by Justin U
DuckDuckGo is a startup is a search engine startup that is rivaling that of Google. The creator, Gabriel Weinberg, didn’t originally want to create a search engine. It was more a culmination of failed ideas combined to create this alternative way to find information on the web. By combining these ideas he has created a unique search experience that helps you find instant answers, private searches, along with your usual link-by-link results.
The main feature for their site is generating “instant answers” instead of users sifting through multiple websites that may or may not contain what you are looking for. Their instant answers are listed at the very top of your results along with relevant links that pertain to your search. Their goal is to have 80% of all queries to have instant answers. DuckDuckGo utilizes a metasearch to gather results. This is means they channel very large and powerful search engines such as Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc and manipulate the results so there is more relevant information. They try to take out information that abuses SCO and get you information that you are looking for without all of the useless websites. Additionally with these results, less spam and advertisements are returned. They rely on third-party searches, their users, and developers to deliver answers people are looking for when they need them without having to click through sites to find them. Common instant answers or “goodies” as they are also referred to are simple answers such as details on a movie which will return a result from IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes. Simple computations such as a tip amount for a certain meal costs in a restaurant or finding a square root of any number is done through Wolfram Alpha. “Goodies” are provided over a wide range of fields including cryptography, creating shorter links or QR codes, economy, converting money or time zones, and many other fields.
Another primary feature that sets them apart from other search engines is the amount of focus on users’ privacy. DuckDuckGo logs no information when you visit their site or make a query. They have no idea whom you are and in what way you are accessing their services whether it’s through their mobile application or through their website. There are no accounts to identify you, no search history to see what you’re searching, and websites don’t know what you searched to get there. This is what brings people to their service. Especially with the Snowden leaks last July, which spiked their queries per day to over one and a half million a day, privacy is what attracts users to their service. Companies can sell all the information gathered on you through your web searches to the highest bidder. Or your delicate search history can be breached when these companies have a web breach. You can never be too safe nowadays when information on you can easily be widely available. Additionally with traditional search engines, results are tailored to who you are and what you frequently search. The same key terms can bring up vastly different results depending on the previous history and based on previous internet activity. This is done so you get more content of what you enjoy or viewed previously to get more clicks but this may not always be beneficial. DuckDuckGo breaks you from a filtered bubble of information and lets you decide what you want to view. Search queries have steadily been growing two hundred to five hundred percent reaching four million queries a day this in January of 2014.
DuckDuckGo is a small startup that has had close ties with the community using the service. They work closely with the niche group in order to improve the service and to actually develop features. DuckDuckHack is an API for DuckDuckGo to have developers to create instant answers for searches that you know and care about. They’ve had a user create instant answers for finding specific Lego pieces or sets. They also look to the community as sources of information for a referential database when looking to create instant answers for a particular field. Additionally as a startup they’ve hired some of these people whom are active in the development and are giving jobs to those who have helped them improve their service.
DuckDuckGo is a small startup that throws its stake into the search engine world. They are a legitimate contender by doing things that many cannot offer. Privacy is the biggest selling point for its users especially with the NSA and Snowden leaks people are being more cautious as pretty much all their internet activity can be monitored. Additionally they are trying to offer you solutions without you having to click through links to find them. They are a fast growing company that gathers its users in order to create a better service that rivals that of the juggernaut that is Google.