DuckDuckGo: Search Anonymously, Find Instantly.

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.



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Titlow, John. “Inside duckduckgo, google\’s tiniest, fiercest competitor “. Co. Labs . Fastcompany, 02/20/2014. <Http://www. Fastcolabs. Com/3026698/inside-duckduckgo-googles-tiniest-fiercest-competitor>
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19 thoughts on “DuckDuckGo: Search Anonymously, Find Instantly.

  • March 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Before this article im a little embarrassed to say that i have barely even heard of DuckDuckGo and now i can see why people use it. I recently just stared exploring the engine and now i really do see why people prefer this engine because of the privacy. I did some more reading about it and now i understand a little more about what you were talking about when you said that the instant responses dont go through normal engines but they are generated right there. Great presentation!

  • March 6, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I’ve never heard of this search engine either, but it seems quite nice after a quick trial. I’m usually a loyal Google search engine user, because it gives me good results without wasting my time with bad results. Thanks for the introduction to duckduckgo!

  • March 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I agree with the above comments, I personally have never heard of this search engine. I looks very cool after listening to the presentation and reading this article. I find the adoption rate of this website interesting and very promising given the positive growth between the last couple years. Great presentation and I look forward learning more about this particular subject.

  • March 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I’m concerned about privacy issues myself and knowing DuckDuckGo doesn’t store my movement makes me more interested in using their services vs. Google or Bing. It’s interesting to know how a clever idea can rival industry giants. That was a cool, calm, informative presentation, I’ll be using DuckDuckGo to see how I like it.

  • March 9, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I like this article cause I am a massive user of going to the Internet to find the answers and if this search engine is trying to find the 80% capability of giving you the right answer that is really cool but do you think it will tumble the snowball that Google is currently riding on?

  • March 11, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Like the others, I had not heard of DuckDuckGo prior to this presentation but I decided to test it out since privacy is always important. It seems like a pretty reliable search engine but in the end, I can’t imagine another company competing with Google right now. It will be interesting to see if people start to take privacy issues more seriously and personally and decide to switch over from Google or other social networking sites in favor of a more secure method of web surfing and socializing.

  • March 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I have never heard of this search engine before. From reading your article they seem to be the middle men from Google to user, because they take Google results and tailor them to your specific needs. This is cool and i might start using this as my search engine. Thank you for sharing this.

  • March 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Like many others, I haven’t heard of this search engine until now. Many companies have been trying to dethrone Google for the last decade, so this company has to be something special if it’s even near the functionality of Google’s search engine. I like the fact that DuckDuckGo emphasizes user privacy, but I can see that being as much a feature as it is a fault. Some people like to customize their search engines and whatnot, so it many not appeal to some.

  • March 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    While I like the idea that they don’t track your information and use it to target you in the first few search results, the extent of the company and the site seems somewhat limited. The reason for this is, that while it is nice that they don’t track or use our information, it is also the tracking and use of our information that tends to give us the search results that we are looking for. The idea seems especially counterproductive when considering that, while the site itself doesn’t track our information, it relies on other search engines such as Google and Bing which both do, so even though it might not be taking the data, it is still using it.

  • March 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Duck Duck Go is a great website just for the fact that they don’t track you while on the site. I understand why a lot of companies track you is for marketing research but I hate the fact that you are being tracked. I tried the website myself and it seems a little hard to use compared to google but it’s a great alternative on to what we have today.

  • March 18, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I really like that they don’t log information about what you search and what websites you’re visiting. I feel uncomfortable knowing that Google tracks my websites to filter advertising and such. However, doesn’t Google also have a similar way “instant response” with “I’m feeling lucky”?

  • March 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I never heard of this website before the presentation. I always thought no matter what do you are going to be tracked on any site. I would also like to know little more on this site. I will definitely check the site the next time I am researching a particular subject.

  • March 19, 2014 at 2:19 am

    This is a very interesting blog post. Within the past year or so, privacy issues have been on a surge. Especially after Edward Snowden leaked to the world what the NSA collects. I believe DuckDuckGo is an interesting startup search engine for those who do not want to be tracked by Google or other search engines. However I believe that many privacy concerns are dependent on each person. I personally do not mind that Google tracks my searches but there are a significant amount of people who do have issues with that and this is perfect for them.

  • March 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I have never heard DuckDuckGo before the presentation. When I use public computers, I did not want to leaving my history. So, after use computer I erased cookies and history. However, sometimes I used my friends computers. I could not delete. DuckDuckGo very good for me. I started use DuckDuckGo.

  • March 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This was very interesting topic I actually started using this more often and it was very helpful. I felt it was faster than google and some of the other search engines

  • March 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I seen DuckDuckGo but never thought much about it until your presentation. I think the instant search option is great and like how it does not store any information. This would lessen the risk of exposing personal information and keep privacy.

  • March 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    This article somewhat reminded me of my own about the link between terrorism and databases. There is an ethical line that must be drawn and not be crossed, and the fact that Duck Duck Go is looking out for the people’s privacy is something that is extremely valuable right now, when people are so sensitive about privacy.

  • March 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    DuckDuckGo is a search engine that I did not know existed, an the way it works is interesting as is not same as google that they try to push business information on their search engines. The main feature is to generate answers, and the use of meta-searches to generate answers from the other search engines to get the right information you are looking for with less advertisement and less spam, and that their not focus on your privacy as other do. Very good that their are creating a better service than the rest of rivals.

  • March 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    After hearing of DuckDuckGo from both this presentation and Snowden’s presentation at SXSW I decided to try out the search engine. It performs pretty well. I was able to find something I was looking for in a short amount of time. DuckDuckGo’s ability to use meta-searches allows for some results which wouldn’t pop up on normal searches on the other big name engines. Aside from relevant search results, the addition to having increased privacy while you browse the web is wonderful. I’d recommend trying it out.

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