Why You Should Be Using DuckDuckGo

Why You Should Be Using DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo, the anti-Google answer, did 1 billion queries last year. They’ll do several times that this year.  They’re the one search engine you should be ditching Google for, in fact, and here’s why.

As we’ve talked about before, DDG’s claim to fame is triple-fold: They don’t save history (Google does), they encrypt all searches and results (Google just started that recently), and they don’t put you in a filter bubble (Google assumes, based on all your data that they have, what results you want to see.)  This means that if you put a search into Google, you’ll get fed information that you will probably already agree with.  Google doesn’t rock the boat.  It wants to keep you nice and happy.  DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, figures if you want information on a topic, it’ll send you what’s actually there.  No filter.  No cherrypicking results it thinks you’ll like.  DDG gets that a search engine’s job is to return information that you ask for, not try to make a subjective decision based on everything it knows about you to make a decision to leave out information you might not agree with or like.

As an example, here’s a Google search for the word “prism” while I’m signed into an evil Google account.  They have years of web searches and history on me.  They know that if I look for the word “prism,” I probably mean the NSA program—so that’s what they show me.


Now let’s take a look at what happens when I do the exact same search in DuckDuckGo.


You’ll see that the Wikipedia entry for the NSA program is there, but you’ll also notice that DDG didn’t assume that’s what I wanted—that’s just actually the most popular hit for the word at this time.  Instead, DDG offered me the choice: what context am I using it in?  Do I need to define it? Buy one? Research them?  Or did I mean that pesky NSA program that’s responsible for DDG’s traffic spiking?  Point being: You, the user, choose.  Not the search engine.

It also has some nifty perks in it that make searching all over the web much easier.  !Bang commands, as they’re called, allow users to search hundreds of sites on the internet using the DDG privacy and functionality.  Typing !bang amazon bags, for instance, will not only take you to amazon, but auto-search for bags…without storing or even recording a shred of information about you.  They also have loads of “instant answers,” because when you ask a direct question such as “How many calories are in an egg?”, you don’t want to have to sort through a list of recipes, random links with the words calorie and egg, etc.  You just want to know the answer to your question.

Let’s recap.  DDG isn’t your search term nanny.  Google controls even THAT.  Get off the government Google teat, and move on over to a private engine that actually does some pretty awesome things while NOT doing any of the things we don’t want it to do.  If you’d like to find out all about the company behind DDG, you can check out the in-depth profile done the other day.  Turns out that DDG isn’t some big, evil corporation.  It’s about 20 people, and they don’t plan to change their privacy policies anytime soon.

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