Tired of using Google search? Try DuckDuckGo

Tired of using Google search? Try DuckDuckGo

Summary: Are you tired of using Google search and worry about your personal information being widely shared with other sites? DuckDuckGo with its focus on privacy might be the engine you have been searching for..

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TOPICS: Browser, Google
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Advertising Age reckons that Bing is 'Trailing' and that Google search is 'Tired'. Google has been around since 1998 and has matured into an Internet behemoth serving ultra-targeted ads. But will DuckDuckGo, tagged as 'Trending' on the site lead the next generation of private Internet search engines?

Created by Gabriel Weinberg in 2008 and initially self-funded, DuckDuckGo is steadily gaining in popularity and awareness primarily because of its privacy features. It advertises itself as a search engine that gives you: 'way more instant answers, way less spam and clutter, lots and lots of goodies and real privacy'.

Weinberg, an entrepreneur who sold the Names Database for $10 million in 2006, added privacy features to the search engine almost as an afterthought.

“What happened was that I soft-launched the search engine to the community I was in, which was the Hacker News and Reddit community, and almost immediately I got questions around search privacy,” said Weinberg.

DuckDuckGo does not store your data and it does not send your search terms to any of the sites you visited for that search term. That means it does not filter the results based on the information you have previously given it. You get the same results as everyone else does when searching for a page.

It also stops any searches from being traced back to you. With Google searches, information about your IP address, your User Agent and cookie information is sent to the web site. If you are logged in to your Google account, it sends your name and email address too.

Web sites potentially can gather a lot of information about you. As can the search engines. And they might have to give the information over to the authorities if asked for.

Privacy related search engines such as ixquick are used more and more often. There is a downside though. The tight control on privacy means that you do not get any search history if you are making several related searches. Nor do you get auto correct when you type your search query.

DuckDuckGo has a long way to go before it gets to rival either Google or Bing in terms of search volumes but it is catching up. It passed the million searches per day mark in February -- a long way from Google's estimated billion searches per day but it is showing great growth.

Google has had a lot of flak from users complaining about its privacy policy changes (although I believe that the decision made sound business sense). It is also busy right now, in the midst of litigation against Oracle over patent and copyright infringement.

It might be time for DuckDuckGo to step in and advance its share of search volume at Google's expense. Bing search volume rose by 40 per cent in 2011 and is slated to grow further this year.

Users seem to love DuckDuckGo, saying that it is like Google used to be -- before the advertisers took over and changed the company focus.

With the privacy benefits it offers and its clean user interface DuckDuckGo might catch up Google far quicker than it imagined...

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Topics: Browser, Google

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25 comments
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  • I've Been Using It

    I still feel the need to use Google quite often, but I've been using DuckDuckGo quite a bit lately as well. It's pretty useful, and a bit different than Google. You might want to run some searches in both engines.
    CFWhitman
    • No need to google with Google :-)

      You can do the exact Google search without letting Google Inc. know you do (and record your data) by Startpage (https://startpage.com). It delivers you the Google search results but does not share any of your data with nor does it record your IP-Address and the searches you conduct or have conducted. I made it my default search engine and am very glad I am given a real alternative to Google :-)

      I tried Duck Duck Go as well and think of it as being a good thing but switched to Startpage as default: It brings the advantages of Google without its disadvantages and respects my privacy quiet similar to Duck Duck Go. Recommended.
      jack-72
  • Private Search Engines

    There is also "Start Page" by Ixquick. They too, have private search results. And Dr. Katherine Albrecht is a stand up person. She is a guest on talk radio and values our privacy.
    scottseattle
  • It don't mean a thing

    If it ain't got that Bing.

    I prefer search from a software development company rather than an advertising one ;-)
    tonymcs1
    • Bing is part of DuckDuckGo's index.

      DDG also has their own indexes but they do partner with Bing for some rankings.

      I find that for most of my searches, DDG returns better results than Google or Bing but Google has everyone beat as a spelling checker and for really deep web searches.

      DDG has amazingly clean results and is not as cluttered as Google is. The "bang" syntax makes using other search engines in anonymous mode easy:

      !g some search term

      Will target an anonymous search toward Google. Similar tags are for Bing.

      No bubbles applied. To me this is the biggest advantage to DDG. It does not make assumptions about what it thinks I want to see (like the person that only wants advice from a person with similar views) and allows me to do a query that everyone in the world will see the same exact results for.
      Bruizer
  • techdoll

    chkout htis blog its intresting...... http://clicktechdoll.blogspot.in/
    meet oza
  • bing ping

    I saw these people at a conference last year - actually it was the Perl one at Westminster University - so you can check out the truth in this.
    They happily stated that the back end of duckduckgo uses Bing as the search engine.

    so why is this now trending? /bigtechfail
    geekdinnergrl
  • Name is Enough

    I think DuckDuckGo is something news then the Other Search Engine. Whole thing one one Screen <a href="http://efacebook.in">l</a>ove this name .Sound Cool
    ashvin_1351
    • Name doesn't become a verb

      I like having options, and thank Eileen for pointing this one out.

      My only bone of contention with DuckDuckGo is that it doesn't lend itself to (pardon my wordcraft) verb-ification. One of the lasting trends of Google is that we use its name as a verb for describing a search lookup. Examples:

      "I googled that topic and found..."
      "Where should we go tonight? Hey, let's google what's going on."
      "The interviewer had already googled me and found that embarrassing incident from college."

      Bing is just as awkward as google originally was, but at least it's a monosyllable that can be adapted equally.

      DDG is a 3-word combo name. How would it work as a verb?
      "I duckducked that topic..."
      "Just duckduck it."
      "I found this while duckducking..."

      It sounds awkward and funny, and that may work against it as a wider social trend acceptance. However, better results ought to speak for themselves. Practically, it may work great. I think that it could use a rebranding, most likely after being acquired by a bigger fish.

      If you use DDG, how do you speak of it? Do you just revert to a more sensible time of using the word "search" when speaking of a search? That would at least make some sense.
      Solenoid
      • It's usually the first at something

        that gets the verb (see 'Xerox'), but the competition seems to get by. Even w/o getting 'verbed'--as a product is often not an action--a brand name dominating its genre is common. "Hand me a Kleenex!" "What kind of Cokes would you prefer?" So DuckDuckGo will fall under the rubric of 'googling' ("What do you google with, Sam? StartPage? Google? DuckDuckGo?"). I don't see a problem here, myself. Wyler's and Funny Face do alright in a world that thinks of them as 'Kool-Ade'......
        hippiekarl
      • "Just Quack It"!

        I can't believe this is really an issue if you find a really great search engine, but I guess it's important, so... "Just Quack It!"

        It's about time we start quacking the Internet!
        Wishful One
        • Verbify it

          Or... Just take a gander...
          SteveDeschenes
      • I DuckDuckWent

        I've actually seen that used: <i>I was thinking about this last night, so I DuckDuckWent and found ....</i>. Personally, I'm attempting to retain the generic word <i>search</i>. Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter too much one way or t'other.

        TRiG.
        Timothy (TRiG)
  • great tip!

    Much thanks. Privacy (or lack thereof) will be google's downfall.

    gary
    gdstark13
  • What a load of rubbish!

    For a start, Google has never been accused (except by pointy-hatters) of using personal info; they use aggregated info, which could never be related back to individual users; you may be thinking of facebook!

    Secondly, this new 'engine' may - or may not - be 'way less spam', but if it is, it is only because it is not of interest to spammers. You could argue the same for any start-up search engine. On the other hand, try a few searches that produce some spam on Google, and - surprise, surprise - these searches produce approximately equal spam on the 'new kid on the block'.

    My experience of new sites is to (a) try them and (b) wait and see, rather than your approach of (c) read the press release and take their word for it.

    There's one new search engine every week; most die quickly, when their limitations are exposed. All have a sales gimmick - this one seems to be "we know you have an irrational and unfounded fear that Google will sell your grandmother, let's build on that fear"

    When - and if - they produce better results than Google, I'll change instantly. But Bing hasn't yet, and DDG won't for a good while, if ever.
    Heenan73
    • Aggregate information

      Aggregating information helps big companies at the expense of small companies. For example AAMCO wants to open a new fanchise. They pay aggregators to find out the average price of a brake job in every zip code. They put their new shop in between several other shops that have been getting a higher than average rate. That has the same effect on nearby shops as Walmart does when it opens a big store that hurts the existing smaller businesses. The big chain can spread that cost out so it comes to a few hundred per shop. An individual shop owner can't play in that game.
      mswift1
  • Huh?

    Really, I use Swagbucks to do my searches.....why not get paid for doing searches after all?

    As for privacy, who really cares what I search for anyway, I don't search for anything illegal or controversial, so what does it matter that someone else knows that I searched for how to do something using VB.net?
    cmwade1977
  • go ducks

    I've been using DuckDuckGo for personal browsing for a while. I like that it seems to be more of a return to organic search. Google seems to rate advertisers higher even in the organic search portion of the page.

    Page was testifying about the Java case and how Google shouldn't have to pay because they do some many good things for the world for free. One of the questioners asked "if Google is so free and open, tell us how page rank is assigned", he didn't get an answer to that question.

    I don't think I have to keep after DuckDuckGo so they don't sell my registered trademarks to my competitors as Ad-Words.
    mswift1
  • what i love about duckduckgo is that

    they put wikipedia and some informative links on top of their search results, instead of 'sponsored' links as google does.

    you also get more search results by just scrolling down the page, no need to click to go to the next page

    in addition if there is something you cannot find you can simply add !g (or for privacy reasons !sp) at the beginning of your search query to direct your search through google
    runnerup
  • Between DuckDuckGo

    and StartPage (both in Https) I have not had the need to use Google for any search function. With the functionality of Adblock Plus, I don't have to view sponsored links. I just want to search without ads and without records kept... and I do.
    aussiedawg