6 Cool DuckDuckGo Features You Won’t Find On Google

duckduckgo 300   6 Cool DuckDuckGo Features You Wont Find On GoogleIn a world ruled by Google, at least where search is concerned, it’s sometimes hard to imagine a worthy alternative. DuckDuckGo is one website that is trying to offer such an alternative, and if you haven’t heard of it or wonder why you should use it, you can read Danny’s interesting article on DuckDuckGo and how it can provide a better search experience.

As a new user to DuckDuckGo, I’ve discovered it offers some really useful search features, some of which seem to have provided inspiration even to the big boys at Google. If you’re convinced you should give DuckDuckGo a chance, or if you’ve been using it the same as you would use Google, not taking advantage of its cool features, this article is for you.

Get Useful Data Instantly

If you’ve been reading the news last week, you’ve probably heard of Google’s new Knowledge Graph. In a nut shell, Google’s Knowledge Graph gives you instant information about your search query, without you having to click any link. Useful? DuckDuckGo was doing it first. And not only that, if you’re not in the U.S., you can’t even make use of Knowledge Graph yet. With DuckDuckGo, you can have it right now.

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That’s not all: If you’re searching for a term that is not as clear cut as “MakeUseOf”, DuckDuckGo will provide all possible options, so you can find specific results for the exact thing you’re looking for. It will even arrange them by categories, to make it easier to find.

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!bang

This useful feature is probably the best known one on DuckDuckGo, and for good reason. This feature was mentioned briefly in Danny’s article, but let’s take a more in-depth look at it.

There are searches we perform numerous times each day, week and month. For example, I’m always looking for new Firefox add-ons that do specific things. When I do this, I usually type “Firefox Add-ons” in Google, click on the link, and perform another search. True, you can set up shortcuts for this, but with DuckDuckGo, the shortcut is built in.

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This search query will take you directly to the Firefox add-on page and perform the requested search. There is a huge list of supported !bangs, and if you can’t find the one you want, you can submit it. Some more useful examples are !gi for Google Images, !bi for Bing Images, !w for Wikipedia, !gmail for your Gmail inbox, !m for Maps, and even !makeuseof for MakeUseOf! The !bangs you use most will appear in the dropdown menu next to the search box, so you don’t have to memorize them.

Is It Raining?

When you travel, or even at home, one important question you need a day-to-day answer to is “is it raining?”. DuckDuckGo can give you a straight answer to that question, along with other weather related questions.

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If you need it, you can also get instant information on high and low tides in different places, computer by Wolfram Alpha.

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You can even get the current moon phase in your location simply by searching for “moon phase”.

Keyboard Shortcuts

DuckDuckGo offers many useful keyboard shortcuts, the best of which are K and J to browse results and Enter to open a link. There are numerous others: Typing / before your query will open the first result in the preview window, / when on search results will open the search box, s:d “query” will sort your results by date, Ctrl+Enter will open a link in a new tab, and there are many many more.

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If you’re a keyboard person, these can turn browsing DuckDuckGo results into a keyboard-only task, no mouse needed.

Emoticons

Everyone knows what a smiley is, but I sometimes find myself a somewhat stumped when facing something like o_0 or >_<. I don’t know, these just weren’t around when I started using emoticons, and I’m never sure I really know what they mean. DuckDuckGo can help you here too, and will offer explanations to some emoticons you search for.

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It even recognizes the notorious xD as an emoticons, which Google fails to do.

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Drink Recipes

Like making cocktails? Looking for drink recipes? DuckDuckGo has you covered there too. Simply search for “how to make” the drink of your choice, and DuckDuckGo will spit out a short and concise recipe.

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Yum!

This Is Not All

This is by no means all you can do with DuckDuckGo. There are lots of other goodies you can check out, some of which are also available in Google and Bing, others are not.  Since DuckDuckGo is open source, people can write and add plugins for things you will never find on Google, such as xkcd.

Know of other cool features in DuckDuckGo? Let us know what’s good!

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

24 Comments -

Evas

The best of all,they don’t track user

Damian

Looks good, but who would remember the www? Why not http://www.duck.com? Or http://www.dgo.com? I doubt I would remember (I forgot already, let me look up what website address, oh yeah got it) http://www.duckduckgo.com address.

Seriously?

Mike

I recommend performing some brain exercises. It’ll greatly improve your ability to memorize domain names. Look it up on ddg.

DAMIAN

it’s old post. Makeuse of mess up my comments. It was error at first then I did whole again, which I thought they didn’t get my first one.

Damian

looks good. Who would remember this website address? I don’t.

Yaara Lancet

Well, you don’t have to type it in every time, you can bookmark it, add it to your browser, make it your homepage… there are many solutions.

But if you use it regularly you won’t forget anyway, I can say DuckDuckGo in my sleep. :)

Tug Ricks

Did you just skip your childhood?

DAMIAN

Not really, but thanks.

Nilesh Rathi

you can easily remember their alternative url ddg.gg

DAMIAN

Thanks

Francisco

It’s secure, it don’t track us, and, as you say in this article, has this cool features! Unfortunatelly it’s not as good as google when it comes to searching (I’ve tried), and it’s a shame ’cause I’d really like to use it…

Mike

Why not use it for most searches? If you don’t get the results that you’re expecting then type “!g” to send it to Google.

Francisco

You’re right! Didn’t came up with that one. Thanks!

RCB Neto

I heard about it once, but did not give the proper attention that time. Perhaps I should give it a chance now.

Samsudeen Hussain

Eventhough this may noy replace google for me, I would be certainly using duckduckgo( is this such a hard name to remember) now and then.

Giovanni

To all of you who have a hard time remembering/typing the address, if you’re using either Firefox or Chrome, you can set it up so it automatically uses duckduckgo.com to search what you type in the address bar:

None of the following steps require you to type an apostrophe (single quote?), they’re just in there to clarify what you have to type in.

If you’re using Firefox:
Type ‘about:config’ in the address bar and press enter. It’ll warn you to be careful of what you do in there, just say you’ll be careful.

Once in there, type ‘keyword’ in the search bar (NOT the address bar)

Double-click ‘keyword.URL’ and change the contents to ‘http://www.duckduckgo.com/?q=’.

If you’re using Chrome:
Go to Settings.

Look for the ‘Search’ section and click ‘Manage search engines’.

Scroll down to the bottom and add a new search engine. I think you can fill the textboxes however you want, except for the last one, where you have to put ‘http://www.duckduckgo.com/?q=%s’.

Now, when you type a word in the address bar, it’ll automatically do a search using duckduckgo.com.

Yaara Lancet

That’s awesome, thanks Giovanni!

Cean Lumbaca

I use and recommend DuckDuckGo. It’s the best browser! It doesn’t track nor “bubble” my Internet search and it has less clutter! :)

Sachin Kanchan

this article was worth the time….totally ! :)

fd29efbaad71752b1a7bb37f418d9501

You guys should make a guide for this. It’s pretty hard (at least for me) to explore every features of DDGo :/

Yaara Lancet

Interesting idea! I will forward it to our guide editor. Thanks!

Jon Smith

glad I switched

Shehan Nirmal

Hey… this is coooool……… I like it….

ljones

I am generally loyal to what works well, and google has been good, and I even love my personal google homepage. But recent searches have left me disappointed and fed up with all the mock urls instead of the original site I was looking for. Now we go through pages to find the original domain or company, they getting shoved to the back pages if no ad money is payed. This spurred me to go to DuckDuckgo, and it brings me back to the original type search engine that I sorely missed!

BTW, I tried to add DuckDuckgo.com to my google home page even trying just the url because google won’t allow it used in any way linked on their home pages. No deal. When the google home page expires next november, I will switch to a DDG one. So far I love what I see!