6 Cool DuckDuckGo Features You Won’t Find on Google

Yaara Lancet 01-06-2012

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 Get A Better Search Experience With Duck Duck Go It seems that there are a couple of services and Linux distributions (such as Linux Mint) that are switching over to Duck Duck Go as their default search engine. So why the heck are they... Read More 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



This useful feature is probably the best known one on DuckDuckGo, and for good reason. This feature was mentioned briefly in Danny’s article Get A Better Search Experience With Duck Duck Go It seems that there are a couple of services and Linux distributions (such as Linux Mint) that are switching over to Duck Duck Go as their default search engine. So why the heck are they... Read More , 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.



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


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.


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


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


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!

Related topics: DuckDuckGo, Web Search.

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  1. brian
    July 10, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Hi. I think duckduckgo is great. But I can't understand why all the searches I do end up
    on google history??
    I downloaded the "no history" app for google, but it always happens.
    Should I log out of google while on duckduckgo??
    Any help here will be greatly received.

    • Tech Man
      February 25, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      Do you mean in Chrome?

  2. Mike H
    March 18, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I am a long time internet user. I would say I am an intermediate user, certainly not an expert. When searching, I get frustrated when shown old old information, sometimes more than 10 years old, and out of date today. I am seeking a setting to where I can filter my results by date. I use Firefox and Opera for browsing, and use DuckDuckGo and Google for searches. Is there a setting I do not know about?


    • Guru
      October 9, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Read the article, he explains exactly how to sort results by date.

  3. Chris W.
    December 28, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Switched. Switched back to what I was using.
    Results are fleetingly useful, even the search engines ddg sucks info from (Bing among others) are better individually.
    The Bang character historically is used as the "NOT" operator making it's use tragically confusing (use a minus sign in searches...!twitter means ~use twitter~ to ddg, -twitter means exclude results containing twitter).
    It's doesn't take a lot of reading to realize that Weinstien is a marketing and hype genius, his ideas on "Traction" are brilliant.
    Getting open source developers to to give away their skills to his proprietary and for profit company for "instant answers" is inspired, if unethical. Use DDG if you want to make a sociopolitical stand. Use something else if you need a search engine.

    • Google Faget
      November 2, 2017 at 3:24 am

      bullshit, keep bing a "google"" marionette" fgt

  4. Shehan Nirmal
    June 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Hey... this is coooool......... I like it....

    • ljones
      November 7, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      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 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!

  5. Jon Smith
    June 5, 2012 at 12:31 am

    glad I switched

  6. fd29efbaad71752b1a7bb37f418d9501
    June 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

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

    • Yaara Lancet
      June 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm

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

  7. Sachin Kanchan
    June 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm

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

  8. Cean Lumbaca
    June 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

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

    • Chris W.
      December 28, 2015 at 2:57 am

      Cean, DuckDuckGo is a "Searh Engine" or more properly a referrer as other companies do most of the work. Chrome is a browser, IE is a browser, Safari is a browser. Your searches are less cluttered because it is missing data, in particular, things most relevant to you personally. It is rather like accepting only mail addressed to "Occupant" because you don't want the mailman to know your name or what you recieve by mail.

      • Guru
        October 9, 2017 at 10:45 am

        More accurately, using the postal service analogy, it's like getting rid of all that targeted spam trash paper that fills your mailbox because there is a profile of you in advertisers' databases to send you "what's most relevant to you personally." I'm still getting the content I desire that is relevant to me personally. Continuing the postal analogy, using Google is like letting the post office read all of your mail in order to target that spam trash to better part you from your money. But if you like the unsolicited ads cluttering up your desired content just because the mailman has created a profile based on the real content you do receive, then you're one of the lucky few. It just fills my recycling bin up faster and wastes my time.

  9. Giovanni
    June 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    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 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 ''.

    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 ''.

    Now, when you type a word in the address bar, it'll automatically do a search using

    • Yaara Lancet
      June 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      That's awesome, thanks Giovanni!

  10. Samsudeen Hussain
    June 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    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.

  11. RCB Neto
    June 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

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

  12. Francisco
    June 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

    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
      June 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      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
        June 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

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

      • Chris W.
        December 28, 2015 at 3:01 am

        Why not just ~start~ with the one that works better?
        (I commented on the main thread that the Bang operator is tragically confusing as it historically means NOT)

        • Anonymous
          December 28, 2015 at 3:48 am

          As I understand it, they cannot improve the algorithm without users using it. I'm sure they would rather not use other search engine results but it's needed to be comparable to existing engines initially. Also, what works better is subjective. If you prefer Google or Bing then use those.

          As for your bang operator argument, it's really only applicable/confusing to developers. No average user will associate it with a NOT operator.

        • Guru
          October 9, 2017 at 10:49 am

          Dude, Google uses - for not as well. You're such a fanboy. Enjoy your "relevant to you personally" spam designed to trick your brain into giving your money to the advertised "content". I suppose you're not human and are impervious to psychology though, you clearly know what's best.

  13. Damian
    June 1, 2012 at 5:52 am

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

    • Yaara Lancet
      June 1, 2012 at 6:00 am

      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
      June 1, 2012 at 6:42 am

      Did you just skip your childhood?

      • DAMIAN
        June 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm

        Not really, but thanks.

    • Nilesh Rathi
      June 1, 2012 at 10:12 am

      you can easily remember their alternative url

      • DAMIAN
        June 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm


  14. Damian
    June 1, 2012 at 5:49 am

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


    • Mike
      June 1, 2012 at 7:25 pm

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

      • DAMIAN
        June 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm

        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.

  15. Evas
    June 1, 2012 at 4:29 am

    The best of all,they don't track user