum a song you are looking for into the search engine and will show matches to the melodies that you’ve hummed. It does have some flaws, however, mainly that if you don’t have perfect pitch it might take a few attempts to deliver the right melody, but it is no doubt an innovative solution for musicians and lovers of music all across the globe.