Skip to main content

List of alternatives to Google and co for your own server

search engine logoGoogle Search having probably more than 70% market share followed by Bing and Yahoo, Google tends to be unavoidable….but it exists quite a lot of robust alternatives and I wanted to share some of them here.


Obvisouly DuckDuckGo have become quite popular after all the revelation about PRISM, NSA surveillance, etc….. and after testing it for several weeks, I’m quite happy with it, although its was tough to change my habits and I even felt the relevancy of answers was not so good as I was used to the “selected” (Called it restricted) contents from Google (based on my previous history). But actually I’m now very happy¬† to see the web from a fresh eye!

If you’re not a big fan of DuckDuckGo, I recommend you to give a try to Ixquick or StartPage. (Many more exists tho)

But hey, this is a blog on self hosting or managing your own server…DuckDuckGo is great, but how about having my own search engine?

Basically, you can have 2 types of search engine:

1) The Meta search engine, using the indexes of others search engine (They crawl the web and the meta search engine will use their database to deliver you the content).

It’s usually a light application with a good accuracy (Large number of indexed websites, usually from Google, Yahoo or Bing). Hence you got most of the web under a single click with some added features (Compared to google, etc..) such as privacy or even collaborative. However, you fully rely on the 3rd party databases. If Google remove a website from its database, then you cannot see it.

2) The “real” search engine, clearly like Google and co. Meaning you will need to crawl the web and index it before doing a search. The benefits are a total censorship-free, independence and privacy, however as you can expect, crawling the web is a long job and you won’t be able to compete with Google’s billions of pages indexed and million servers….

Actually, expect for intranet or if you want to have your own search engine restricted in few websites that you can crawl by yourself, I don’t see much reasonable alternatives except the great Yacy (Peer to Peer search engine) that I will detail (and write a tutorial) later.

Here is the list of meta/search engines that worth a try:

1) Meta Search Engine

Searx, opensource meta search engine protecting your privacy with parallel query for faster response, Duckduckgo like !bang functionality with engine shortcuts and many more.

Seeks, opensource collaborative distributed (p2p) search engine that ranks results by social consensus (filter)

MySearch, opensource simple meta search engine (Minimalist design) and respecting your privacy.

2) Search Engine

Yacy, decentralized and censorship free, Yacy allow you to crawl your part of the internet and share your index on p2p. The more people running a node, the faster and more complete it become. (My favourite Search Engine!)


Well, I have to say I didn’t find many still maintained search engines so far, but I’ll continue to look for. if you know any other good ones, please share them on the comment section!


google search engine question why