It’s always important to remind ourselves regularly that Google is not the only search engine. Yes, it’s the biggest, by a considerable margin. But numbers aren’t everything, just as placing all your eggs in one virtual basket isn’t a good idea.

Recently a huge number of businesses which had invested thousands of pounds in online optimisation found their businesses dropping almost completely off the radar with the introduction of Google’s instant search.

Then Google introduced Google Local results above the main listings, as well as increasing the number of sponsored listings appearing above those. Just as businesses manage to grasp the implications of Google’s latest move, they’re out moved again. Relying on Google alone is never wise, and whilst most people are aware of Bing and its growing relevance, even this doesn’t tell the whole story.

One of the perennial problems with Google, and indeed even with Bing, is spam. Junk websites are the bane of both the search engines and those of us who use them every day, and this week two search engines have joined forces after three years’ development and an investment of $25 million.

Their aim is to provide a range of benefits, including more accurate and reliable results, less spam, more search privacy, greater security and a range of custom features ideal for techies. Couple all those benefits with the Zero-Click feature which provides relevant information without the user even having to click, and it’s looking very interesting. So what are these two search engines, what do they each offer, and how are we seeing them develop as a combined force?

blekkoThe first search engine is Blekko, already attracting over a million queries every single day. It’s main tour de force is the fact that it is almost entirely spam free, since its algorithms only register pre-approved sites. It incorporates a slash tag facility for easily tagging and sharing results, as well as a one click facility for reporting spam sites.

duckduckgoThen there’s DuckDuckGo, a search engine that’s leading the way as far as search privacy and security is concerned, and currently handling over 2 million queries a day. It also uses a crawler that wipes out spam from its results, and offers a Zero-Click facility, so that relevant information about what you’re searching for is displayed along with the web results, saving a great deal of time.

Together these two new search engines have a lot to offer, and currently they’re both completely advert free. They’re already acquiring a loyal customer base, and are seeing a steady growth. No, it’s unlikely they’ll ever outperform Google in the overall numbers game. But sometimes it’s about more than numbers – it’s about reputation, reliability and trust.

People are trusting the results offered by Google less and less, and more and more people are turning to other search engines, happier to click those top links more readily. Isn’t it time your business stopped obsessing about Google, and started seeing the wider picture?