If one were to put together a list of the different ways that the internet has enhanced our lives, chances are that the very top of that list would be the incredible amount of information that is now available to anyone with a connection. Granted, the enhancements to communication, entertainment and business activities are also worthy of note. However, the fact that the internet places information on just about anything imaginable right at your fingertips is most likely helpful to the most people.

It is important to understand, however, that accessing most of the information that the internet provides is most effectively done using a software program called a search engine. A search engine works by accepting different terms, called keywords, applicable to the subject matter you are looking for. These keywords can be a single word or multiple words, with more specific results resulting the more keywords you enter. Given that there are close to four billion different web pages as of August 2013, entering in as many qualifying search terms can be extremely helpful.

There is one particular search engine that is virtually synonymous with finding information on the internet: Google. In fact, the phrase “Google it” is something most of us has heard at one point or another when unsure of the information you are looking for.

However, Google is not the only search engine on the internet by a long shot. In fact, as of this year, there are close to three hundred different search engines people can use to find the information they need. Let’s take a look at some of the best alternatives to Google out there for finding what you want to know, when you want to know it.

Bing

When it comes to software of virtually any type, chances are that you are going to see at least one offering from Microsoft. This is definitely true of the search engine category, with the website Bing, which has proven itself too be an effective tool for searching for information.

Bing includes many helpful features, all designed to make your search efforts more effective and rewarding. Aside from the colorful graphics that can be seen on the homepage of the site, you will also find such helpful tools as suggestions offered as you type in your keywords, different options placed right at the top of the screen and a list of related searches. All of these features add up to a choice that is definitely worthy of consideration.

Yahoo! Search

While its user base may have slipped over the years, due mainly to the masses of people that use Google as their top service provider, Yahoo! Search is still popular enough to sit comfortably in the number two spot according to recent studies. This is due mainly too the unique features it offers, which make finding what you are looking for, as well as protecting you from potential malicious code contained in the pages you visit.

For example, one of the most prominent features, SearchScan, will instantly notify you if the page you want to access contains any malware, viruses or spyware, helpful with ensuring that your computer does not become infected. In addition, the connections to all of the other services Yahoo! offers makes it a top choice for many users.

Ask

Ask, also referred to as Ask Jeeves, is a longstanding member of the website search community, offering effective solutions since 1996. One of the most notable features of Ask is that the interface, as well as the results returned from your query, are extremely easy-to-read and organized. This makes finding the specific website you are looking for much easier than some of the other big names in the search engine category.

No matter what type of information you are interested in, having a search engine help you to locate the best resources can easily spell the difference between success and failure. In addition, an effective search engine can reduce the amount of time you spend on the search exponentially.