Have you ever noticed that the search results for Amazon Echo devices, simply aren’t that great?

It turns out, Alexa may not be using the same search engine that you’re used to.

Thankfully, some people have come out with a workaround that allows you to force Alexa to use Google instead, providing a much higher quality search experience.

In this article, we’ll go over not only how it’s done, but some other interesting information about Alexa as well!

What Search Engine Does Alexa Use?

Amazon Echo

By default, Amazon’s Alexa uses Bing to power its responses while searching the web.

This may seem like a strange choice. After all, Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and most people would agree that Google gives the highest quality answers. So why would Amazon choose to use Bing for their Echo devices instead?

The likely scenario is that it wasn’t their choice.

First of all, Google offers their own smart device, Google Home. One of its main selling points is its heavy integration into the Google ecosystem.

If you believe (like many people) that Google offers superior search results, you may be more likely to purchase the Google Home over Alexa. So, it makes little financial sense for Google to open up Bing to Amazon Echo devices as well.

Secondly, Microsoft has made Bing far more open for developers. In fact, many alternate search engines (such as Yahoo and DuckDuckGo) are actually pulling search results from Bing as well.

Bing hasn’t exactly established a lot of market share when it comes to using it as a PC or mobile search engine, so this move is certainly beneficial for Microsoft as well.

Can You Change The Search Engine On Alexa?

Yes. Although Alexa doesn’t have any built-in function to search with Google, it’s possible to add Google search functionality using a third-party Alexa skill.

By default, Alexa will still use Bing to search the web, even after installing the skill. However, the skill will allow you to swap to Google for individual searches.

Unfortunately, the skill takes quite a bit of time to set up, and may not be supported forever. If Google search is really important to you, it may be worth simply purchasing a Google Home device as well, in addition to your Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show.

How To Make Alexa Use Google

If you’re interested in installing the Alexa skill that allows you to search using Google, read on.

Keep in mind that this is not an official skill that can be installed normally. Instead, there is a lengthy installation process that requires you to make developer accounts both for Amazon, and Google.

Entire instructions for installation of this skill can be found below:

Update: Note that very recently, files required to install this skill have since been pulled offline.

It is unknown if a copy has been mirrored somewhere else. However, we are leaving this up in case you are able to search and find one (if you do, please return here to let us know!)

You can find an archived version of the Github page through the Wayback Machine here. However, unfortunately the actual contents haven’t been archived by the Wayback Machine, meaning you still won’t be able to grab the required files.

How To Change The Search Engine On The Echo Show

Thankfully, there is one Echo device where you can change the search engine, without having to use any technical workarounds.

That device is the Echo Show.

Note that this still won’t change the search engine used when pulling snippets from the web using your voice, only the default search engine used when browsing the web using the Echo Show’s built-in web browser.

To change the search engine on Amazon’s Echo Show, follow these steps:

  1. Open up the Echo Show’s settings.
  2. Scroll down, and tap on ‘Device Options.’
  3. Tap on ‘Web Options.’
  4. On the browser that’s displayed, tap on ‘Browser Settings.’
  5. Tap on ‘Advanced Settings.’
  6. Tap on ‘Search Engine.’
  7. Change the search engine according to your preferences. For the highest quality search results, we recommend Google. However, DuckDuckGo is an excellent privacy-friendly alternative.

Note that you may need to update your Echo Show’s firmware if the above options do not appear.

Conclusion

By default, Alexa uses Microsoft Bing to power its searches.

While it’s possible to change the search engine to Google, the workaround for this is quite complicated and will be difficult unless you have substantial tech experience. Therefore, it may be worth simply purchasing a Google Home device instead.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any questions about Alexa or other smart home devices, please ask them using the comment form below.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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