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Privacy, Search Engines


DuckDuckGo, is a new search engine, which has recently been growing in popularity.  With the market being inundated with these websites, Yahoo, Ask, and the current master, Google, you may wonder why we need another.  So what’s so different about this underdog in search?

First of all, unlike other major search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track you.  There is no search history, personal profile, or any other information about you being stored.  This prevents targeted advertising, perfect for when you want to keep that embarrassing illness quiet.

In addition, in other search engines, search results and advertising are based on your web history and personal profile.  That is, if two people search for the same thing, they may not necessarily see the same results.  DuckDuckGo however, bursts the filter bubble, a term developed by Eli Pariser, in which websites guess what information a user would like to see based on their search history, this avoids you spinning your own webs.

But is DuckDuckGo only for the privacy conscious? Well, it’s filled with features for those techheads. The !bang syntax, allows searches to be made using other search engines, in a way that you won’t be tracked on them.  For example, a Google search for cat videos would be !g cat videos.

As for the interface, it is very simple and minimalistic. Although this comes at a cost, there are no images, maps or news search.  These all have to be done through the !bang queries, this can get annoying and become a bit of a hassle.  Furthermore, there is no auto-completion or instant results, DuckDuckGo is pure manual text input web search.

The quality of the results are not bad, they are no more relevant than what Google may produce.  But DuckDuckGo combines its own results, with ones from other search engines, so it does bring back useful links.

I haven’t switched over from Google to DuckDuckGo yet.  I’m familiar with it, I’ve grown up with it, and I love seeing its Doodles, so to have a sudden change, would admittedly feel alien.  Nevertheless, with Google now tracking our every move, users may start feeling apprehensive, and DuckDuckGo seems to be the natural alternative.

So what’s my verdict?

I’d say DuckDuckGo is DuckDuckGood.


About techiesangita

Undergrad CompSci student :)


3 thoughts on “Review-DuckDuckGo

  1. I wonder if they purposely wanted to remind us of that childhood game Duck duck goose? I gave it a go searching for the same thing in both Duck and Google. I have to say, I never truly realised the extent to which our search results are “tailored”. Apart from the first two results, everything else was completely different. Shocking.

    A more pressing matter though; the “internet” is stalking us!

    Posted by Sarirah | December 8, 2011, 10:22 pm
  2. You “grew up with” Google? You young whippersnapper, I can remember *switching* to google from AltaVista. It’s ironic that you mention DDG has no bells or whistles, since this was originally Google’s USP: When Yahoo!, AltaVista and Lycos were all turning themselves from search engines into “portals”, and cluttering up their homepages with kilobytes of images and even movies (remember, this was when even “broadband” was slower than the connection on a modern smartphone, and most of us were still on dial-up), Google showed up and just had a single logo, a text input field and two buttons. Aside from actually having relevant results, it was such a huge relief to be able to have a home page which loaded in seconds, and could be cached.

    Posted by Misha Gale | December 8, 2011, 10:27 pm
    • YES. I’m right there with you. I remember using excite after it bought lycos. then I had to switch to yahoo after excite went bad. now yahoo is having trouble. glad I didn’t switch to google completely. I like that google kept itself simple for a long time. too bad they let all those designers ruin it.

      Posted by dianne | December 24, 2011, 12:49 am

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