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DuckDuckGo Hits 14M Searches in a Single Day (searchenginejournal.com)
291 points by riqbal on Jan 21, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 124 comments



For the team here at DuckDuckGo, we were excited not only to hit 14M searches in a single day but to also cross the threshold of 10B total private searches served. Of which 4B were from last year alone.

We wrote a post covering it in our newly launched blog: https://spreadprivacy.com/10-billion-fc7808c91343

It is always an amazing and humbling moment when we hit a new milestone in our metrics. Our team is so incredibly passionate about what we do. To have people from all over the world rally around this concept of raising the standard of trust online and build this product is one thing. But, for users to endorse that mission at such a growing pace and to share us with their friends and family -- it lets us know we're truly making a difference for people who want to be more private online, and that is incredibly rewarding.

So thank you, to all of you who search with us, all of you who know privacy matters, and all of you who work along side us to show that privacy is not a fringe interest but something we can all have!


DDG is a great success story, I wish the whole team the best.

I wonder how an exit will play out though. A big factor with DDG is user trust - that seems to limit the list potential buyers to the few that could credibly maintain that trust.

Then there is the IPO route, but that has it's own challenges. You could argue that up until now DDG has had no competition because Google doesn't think it's worth raising its hand to swat a fly. But there is no flying under the radar after an IPO. What if Google promoted a new "no track" feature which matched DDGs benefits without having to do dumb things like append query arguments, modify location, and run plugins?

You might say Google would never give up this much tracking control, but there are two caveats. First, if it's just an option buried in settings there will be limited uptake yet DDG's ability to claim differentiation would be nullified. Secondly, as DDG itself says, search can still be a great business without having to track people.

If I were lucky enough to be in DDGs position I would push for a Microsoft acquisition. MS has kept enough promises in recent years that they just may be able provide DDG users enough guarantees to maintain the trust. People have mentioned Apple but that seems like a lower probability for a variety of reasons. An MS deal would avoid the massive hassle of an IPO and enough resources to chip away at Google indefinitely without being pressured into short term decisions.

For now I'm just glad DDG is here trying to do some good.


Why would DuckDuckGo need to exit? Are they losing money?


Money can corrupt, but so can poverty.

There is a financial sweet spot where the contributors to DuckDuckGo are fat and happy and there aren't greedy investors wanting to monetize all that trust.

Google has already occupied the greedy investor niche. DDG has carved out a niche where, I fear, the greatest threat is a lack of money for the people building and maintaining DDG. If they feel underappreciated, they may start to monetize that trust. The DDG team should be rewarded for their hard work.


No concern here. While we don't disclose the figure our CEO has publicly noted that we are indeed profitable:

http://fortune.com/2015/10/09/duckduckgo-profitable/


A quick Google search indicates that they've taken on ~$3M in funding. Depending on their revenues & expenses, that may mean that their investors aren't clamoring for quick returns. But at some point most investors do want to see a ROI/exit.


Not if it's a vanity investment (I don't know if there's a better term for it). If some VCs know that their fund will ride on one or two unicorns (or network effects like in YC's case) and that the rest of the investments will fail or barrly return 1-5x, once it's clear what the unicorn is there's a little room for investments that aren't expected to have a financial ROI. Perhaps the investment gets the investors a foot in the door for future ventures by the team or into a field where they might not have deal flow, or they might just want the extra "street cred" and publicity. YC regularly gives slots with funding to nonprofits now, which by definition can't have a financial ROI.


Because they've taken VC money. Usually, even if a business becomes profitable investors do not want to wait out a long term approach or be involved in a "lifestyle" business.


we (USV) are the VCs who invested in DDG. we are very patient. and are happy to wait and see where this goes. this was a very small investment for us so there is no pressure on them from us.


Great to hear. Just shows not all money is equal. People remember these things.


What promises has Microsoft kept that would make me consider trusting privacy to them? A sale to Microsoft would mean the decision to use duckduckgo would rely solely on search performance, and as much as I love bangs it's not a better search engine.


No big company is perfect, so trust is a relative judgement. It's also somewhat based on values, so we may think have different opinions. For example, I would trust MS more than Oracle, or one of the big cable companies.


Why? When has Microsoft ever done anything that gives you the impression they respect your privacy?


From a privacy point of view, it would be awesome if you stabilise the NoJS version of your search page: https://duckduckgo.com/html/

* The above landing page doesn't work (typing a query and pressing enter returns me back to the same page).

* Even if I manually enter a search URL like this https://duckduckgo.com/html/?q=test it doesn't fully work (page navigation and requerying is broken).


Interesting, it works fine for me. What browser are you using?


Chromium with uMatrix installed. (exact versions irrelevant, because it hasn't been working for me since atleast 2 years)


Like MaxLeiter, this page works normally for me, so I thought I would do a bit of testing. I know this is a plain HTML version of DDG and no AJAX is involved, but bear with me, I want to illustrate a point.

From the browser console, the origin is that of the web page you're currently viewing, so you're free from CORS concerns.

So, from my browser console in Chrome 56, with duckduckgo.com/html/ open in the browser tab, I should be able to do this without any trouble:

    fetch(window.location, {
      method: 'POST', 
      body: 'q=testddg'
    })
    .then(result => {
      result.text()
      .then(text => { 
        document.documentElement.innerHTML = 
          new DOMParser()
            .parseFromString(text, 'text/html')
              .documentElement.innerHTML
      })
    })

But, surprise surprise, it doesn't work. There's no change in the document, where I'd obviously expect to see the search results page loaded, because the response was the home page -- as it is in your case, when you try to search for stuff.

So I tried to make a POST request without a body instead, appending the query parameter to the URL as one would with a GET request:

    fetch(window.location + '?q=testddg', {
      method: 'POST'
    })
    .then(result => {
      result.text()
      .then(text => { 
        document.documentElement.innerHTML = 
          new DOMParser()
            .parseFromString(text, 'text/html')
              .documentElement.innerHTML
      })
    })

This worked perfectly, all the search results were loaded. Works as a plain GET request too. So what we seem to be able to surmise is that posting a request body causes the search to be rejected...

But that's absurd! The native submit behaviour of a form with method 'POST' necessarily sends a POST request with a body, the body can be of multiple types, specified by the enctype attribute, default being x-www-form-urlencoded, which mimics a GET request.

In my browser's dev tools, I checked the request in the networking panel. The fetch requests were all there, but they differed from the native requests in an important way: the body was called 'Form data' in native requests, where in fetches it appeared as 'Request payload'.

The latter is obviously not going to be identified by DDG or any website as form data to parse, so I tried fetching with the correct content-type header explicitly set:

    fetch(window.location, {
      method: 'POST', 
      headers: {
        'Content-Type': 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded'
      },
      body: 'q=testddg'
    })
    .then(result => {
      result.text()
      .then(text => { 
        document.documentElement.innerHTML = 
          new DOMParser()
            .parseFromString(text, 'text/html')
              .documentElement.innerHTML
        })
    })
Boom, worked perfectly, just as we'd expect.

So what was the point of this? We haven't really learned much, because handling form submissions via AJAX always requires such considerations, and that's irrelevant here anyway because the web page in question does not use AJAX, it's a plain HTML version of the site!

What we have determined is that there's most probably nothing wrong with their web page and the problem is more likely to be originating from your side.

I get the feeling that your browser is, for some reason, not applying the correct default enctype for the DDG/html form or uMatrix is interrupting the request and re-sending the request as a generic POST without the explicit content-type.

I've been unable to reproduce the bug on my machine. Do you use any other browser extensions? Does the site work in other browsers you may have?


Nope, there are no other browser extensions. Just Chromium with uMatrix.

Here's the complete request/response data in HAR format: https://gist.github.com/hrj/f538ed3e67636c94934e221efe67b323

(Note that the UA string is being spoofed by uMatrix, but I don't think that's relevant. I tried disabling the UA spoofing with the same result.)


Thank you for a great search engine! I swapped from Google as a default search to your guys' engine just shy of a year ago and haven't looked back. Keep up the great work :)


A thousand times this. Initially I wasn't a fan if I'm perfectly honest, but once I got my head around such brilliant things as the bang syntax I've been finding Google almost awkward to use by comparison. Being able to search Wikipedia with !w is brilliant.


This is built into most browsers--you don't need to forward the query through a third party.


For the curious, that's what the search "keyword" is for. Over time, Firefox has made it harder to add new search engines and find/modify their settings, but it definitely still works.


I use DDG Lite with Dillo, a fast non-Javascript GUI browser, but lately (I'd say since the first week of January, according to this message [1] in Dillo's mailing list), I'm unable to visit the search results using Dillo's native search box.

Instead of sending me to example.com, DDG redirects to a weird constructed address [2]). If I go to duckduckgo.com/lite and search there, it works fine. Any ideas? What would be the best (eh, sorry) place to post this?

Of course, thanks for your great work, and bangs are amazing!

[1] http://lists.dillo.org/pipermail/dillo-dev/2017-January/0110...

[2] https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=http%3A%2F%2Fexample.co...


This is to stop your HTTP referrer leaking your search terms: "DuckDuckGo prevents search leakage by default. Instead, when you click on a link on our site, we route (redirect) that request in such a way so that it does not send your search terms to other sites. The other sites will still know that you visited them, but they will not know what search you entered beforehand." https://duckduckgo.com/privacy


Did you consider changing the domain name?


This is the biggest turn off for me for the service. I use it, because I like it, but I really don't like the name.


I've been using DuckDuckGo for the past year and love it. But this also gets me. I've been trying to evangelize with my colleagues and friends and the whole duck thing makes it hard for them to take seriously. One friend said the logo reminded them of Aflac.

And then all of a sudden we're talking about a duck instead of why private search is important.


If you use it, and like it, why does the name matter anymore? Is it an embarrassment thing?


Google is basically a verb at this point. It's hard to tell people to DuckDuckGo it.

GoDuck might be interesting. "GoDuck it."


You could return to the neutral non-branded term of 'search' it.


Even better: You can work an making "google" a generic term for searching – "I'm googling it on DuckDuckGo" – which increases awareness of other search engines and decreases the association of the common activity "googling" with the company "Google".


I believe the idea is to be more of a guerrilla evangelist for DDG, but the brand name makes that hard.


It's just too much to type.


I think it's been several years since I've actually visited duckduckgo.com. Modern browsers make it really easy to set DDG to your default search engine.


People often want to try it for a while before to set it as default. Same happened to me when I changed my default browser. All being said I think a rebranding would make it more competitive.


Yeah but I often use other computers. I often thought about having a shorter name under elinks for instance.


There's always https://ddg.co or https://ddg.gg


ddg.com


Nah just bugs me. Like you wouldn't drive a DuckDuckGo mobile right?


Have you tried ddg.gg ?


thx


oh! nifty shortcut, thanks =)


Pretty much the only time I switch away from your search engine is when I want to extend the time constraint to "Past Year", if you fix that you should increase your total searches this next year by at least 200... http://i.imgur.com/0O15hJV.png


We love DDG, and use them for search on our site because privacy and DNT are so important to us.


I've been using DuckDuckGo since @yegg's first announcement of it (on reddit iirc). The relevance of the results compared to their competitors' has been noticeably improving over the years.

When a search doesn't quite give me what I'm looking for, I prepend !sp on my query (to use startpage.com). I use this less and less and for most things DDG gets me where I need to go.

I'm a huge fan. I'm thankful services like this are available--that respect our privacy. I did have good intentions of contributing to duckduckhack.com but have regretfully not gotten around to it yet.


I still insert `!g` in about 25% percent of my searches. Loved to see a metric on how many people do the same or append it on the search box after seeing the results.

I like DDG a lot, but I feel that Google knowing so much about me prevents it from showing ruby gems over ruby lang search results. Must say, this has improved greatly last year, but I don't trust DDG just yet fully.


I use !g if a DDG search doesn't give me anything useful, but this is far less than 25% of my searches, and in nearly every case, Google didn't have anything useful either.

Really the only times !g actually turns out to be useful is when I'm searching for something that's well within my filter bubble on Google, but generic enough that I get the wrong results when outside of my filter bubble (e.g. DDG). But that's not really all that often.


What would DDG have to do to earn greater trust?


The key for switching to DuckDuckGo for me was to set it as the default searchengine / startpage on all browsers. While the relevance of search results is slightly (noticable) worse than Google, I think the tradeoff between privacy VS result-quality is worth it. Thanks for making such a great product!


Hey Phil,

DuckDuckGo employee here - Be sure to use the 'feedback' button that you find on the search results page whenever you feel a search isn't up to standards.

Our team has been working hard at increasing relevancy, but the best changes come when users let us know what they need.

Since we don't filter bubble results (https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_b...) results certainly feel different when making the leap, and that takes an adjustment period for most people. But, if you actually feel you have examples where you can't find what you're looking for, then we want to know so we can provide you a seamless search experience as well!


There was a long HN thread talking about DuckDuckGo results vs Google behavior.

Some people are put off by the fact that you don't substitute synonyms as aggressively as google. A concrete example was "foss [search term]". Google seems to rewrite this to "[open source] foobar", even with bubbling off.

I prefer the duck duck go behavior (and google's aggressive query rewriting drove me nuts back when I used google -- it makes it hard to run precise searches!). After all, if I bothered to type an obscure acronym, I'm looking for results that actually contain the acronym!

Maybe a "did you mean 'open source [search term]'" link at the top of the page, and even a preference toggle to enable aggressive query rewording by default would help.


I believe if you do "foss" (with quotation marks) in Google it will not rewrite it. But I am not sure.


I've had a lot of problems with literal searches on DDG over the years. That is, searches containing search terms in double quotes, like this: "my search terms".

DDG is committed to returning literal search results for the exact query that the user typed within double quotes, right? Sometimes I wonder if DDG is going the route of other search engines and trying to return "relevant" results instead of only results containing the exact search term the user asked for within double quotes.

Could you make clear exactly what DDG's policy is on exact search terms within double quotes? Does DDG honor such requests?


Thanks for the tip. I'll do that.

I use DDG as primary but any time the search results aren't relevant, I fall back to Google. I fall back a lot right now and I think this is the area for DDG to focus in.


Hey Adam, thanks for the tip! Will do for sure in the future.

Edge cases I have in mind are usually related to indexing of forum posts, where I search for a specific-term (say bookkeeping) and roughly know the Google results of the most important forums by heart, but DDG does not even show them.

Second case I just used yesterday was searching for an exact match for an @gmail address of a priest (for our marriage) where Google had a lot more results than DDG.

Keep up the great work!


I'd be really interested in a write-up of how you use and process feedback.


Hey Asb,

That's a great idea - I'm not personally involved in the feedback process, but I'll certainly bring this up to the relevant team!


Not sure how this might affect privacy, or maybe you're doing it already, but couldn't you guys sample every time someone runs a search and then the same search with !g ?


Hi Gingerlime,

Thanks for the suggestion. Part of the reason we don't do this is the returned search results on Google are Google's commercial property. To use them in such a capacity would require us to reach a commercial agreement with them. These agreements come with stipulations that we don't feel represent the privacy interests of our users, so we don't pursue such agreements.

The other reason, is because of the 'filter bubble' Google tailors results based on user tracking, which is what helps with result accuracy. So the results we as DuckDuckGo see on a query would be different than what you see. Plus, even if we could see your results, we wouldn't want to. We don't think it is good to be filter bubbled, we want to serve you the best results we can without censoring you. It should be your decision to a view a certain website, not ours!


I think the suggestion was more that you identify specific search urls which did not return a good result (hence the user went off to google). You could do this anonymously without tracking anyone or their usage of google or other search engines, or looking at the results on google.

As a DDG user I'd be really happy if you did this and think it would be the best way of identifying searches I'm unhappy with. I go to google now only if I'm not happy with the results from DDG.


You could still identify searches where there's room for improvement even without comparing with Google results.


I may be wrong but the reason is again privacy (and probably cost). If they tracked your queries and tied them back to you for future then they need to store your information or enough to tie to you and what you clicked on and the history to improve things. These all become things that they can be subpoenaed for which is anti-privacy.

Don't believe for a second that governments are not already banging at the door for access. The only ways to combat is either hosting in neutral offshore datacenter and incorporating there and living there is to not collect "useful" information in the first place on users. I think they went for the latter.


Why would they want to tie them back to you? The suggestion is: "these search terms returned unsatisfactory results".


So don't tie them back to the user. Seems like a simple solution.


I often experience that ddg gives me results from really old websites. In cases this is OK, but when used for tracking down bugs or software errors it can be frustrating.

Still love you though!


Google has a list of scheduled flights when you put in two airport codes which is useful, doesn't look like DDG does the same.


At DuckDuckGo we've got open-source Instant Answers that currently pull in information from over 1100 sources: (https://duck.co/ia)

If you know of a good data source for scheduled flights you can easily contribute an Instant Answer, or leave the source as a suggestion for our community!


Sorry I don't know a source... actually I don't think I've seen this on any other sites. Just one of those small things that keeps me with Google.


Google paid $700m to get that functionality though.


This is a significant subset of what ITA does though - just a list of what flights go on each day of the week and at what time. I expect that can be built for significantly less than 700 million, certainly among the popular airports that most people search for. I suspect they might have had it before the ITA purchase as well but not 100% sure. The Google flights search with pricing and custom dates and routes came after ITA was bought I think.


It's basically QPX. Not just flights and times, but prices as well. It is the most significant part of ITA.

Flights, times, and fares is deceptively hard to get right. There's a reason there are only a few providers.

Edit: Ahh. If you're saying DDG could get by with just flights and times, and no fares, I see what you mean. That seems to be reflected in the pricing for the FlightStats product vs Google's flight/times/fares API pricing, yes. Parity with Google search requires fares though.


Here is a reasonable looking service:

http://www.flightstats.com/go/Mobile/flightStatusByRoute.do?...

It looks like a nice weekend project for someone.

I typed in sfo and jfk, but it looks like the java script submitted longer names, so there might be some non-trivial airport name handling to wire in.


Flightstats is a popular service. Not free though: https://developer.flightstats.com/getting-started/pricing

Similarly, Google sells api access to their flight search api: https://developers.google.com/qpx-express/v1/pricing

I have no idea if DDG could leverage either and not wreck their business model.


Setting it to default was what also got me using it daily. I've known about it for a long time but never used it much simply because when I open a new tab I want to search from there.

I'd say I'm happy with the search results I get and never find myself going to google unless I need a map. I also really like that they adopted the quick results if you hit something common and get a excerpt which usually has my answer in it right at the top of the search results.


I have it set in only one of my browsers and am always jarred when DDG results come up, quickly falling back to !g

Switching over everywhere would probably help me adapt more quickly.


Yes, I encountered this. Soon after I had set ddg to the default on all my browsers (mobile & desktop), I found that DDGs results have been perfectly acceptable most of the time.

Further, I find that I use shortcuts like !w, !yt, or plain "!" much more often than I use !g due to poor (or simply less targeted) search results.


I couldn't find anything obviously authoritative, but various sources suggested Google does 3500m or so daily searches.

That puts DDG at less than 1%, but their percentage growth is huge. It can't continue forever, but they could be a significant search engine if it doesn't peter out too soon.

I tried DDG several times, but it finally stuck earlier this year. I'm really happy it's available as an alternative.


>> " Google does 3500m or so daily searches"

It's difficult to define what constitutes a "search" these days. Since google release autocomplete search in 2004 [1], each letter you type into the search bar results in a search query.

So simply searching for "superbowl 2017" would result in 14 searches because there are 14 characters. So, do you count that as 1 search or 14?

[1] http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/08/how-go...


No, search as you type only happened with Instant Search, which launched in September 2010. From 2004 on, you still needed to press Enter to perform an actual search.

Even now, you can inspect JS traffic and see that usually there aren't 14 searches when you enter [superbowl 2017]. Internal metrics reflect a lot of that nuance and more.

Source: I own a Google Instant shirt because I was in one of the teams involved in months of testing and in the launch.


Good point. However when you switch to a different search engine in your browser, you'll likely still have incremental search for the new search provider.


I suspect the main reason for Google's stranglehold is that it's usually set up as the default search engine for many web browsers (both for desktop and mobile) and the vast majority of users don't change that.

In spite of its good growth rate, DDG will have to change tack if it wants to make the leap to the next stage.

*FYI, DDG is my default search engine.


This seems right. I could imagine Apple leaving some money on the table to avoid Google search on the iPhone, if people wouldn't perceive DDG as inferior.


Just trying it now, when you go "back" after clicking Images you go to duckduckgo.com, not the previous page you were on. The url changes, so it's a bit strange.

Results are decent, though the results page seems harder to skim read.


I've been using DDG as my primary search engine for years, and this feature continues to trip me up on a daily basis.


DuckDuckGo is great and I've actually had surprising success in getting non-tech people to try it out, and stick with it! My girlfriend has set it as default it in all of her devices, she loves the !bang searches (imdb, wiki, etc.) and lack of ads.

Also, half of my co-workers. !python, !mdn, etc.

I think the biggest hurdle going forward is the fact that DDG is much better for English results than in other languages (we work half in French), but I hope the project grows and grows. Google needs to go down eventually!


I've seen that some peoples talk about a name change. They say that: "duckduckgo" is too much (and they're right in my opinion).

It's interesting to see that duck.com is owned by google. This is what they call competition :)

The duckduckgo team should be smart enough to keep secret an upcoming name change/rebranding. See for example how comodo tried to register "let's encrypt" trademark: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/06/23/1946249/comodo-atte... .

It's not easy to beat google at it's own game. Good luck!


The only thing I miss in DDG compared to Google, is the ability to search in time during the last year.

As a researcher and doing some coding, it's invaluable for me to filter results that way.


Given the climate of political discord that is occurring on Google sites, especially google "news" (which gets prominent placement in many google searches now), I've switched my iPhone default search in Safari to DDG. I've been pleasantly surprised that I don't need to google things for 90% of searches.


What's interesting is that growth has accelerated since September 2016.

http://apps.axibase.com/chartlab/e8635882/13/

Any good reasons behind it?


If you increase the time scale, the acceleration doesn't seem so big--it looks like there's a fairly linear trend.

What's interesting to me is that there's such a consistent drop in searches around the holidays. I'd expect some drop, but not that big, relatively speaking.


DDG is a great search engine. I missed the lack of personalized search that Google gets you, but once you get used and learn how to search properly, you start loving it.

And I moved from Google on my phone due to the AMP crap.


Congratulations on the big growth.

I'm annoyed that I can't set DDG has the default search engine in Chrome (Android). I hold a bookmark though so 'duc' autocompletes to duckduckgo. Not too inconvenient.


Hi yclept, we understand the frustration! We're always exploring our options here. There are other Android browsers that do/can include us!


1) Install Chrome Canary. 2) Type duckduckgo.com in the address bar. 3) Do a search from the search box. 4) Repeat step 2 and 3 for a decent number of times (say 5 to 8 times). 5) Go to settings->Search engine. Here you should see duckduckgo.com in the recently visited section along with the usual options.


There's a patch floating around the interwebs that lets you do just that. But that's a real pain.


I recently submitted a bug in the search to DDG. It's very nice to be able to help improve the project. And the bug reporter is neat.

Never seen anything comparable in competitive products.


I'd love to see if there's a similar uptrend in usage for other services who advertise privacy as part of their value. Anecdotally, a large chunk of my social network has joined Signal just in the last few days, and without any prompting from me. This is speculation, but it may be that many people who were ambivalent about surveillance under Obama are concerned about surveillance under Trump, and we'll see more user demand for privacy for the next few years.


I've been using DDG for a couple years, not that too many people would know about it. Heh. Good enough for what I do, and having to go a few pages deep sometimes doesn't really bother me, and in fact routinely exposes me to resources that I was not aware of.

I have, and will continue to, pass good privacy practices on to others, particularly non-tech users, even though people don't always have the time for privacy discussions, they become aware of the issues.


I wonder why DDG bang search is praised like its a first time phenomena ?

What ? ... did people live in a cave all this time ? It existed for more then a decade all around. Some examples include early Opera, chrome, vimium plugin, Surfraw (linux CLI search tool) etc...

Anyway, DDG is refreshing. You can even turn off adds in the options. Google may be a great search engine but as far as I am concerned, it can delete 'don't be evil' phrase from its mission statement.


    >In addition, the search engine is celebrating a
     combined total of 10 billion searches performed,
     with 4 billion searches conducted in December 2016
     alone.
This can't be right, can it? DDG's been around for years, and nearly half of its total use volume has been in the past month?


It should be 4 billion in 2016, not just Dec 2016.


I use it. It's not as good as Google, but it pretty much gets the job done when I need it to.


With 4 billion searches in December 2016, DDG would have had on average 129 million searches every day of december. I have to assume this actually meant 4 billion searches in 2016


I don't appreciate ddg results much, but I realized not long ago the feeling of joy by knowing I'm not being tracked for any thing I search.

I can throw anything at it carelessly.


I switched to DDG as my default search everywhere a few months ago, and I recommend everyone does. The results are passable and when they aren't there is always !g


I am curious why you recommend everyone else switch since you say "The results are passable." That's not exactly a ringing endorsement.


Agreed just use Startpage.com for better results and privacy than you can get from DDG.


Wow this is great. I had no idea this existed. Thanks for the tip!


It's good enough and they are not spying on me. I am going to start installing it on people's computers that I fix. They usually have Ask toolbar or something anyway lol.


One very useful differentiating feature DDG could add would be a discussion forum search filter, like Google used to have before discontinuing it in 2014.


I want to like DDG, but the results are never good.

Much like when I use bing, I more often than not I must re search for whatever I want on google to find it.


I have used it for about a month. I feel like it may be good for most people, but google is far more precise for hard to find pages and answers to programming questions, error strings, etc.


I'm a professional data scientist. Apart from donating, how can I support the project? It's my default search engine everywhere now.


As some others have mentioned you can check out https://duckduckhack.com/ our open-source community that powers our Instant Answers (the answers that appear before the search results/ads).

Our community has helped us pull in data from over 1100 sources to make amazing experiences.

The value of this is that you can build out anything you are passionate about. It creates some great niche experiences.

Maybe you want to look up who is in space right now: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=people+in+space&ia=answer

Or you need to look up some NFL games: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=patriots+games&ia=nfl&iai=641

Or you can't remember the details of that card from your Magic The Gathering deck: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=mtg+boiling+seas&ia=games&iax=1

We encourage people to build out the answers they want to see!


I've had some problems with DDG's bang searches on some sites where the sites' search URLs moved or could use better search parameters. Where can users report broken bang searches or suggest better options?

DDG has a lot of open source code on GitHub. A list mapping bang search terms to site URLs could be maintained as a simple text file on GitHub so contributors could test them or suggest improvements.


DuckDuckHack https://duckduckhack.com/ might be a good starting point. There are also a number of zeroclick related projects on their github profile: https://github.com/duckduckgo


That ^, I think a lot of us would like to volunteer some of our time to help duckduckgo


duckduckgo have significantly changed the way i use the web. namely the bangs feature. simply put it's ingenious. https://duckduckgo.com/bang the search has improved in the past few years but when it fails i merely have to add a !g to the query.


Yes, bangs are great.


Is there any official reason why DDG isn't among the list of possible search engines on Google Chrome Android build ?


It will be there soon. Looks like all the changes to support this landed recently. Though it's not so much DDG being in the list, but the available search engines will be the last 5 search engines you visited.

https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=348360


Thanks for this, tried it in Android Canary version and it works great.


With or without API?


DDG has become habitual for me, mainly because of the bang feature.

I have a blog on DDG's best bangs (and how to use them): http://duckgobang.com




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