I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as main search engine since the second half of 2012. Back then DDG wasn’t really a viable replacement for Google yet and it did require persevering, but since it has definitely become a great alternative and the search results are definitely good for most users. But there’s more to DDG than just its search results
1. DuckDuckGo Cares About Your Privacy
Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo doesn’t store your search queries and doesn’t track you. As a result all search results are not tailored to your search history, or browsing habits, for that matter. Google though tries to deliver you results which it thinks are optimal for you, rather than what would objectively be the best results.
Google can do that because they store everything you do and thu know what you look for and also what results you click. Over time this will influence the results you’re served and thus your own (click) habits will eventually bias Google’s search results.
DuckDuckGo does not store anything of that. Not your search queries and not which links you clicked either.
2. Your Online Behavior, and Search Habits, Are Sold Against Ads by Google
Because Google tracks everything, and is an advertising company rather than a search company, every click you make can result in contextual ads you are shown. If you regularly Google for mobile phones then that will be reflected in the ads you are shown on websites which have Google Adsense integrated. Google displays a majority of all ads online.
DuckDuckGo also uses advertising as a revenue model, but the ads shown are based on the search query. Not on your browsing or searching history. Additionally, DDG shows much less ads in search results than Google does.
3. DuckDuckGo Doesn’t Follow You or Track You Anywhere
DDG is not an advertising company and thus doesn’t need to track you.
Google is everywhere and almost every website has Google Analytics and/or Google delivered ads setup. Even Steemit and most other SteemApps have Google Analytics setup.
Thanks to that Google can continue to build your profile because it tracks you almost everywhere online. This also happens in mobile apps which have Google Ads integrated btw. This also happens if you have an Android phone and have logged in to your Google account to make use of Gmail, Google Docs, or for the Google Play store.
Google, like Facebook, also tracks your location and stores your complete location history.
Additionally, DDG has since a while evolved beyond just search and does now even offer a browser extension and a mobile browser app which block all known trackers and also prevent websites from “fingerprinting” your device. Fingerprinting is when a website reads out your system configuration, like which OS, which browser version, which extensions, etc.
DuckDuckGo comes with much !bang. Many !bangs even. Thousands of !bangs.
What are !bangs? !bangs are shortcuts to use another platforms search engine directly from the DDG search bar - or from your browser if you’ve set DDG as your default search engine.
When you use a !bang DDG will automatically redirect you to that site’s search engine results, without tracking or saving anything.
If you have DDG setup as your default search engine, you can easily search directly in Wikipedia just by preceding your query with !wiki. Or search !stackoverflow. No need for site:, just use the !bang.
Currently DDG has more than 11,000 !bangs already.
Even one for Steemians.
You can search the asksteem search engine with the !steem bang. From your browser’s URL bar. Or if you need information to answer a question on Musing and want to know if somebody asked on Quora, just use !q. Best of all, when you use !q often, it will not result in more search results from Quora shown to you as Google tends to do.
5. DuckDuckGo Has Decent Settings
With DDG you can configure what language you want results to be shown in and DDG respects that. You can even set what region you want results delivered and DDG will respect that as well, unlike another search engine which will force you more localized results, based on the actual location Google can track for you.
If you set no location preference, DDG will only serve you results based on the location transmitted for your IP by your ISP/telco and only when DDG thinks it matters for the search results. Not to first show you localized results, DDG tries to give you as neutral as possible search results.
You can even configure which provider you prefer for map results. That includes the option of Open Streetmap, and on Apple devices you can select Apple Maps integration for direction results. Both again improving your privacy.
6. DuckDuckGo Communicates and Listens
DuckDuckGo not only cares about your privacy but they also maintain a transparent blog, with regular tip about how to upgrade your privacy and life an online life with less tracking.
DuckDuckGo also publicly communicates with its users via social media. Not one-way communication like other large companies do, DuckDuckGo will actually reply. They’re on Twitter and also on Reddit.
7. DuckDuckGo has a Fun Name.
No, seriously. Just ask two ducks and you’re all set... GO! Also... !bangs. Bang for your buck.
For zero bucks and you’re not the product either.
Because DuckDuckGo doesn’t track nor save your search history. DuckDuckGo upgrades your privacy.
Yes I do, why? For privacy, as Duckduckgo doesn't track your searching behavior or anything.
And for avoiding the search bubble. Because, as a result of them not tracking your search history, they will not be able to create a search bubble the way Google does always do.
Now, what's the search bubble?
Well, I have a sheer interest in photography, and I often look up stuff about photography, like camera's, photocontests, ...
And you, you are totally not interested in photography, but you have bad eyes, and been looking at ophtalomoligists, and glasses etcetera.
When I go to Google now, and search for "lens", I will get only camera lenses in my resultlist.
When you go to to Google now, and search for that same "lens", you will get only eye-lenses.
While actually, you may be looking for information about the lenses on the hubble space telescope, and I might have been getting bad eyesight, and want to learn more about that.
With Duckduckgo, we will both receive the same list of results, with photographic camera lenses, telescopic space lenses and eye lenses, all cleanly listed.
And if that isn't enough reason for you yet: Duckduckgo is a nice little company with good intentions from Pensylvania. While Google is a big international giant trying to rule the world :-)
I use it is by far the best search engine on the net. The results are relevant, the interface far superior to the competition, to the point that when I have to use another search engine, it often makes me cringe.
The search for images in particular is very practical, the ability to change the geographical context is just great.
There is also the fact that they do not spy on you like old perverts, but even without considering this philosophical difference, they already prevail in the quality of the product.
Frankly, it does not take a minute to change the search engine. It's one of the great mysteries of humanity, for me, there are still so many pigeons using Google.