10 reasons why DuckDuckGo is awesome

26Jan

DuckDuckGo logo

DuckDuckGo is awesome. Here are 10 reasons why.

10. !bang

DuckDuckGo has its own syntax. The !bang command allows you to search another site directly. For example, if you wanted to find out how bad the new Tron movie is you can type: !imdb Tron and you'll instantly see the results on IMDb.

Need some quick comedy? Type !youtube funny cats and you'll see the results directly on YouTube. Or use !yt for short.

Troubleshooting python code? Add !python to your query and it will automatically search the official Python documentation.

For every query there is usually a vertical search engine somewhere that answers that query better than a general search engine.

 

9. One man army

DDG isn't a massive corporation. Quite the contrary. Pennsylvania based Gabriel Weinberg is a one man operation; supported by a growing community at duck.co. He replies to about 100 to 250 emails a day, maintains a blog, is a regular at Hacker News and Reddit, and is interacting with his users everyday on the official DuckDuckGo forums.

 

8. Privacy

Your data is not harvested! Wow, what a concept. The same cannot, and will not ever, be said about Google. The peace of mind of not having your searches tracked is a huge advantage for DuckDuckGo users. The privacy policy in a nutshell is: DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. No IP logging, no way to identify you or your search queries, encrypted searches and other practices all contribute to an A+ in privacy.

DuckDuckGo billboard

 
7. Customization

You can easily change the look and feel of DDG. Anything from the search bar color, fonts, alignment, and other interface changes can be made.

DuckDuckGo style

Keyboard shortcuts are another reason DDG is awesome. I love the shortcut for going to the first result. For example, if you searched the smurfs and press the letter "o" it will immediately open to the first result, The Smurfs official website. In addition, arrow keys will navigate through results. With a result highlighted, you can press "CTRL-Enter" to open it in a new tab in the background. Or the letter "h" will snap the focus back into the search box.

 

6. Zero Click Info

In addition to the results of your search, DDG often will provide a snippet of data with quick information about the topic of your search. Great for an immediate answer; saving you a trip to Wikipedia (or other sites including Crunchbase, StackOverflow, or Github). A handy little innovation that makes searching with DDG more efficient.

DuckDuckGo billboard

 
5. Every search result, one page

Leaving the 'multiple results pages' paradigm behind, DDG gives you every search result on one page. It does this by loading new results on the fly as you scroll down for more. Seriously, how often do you check the 2nd page of Google results? With DDG, it's more intuitive and practical to see these extended results.

This is actually more fair & balanced for the indexed websites because it theoretically should reduce the significance of having a top result (even if just by a little bit). Making search engine optimization less of a cutthroat business.

 

4. No ads (for now)

Although there's no reason why Gabriel shouldn't seek a way to monetize his project to sustain growth and make some well earned money, there currently is no advertising on DDG. The only revenue right now is coming from sites like Amazon.com who offer a small commission (affiliate links) for referred visitors.

 

3. Isn't bloated

It's safe to say that Google has grown fat around the waist. It has slowly evolved into something that is significantly more cluttered than its original predecessors. Constant sign-in reminders, more ads than ever, Web History search tracking (on by default). This isn't the Google we once knew. Google became immensley popular because A) they had (and still have) the best, most relevant search results and B) it's simple and fast. The latter point has been abandoned to some extent; and for that reason DDG is all that much more of a preferred choice for people who value a lightweight search.

 

2. Location agnostic

Just because you live in some mundane corner of the world doesn't necessarily mean you want to see those search results everyday. Not that there is anything wrong with local search results, but if you want to see more universal results - you should have the option.

Over the years, Google has been shifting to more locally relevant search results - and although you can "Change location" it's not the most ideal setup. I mean, if you always want results from a particular region - your going to have to change it every time. And even though you can go to Google.com to presumably get US results, the country specific TLD always has a way of getting in your face (Americans wouldn't know this, but for Canadians like me and people in other countries you can trust us: it's really annoying).

Google search

With DuckDuckGo, it's very simple. United States is default - and if you do want more local relevant results, change it in 2 clicks via the settings OR user another cool feature of DDG: URL parameters. Just add the country code to the end of any search. Ex- type Nintendo jp for Japanese results. Or ca-fr to see results in Canadian french.

Google search

 
1. DuckDuckGo is not Google

The beauty of a free market is that ultimately the customer benefits from increased competition. I think most would agree that Google needs more competition. And not only from big corporations like Microsoft, but from smaller entities and startups alike. Yahoo! has all but conceded defeat in the search business. Microsoft has their small chunk of the pie. But Google is the juggernaut.

Competition from new search engines like DuckDuckGo and Blekko is a good thing. Who knows, maybe this is 1994 all over again - a new era of rich choices for search - and an intense playing field for the competitors.

 

 

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