6 Cool DuckDuckGo Features You Won’t Find On Google

Ads by Google

duckduckgo reviewIn 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.

duckduckgo review

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.

what is duckduckgo

Ads by Google

!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.

what is duckduckgo

 

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.

what is duckduckgo

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

what is duckduckgo

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.

duckduckgo

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.

duckduckgo

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

duckduckgo

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.

duckduckgo review

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!

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Awesome Webs & Tips
Awesome Webs & Tips
1252 Members
Stay Incognito On The Web
Stay Incognito On The Web
953 Members
Deep Web Communities
Deep Web Communities
626 Members
Online Security Tips
Online Security Tips
420 Members
Music Apps & Sites
Music Apps & Sites
332 Members
Tips for Privacy Obsessed
Tips for Privacy Obsessed
293 Members
Affiliate Disclamer

This article may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
New comment

Please login to avoid entering captcha

Log In