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If you’ve been following my latest articles, you might have noticed that I mentioned Duck Duck Go a couple times. 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 doing this? Isn’t Google a mile ahead of every other search engine? Well, not exactly.
About Duck Duck Go
Duck Duck Go puts a lot of emphasis on a few goals that Google simply cannot. Duck Duck Go’s primary reasons for existing is to be a free, open source search engine that is privacy aware by not tracking you. This way, websites cannot identify you, and you get true search results that aren’t modified to fit your personality and searching habits.
Additionally, Duck Duck Go presents those search results in a very unique way that I find to be more intuitive than how Google shows results. Pack in some handy extras, and you got yourself a winner.
When you first reach the site, you’ll see a logo, the search box, and a few helpful links. That’s it. No bar running across the top of the page, nothing. In other words, it feels very clean and uncluttered, even when compared to Google which is relatively uncluttered already.
When you go ahead and actually enter in a search term, you’ll be greeted by an even cleaner search results page. Depending on the search term, you’ll see a few things displayed that aren’t shown on Google, such as a definition or general information about whatever you searched from Wikipedia, links labeled as the official site, and more. On the right you can also get a few search ideas where, if you click on one, it’ll add that term to what you were searching for and shows you the new results. Oh, and I must say, I’m pretty happy with the results that come back, unlike other search engines.
Great, so your privacy is protected and you get back some interesting search results. Plenty of people would be happy with that and call it a day, but the creators behind Duck Duck Go didn’t. If you ever go to the settings page, you’ll see exactly why. There are plenty of result settings, privacy settings, color settings, look and feel settings, and interface settings. Simply put, you can change just about anything you want to, which is quite impressive.
Last but not least, there are a few tricks that you can use in your search query to get certain results. Duck Duck Go allows the use of certain keywords and “!bang syntax” to get specific results. For example, if you type in “weather new york city”, you’ll get the current weather conditions and forecast for New York City at the very top of your results page. If you type in “!youtube linux”, Duck Duck Go will automatically redirect you to the YouTube results page for the term Linux. You can also do much more such as calculations, search for time-sensitive items, and more. You can find a full list of possible keywords here.
Duck Duck Go is the result of a great idea that seems to be getting some momentum. I do hope that this project can become a player in the search engine market and give us a little freedom from Google. However, Duck Duck Go is well developed as it is right now, and I’ll surely be using it in the near future.
What do you think about Duck Duck Go? Which search engine do you prefer now (or still prefer)? Let us know in the comments!