Don’t put all your search engine eggs in one basket, try DuckDuckGo!

DuckDuckGo Logo

Last month I wrote a blog which captured how Firefox decided to make the bold search engine switch from Google to Yahoo and how Google decided to fight back. Well it seems like the search engine war is only just starting as now both Mozilla & Safari are both introducing a search engine as a default alternative… and that alternative is DuckDuckGo!

As a Cheshire web-design agency, our philosophy is to provide our loyal clients with hints, tips and reviews on not only web performance but also how to make the best of browsing on the World Wide Web. Inside our latest blog, I will introduce you to DuckDuckGo and just why more and more users are making the switch.

Welcome to DuckDuckGo

Created by Gabriel Weinberg in September 2008, DuckDuckGo is a search engine with a very simple vision “To give you great search results without tracking you”. Because DuckDuckGo do not collect any personal information, they do not have any to share which means they deliberately show all users the same search results for a any given search term.

The search engine is increasing its presence in leaps and bounds and now has more than 8 million searches performed in a single day. Browsers are starting to sit up and take notice with the search engine now available on two major platforms inside the last 6 months.

Inside the iOS 8 update for Apple Software, on September 8th 2014, Apple made DuckDuckGo available as a default search engine option. Mozilla quickly followed suite and inside the Firefox 33.1 update, DuckDuckGo became available in November 2014.

Real Privacy

In a nutshell DuckDuckGo describe themselves as “The search engine that doesn’t track you. Google amongst other search engines constantly gather data from all users and tracking information available such as location, search history and buying habits. They do this so they can deliver search results that are completely tailored to the user’s lifestyle but surely that comes across as a little creepy?

DuckDuckGo protect your privacy. They do not log or collect any information from your IP Address so search results cannot be tied to any user with any search result.

Customise Your Search

What’s really unique and fund about DuckDuckGo is that you can customise your search engine and experience the search just the way that you like it. As you can see from the image below, you can instantly change the look and feel including trying out a different theme. From my first time browsing the search engine, I easily found 6 more themes to choose from.

If the theme selection isn’t enough, you can also boost results for your region or even adjust the displayed language.

DuckDuckGo Theme Selection

Choose from a selection of DuckDuckGo themes.

Instant, Smarter Results

An instant advantage has to be the instant answer feature. Instant answers help you find what you are looking for in seconds. As you can see from the example shown below, I have searched for the words ‘New York Weather’ and was instantly greeted with a weather report for the next week. Looks like it could be snowing this weekend. You can apply the instant search for music, recipes and others.

Instant DuckDuckGo Search

Instant “New York Weather” information provided.

Instant search even expands to Emoticons! Everybody will know what an emoticon or a smiley is but sometimes you can come across some you just don’t understand or you see something like “:D”. Using the DuckDuckGo search engine you instantly get an explanation on what your emoticon is.

DuckDuckGo emoticon Search Result

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’re like me and love a good keyboard shortcut, DuckDuckGo offers many useful keyboard shortcuts so you will hardly have to use your mouse ever again which it comes to searching!

Personal favourites of mine or the ‘Ctrl K’ & ‘Ctrl J’ shortcuts which will allow you to browse results and enter to open the link without the need to use your mouse.

The Verdict

Although Google may have captured all the Google Chrome users, alternative search engines are beginning to fight back and have become available on other browsers. In fact, if you try out DuckDuckGo on Chrome, you will be greeted with a message to make the switch permanent.

DuckDuckGo in Chrome

DuckDuckGo is available as a default Search Engine in Chrome

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