Have you ever really thought about how a search engine works? Many people don’t realize that when running a search on any site like Google, the results returned are not live or new, but actually stored, archived information that has been pulled from different websites. With millions and millions of pages currently on the World Wide Web and loads more being added daily, no two search engines will show the exact same results in the same period of time. Of course, you will see some of the same results when searching commonly used sites like Google and Bing, but each search engine contains hundreds and hundreds of unique pages, and in order to access even 60% of what is on the Web, sourcers should attempt to get used to using multiple search engines and not just sticking to Google when using different search techniques.
Here are three less used search engines that can help provide you more results:
- Exalead: exalead.com is growing in popularity but is still not used as much as it should be. Exalead lets you search for web results, images, videos, and Wikipedia article and uses the standard Boolean operators and field search commands. It also has a desktop search feature and a bookmarking option directly from the results page. Exalead is typically the best site to use when doing flipsearches (looking for hyperlinks on a page).
- DuckDuckGo: Per their website, duckduckgo.com “gives you great results without tracking you.” The site emphasizes protecting user privacy and doesn’t focus on providing you personalized results because they claim they don’t track your IP. It uses typical Boolean operators and even has its own syntax, !Bang, that lets you search another site directly.
- MillionShort: millionshort.com allows searchers to filter out the top million websites (or the first 100k, 10k, etc.) on the web, thus providing a unique set of results. If you are feeling stuck or looking to generate new ideas, MillionShort is a good place to start.
It can be challenging to break from the routine of typing www.google.com into your search bar whenever you start sourcing, but I strongly encourage you to give it a try.
What not-so-ordinary search engine is your favorite to use? Comment below!