A Promising Alternative Search Engine

Its name is one of those silly concoctions that developers are going in for (I blame Google and Yahoo for starting this) but DuckDuckGo has some very good points as a search engine. It is free of the clutter that Google now has and does not have all those paid ads masquerading as search results that Google displays. Google has been my search engine of choice for years but I am growing less and less satisfied with its search results. They are full of search engine optimized chaff. I have tried a number of computer related searches lately and I like DuckDuckGo's results better.

Google’s incessant tracking is another factor that is beginning to weigh against it. DuckDuckGo says it does not track you and that it does not “personalize” your search results. Go to this link to see its illustrated guide about these issues. Also, here is the Privacy Policy

The interface is simplicity, you might even say bare. So simple, in fact, that you may miss the links down in the lower corners of the screen for things like settings and information

There are actually a number of sites about DuckDuckGo and something called the DuckDuckGo Community Platform has additional information about the search engine.

Here is a trick to use if you do not like DuckDuckGo’s results for a particular search or just want to compare with Google. Enter a search query in DuckDuckGo and add “!g” (without quotes) and you will be taken to the same search query in Google. This is one example of what DuckDuckGo calls a “bang”. This page explains how to use bangs to modify queries to search hundreds of other sites directly.

DuckDuckGo has been garnering some awards lately. It is one of PCMag’s Top 100 Websites of 2011 and is one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Best Websites of 2011. Some of my fellow editors here at Gizmo’s have already recognized its potential and there has been a previous Hot Find article.

I haven't exactly switched but I am leaning to heavier use of this promising alternative to Google. Give it a try; you may like the results.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's and tutorials, including  a computer education website and a site for learning about the command line.

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