At DuckDuckGo our overall goal is to raise the standard of trust online. To do that we've focused heavily on search, but try and support organizations that push privacy forward in other ways.
For the 7th year in a row, we've announced our donations to organizations and FOSS projects that help keep everyone a little safer in our digital world.
$100,000 - Freedom of the Press Foundation
$75,000 - World Privacy Forum
$29,000 - Whisper Systems
$25,000 - Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
$25,000 - Tor
$25,000 - Electronic Frontier Foundation
$5000 - American Civil Liberties Union
$5000 - Access Now
$2500 - The Calyx Institute
$2500 - Center for Democracy & Technology
$1000 - Restore the Fourth
$1000 - Patient Privacy Rights
$1000 - Online Trust Alliance
$1000 - Tech Freedom
$1000 - Demand Progress
I doubt you could get reliable revenue numbers
Stay strong :-)
So the search quality doesn't keep me attached to it. The main reason I keep using DDG is because of the "bangs" feature:
So I can search for "184.108.40.206 !bgp" or things I've used bangs for in recent searches like "ascension kit !nhw", "dark brotherhood !uesp", or "samaxwelladams mass effect !yt" and instantly get what I'm looking for without having to add a bunch of special search engines to my browser.
But I never realized bangs worked at the end of the search. Glad you mentioned that.
I remember realising this and being astounded at the keyboard efficiency gains such a small thing can bring
Why? Why the extra steps? What is the success rate on google? For what I search for for example (which is a wide variety of things) I have great success and really don't have a need to get the type of results that I have gotten from ddg. So my question is if 'success rate with ddg searches is noticeably lower' why do you continue to do that?
I tried DDG for a month or 2 and just couldn't get over how generic the results felt. Google results (for me) feel much more personalized and way more likely to include exactly what I'm looking for.
Of course that quality faded away over the years, but I never grew comfortable with the idea of logging in to Search; it was just too creepy. But eventually it just got ridiculous, and the relentless pushiness of the whole Google+ fiasco was a big part of the reason I switched to DDG.
This is the opposite a lot of the time for me. If I found what I was searching for last time, I wouldn't still be searching but google thinks that because I clicked on it previously, it's what I'm after. If google gets it wrong the first time the wrong results become self reinforcing.
2 months ago, I tried again, and since then, I've only had to go back to Google maybe 5% of the time. So, either DDG has really stepped it up recently, or Google has gotten really bad.
( I'm an engineer and mostly doing tech research, and this opinion is only regarding standard search. For image searches or specific-domain searches, I still use Google.)
The '!gtranslate' bang does that
2.) Index isn't as complete. I very frequently do site: queries on my blog/other people's blogs to find years-old posts that I vaguely remember. Google's indexed them, DDG hasn't.
3.) Google is way better at reading my mind. Vague queries, queries that aren't literal text strings, etc.
I also find that DDG results are often unusably bad. But I wish Google would give you the option to restrict your search to being interpreted as a search for that literal text. Those unsolicited magic results can really get in the way.
I still use DDG about half of the time, and can't think of any egregious examples I've encountered recently. Perhaps they've gotten better, or I've learned to write better search queries.
DDG explicitly places an emphasis on privacy and non tracking. You cannot expect the same targeted, contextual results that Google gives you if you don't want to give up some degree of privacy. People who do not want to give up that level of privacy and use DDG do so with the understanding that they lose that level of personalization.
You may be happy to provide personal information (browsing habits, clicks, etc) in exchange for better results. If so, then Google is the search engine to use. Some people do not accept that tradeoff; this is the market that DDG is for.
I share a name with an American baseball player, so I'm not surprised I don't come universally top.
(Yes I know that Google does personalized results, but even without that I "win".)
It could be that it's localising the results geographically better. DDG's results have improved enormously for me recently, to the point that I completely forget it's not Google these days, whereas I used to use the !g bang about 80% of the time, but the one thing I do still fall back to Google for is local non-US-centric content.
Surprised I'm not there, but I guess these things change over time.
I can't believe you're not aware of the gulf between DDG searches and google ones, they are, to me at least, noticeably better.
OTOH, I've tried DDG before and this time I haven't switched back, it's now good enough that !g is enough for the 10% of times it fails. The loss in relevancy is now small enough for me to be happy to gleefully accept the gain in privacy.
I also don't see the point of their other bangs. SO search, reddit search, etc. are so awful. Just so utterly terrible when you compare them to google that you wonder what the point of those bangs are.
Personally, I think their extension that shows the top SO result is more annoying than it is good, it almost always cuts off the actual code, you have to click once to see the rest of the answer anyway, generally speaking you get much more insight from the actual SO page as you see the other answers and I'd far prefer the SO result to be at the top to click than suddenly a huge, virtually pointless, chunk of text which cuts off half the actual code being at the top of the search results.
I also, quite guiltily, miss being able to search a film title and get the local listings or other location based searches, I know google are spying on my location, but damn is it much better on google. As someone who believes in privacy quite ardently, I feel I am actually keenly aware of the benefits you give up by not disclosing that information. I admit I only just found the DDG setting to set your country, but they really should make such an important setting much more visible rather than assuming everyone new is in the US, getting amazon.com results when you want amazon.co.uk results is very frustrating. Google automatically redirects you to google.co.uk with the option to switch back.
Google is also much better at mixing relevant video and image results with your search when appropriate (e.g you search a celeb's name or you search for something like "fallout 4 settlement management mod" google will show a mix of links, images and videos).
EDIT: though, again, I'm not finding myself switching back, I do urge anyone privacy conscious to give DDG another go for a few weeks, it really is very good now and you can prefix queries with "!g " if you want to google search instead.
That is helped by searching for things that are on Stackoverflow and DDG presenting the answer clearly at the top.
Thanks to DuckDuckGo for all of its donations this year and other years.
I love their vision, the services they provide, and what they've done here (with the donations) <3
Seems like a great company and search engine to me.
As a bonus, you will foist some competition on the market as companies which thought they were on an acquisition path will now be forced to show real profits.
The real trick, is to just start using it and force yourself to. It's really not too bad, and there is always startpage, which you can use as backup.
For reference, I use Firefox on mobile and desktop and when I type in a search I can select which search engine to use. By default I have DDG, and with one click I can get startpage or Google.
However, search is essentially a commodity.
DuckDuckGo has provided additional value which is that you aren't tracked. That, in my opinion, is what makes this a good (stellar) product, that I want to use every day.
They're doing pretty well at an impossible problem. I'm cool with them giving back to the global community.
At least their traffic acceleration suggests they were able to lift off from the 10 million plateau at around that time.
Or they could start a contest, like the Netflix-prize.
bang bang, I'm happy.
!g why would ever go back to vanilla google?
Where do you go to donate?