Duck Duck Go a Google Contender?

On my quest to find a good Linux OS I decided to give Linux Mint one more try. One thing I noticed when I fired up Firefox was that the default engine was not Google (the usual with FF) but one I haven't heard called Duck Duck Go. I ended up ignoring it since I use Google Chrome as my web browser.

As I was going through the Mint blog, I came across this post. Explaining the partnership between Linux Mint and Duck Duck Go. In it a few advantages are mentioned of using DDG: they don't track you searches and they do not do something called bubbling (personalizing results based on previous searches, locations, sites visited etc…). They even have a website for each of these features and They also source their results from multiple engines and resources (over 50 according to them) in addition to their own crawler.

I decided to set DDG as my default engine in Chrome and give them a try for the rest of the day. The results are most of the time good (note I haven't said very good or excellent). Given it's relatively new compared to Google (only few years vs. more than a decade) there is still some room for improvement. They seem to have figured that might be the case and as a result added some short codes to redirect your query to one of your other preferred engines. For example, if you want to search for "tech blogs" on DDG and would rather have Google's result your search query would look like "!g tech blogs". They have a complete list of !Bang codes here.

Results are loaded as a single page rather than multiple pages like Google. Sponsored links are, in my opinion, much more clearly marked. They also have an interesting feature called a "0-click box", which is basically a box at the top of the results page with what they think is useful information related to your query.

Is Duck Duck Go going to take over Google soon? Unlikely, but they are an adversary that the big G needs to consider (remember even Google was a startup), even though all they offer right now is search.

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