Google Searching to DuckDuckGo

February 26, 2013

It’s curious how while I had this post on my list of things to write about that DuckDuckGo posted the funny, and in my opinion, critical comic (reblogged by me here). Google is getting bigger and smarter than I’m sure they even imagined possible. With tens of millions of searches performed daily, Google is learning more and more about you: your likes, dislikes, habits both good and bad, and even your dirty little secrets. All of this can be accomplished without you even having a Google account with the power of cookies stored on your computer. Much of this was the contributing factor of my switching from Google Search to DuckDuckGo (DDG).

I was an avid user of Google for searching for years, so I have pretty high standards for wanting my answers quickly. I tried Bing for a short time. While it was acceptable, it didn’t quite do it for me. Then I read about DDG from a tweet about it’s growth in share after a privacy scare Google had. I gave it a whirl, and to my surprise, my question was answered immediately. I like DDG for several reasons.

First and foremost, Privacy.. capital P, bold, and underline. Some people don’t care, but I do, and so should you. DDG does not track you, nor do they ‘bubble you,’ meaning they don’t give you personalized results based on your searching history, and they don’t store your information or send it to the websites that you navigate to from it.

Second thing I love about it is the quality results. If you do a search on DDG for nucleus, you are given your results like you would expect. It also provides an information box telling you what it can find about your search. Because of this, many times I don’t have to go to a website. In the case of ‘nucleus’, the first thing it provides is similar keywords with their definitions. You can then click through for more information.

Another bonus are the goodies they offer. It has tools and knowledge for gaming, cooking, entertainment, finance, math, music, programming, science, social, travel, trivia, and more. Need to figure out the tip of a bill? Simple: 20% tip on $21.63. Live in Philly and want to know how far it is from London? 5710 km. Hate notepad and want something different? DDG’s got you (sidebar, I recommend Sublime Text). Head on over to the goodies page and check it out, pretty great stuff.

Last thing to note: the !Bang commands. These allow you to search your favorite sites quickly, straight from DDG. For example, if you don’t like the result set of DDG for your search, throw a !g in front of the query and it’ll direct you to a Google search for that phrase. You can search amazon (!amazon), programming languages (eg !php and !scala), frameworks (!ios), and oodles more.

Now you know why DuckDuckGo is my default home page and my default search box in Firefox on my desktop and Mercury on my iOS devices.

I challenge you to give it a shot for a week and tell me about your experiences.

Cheers!

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