A search engine that I have heard some talk about lately is DuckDuckGo, which I also recently have set as my default search engine in Firefox.
The advantage over Google is that they value the user’s privacy much higher. DDG doesn’t track you, you can set DDG to always search through their encrypted version (https), and you can also set DDG to prevent the sites you visit from knowing what keywords you used to get to them. On the following page you can find the privacy settings, along with many, many more options (far more than those Google offers for their search engine):
What I like as a Swede is that they also have an option to choose region, which will increase the search results from that country. So I have in my Firefox search box added one entry for the regular DuckDuckGo, and one for it with the region set to Sweden.
If you wonder why you should be careful when you search stuff on the Internet, you can visit www.donttrack.us. It’s a homepage by DuckDuckGo that describes how the tracking of you works when you are using Google.
I’m not a person who searches for herpes, illegal stuff or something similar. But I can’t say that I really like to share all my keywords and data that I put into the search box with (advertisement) corporations and people around the whole world.
If you look around on DuckDuckGo you will find many smart features, like !Bang. So it’s a really competent search engine, that not only doesn’t track you and values your privacy, but offers good search results, loads of options and many features.