A lot of information is generated and shared on the internet every day. Therefore, it was necessary to create a method of organization and classification to make it easier for people to find what they need and preferably quickly.

And that’s where search engines came in!

They are mechanisms that facilitate quick access to information. Here’s how it works: every time someone does a search, the search engine stores information, keeping browsing data to speed up future access to the page.

The best-known search engines are Google and Bing, but there are others on the market. Keep reading to find out what they are.

A search engine or search site is basically a system responsible for searching for files stored on internet services.

To find these files, search engines identify the keywords used by the user during their search. As a result, they deliver a list of links that lead to sites that mention the searched term.

Here comes the importance of SEO strategies, because in this way we can make our content appear in the first results of search engines.

Types of search sites

Search sites are classified into 3 types, being:

  • Hierarchical;
  • Directories; Meta search engines;
  • Hierarchical Search Engines.


These search engines review the databases of pages through Web crawlers – or spiders, and collect information on content according to the user’s search.

In this way, they classify the results according to their relevance to the search and the person’s browsing history.


Here, site links are grouped by categories. Although they are simple, they require human support and maintenance to function.

This type of site does not crawl or store content, it simply groups links by category organizing them by date of publication.

Meta Search Engines

This interface forwards the search to other search sites and analyzes the results they present.

In this way, the goal of meta search engines is to increase the margin of results and organize the links in an order defined by the structural system.

Types of Search Engines

Vertical Search Engines

Vertical or specialized search engines perform searches for a specific type of content, such as videos, price comparison, blogs and communities.

Or even for a market segment, such as automobiles, services, real estate, tourism among others.

YouTube is an example of a vertical or specialized search site, as it only searches within its 100% video database.

Horizontal Search Engines

Horizontal search sites perform searches on all types of content or information from the World Wide Web, directories, or proprietary or public databases.

Google, for example, is a horizontal search site. Pay attention when doing a search. When you enter and perform your search, it displays consolidated results of web pages, images, videos, among others.

How many search engines exist?

Besides Google, there are more than 20 search engines on the internet. However, many of them are not well-known.

Among the main search engines available on the internet, we can mention:

  • Google
  • Yahoo!
  • Bing
  • Ask
  • AOL
  • Go
  • Live
  • Snap
  • AURA!
  • Duck Duck Go
  • MSN
  • Search
  • Yippi
  • Boing
  • Dumbfine
  • GoYams
  • MetaGlossary
  • PlanetSearch
  • SearchTheWeb2
  • Terra
  • Web 2.0
  • And many others!

In addition to these, several other search engines have already ceased to exist, such as AltaVista. If you remember it, let us say… we are old.

What are the main search engines

Yes, there are many search engines – I wasn’t joking. However, I will only delve into the most relevant search engines. Starting with the well-known Google.


This is the largest and most well-known search engine. Although it already existed, Google achieved its success in the mid-2000s. Its concept is based on the use of PageRank, which assumes that the most searched pages are linked, in greater numbers, to other pages.

Learn more about PageRank here It identifies the importance and relevance of the content found on the internet with respect to the words used by the user.

To make this ranking, Google uses different algorithms to determine the order of appearance of the sites.

Google offers the best search experience through quick, advanced, and image searches.


The second most popular search engine worldwide. Bing is the native search system that new Microsoft devices use, from Windows 8 onwards.

The main difference between it and Google is that Bing is better for video searches, while Google already has all the resources.


Yahoo! Search was launched in 2004 and, more than a search engine, can be considered as a portal.

It has internet search services, email, news, store, travel agency, games, entertainment, among others.

Duck Duck Go

Duck Duck Go is very similar to Google. However, the way it presents the results is not based on the importance of the page according to the content information.

Instead, the search engine offers the best answer to the question asked, even if it comes from a site that is not well positioned.

Its intention is to improve the relevance of the results.

Search Encrypt

This alternative search engine emerged as an option to respect users’ privacy.

With Search Encrypt, you can search privately and securely, avoiding your searches from being intercepted.

It is a meta-search engine and ensures that your online activities remain secure.

MSN Search

As an alternative to Google and Yahoo!, MSN Search emerged.

It is a search engine that allows for easy and fast searches. In addition, it has added other services, such as the Outlook email tool and news.


Ask is a search engine where you literally ask a question and receive an answer to your inquiry.

Its goal was to provide answers to questions asked in natural language. However, it was slow to index pages.

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha helps users find solutions in just a few seconds. The coolest thing about the site is that it provides access to a large database on various topics.

According to its founder, it serves to compute answers to questions based on established facts.


Factbites is an English search engine that serves as a dictionary to search for information on universities and databases.

The answers it provides are of an academic nature.


Answers Yahoo! Answers is one of the oldest question and answer platforms on the internet. It had its peak in the late 2000s and was discontinued in 2021.

It had specific categories and allowed for any type of question to be discussed among users.


Zanran is a locator of statistical data. Its focus is to find charts and tables on the internet.

This is its main difference from other search engines, such as Google, Bing, among others.


NationMaster has statistical data about countries. It collects information provided by the World Bank and allows for comparisons of metrics and indicators.

The search engine provides access to market trends in 300 vertical industries and global coverage.


Wikipedia is a free license encyclopedia project, based on the web and collaboratively written.

The site has its own database of articles hosted on its page on various subjects and can be edited by users.

It has been online since 2001 and has become one of the largest tools for research and study.

Did you enjoy learning more about search engines? Keep following to learn even more!