Google, The Search Engine GIANT and their new AI project Magi
Ever ask someone a question and they respond, snarkily, “Google it”? It’s time to venture beyond the giant search engine and delve into a curated list of alternative search engines from the perspective of a private investigator, leveraging open-source intelligence (OSINT). The fact of the matter is that Google is NOT the end all be all. Other options exist that will enhance your researching endeavors.
Reflecting on the evolution of search engines, initiated by the founders of Yahoo, it’s intriguing how these platforms set the stage for future competitors, including the formidable Google, now equipped with artificial intelligence integration.
Numerous search engines have emerged and faded over time, each contributing significantly to the evolution of the search engine landscape. Their influence persists, inspiring the development of a new generation of search engines.
The exciting news for folks exploring the expansive realm of open-source intelligence is that alternative search engines offer unique features and strengths. Whether one seeks region-specific results or a global search experience, diverse options cater to varied preferences.
However, it’s imperative to acknowledge the fluid nature of search engine popularity over time. Therefore, staying informed about the latest updates and exploring alternatives to Google becomes essential in the dynamic landscape of OSINT.
But first, let’s talk a little bit about Google’s latest foray into artificial intelligence….
Magi: Google is developing a New Artificial Intelligence Search Engine
Amid the ongoing AI race, Google has plans for a new search engine loaded with fresh AI features under a project named Magi. This new search engine is expected to offer a more personalized online search experience to users by anticipating their needs. Based on what users have searched for, Google’s Magi will “learn” what the user wants. It will return lists of preselected options for products or information to purchase, more topics to delve into, relevant documents, and additional data relevant to the initial search. The search is going to be more conversational based – meaning, users will have the feeling that they are speaking to another person rather than a machine. And what’s even cooler is that Magi will allow you to directly carry out financial transactions related to your search…. from buying your favorite product to booking travel tickets to determining what subscription streaming service best fits your tastes.
Apart from generating text-based responses, Magi will also write codes based on users’ requests. Google is also likely to place ads beneath codes (ads? No way…lol). Well, after all, Google is a business and has to generate value for their shareholders… A topic for another time, I suppose. So… Google reportedly has 160 people on the job, including designers, engineers and executives working full-time on the Magi’s features. These AI features will be available to one million users initially and expand to 30 million users later this year. However, there’s no timeline specified regarding the rollout of the new AI version.
Google’s Other Projects:
- Google Earth’s mapping will soon use a chatbot to help users search for music.
- GIFI- A new tool that will leverage AI to generate images in Google Image search results.
- Tivoli Tutor- This product will enable users to learn a new language by having open-ended AI conversations.
- Searchalong – Searchalong will allow users to ask questions to the chatbot while surfing the web using the Google Chrome browser.
Lara Levin, a Google spokesperson, says, “We’ve been bringing AI to Google Search for years to not only dramatically improve the quality of our results but also introduce entirely new ways to search, such as Lens and multi-search. We’ve done so in a responsible and helpful way that maintains the high bar we set for delivering quality information. Not every brainstorm deck or product idea leads to a launch, but as we’ve said before, we’re excited about bringing new AI-powered features to Search and will share more details soon.”
As you can see, Google plans to be around for a LONG time. The saying “no one is king forever” just doesn’t seem to apply to Google, who maintains over 80% of search market share.
So, how can we as Google users improve our searches? Well, below I have provided 30 different operator that you can include in your searches to bring you more success in discovery the information or products you want to learn more about. Give’em a try sometime!
Boolean Google Search Operators:
This command operator forces Google to search for results that mention a specific word or phrase/whatever is placed within the quotations.
This is a broad search operator to obtain results related to either of the targeted words.
This operator narrows the search for results containing both targeted keywords.
Search for results that don’t mention a word or phrase eg. Taylor Swift results WITHOUT mention of “kelce”
Wildcard – matching any word or phrase.
Group multiple searches.
Search for the definition of a word or phrase.
Find the most recent cache of a webpage.
Search for particular types of files (e.g., PDF).
Search for results from a particular website/URL.
Search for sites related to a given domain name.
Search for pages with a particular word in the title tag.
Search for pages with multiple words in the title tag.
Search for pages with a particular word in the URL.
Search for pages with multiple words in the URL.
Search for pages with a particular word in their content.
Search for pages with multiple words in their content.
Search for the weather in a specific location.
Search for stock information for a specific ticker.
Force Google to show specific map results.
Search for information about a movie.
Convert one unit of currency to another.
Search for results from a particular source within Google News Network.
Search for results from before a particular date.
Search for results from after a particular date.
intitle: AND intext:
Combining operators will refine your results further.
The AROUND operator is used to create a proximity search – finds web pages where the search terms are within a specified distance from each other.
Using the + operator will ensure that your target terms are definitely returned in the search results.
*NOTE: You can also use the _ operator, which acts as a wildcard in Google Autocomplete.
Alternative Search Engines To Google
Now that we’ve covered Google pretty well (except for Google Dorking/Hacking – I will write more on that in an upcoming article), let’s explore alternatives to Google that can greatly improve your research results.
Listed below, I have provided a comprehensive list of various search engines. There are a total of 45 and they are all linked for easy access. I’m willing to bet that you have never heard of some of these, much less used them. There are some really great resources here, many of which provide for safer browsing, securing your information and protecting you from tracking. Private Investigators, like me, use multiple search engines, especially when the objective of our research is from or located in another country. We also use The Onion Router (TOR) to access the Dark Web. The Dark Web really requires some study to enable you to protect yourself. It is not a place for just playing around, unless you really know what you’re doing. Perhaps I’ll create a course on that one day.
Yippy is a search engine that will allow for Deep Web searching. The Deep Web mainly consists of pages and directories not indexed by the regular search engines.
You’ll also notice that I have included some sites that you are very familiar with. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more are VERY powerful search engines. Yes, not only are they social media sites, but they are also search engines. Investigators use these every single day to not only research people, but also other things. These social media search engines get billions upon billions of interactions daily. All of which are curated in some way by the companies that run them.
I encourage you to try some of these search engines out and see how you like them. You will likely discover that you will add 2 or 3 more to your regular searching activities.
Yippy (deep web)
Oscobo (software that allows for secure browsing)
X (formerly Twitter)