11 Websites You Never Realized Were Online Search Engines

young man looking at online search engines
Here's a list of 11 online search engines that you probably use without realizing they are search engines.

Did you know Google is a search engine? Duh! What about YouTube…also is. Basically, any online platform that allows users to enter search queries and gain information is an search engine. Why does that matter? Well, an online search engine can be a great source of information, and by looking at it as such you can get the most out of it.

Here’s a list of 11 online search engines that you probably use without realizing they are search engines.

11 Online Search Engines that you never realized were Search Engines:

1. YouTube

The second most popular online search engine in the world, YouTube has been making anyone and everyone feel almost famous since 2005. The aptly called “You”Tube allows users to upload their videos from anywhere and about anything. And, unless the video owner chooses otherwise, videos are searchable and can be found by anyone.

The search capabilities in YouTube are especially remarkable, because of its ability to transcribe voice to text. So you can type words that someone said in a video into YouTube’s search bar, and YouTube can find the video for you.

2. Wikipedia

A website updated and edited almost completely by volunteers, aka “Wikipedians,” Wikipedia boasts being the most popular, and most information-rich, encyclopedia in the world, ever.

And you can access a wealth of information about almost any subject you want through the Wikipedia search engine. That’s right, when you research information on Wikipedia, you’re using an online search engine. I’ll bet most Wikipedians don’t even realize that.

3. Amazon

An estimated 46% of Americans go directly to Amazon when searching for information about a retail product. One reason for Amazon’s incredible success is the wealth of information it offers about products, including purchaser reviews and rankings. And whether a user goes to Amazon to buy a product, or just to search for information, the common thread is that they are searching, and that makes Amazon a bona fide online search engine.

Honorable mentions: Ali Express, Ebay

4. Facebook

If you are like 2.32 billion of the people in the world, you use Facebook at least once a month. And if you’ve ever searched for your friends’ profiles, or snooped around to see what your old friends, or enemies, are doing these days, you’ve used Facebook as a search engine.

And although Facebook’s online search engine capacities are not as intuitive as Google’s, you can certainly find a lot of interesting stuff there, if you know how. For example, you can find a collage of all of the photos you are tagged in.

Honorable mentions: Instagram, Twitter, Pintrest

5. IMDb

If you’ve ever looked for information about almost any movie ever made, you’ve probably used IMDb. With it’s user reviews and extensive explanations about movies and their actors, IMDb is probably the world’s most accessible and convenient resource for movie information.

Fun Fact: The all-time highest ranked movie by IMDb users—the only movie to boast an unheard of 9.3 rating—is…drum roll please…Shawshank Redemption.

Honorable mention: Rotten Tomatoes

6. NetFlix

With its original productions, as well as its extensive library of movies and shows, NetFlix is quickly making television, and commercials, obsolete (good riddance).

Today, you don’t need to wait for your favorite program to come on, and then wait through the commercial breaks in the middle, and then have to wait a whole nother week to enjoy the next episode, and then once the season is over wait some more. Now, you can just hop on to NetFlix, search out a show, and hunker down for the night while you experience episodes of sleep deprivation while watching years worth of Orange is the New Black, again. (Or, my personal favorite, The Sound of Your Heart – a hilarious Korean program about the daily life of a webtoon artist.)

A huge internet-based library of videos on demand? Sounds quite like an online search engine, no?

Honorable mention: Hulu

7. LinkedIn

With 44% of users earning more than $75,000 per year, and 260 million active monthly users, LinkedIn is simply the internet’s most important search engine for business today. And whether you’ve used it to network, look for a better job, or research a company you can be sure that you’ve benefited from LinkedIn, not just as a social portal, but as a search engine.

Honorable mentions: GlassDoor, Monster

8. Thesaurus.com

If you like to write and you’re anything like me, you probably go in and out of the Thesaurus.com website every few minutes while writing, to find that pinnacle of lexemes to evince your acumen impeccably.

And just as a shtickle of Thesaurus trivia, did you know that the 2 most searched synonym terms on Thesaurus.com are “good” and “important” respectively—which is good, but not particularly important.

9. Ticketmaster

According to Wikipedia, “Ticketmaster is the primary ticket seller for 27 of the 30 NHL teams and 28 of 30 NBA teams,” along with selling tickets for lots and lots of other live venues.

And finding tickets to buy through the website requires searching for them. Hence, Ticketmaster is an online search engine.

And although Pearl Jam would prefer it otherwise, Ticketmaster is still thriving.

10. Fiverr

Ever wanted to have someone that you’ll never meet make a fake news video for you, or what about a business logo, or a voiceover, or a t-shirt design? You can have all that and more for just five bucks. Actually, when Fiverr first launched everything used to be just 5 bucks. And I should know, I wrote full-on articles about beauty products and acacia seeds for only $4 per article at the time (after Fiverr’s $1 cut). Now it costs more like, well a lot more than 5 bucks for most things.

Going to Fiverr can definitely be a fun search engine experience. You can even refine your results to view gigs according to the highest ratings, delivery time, price ranges, and you can even set it to only view gig providers that are currently online so that they will be most likely to respond right away.

So, is Fiverr ranked among the online search engines of the day? You bet.

Honorable mentions: Upwork, Freelancer

11. GoFundMe

If you want to call BS on any one of the above-listed online search engines, this would be the one. Not because it doesn’t have great search capacity, but just because, in real life, people don’t often go searching crowdfunding websites for stuff to fund.

That’s your first lesson in crowdfunding, if it’s something you’re interested in, you have to bring your own traffic – build it and they will come doesn’t work in crowdfunding. So, bottom line, GoFundMe has a neat search engine, as most crowdfunding sites do, but nobody really uses it.

Honorable mentions: Kickstarter, Indigogo

Great Point About Online Search Engines. Now What?

Now that we have that out of the way we can start to use the internet on a pro level. How? First off, you should know that search engines can be manipulated. So the results you see when you search a search engine are usually manipulated in some way.

And if you like playing with tech, you might even be interested to know how to manipulate search engines through SEO. But that’s for another day.

What do you think? How can you take this newfound understanding of search engines and apply it to something cool?