Many people have found several search engines that are better than Google.
UPDATE: January 1, 2013
Sometimes I'm a little late to the show, but I just came across this excellent article on Forbes (from September 2012) that expands quite a bit what I talked about in the article below (that I wrote in June of 2011)The rest of my original article below:
For those who don't already know, Google has dominated the search engine landscape for many years, and most likely will continue to do so for quite a few years to come.
However, we live in an ever changing world. While the big G is not going away any time soon, the desire for better search engine results, and the desire to not be constantly tracked across the internet, and constantly being shown the same or similar ads for things that a person recently searched for is growing. Besides... this sort of thing creeps a lot of people out.
There is an excellent article regarding people's thoughts on the matter over at Splork's Lost Ball In High Weeds Blog.
If you do a search on Google for the phrase "Search Engines That Are Better Than Google" the top result leads you to another excellent article on the subject. The article "The top 100 alternative search engines", was written in early 2007 (nearly five years ago as of this writing), and you will find many names that I am sure most people have never heard of.
I did not check to see if all of them are still in business, and I won't copy the list here as you can follow the link above, but in this ever changing world you can be sure that many of them are either not in business any more, or they have completely changed their business model.
You might also want to check out a more recent post at the Big Oak Blog called 5 secret search engines way better than Google.
Google's search results do have some benefits in many ways, but many people find it a bit creepy that the adsense ads shown on many sites seem to follow them around. The other thing about these "cookies" is that they can skew your results based on what you searched for in the past. What I have found is that if I want access to Google's results without them knowing it is me I can use the Startpage Search Engine. Startpage will hide your IP address. Check them out.
You might also be interested in Cocoon if you want to not only hide your I.P. address, but to also remain completely anonymous.
Ages in the Internet
In the internet age, a generation, or lifetime, seems to be around ten years. If this is true then here in 2011 we are just entering the third generation of the internet (as far as the public at large being able to access and use it). There are very few companies still around that do business on the internet with the same model and in the same way that they did in 2000, and even fewer companies (maybe none?) from the early/mid 1990's.
The generation of children that have just graduated from high school in 2011 is the first generation where having multiple conversations at the same time was a mainstream phenomenon. From instant messaging on the computer in early 2000's, to facebook, and sms/text messaging and the like now.
The question for marketers in the future regarding the current generation of youngsters is how to satisfy their desires for instant and multiple gratification(s). That is where the big money is going to be made, and it more than likely won't be done by the likes of Google and many of the other big players today.