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.