My wife's reaction to duckduckgo.
Just wanted to get it out there for posterity :)
Another thing, I personally don't feel quite right about using a search engine that relies quite heavily on other search engines to give results. From what I understand DDG is not a search engine in the same sense Google or Bing is a search engine (pls correct me if I am wrong).
I started out exclusively with my own stuff, and then started using BOSS when it came out so I could focus on what I think are my value-adds. Now I use a bunch of stuff (including my own). My approach is to just be a better search engine. If an API does something awesome, e.g. WolframAlpha or embed.ly, I figure why not use it.
Let's say hypothetically tomorrow, all the search API you rely on, decides to cut you off, what then? How good is your own index by itself?
Just to be clear, I am not dissing on you, it takes a lot of gutso to take on search engine market alone, I applaud you for that, I don't see myself having that much guts to do it. I am trying to be realist about the meta-hybrid-search engine.
My index is not usable in this fashion. I've re-purposed it mainly for 0-click and for spam removal.
Frankly though, I don't see why this comes up so much. Infospace is a public company that relies on other indexes pretty much exclusively. In other verticals, people routinely use more exclusive platforms, e.g. Twitter or Facebook or banking stuff.
I don't have a problem with DDG being a sort of meta search engine. Just give me the most relevant results first.
From my point of view there are no compelling reason to use DDG over Bing or Google, the only reason DDG is a HN darling because we like to root for the small guy; lets see it for what it is.
Personally I would love to see a search engine that really gives Google and Bing a run for the money and disrupts the search engine market. Unfortunately DDG doesn't do that.
That's a pretty bold statement. I have gained concrete benefit from switching to DDG full-time, mostly from the 0-click info but also from generally improved search results.
But no, I guess you're the "rational" one, and my experience is not valid.
The text you quoted was my opinion, was it not obvious enough?
The most visible things to me are the 0-click info and the less spam. Then there are lots of little things that start to add up, many listed on the goodies page: http://duckduckgo.com/goodies.html
I put a note on my task list to make sure that I email you (from the feedback page) on some of the things I believe might put you apart from others and also better promote your existing features (some of which I just saw for the first time). I need some time to sit down and give it a go for few hours and put down my fragmented ideas in a proper way.
http://kickdash.com (instant, with autosuggest, in categories, but no general search)
http://www.liquidjelly.co.uk/supersearch/ (client side merging of bing+boss+google into 1 page)
http://instantlyweb.com/ (i'm feeling lucky frame + instant)
It might sound like a silly reason but it's a big deal for me.
1) Google's "Did you mean?" appears to be a bit smarter and corrected more of my obscure searches than DDG. Wish I had recorded a couple of concrete examples to pass on, but they escape me at the moment.
2) Speed. Google returns results faster (at least on the days I was using DDG). Apparently my brain is use to sub-second search results because anything longer than that can feel like an eternity.
#2 varies a lot depending on location and network. Unfortunately I still don't have a lot of geographically distributed servers.
(It is true that the the better DDG is at getting me the zero-click kinds of results, the less of a problem this is.)
This is infuriating 99% of the time, and I'm at the point where I just automatically enclose most of my single-word searches in quotes to begin with.
However, that didn't stop me from switching. DDG is my default search engine, and while it's a little slower than Google, that difference isn't significant. Do note however, that I'm using Chrome, and found the speed difference to be a little annoying sometimes on Firefox.
That said, I love the bang syntax. If your search fails in DDG, just add !g and you're immediately in Google. I've been using it for about a month now, and slowly gets a hang of what type of searches are better done in Google vs DDG (eg: shopping -> Google, documentation -> DDG, discussions (groups/forums or otherwise) -> Google, reviews (products,etc) -> DDG)
I'm finding myself using the "!g" command a lot to double-check results on Google, and I'm definitely noticing the speed difference with Google. But overall, I'd say that it's almost on par with Google for my searches.
Some things that would make me like it more:
-A bit more speed.
-A way in the settings to decide between using Yahoo News or Google News (that link in the sidebar on the right), same thing for images (google images or bing images) and maps.
-Some way to highlight the most likely or most popular result when the disambiguation page is very long (maybe just subtly point out which result is clicked on more often?).
-A way to personalize the DDG homepage with a couple of personal links (for those who use it as a browser homepage -- you could add a link to GMail or whatever, so that it even more seamlessly replaces Google).
I can see some pros and cons to all these suggestions (except more speed), but I figured I'd just throw them out there.
#1 always working on more speed--it's been a priority and will continue to be so.
#2 planning on ditching that sidebar. Check out http://duck.co/topic/new-ddg-header -- would love your thoughts.
#3 this is definitely needed and in process. It's half implemented now but is hit or miss for sure.
#4 many people have requested different variations of this, e.g. as far as iGoogle, but a few links would be cool.