List of top search engines for Competitive Intelligence, Competitor Analysis research


This article offers a list of top search engines for Competitive Intelligence, Competitor Analysis research. In no particular order, and if you have any suggestions or additions, then please let us know on 

Why use more than one search engine?

We have selected a couple of search engines which focus on privacy. However, in our view, the trick when searching for secondary information is to use niche search engines to really target your search. But also, searching for the same subject will reveal very different results. Sometimes you find nuggets of gold. 

List of top search engines for Competitive Intelligence

In this article, we present the following search engines our researchers use to varying degrees. 

  • Yippy
  • Dogpile
  • Board Reader
  • Dark Search
  • WolframAlpha
  • Million Short
  • Peekier
  • Mojeek
  • Carrott2
  • Yandex
  • isearchfrom 

We all know how to use a search engine, but do you know how do search engines actually work?

How do search engines work?

Search engines crawl billions of pages using their own web crawlers. They are often called bots or spiders. Search engines navigate the web, download web pages and follow links within these pages to discover new pages.

They add the isolated web pages into a data structure index. This index includes the URLs and other relevant data, including:

  • Keywords found within the page
  • Using microdata called Schemes the content of the page
  • The age of the website
  • The popularity of the page

Ok, but what's a metasearch engine?

Using an algorithm, a metasearch engine is a web portal aggregator of many results for a keyword or a phrase of a number of different search engines. A metasearch engine removes the need to use many individual search engines separately. Examples of metasearch engines include Metacrawler, Dogpile, lxquick, Metager, Yabado, and Zoo.


Yippy is a metasearch engine which groups search results into clusters. This search engine was created by Vivísimo in 2004 under the name Clusty. Vivisimo was acquired by IBM in 2010 and incorporated the power of IBM Watson.


Dogpile is a metasearch engine. It fetches results from Yandex, Google, Bing Yahoo!, and other popular search engines. Including audio and video content.


Boardreader is a niche search engine which focuses searching on groups and message boards. Most search engines overlook these often vibrant communities, and you can get significant insight into your business, brand and the answers to the questions you need to ask.

Dark Search

Darksearch claims to be the worlds first real Dark Web search engine, which of course it isn't. The search engine allows you research and directly access sites onion (via Tor2Web) by simplifying access, monitoring the dark web, and cybersecurity. Darksearch indexes all .onion site and will soon allow you to search other restricted forums. Ahmia's is a more established premier search engine for the Tor network. A more conventional search engine for the deep web. Ahmia allows access to onion services to anyone.


Released in May 2009 WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge search engine or answer engine. Rather than providing a list of web pages that may answer your questions, this online service answers factual questions by calculating external data.

Million Short 

Toronto based search engine Million Short brands itself as "more of a discovery engine'. Million Short allows you to filter out of your search results the top million websites on the internet. A unique group of search results based on content, not just who's got the best SEO budget.


Search engine Peekier has doesn't add cookies, and or save your IP address or any other information; they don't keep your search keywords or aggregated your history. Results mainly sourced from Bing, but as discussed in the opening paragraph alternative search results will be revealed.


Launched in 2004, Mojeek is a UK based search engine based. Search results come from its index of web pages using its spiders.


Carrot2 is an open-source search clustering engine and instantly places search results into topics. Results are clustered into thematic categories, meaning they are group into themes. So search dog you will get groupings including collar and bone, rather than cats and pet rabbits.


Yandex is a Russian search engine and is the biggest search engine in Russia, with over 50% of the search engine market. But Yandex operates like any other leading search engines but will offer different results to other search engines.


isearchfrom emulates Google search location tool. You enter the language or the country where you want to search in. Your search results reflect the same search results if you are in that country. Of course, the alternative way to do this is to use a VPN to mask your location or use a server from the country you wish to find information in.

ICIJ Offshore Leaks

ICIJ is an independent and nonprofit news organisation. Offshore leaks brings journalists together to help collaboration on in-depth global investigations. The ICIJ Offshore Leaks search engines allow you to search 100,000 plus discrete companies, funds and trusts created in offshore locales like the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Singapore, and the Cook Islands.

This article offered a list of top search engines for Competitive Intelligence, Competitor Analysis research. The list is in no particular order, and if you have any suggestions or additions, please let us know on

About Octopus Intelligence

Octopus is a global Competitive Intelligence service company answering the questions you need to answer to help you grow. 

We help you beat competitors, increase sales, be disruptive, enter new markets and invest with more certainty. As Competitor Analysis and Market Intelligence consultants, we are able to offer Strategic Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, and Due Diligence.

We understand we live in an increasingly uncertain, competitive and ever-shifting world and what you need is an active real-world business development strategy. 

UK based Competitive Analysis consultants with a global client base offering Competitive intelligence-based growth-focused actions to answer the what and the how for the now and the next. 


Follow us on Twitter/octopusintell and Linkedin.


And, get in touch with Octopus via our contact us page.


Also, please feel free to sign up to our daily one-liner Intelligence tip. Or sign up for our monthly article. 

And some further reading:


What is Competitive Intelligence?

This is an icon of the Competitive Intelligence button. Beat competitors, increase sales, solve problems, Competitive Intelligence & Competitor Analysis with Octopus Intelligence. Free Competitive Intelligence templates what is competitive intelligence

Competitive Intelligence is the ethical collection and analysis of competitive information to enable you to avoid surprises, think more moves ahead, and minimise uncertainty to enable more informed strategic decisions. It gives you the ability to differentiate yourself and stay ahead of the competition, and in many cases, can be the unspoken, hidden key to success.