It’s a question posed by the tech team behind the seach engine Cliqz. Sure, they might have a vested interest in seeing more traffic going to their own search engine, but I think they’re onto something.

We need more search engines.

Google has a huge share of the search market but it has hardly lived up to it’s long running ethos of don’t be evil. What started as a great search engine with a range of good products around it, has turned into an ad platform that hoovers up data on every Google service you use.

I’m starting to wonder though if it’s not so much more generalist search engines we need, but more specialist search engines instead.

We’re at the point where we have billions of web pages, but depending on the search we want to do, even filtering through the search results can be difficult. We will always need generalist search engines, but what about search engines that focus on a particular type of search or information?

We already have a number of these specialist search engines. I’ve used job search engines over the last few month to look for specific roles in the contract market. I’ve had some success with my results on these specialist search engines but not much more than using a generalist search engine like DuckDuckgo. That’s only one example though.

There has to be more examples and matching specialist search engines to match them. And if they don’t exist, why can’t we build them?