4 search engines warned about Google - who are they?

This is an authentic article written by BramvdnHeuvel.

Estimated reading time: 2 mins.

4 search engines warned about Google - who are they?

TLDR: Check the graph at the bottom to compare new search engines against Google. You might want to switch in 2023.

Earlier this month, (October 2021) the search engines DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Qwant and Lilo wrote a letter to the European Commission. The Commission is working on the DMA, which is a new act that is expected to significantly improve the fairness of digital markets in the European Union in 2023.

The letter addressed that Google, world's most used search engine, also controls software like Android and will make it very difficult to switch from Google to something else. The way Google lets you pick a search engine isn't fair, and the smaller companies hope that the European Commission will push for more regulation and fairness on the digital market.

You can read the open letter yourself if you want.

Suppose that these four companies get it their way - which one would you pick? Certain smartphones like Volla Phone no longer let you use Google, so it's better to get to know the search engines. So here's a quick summary of the four!


DuckDuckGo is a search engine that emphasizes on respecting your privacy. It has a variety of sources from which it pulls search results, including Microsoft Bing. One of its major downsides is that it's based in the United States.

They make money by showing you advertisements through relationships with companies like Amazon and eBay. However, all advertisements are based on keywords in your search query and neither DuckDuckGo nor the advertisers will ever link it back to you.


Ecosia is a not-for-profit search engine that puts all its profit into bettering the environment. By their report, their servers run on 100% renewable energy since 2018 and they claim to be CO₂-negative, removing an average of 1kg of CO₂ from the atmosphere for every search.

They also made the commitment to respect privacy, and though they're doing better than Google Search, it isn't very impressive. They log your ip address for seven days and their tracking devices are opt-out.

Ecosia makes its money through advertisements. The website essentially gives you search results from Microsoft Bing, and then takes a cut whenever you click on an advertisement. In short, Ecosia is an alternate Bing search engine, where part of the profit goes to improving the environment.


Qwant is a privacy-oriented search engine that uses its own indexing algorithm for maximum privacy. It claims to store no cookies and is located in Europe so its respect for privacy is backed up by law.

Qwant makes its money through Bing advertisement, though it takes extra measures to prevent others from tracking you. For examples, image search is routed through Qwant's servers so that other websites only know that some Qwant user looked at that image.


I couldn't find much on the internet about the Lilo search engine, apart from their own website and a security website warning you for Lilo's tracking behaviours. Since it's quite unknown and some security websites call it fishy, I'd recommend leaving this search engine to the side until it becomes better known.

It seems like they were fourth-wheeling this open letter anyway.

Final comparison

If you're still unsure, use this table to pick your favourite.

Google DuckDuckGo Ecosia Qwant
Daily searches (estimated) 9022 million 99 million 15 million 10 million
Advertisements Google AdSense Independent affiliates Microsoft Bing advertisements Microsoft Bing advertisements
Search engine Google Search Microsoft Bing & more Microsoft Bing Qwant
Located in USA USA Europe, Germany Europe, France
Dedicated servers Yes No Yes Yes
IP address tracking Yes No First 7 days No
Cookie tracking Yes No No No