For the longest time I’ve been hearing the praises of a little search engine called Duck Duck Go amongst the Hacker News crowd. Yesterday, I finally decided to take the plunge and set it as Chrome’s default search engine. After a day of solid use, here are some of my observations:
- The search results are good: While Google has been taking time to improve their results lately, it’s refreshing to see original content get ranked higher than web scrapers. In fact, the web scrapers have a tendency to not show up at all on DDG.
- Lots of documented goodies: I’m still getting my feet wet with DDG, but the ridiculous amount of goodies is going to make things a lot more enjoyable.
- I like not having page previews by default: I’m not sure if DDH even supports this, but I absolutely HATE having preview panes pop up in Google by default. Can it be turned off? Yes. Am I too lazy to do it? Yes.
- Directly search other sites: You can search other sites directly, which is a nice feature. Try “!amazon Founders at work”.
- They don’t track you: You know that feeling you get when you think someone is following you down a dark alley at night? That’s the feeling you should get using Google. They track everything. I don’t like being tracked, so DDG is probably going to become my permanent search engine. Read
- Instant Answers: Sometimes you don’t need to click-through to a page. For instance, search “jquery” and you get a handy little box that tells you what jQuery is, and where you can get more info about it. For someone new to jQuery, that little bit of information could help them make a more informed click to learn more.
- I miss instant search: I would really like to see an option for instant searching on DDG. Being able to refine your search results letter by letter was really handy.
- I miss other Google service integration: Searching for “coffee near 49503” would show a map with coffee houses on it in Google. In DDG, my results aren’t nearly as useful. I hope that some sort of map integration is in there future, because it would stop me from switching back to Google to use their map service.
What do you like about DDG? What features do you wish it had?