Greatest Google Alternate options in 2023

We live in a time where you can find almost anything you need by searching the internet. Trouble is, you can also find a fair amount of NSFW stuff that’s especially unsuitable for kids. You can turn on Google’s SafeSearch filters, but you must do so on any device children may be using. A simpler option can be kid-friendly Google alternatives, like this round-up of the best search engines for kids.

Note: Even with safer search engines for kids, it’s still important to teach students about digital citizenship. Kids need to know how to safely navigate online no matter where they land. Check out what is digital citizenship? (Plus, Ideas for Teaching It) to get started.

This is one of our favorite safer search engines for kids. Not only does Kiddle limit its results to kid-friendly sites, but it also displays them in an order and style that’s easy for kids to understand. The first results are always from websites written specifically for children, followed by websites that are not only intended for children but are written in simple language that they can understand. The rest of the results are filtered using Google’s Safe Search with the strictest settings. Plus, oversized thumbnails and large, clear text make it easy for kids to navigate, all without ads.

This kid-safe search engine uses Google’s “strict” filtering technology every time, on every device. KidzSearch works with Safe Search Kids to ensure the most up-to-date content is always available, without the risk of inappropriate results. Their advanced keyword filtering system monitors alternative and modified spellings, including those that replace letters with numbers. Use it on the web or install the free apps on any device (note that ads will appear in the results).

Using Google’s SafeSearch, KidRex highlights child-friendly sites in its results. It also has an additional database of inappropriate keywords and websites and blocks results from social media. Automatically generated Google ads are displayed at the top of the search results page. So teach your kids to scroll past these.

This limited search engine only returns results from sites recommended and vetted by teachers, librarians, and educational organizations. It is intended for the pre-K and elementary school kids. Our test searches returned reasonably good results, although ad results that may or may not be relevant appear at the top.

SweetSearch is another restricted search engine for kids that restricts its results to a carefully curated “whitelist” of sites vetted by librarians, educators, and researchers. To make the list, a site must be credible, trustworthy, and have academic merit and journalistic integrity. Google ads appear at the top of search results but are clearly labeled as ads.

Elementary school students will find Fact Monster useful when doing homework or research. Think of it like Wikipedia for kids as the articles are all created and curated using trusted resources. However, unlike Wikipedia, only the site’s editors, authors, and consultants can create or modify content. The site is ad-supported, although they aren’t too intrusive.

Are you looking for a safe, ad-free way to search for specific scientific articles? Google Scholar is a great solution. The results are limited to academic publications, so it is ideal for university research projects that require strong primary sources. However, younger users will likely find the results too advanced.

Have we missed one of your favorite safe search engines for kids? Share your thoughts in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook!

Plus, these 5 big ideas are all you need to start teaching your students about internet safety.

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