DuckDuckGo, an alternative to Google search engine?

Pendem RajuInternet2 Comments

Google’s monopoly in content search on internet is almost unbeatable. It garners about 5.1 billion hits a day commanding 82% of market share, that’s massive. With its lucid and clutter free look paired with quick results made it the unconquered search engine of all times, so far. Many search engines like Magellan, Excite, Lycos and Infoseek appeared to compete but never came close. Yahoo’s ‘Bing’ known as ‘decision engine’ could not match the prominence of Google. Then is it safe to say there is no substitute to Google yet, no. Privacy has always been the biggest concern for millions as Google tend to capture almost everything about users. But do we really have an option? DuckDuckGo, an anonymous search engine beckons to vied.



DuckDuckGo founded by Gabriel Weinberg promises to protect privacy and is gaining popularity, at noteworthy speed, thanks mainly to recent revelations of NSA’s (National Security Agency) PRISM program exposed by Edward Snowden. On June 17, 2013, DuckDuckGo had three million direct searches. Compared to 1.8 million in entire May 2013, it’s a huge jump. The name of the search engine which sounds funny was inspired from a children’s game duck duck goose.

Privacy First

DuckDuckGo puts privacy first. It does not store IP addresses, does not store user information and only uses cookies when needed. Weinberg says “By default, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell”. The search engine uses Tor and DDG which allows the user to maintain anonymity as it routes the traffic through a series of encrypted gates.

!Bang it

!Bang is another most useful and unique feature of DuckDuckGo. By appending ‘!amazon books’ to search string, it will direct the user to and auto-search it for ‘books’. How cool is that?. Use this feature to search YouTube with !youtube, voila!, you have got the list of YouTube videos that you intended to search right in front of you.

There are shorter versions for these commands, for example, you can simply type !g for google, !yt for YouTube etc. And if you want to turn off the safe search, just use’!safeoff’. And you have ‘!ducky’ or ‘! ‘ or ‘\’ to take you to the first result. You have hundreds of such commands, never mind by-hearting, they will be at your fingertips as you use them more often.

The drop down button to the right of search box magnifying glass icon allows the user to perform actions like ‘I’m feeling lucky’, search for images and use bang commands with ease.



By clicking on ‘More’ button on top right side the user can use an interesting feature called ‘Goodies’. It offers an extensive list of features from basic mathematic calculations to Finance, Entertainment, Food, Travel news etc.

duckduckgo goodies

DuckDuckGo sources the information by making use of crowd-sourced websites and from partnerships with Yahoo! Search BOSS, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, Bing etc. Another notable feature is its ability to filter extensive advertising content from webpages. It also introduced Voice Search extension for Google Chrome users. Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS users.

duckduckgo search

Overall, DuckDuckGo presents very relevant, accurate and junk less content at a relatively fast speed compared to other search engines. The ability to protect privacy comes as an icing on the cake. And some fancy features like !bang and umpteen customization options make it a worthy search engine to rely on. DuckDuckGo also has a community where in it encourages users to contribute for the betterment of the search engine. Majority of DDG code is open sourced. Although it lacks some of the awesome features that Google offers, with increasing popularity over its privacy feature and growing number of searches per day, DuckDuckGo looks promising.

Catch the duck here

Try using it right away and let us know your views under the comments sections below.

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