Can we rely on Google: the alternatives

Feb 1, 2009
Updated • Mar 11, 2013

Apparently, Wikipedia, the BBC, gHacks and the White House are malware. Well, there were for about 30 minutes. Google decided to claim that they 'may harm your computer', no doubt due to some sort of bug with their system.

This may seem quite amusing, but it proved annoying as Google's links to webpages would not work. It also shows the power of Google; what is to stop them falsely branding websites as malware?

It makes you consider Google's power.

Services like Blogger are also popular, yet alternatives are a dime a dozen. The most popular must be WordPress, either self-hosted or TypePad is also quite reliable, although a paid service, and MovableType is the good self-hosted version of it.

Google News and Blog Search are very useful for aggregating news and blog information. The most popular alternatives to Google Blog Search are Technorati and Icerocket. Alternatives to News are Yahoo! News Search and Altavista News (although they index much fewer sources).

Alternatives to YouTube? There's Metacafe, Dailymotion and MegaVideo, to name a few. MegaVideo limits bandwidth per user, though, unless they buy a Megaupload account.

Google Maps and Earth has many competitors too, such as Windows Live Maps, Yahoo Maps, TerraServer and OpenAerialMap. The latter two have much lower coverage and only aerial photos, but OpenAerialMap is interesting in that it relies on people to upload their aerial views to patch them together. It also integrates OpenStreetMap data; I was surprised to see my GPS traces of half my street on it!

Picasa's main competitors are iPhoto for Mac, F-Spot for Linux, Adobe Lightroom, XnView and Photomesa. Photobucket and Flickr are obvious alternatives to their hosting service.

There are many alternatives to Google's online office suite too. The main ones are Thinkfree and Zoho.

Onto more minor services: Google Notebook can be replaced with Diigo or Clipmarks. Google Directory is just a mirror of the Open Directory Project. Google Code is effectively the same idea as Sourceforge. Kelkoo and Pricerunner compete with Google Shopping, and PayPal and Moneybookers with Google Checkout.

As for search, there's Yahoo!, Ask, Altavista, Live Search etc. Scroogle is another interesting option; it uses Google but anonymises it and doesn't keep logs, removing privacy concerns.

Have I missed anything out? Leave a comment!

Update: Scroogle has been taken offline.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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