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DuckDuckGo Review (kikabink.com)
19 points by annajohnson on Sept 29, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments

Great review, and I'm impressed with the results of my first searches! I found what I was looking for everytime.

Also like the interface. As I scroll down, it loads the next page, just like Google and Bing should and could, but don't.

Also like the bang: http://duckduckgo.com/bang.html

But what I find missing are cached results. I use this Google feature once every few weeks.

I also don't understand the business model. If they aren't keeping results and aren't doing ads, are they going to start charging for it? So they claim not to be competing with Google, but aren't they? Google is a freakin' giant. I don't see how you compete with that, unless you are a large company like Microsoft.

> Google is a freakin' giant. I don't see how you compete with that, unless you are a large company like Microsoft.

I agree with your statements here, but still, I think it's flawed thinking. Just because Google is big doesn't mean one person (or a small group) can't come up with innovations and compete.

Even if Gabriel says DuckDuckGo is not a competitor to Google, or if it doesn't have a sustainable business model, I applaud his efforts. I too enjoy the bang syntax, and that's something I wouldn't get using other search engines (even if DDG isn't classified as such).

Caching is a substantial problem, and I imagine that DDG is happy to let Google handle that particular case – but I'm very curious about their business model too.

The thing that annoys me about DuckDuckGo is that the page doesn't load all at once. The first few items on the page load quickly, but then others start popping up. Which might be fine, except that they start crowding the stuff already there, sometimes changing its position. I have to wait a few seconds before I know I can start reading.

I haven't noticed anything that I could find better with DuckDuckGo than Google, but the results are usually pretty good. For finding error messages and quotes it seems slightly worse (incidentally, does anybody know of a good search engine for finding quotes when you don't know the exact wording?).

Zero click info is a great idea. Half the time when I search for something, I just want the Wikipedia page, and half of those times, I just want a few sentences or definition.

I came here to post the exact same complaint. I used to have DDG as my default search on all browsers, but eventually I got annoyed by the slow speed of loading and switched back to Google.

Once the guy fixes this issue, I'll be the first one to go back to DDG, because I liked being able to search privately and anonymously.

The review is good and DDG is great but the site itself really puts me off and makes me unable to take the information as credible.

I've been kicking the tires on DuckDuckGo for several months now, and while it is ever improving, Google's results are still more relevant.

Still, I totally think DDG is on Google's radar, and while CEO Eric Schmidt has stated Bing is their competition (and they are) they have to wonder about about DDG's logarithmic rise in popularity.

What are the numbers?

Here's his traffic page: http://duckduckgo.com/traffic.html

Getting close to 2M pageviews/month.

Who are those users? Are they mostly the type that frequent Hacker News?

It'd be nice to see a more systematic review comparing the search engines head to head on the same set of queries or tasks. So far the reviews here seem pretty unscientific.

Also, does anyone know if BOSS is now serving Bing rather than Yahoo results after the switchover? It would seem kind of bizarre for Yahoo to continue serving its own results just for this one property (unless they're serving stale results). In any case, gaming at aimed Yahoo or Bing is going to be an issue for anything built on top of them (although DDG of course is free to do its own extra filtering).

A systematic review would be really hard because a fair sample size is probably hundreds if not thousands, and it may not always be easy to define which one did "best".

I think he's stopped using BOSS altogether. Just Bing API, a few other API's that I've never heard of, and his own crawling.

Also, he does a lot of reordering of search results, so things meant to game Bing wouldn't be that effective.

Even if it was just 3 or 4 queries, I think it would still have value over what we've seen so far, and some people might have an idea on how to evaluate a few more paired comparisons: http://blog.crowdflower.com/2009/06/bing-an-improvement-over... . It would also be interesting to see an estimate of how much the ordering for his results differs from Bing's on the query stream hitting his site. (I wonder if Microsoft does this in order to look for places where they might improve.)

What I like most about DDG (switched to it about 2 months ago) is zero-click info.

While google does provide more relevant search results fairly often, DDG's zero-click info easily makes up for that as far as I'm concerned.

The various bang stuff also came very handy a good few times.

I like DDG but as far as I know I cannot use the bar as I do with chrome; I have to go to the DDG page.

You can use DDG as your default search in the Chrome bar.

Chrome -> preferences -> Basics -> Default Search -> Manage

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