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DuckDuckGo Raises $10M (crunchbase.com)
762 points by exotree 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 249 comments



I have been using DDG for about a year now, although I had tried using it years ago. It works fine for simple queries( e.g. search name of company rather than typing out url). But I basically have !g programmed into my fingers for everything more complicated. Many times when I don't find the results I am looking for, I subconsciously assume that google would be able to find them. This is in comparison to when I cannot find something on google, I assume the website owner either sucks at SEO or it doesn't exist. I am rooting for DDG, but it is going to be really hard for them to make up the literal cognitive difference in my mindset.

Side note, if they get bought out by a big player, I will feel like my use of them for the last year has been for naught.


Interesting, I actually find that I use !g less and less and when I do I often don't get what I'm looking for either (probably because I'm not searching for the right thing in the first place). On top of that I vastly prefer ddg's very simple and terse output compared to Google's many widgets displaying all kinds of content inline and wasting monitor real estate.

>Side note, if they get bought out by a big player, I will feel like my use of them for the last year has been for naught.

I completely agree and at this point it's my main issue with DDG. I don't think their business model is sustainable, if they ever make it big the pressure to make more money will eventually corrupt their noble goals. After all Do No Evil used to be a thing at Google too and we see how that turned out.

I'd gladly pay a subscription to a good search engine to remove the need for ads and align the business model to the privacy goals, however I'm probably in a small minority here.


> I'd gladly pay a subscription to a good search engine to remove the need for ads and align the business model to the privacy goals, however I'm probably in a small minority here.

I think you're correct about it being a small minority, but I'm definitely there with you.

Even with their affiliate and advertising model (someone else linked it), I'd rather pay money to just have the site ignore all ad determination, affiliate linking, etc if it sees me logged in and my account paid up.

Of course, most people seem to be heavily trained to look for "free" and chastise anything subscription based, no matter how cheap/fair.


What _is_ their business model?



I'm not too worried about acquisition. Per the article:

> ...there was little need for the company to raise more money. DuckDuckGo, which had a last known raise of $3 million in 2011, has been profitable since 2014.


Fingers crossed for sure, but there's such a thing as growing too fast for your own good. Github famously stopped being profitable the year after it got a $250M round.


I find that Google is actually losing ground as the all-seeing-eye-reference-objective-truth due to the increasingly tailored searches. I can no longer refer to a search query and expect a peer to see the same results as I do. This social bubble phenomenon, while no doubt convenient, is sometimes a burden, and with their stricter privacy policy DDG actually has some ground to gain here. Using DDG is more like tuning in to good old ether radio instead of browsing through podcasts. I find that comforting, that break from a claustrophobic solipsist trend.


I will say that Google is better when searching for code help (probably because it feels that I'm a programmer) so if my query is likely to have an answer on SO or one of my coding forums, a !g gets appended almost reflexively now.


That's curious. I've always found that code searches are where DDG shines.


> I can no longer refer to a search query and expect a peer to see the same results as I do.

It's been decades since you could do that for yourself. It must be something like 20 years ago on Alta Vista that I got burned using search queries as bookmarks and (surprise, surprise) suddenly not being able to find "that page" any more.


Those are two separate issues. Altavista's index certainly got updated over time, so changes in the search results aren't that surprising.

I believe the issue OP is addressing is that even given an identical index, two different users might see to entirely different search results, as their individual search history is factored into the query.


A really simple way to see how google is easily gamed, these days: Just try searching for <some less known book title> + "pdf download"

You will see this giant network of the same site that tries to sell you on e-pdfs


> I can no longer refer to a search query and expect a peer to see the same results as I do.

You could try opening an incognito window, although it could still give different results based on geo location.


> based on geo location.

Or user agent, or screen resolution, or Accept-Encoding / Accept-Language headers, or installed fonts, or installed browser plugins detected, or Do Not Track settings.


Didn't adding &pws=0 to the end of the url avoid personalized results? Not sure if location is still kept into consideration then.


Yeah I have noticed same problem. Try search something like Trump Twitter page, if you are very liberal bubble Twitter page comes like 4th or 5th result.


I've been using DDG for a few years now. I have the same reflex with !g, but when I'm on a browser that's google by default I quickly find that I also need a way to go the other way and do the equivalent of !ddg...

In other words the queries that google has good results for isn't a superset of the queries that ddg has good results for. It's just a different set.


The bang commands alone are DDG's killer feature for me, and it's why DDG is set as my homepage and default search engine (and probably still would be even if I did have to !g every non-site-specific query).


So recently I got annoyed by DDG's "optimizations" (they are a lot more aggressive in ignoring words in your query than google and unlike google they don't even tell you about it; I know I can use "" to force a term, but !g is much quicker).

I thought I'd give startpage.com a try (proxied google results without tracking), but besides being slow I realized I couldn't live without bangs anymore (and was also missing DDG's rich snippets).

I wish DDG had some kind of bang that tells it that I actually want to search for the query I entered, not some random query they think I might have wanted :/

edit: I should mention that after complaining about it on their subreddit, someone on the team said they are looking into it.


I've noticed this too. It's probably the cause of all of my returns to the anonymous Google search via !g.

Also ddg doesn't have anything like Google scholar. Thankfully just a !scholar away, and faster on a slow connection than going to scholar.google.com.


> after complaining about it on their subreddit, someone on the team said they are looking into it.

Anecdotally, for every feature I’ve wanted of DDG, I’ve found an old post where someone on their team says they’re looking into it. For some I’ve found multiple posts, going back over a decade! Always the same “looking into it”.

I use DDG, but I put them in the category of companies too afraid to say “no, we won’t do that feature” or “we like that idea, but it’s low priority so we don’t know if we’ll ever get to it”. Whichever features they have, I use; the features they promise, I ignore.


I hope they enable it with a bang straight up

! this is exactly what I want

then a way to keep it enabled by default


Being able to choose a default and then switch on demand via bang would be the best solution :)


Bangs are truly amazing, my only disagreement would be in that I use !sp instead of !g as a fallback since they have a better privacy record. Other favourites include !m and !osm, but I should probably read up on even more of them.


Had no idea about these DDG bang features, although admittedly I've barely used DDG. Usually use startpage if I'm not using Google. I imagine to there also might be a chrome extension that does a similar thing to the DDG bang features, or are these just DDG-only search indexes?


They're just quick redirects to specific sites' searches, which work wherever DuckDuckGo would otherwise return search results. They make it really quick to search specific sites, or even to go directly to specific pages on some sites (without remembering the URL's exact syntax).

Try searching for “!w search engine”: DDG sends you straight to Wikipedia, which sends you directly to the relevant article. (Search “!bang” for more info about bangs.) When DuckDuckGo is your default search engine you can do this straight from your browser's address bar or OS's search field. It's very nice.

(I have no affiliation with DuckDuckGo; I just really like this feature.)


There are certainly Chrome extensions, but I don't (usually) use Chrome. And sure, there are Firefox extensions, but if I'm using some oddball like Lynx or Dillo or Netsurf, it's nice for such functionality to just be part of my search engine (which works on all of those browsers).


AbSOLUTELY ! Love the bang feature.


> when I'm on a browser that's google by default

Tip: Type ddg.co/somequery in the address field to quickly get back to DuckDuckGo


Tip: ddg.gg may be easier to type.


I usually get it wrong where to put the dot or how many d's and g's there are, so ddg.co is easier for me.


I use DDG, Google and Bing pretty evenly. Unsurprisingly each out performs the others on some searches.

Google generally has the best results but for 95% of searches they all find what I need.


My experience with DDG was the same when I used for a few month a while back. They definitely didn't exceed Google. When I try them once and a while, they still don't.

But thing is, Google itself seems worse and worse to me. It seems to try harder and harder to decide what I want and only give me that - if X is associated with something topical, only topical links appear. And DDG and Bing follow this problem.


I suspect that the eternal problem will be that of context.

Back when Google started out, they bet the farm on the idea that more links pointing to a document meant that said document was informative.

These days though, i wonder if what we are looking for is more hair. That what we are looking for depends on a context that can't be properly included in the search terms used.

On top of this "naive" metrics like link counts are no longer a viable measure for what to elevate to the top of the search results.


Google has been personalizing search results, and going way beyond just "link counts", for a while now.

e.g: When I type "pandas" or "kafka", I get the Python library and the streaming framework. I don't get cute black and white animals and a depressed novelist (what the average person would expect).


Sometimes Google doesn't personalize search results enough for me. I do some academic stuff in $FIELD, and sometimes (can't think of an example off the top of my head, sorry) the keywords for a $FIELD-related search happen to namespace-collide with something completely unrelated that I don't even think of until I try to Google the keywords and get a faceful of crap about vacations to Disneyworld or divorce lawyers or caring for your pet lizard.

Never happens with tech jargon though.


On DDG I also get the Python library as first and Apache Kafka as second result.


Google search for Kafka consistently gives me Apache Kafka first. It frequently then gives me some clothing retailer I've never heard of in second place (but not always -- at least one time, this was totally absent), with no indication that it's a "sponsored" result or anything. The Wikipedia entry for Franz Kafka is in third place; everything else is Apache-related.

DDG gives me a decent mix of results about both Apache and Franz (not only the Wikipedia entry, a variety of books/articles/etc as well).


but the frequency of reputable backlinks are perfectly suitable variable to rank a website's importance and relevance, and Google obvious knows how to discern garbage backlinks vs legitimate ones.

For instance, a certain startup I worked for in the past used a military blog seemingly belonging to a web of Eastern European entities to link to our company website and the CEO advertised it on linkedin....it was pretty fucking embarassing tbh but it was oviously for gaining SEO juice. It worked for a while but now when I search for the same keyword I don't see it in the SERPs.


You are primarily going to get responses from people on threads like this who like and use DDG regularly. Selection bias. If you didn't find DDG useful, you wouldn't be using it, and probably don't have much commentary to add.

I don't see them truly competing with big budget search engines, but it's probably easy enough to make decent money from keyword ads and if you can sell the brand, you can get enough users to cover a smaller machine footprint and R&D budget that's orders of magnitude smaller.

The results are probably not awful (I don't use it). Result quality gets exponentially more difficult as you try to push that boundary, so you can probably get 80% of the quality there with 1% of the investment. The results may be good enough for plenty of folks, but I highly doubt they will ever be better than the big budget search engines.


> The results may be good enough for plenty of folks, but I highly doubt they will ever be better than the big budget search engines.

On the other hand, that is not the criteria for them to be successful, because they are already better on a different metric: Privacy.

I find that 90% of my queries are just "who is that person?" or "what is that thing?". Those queries can be answered by DDG just as well as Google. So I'm not giving up anything, but gaining privacy. More importantly, I'm (subtly) sending a signal to the market that I find privacy is important.

Even on the 10% of queries that are complex, DDG does "good enough". I sometimes wonder if Google has the results sorted better, but I'll gladly waste a few minutes here and there in exchange for privacy.


DDG users sound an awful lot like evangelists.

You could do both privacy and good search results without using DDG: startpage.com

You can also have at least as good privacy (better in my opinion) and better search results (again, in my opinion) with other search engines: qwant.com

What is it those two examples doesn't have that DDG does have? The evangelist feel of DDG really turns me off and I'm sure it scares many off from ever looking at it. It is a bit like listening to Apple fans talking about Steve 'The Juice' Jobs.


No idea why you're getting downvoted - I've felt similarly about DDG - why do people prefer it so much over startpage?


I use DDG and have never heard of startpage before. Checking it out.


This post reads perfectly if you replace DDG with "Google" and believe it's 1999.

Sure Google had a vastly superior algorithm but I don't think too many people really grasped that at the time.


Contrary to the seemingly popular belief, that their success was due to their algorithm, I used them because of their uncluttered and simple design.

That's why I used Altavista before that. Google kept things very simple while other sites loaded on the bloat and garbage.

I don't remember ever feeling like what I found with Google couldn't be found with Altavista or lycos. But a lot of the other companies tried to prematurely monetize to an excessive degree.


I remember google having vastly more useful results than its competitors at that time. The uncluttered design was a bonus.


Before people figured out how to game PageRank, Google was spooky. Unreal. Incredibly good results.


I remember google having equivalent or even inferior results to yahoo search for quite a while, especially in niche topics like sports and music. The differences in algorithms just didn’t matter much for average case queries.

I think the difference in algorithms matters even less now, and that google’s modern advantage is not in ranking algorithms but in automated display of structured data, like sports league results, filmography for an actor, etc., and work around knowledge graph methods to automate that stuff.

Early google was unequivocally only differentiated by branding and sparse design.


I actually postulate it was due to their ability to parse queries in an effective way, combined with the speed (and sure, probably design) of results [1]. From what I recall at the time, and even to this day, Google does a better job of determine exact match vs question (and finding subject matter) based results.

[1] https://austingwalters.com/is-search-solved/


Yes. Their NLP is unparalleled. I'd say the uncluttered UI, query parsing, and search algorithm were all the major factors.


"That's why I used Altavista before that. Google kept things very simple while other sites loaded on the bloat and garbage."

It wasn't just the simplicity. Google was also a lot faster, and had no ads!

How ironic that advertisement later became their bread and butter.


Yes. It was clean AND fast when the rest of the internet was pretty clunky in the late 90's. I think that speed investment paid off HUGELY.


I was quite young at the time but made the same transition for the same reasons.

I think the vast majority of users don't consciously evaluate search engines for accuracy. And most non-technical users just assume that if they cant find it through X, its probably not there.


I don't think they are comparable. DuckDuckGo federate the results of other search engines (e.g. Bing) and add its own sauce on top of it. There is a limit to what it can do.

Google invested in the fundamental from the start and they pushed the limit of what search engines can do.


YUP!

When I was in my first role as an IT manager, I set the policy that all machines had their default page set to google.com away from Yahoo, because yahoo was an ugly mess.

Google was clean and simple. This was the only reason. I made the edict to set it to google and so some people said "you should go work for google since you like them so much" - man I wish I had tried to do so then.

And this was in 1998 or so...


Google was clearly better at the beginning. I remember those days, and how Yahoo! put a bunch of other search engines at the bottom of its own results (Altavista, Excite, Lycos, etc). So it was easy to compare. When Google showed up, it was pretty obvious the game was over.

The main reason? "And" searches. Brilliant.


AltaVista had support for boolean operators; I and many other techies became very practiced in composing complex queries. It was my favorite search engine.

Then Google showed up, and Google had PageRank. Boom, the top result for any simple query was what you wanted.


The vast majority of my searches are resolved by: 1) Wikipedia 2) Maps 3) Stack Overflow.

I don’t see why I should sacrifice my privacy for google to provide me with a single interface for these few sites, especially when DDG does it without mining all my info.


You get better results from Wikipedia and SO with Qwant FYI.


I have the same muscle memory, but I don't think it's a bad thing. Basically I only use !g when normal DDG doesn't give me what I'm looking for, and half the time !g doesn't have it either. The only thing I can't abandon is !gmaps.

And I'm just discovering a bunch of other ! commands that make DDG significantly more useful that Google (eg !esen).


If anybody is curious for the distribution of used searches between ddg/!g, I came up with this rough estimate for firefox:

  sqlite3 ~/.mozilla/firefox/*default*/places.sqlite "select substr(p.url,9,14) as search_backend,count(1) from moz_places p where p.url like 'https://duckduckgo%' or p.url like 'https://%.google.%/search%' group by search_backend;"
I fall back to google every 11th query, not counting maps searches.


I got:

    duckduckgo.com|14129
    encrypted.goog|345
    images.google.|1
    ipv6.google.co|1
    mail.google.co|2
    play.google.co|10
    translate.goog|2
    www.google.co.|1106
    www.google.com|2084
Rather interesting. I'll compare with my personal PC when I get home.


I fall back every 21st query. That said, Google doesn't always find the answer in those cases, either.


duckduckgo.com|5521

www.google.com|6

So... I guess that means I don't really need google for search?


I don't think it's a bad thing either. It gives DDG a very clear signal so that they can improve: "you are not giving me the results I want for these queries". For most other search engines people just switch.


You can use !m instead of !gmaps.


I've found that "!w", which searches Wikipedia, is extremely useful.


One thing that consistently blows my mind is how readily an external search engine creates a better index, with more relevant recall, by scraping the published static pages of Wikipedia, such that it outperforms Wikipedia's own search,

Wikipedia should be able to search itself better than any external entity, but cannot. Wikipedia, in effect, is blind to its own data, and can deliver less insight into it's own content than multiple external Search entities.

If I use https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search for anything, I get weaker results, than if I use search engines to locate wikipedia articles according to the same input string.

There's something wrong with that.


Search isn't easy and I would fully expect a company that specializes in search to provide better search results than an entity that simply has search as a feature to their main product. Since Wikipedia provides all of their pages for indexing, unlike Facebook for example, a good search experience would be an MVP for any competent search company.


That's a good point. Put another way, were I to run a local copy of a wikipedia mirror, right here in my own bedroom, I'd be putting myself eye-to-eye with any wikipedia employee or volunteer. I'd have the same tools in my hands, as they do. I'd be one person, a PHP script hosted by an apache process, and the wikipedia data set.

But, contrast that to Facebook, and the concept becomes more interesting. Facebook's search utilities are similarly unsatisfying, despite the massive resources of the company. This is probably not a blind spot, but more about the level of quality provided, for free-tier, unprivileged user utilities. Advertisers probably gain better reach, but perhaps without knowing exactly who they reach. Facebook's search tool can't be used to discern the capabilities or qualities of one or more of the indices Facebook uses to negotiate the landscape of their data.


> There's something wrong with that.

I disagree, I think Wikipedia is akin to a collective blog where people just dump information to. Indexing is hard enough that it becomes a full-time job to do it well, and that takes time and money.

Search is so hard that external search is necessary for many websites to exist outside of a void. If we expect blogs to have their own searching functionality, we end up with a collection of disjoint webs, and that would basically kill the web as we know it.


This seems typical of many built-in searches. It's halfway how things are indexed but also how things are presented: one of the worst offenders is ruby's documentation, where it's extremely cumbersome to get the latest version of a given item[0]. And that's a trivial search query.

[0]: https://ruby-doc.com/search.html?q=Array


I don't see why this would be the case. Google has the advantage of seeing the content on pages with inbound links.


The same is true for every forum I know of, in fact a lot of them now have a google search box that gives site specific results


And !a for amazon and !yt for youtube and !dpkg for packages and !imdb...

Definitely my favorite feature of ddg.


The only thing that annoys me about DDG is that I have to use !wen for Wikipedia searches. !w will return localized search on Wikipedia, and I almost never want the Danish wikipedia.


I guess this is based on the Accept-Language header of your browser (which you can control), not guessed from your IP (which is a terrible thing to do): since my OS is in English even though I'm in France, I get to have the English wikipedia with !w and use !wfr for local stuff. In fact I did not know about the behaviour you describe because of that.


!mdn for developer.mozilla.org is one of my most used ones :)


Yes, that's a great way to skip all those w3schools results. I should probably bookmark the RegExp entry, because I

    !mdn regexp
almost daily.


> The only thing I can't abandon is !gmaps

I was in the same boat with !gi but DDG image search is increasingly relevant, and is not infested by Pinterest results. DDG increasingly feels like home the way Google Search did years ago.


I use !npm which is pretty great if you'd doing node dev


I started out doing that, but I've found myself using !g less and less recently. There are two main things I find myself needing it for: Location based queries, Google will always prioritize UK based results, and often London based results for me. The other is technical searches, I'm not sure how much this is due to Google having better search algorithms for this, or just that it has the data to know that I'm a programmer, but it it's more likely to know that I'm talking about coding with a term like Python or Ruby which could mean something else.

I hope DDG can keep improving, and I do feel like it's a worthy alternative now. I do wonder how they can keep making money with no advertising or paid services, but if they were to be bought out by a big player, I think they would quickly lose much of their user base.


> There are two main things I find myself needing it for: Location based queries, Google will always prioritize UK based results, and often London based results for me.

As I'm German, that's actually where DDG has the advantage over Google. Most of my searches are in English, but sometimes I want to search for something here, with DDG that's just a single press of a button and I get German results. With Google I'd have to do multiple clicks.


You can also force Googles language using the query parameter "hl". E.g. www.google.de/?hl=en returns English queries. That parameter is preserved through multiple querries, so you can use this in a bookmark and have multiple google language versions just a click away.

Not as handy as the DDG location switch, but still a sometimes useful hack.


Huh. So your comment made me wonder if there is a !gde bang. Turns out there is :D


There's a little toggle switch below the search box on DDG that will let you flip localized searches on/off. I use it when I need local results. It's a step extra of cause, but it is nice being able to quickly tell the search engine whether or not you want local result.


I find DDG does a better job with low-to-mid difficulty tech queries because it displays the top stack overflow answer at the top of the results which is often what I want. But you're right, really obscure tech questions usually involve a !g.


Especially images. Google freaking removed the ability to go straight to an image without going to the page. Google has also repeatedly violated user rights, computing isn't all about pragmatism. Of course, I'm a gplv3/gnu kind of user so I'm the outlier.


Google will also show you results targeted only for you. In comparison different IP address/accounts using the same search string in DDG will always get the same result. This can lead to a bias which might not be optimal.

Also they have advertisements, but unlike Google they are not targeted to you, hence making them less competitive for advertisers. Hopefully, this will not prevent them from growing in the future.


I have been using DDG for about 2 years. While I also have !g programmed into my fingers, I notice that most of the time Google don't give me the result I want / expect so I have actually stopped doing that lately.

In fact, many, many times DDG gives me better results than Google.


My personal rule of thumb is that if I look for a reference manual or an official website vanilla DDG is the way to go. If I'm looking for really fresh contents like news or latest QA !g gives better results.

Guess it's logical because even if the search algorithm of DDG is pretty neat, they can't compete yet with Google army of crawlers that probably use every idle computing power of their massive cloud.


The key for me is making the query _slightly_ more descriptive. It's a good thing that it's not tracking me, so it's fair enough that I should type a bit more so that it knows I mean Ruby the language and not the gemstone.


I've exclusively used DDG for all mobile and desktop searches for years now. I haven't looked back at Google nor have I ever used !g.


Have been using DDG for several years. Initially, I did !google a lot, not I maybe do it once a month, and even then the result is not always better. For most of my daily queries DDG is completely on par.


There's also http://duckduckgoog.com which let's you use the !bang codes but defaults to Google search otherwise


I’m wary of using DuckDuckGoog, and have stopped doing so.

Its maintainer stopped using it, and when it recently broke he started recommending a random fork from a user with no open-source presence that hasn’t made any update since. As for the live version, it’s now working thanks to some other random twitter user. The whole transition was a rush job.

I’m not saying those people aren’t trustworthy. What I am saying is that we don’t know, because the maintainer of DuckDuckGoog did not care enough to make sure the project would be left in good hands.

See https://github.com/mikecrittenden/duckduckgoog/issues/11.


FWIW I'm the random twitter user (https://twitter.com/m_held + https://github.com/mheld) and use duckduckgoog myself, so when it went down all of a sudden I thought I'd just continue running it for folks. Will probably ask to transfer the repo at some point


I'm actually surprised how often I search in ddg and think , wow maybe google has better results? then I do !g and find that Google's results are worse! Then I hit the back button and browse ddg results.


I had the same experience. I'm using Google once a day at most. I can't remember the last time it helped me find something that ddg didn't. It can be harder to scroll into the later results with Google, which makes a big difference in my experience with it.


I’ve been using ddg for a few years and it really has come a long way. When I first started I would !g all the time. These days I almost exclusively use ddg searches. I find their results to be just as relevant as google.


I use a metasearch engine (searx) for precisely this reason. It aggregates results from any number of search engines, sending request to them in a very generic, non-identifying form, then displays them all on one page with a tag next to it to indicate where the source of the result came from. You can host Searx yourself or use a public instance, but using the public instance means you trust the operator to not log/filter results/inject ads(I don't know if folks do, but it would be possible) or do other nefarious things. It's pretty easy to host it yourself..


I'm curious: If I install Searx on my PC and not on an online server, and use it while I'm on the PC - do I lose most of the privacy benefits?


> Many times when I don't find the results I am looking for, I subconsciously assume that google would be able to find them.

I've also been using DDG as a main search engine for a while and feel the similarly. Even more, for some queries I subconsciously assume that DDG won't find the result I want and resort to Google before I even search. Examples of such queries are complex programming questions etc.


I've used DDG as my main search site for a few years now. Every once in a while when I don't find what I want, I try !g and lately I find that Google didn't find anything usefully better. So now using !g is more like a last resort before giving up rather than an expectation that it will really help.


> I basically have !g programmed into my fingers for everything more complicated

This might be more energy than you're willing to expend, but just in case you were not already aware: there is a feedback icon in the bottom-left(!!!) corner of the page through which you can let them know about your bad experience. My interest in doing that is that in my life it is unreasonable to expect change without letting the other party know of your discontent.

I gravely wish it was just a one button sad-face, but at least it exists. I also would have previously guessed they could have used the presence of `!g` as a proxy for the sad-face, but that's certainly not true if users are preemptively `!g` based on an assumption about the results instead of trying the search first.


I've been using DDG for around six months now, largely because I love their keyboard shortcuts. Weirdly there doesn't seem to be a shortcut to help insert bang commands.

I've been using this greasemonkey script[1] as a workaround, but I'd love to have an official solution.

[1] https://gist.github.com/m5/247631d8258ff6f52383b417acd8516f


Google search results are getting increasingly more terrible. If this trend keeps up, Google will be a barely viable search engine in a couple years. Google's interests are too conflicted now, rigging their search results to benefit their own alphabet companies. The result is search results biased to Google's own walled garden... And it's Very noticeable


It really depends on what you're searching for, but I don't think it's a problem. I think DDG is way better than Google for lots of things, but it's fine if it's not better at everything since a Google search is just a g! away.

You might want to try Bing as well. Sometimes it can surprise you, although I haven't used it as extensively as the others.


When I first started using DDG, I had the same response, but I have found that my use of "!g" has steadily diminished over time, without making any conscious effort.


I also use !yt !gi !w and many many more including one I submitted: !hdb


There are great research-related ones as well. !pubmed !dailymed !drugbank etc.


Same here, sometimes I already assume DDG won't give good results and append !g right away.

BTW, those bangs are great anyway! Can't live without !hn, !sr, !a, !w, !@


> I basically have !g programmed into my fingers for everything more complicated

Or !s for Googling with less Google?


> But I basically have !g programmed into my fingers for everything more complicated.

On mobile, typing "!g" takes 7 actions (including the focus, space and enter). DDG should make a button for it, below the search results, so you can easily revert to Google if you didn't find what you were looking for.

Honestly, without this button, I doubt if I will ever start using DDG much.


Why would DDG include a button to a competing search engine, considering they already have !g? It’s implicitly saying that, “our search results aren’t that great, here’s a direct button to search Google for the same thing.”


I think you misunderstand. What DDG would be saying is: "Here are our results; in case you didn't find what you were looking for, here's a button that will give you Google's results".

Having this button will make me use DDG more, not less.


> Honestly, without this button, I doubt if I will ever start using DDG much.

"!g" is a fallback, not a default action. Seems to me pretty reasonable. Using it you're actually skipping ddg, not using it.


That's why the "!g" button should be below the search results.


Focus, long press "n", "g", enter.


same here, ddg is a web proxy front page with a !g fallback


DDG has the same business plan as major providers(selling keywords), but they do it in a way that is more respectful of your autonomy.

Reasons I use DDG exclusively:

- I prefer their business plan. Keyword ads still appear on search results page, but I am not psychographically modeled and retargeted after I close the browser session.

- It performs fast and I like the visual appearance.

- No AMP results. (Google does not give you a way to disable AMP, at all, which surprised me. I do not like AMP because it does not feel right on iOS.)

- It integrates Instant Answers and has surprised me with some Stack Overflow/Superuser excerpts.

- Mobile search is now geo-aware (again, crucially, in a way that does not build a ad targeting profile on me over time).

- The scale of the company is smaller and the CEO seems like a real, reachable person.


So how does DDG avoid wholesale transfer pricing to their search providers: Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex?


I’ve seen a little image with Yandex on the bottom right on DDG sometimes, so I think they partner with at least them in some cases.


Yes, they get all their organic results from Bing, Yahoo and Yandex.


> DuckDuckGo appears healthy and quite content with making money off of keyword-based ads alone.

This makes perfect sense. Show an ad related to what a person is interested in and looking at. When I did adsense stuff a long, long time ago, I seem to remember that Google would request a copy of the page, and then tailor the ads to the content of the page. There was absolutely no interest at all in "Who" was looking at the page. It seems to me there is still a tremendous amount of money that could be made with only that use case.


Those were the days when people didn't mind ads because they reflected the content of the page. When google changed this it was the beginning of the end.


> There was absolutely no interest at all in "Who" was looking at the page. It seems to me there is still a tremendous amount of money that could be made with only that use case.

I hope that is true, but I have my doubts. Google must have given some thoughts to that issue and decided to switch their targeting to the "who" for a reason, if the previous model was more profitable they simply would have stuck with it I suppose.


DuckDuckGo is fantastic on mobile (iPhone). It feels way faster than Google for me — part of that is not getting the "Can I use your location?" pop-ups which then trigger a re-search.

Plus there's no AMP junk in the results! And links are real links — when you copy them you get the URL, not some huge tracking string.

Occasionally I've felt like I'm not getting good results so have gone to Google to repeat the search. There hasn't yet been a case where that's helped, so I've stopped doing it.


part of that is not getting the "Can I use your location?" pop-ups

From a buiness IP address - "searching from: small business park, tiny region, city outskirts". "Google would like to know your location: allow/deny".

You'd like my permission to know it, while making it perfectly clear you already know. Creeps me out, like a Hollywood film mob intimidation tactic.


switched to google on mobile recently, due to DDG only option of infinite scroll. it makes 'back' useless.

now i am back to google on desktop as well. it is markedly better than DDG for the searches I'm doing anyway.


>switched to google on mobile recently, due to DDG only option of infinite scroll

Settings are on the right, other settings, disable auto-load.


I hate infinite scroll.


DuckDuckGo's killer feature to me is that I can always depend on it to be in English. Google annoyingly always changes the language based on the location of the IP address you're connecting from. It's very annoying when traveling.


I use DuckDuckGo for a similar reason. My Google search settings are set to show result in Ukrainian or English, but Google never follows the settings and returns results in Russian for queries that are clearly written in either Ukrainian or English. DuckDuckGo will give you results in the language you made query in, as you'd expect.


One day it was returning only German results for me despite my region being set to US and language to English. Every search, didn't matter what the keywords were.

I was in my office (my geoIP was still US) where dozens, maybe hundreds, of Germans work. I wonder if that had anything to do with it but I'm not sure how.


Also annoying when you use a VPN or tor


you can always get www.google.com/ncr


It's been a while since this trick stopped working.


try &pws=0 on google.


I find that DDG is good for about 80% of what I want. But the other 20%, especially dev queries, I muscle memory type in !g.

Is there a bang for the type of query answer we are looking for?

Such as for 'Ruby gems' I can use !dev so the engine knows to ignore sites like Ruby Gemstone and focus on dev only.

I know there is !so and !gh, but I am looking for something that dynamically combines them and other dev resources as they fall in and out of search favor.


I'm actually feeling google worse every day, I developed a way of searching by only typing important keywords. eg: "js unique array"

Now that's not working well anymore, google is ignoring 2 of 3 keywords to give me a general answer.

And even the search tricks, such as using "" don't work as before.

I think google is using far too much AI in the search is ruining it for me.

I may switch to something else soon.


The ignoring of keywords is annoying. Removing keyword in order to be able to get me a result is almost always the wrong thing to do. I end up clicking through a the first 3 to 4 links and wondering why on earth Google would think those sites was going to be helpful. The indication that a keyword was ignored to give me a result isn't clear enough.

Almost always, at least in my cases, removing keywords makes the resultat useless. I would rather have a blank page say "Sorry, no results".

While DuckDuckGo searches have clearly improved over time, Googles have become worse. I still think Google is better overall, but they're moving in the wrong direction.


I don't think I've ever had a keyword removal produce something worthwhile.

Perhaps there is a different class of user that this is useful for.

If only there was a way to disable it. Some sort of "advanced" mode.


I agree. A while back I pg (bad paraphrase) said it as "Google used to give you a list of right answers to your question. Now it's postmedernist search, where the true answer is true for you."

I think that about sums it up. Google got very good at personalising search. They got very good at answering questions with widgets on their pages, a reader's digest of the web.

They got worse at objective search.

I almost never find those small-scale sites with great content anymore.


> And even the search tricks, such as using "" don't work as before.

While it doesn't have quite the same effect [1] as the double quote marks, you could select the 'Verbatim' option [2] from the search tools menu.

[1] https://search.googleblog.com/2011/11/search-using-your-term...

[2] https://i.imgur.com/I7eL41i.png


I have a similar experience. I have developed a habit of attaching '-jquery' to every js-related search. DDG seems to respect this at all times while Google might just ignore this from time to time, leaving me with useless results.


I searched "js unique array" and got pretty much similar results in Google and DDG. I think a lot of times when Google skips a word is simply because there is no webpage with the literal query.


Yeah, but this example worked well for me too, but when it fails it drives me mad, and it will now add a subtitle saying it ignored a keyword allowing to click on it to add with double quotes, and then procedes to ignore the quotes in some results.

I think google is set to work for the majority of people and it's failing the way I use it.


Was searching for DDG contact. Found that there is a !dev bang, but all it does is search https://devdocs.io.

I am looking for something that I can signal to DDG to only/prefer dev sites.

If anyone is curious this is the site to look up your !bangs.

https://duckduckgo.com/bang?q=dev


This is a really good idea. A Dev search engine! I hope someone will run with the idea, after all this is a start-up forum :)

A few months ago I was hacking some Java code (or a java DSL. Something I had never worked in before) and it had these bangs or at-marks in front of some keywords.

It was nearly impossible to search for what it did, since all search engines would ignore those in my query.


I do not know if I want a dev search engine.

I just want a way to signal DDG to prefer dev websites over nondev. DDG doesn't bubble us so it doesn't know I only want dev sites with certain queries and we keep naming projects after common terms. (Ruby, Python)

Thus !dev would be a good idea.

I guess it could be a good idea for dev.duckduckgo.com or duckduckgo.com/bangdev to be an option in search drop down, but honestly how often do people select alternative searches vs typing it in or !g'ing it?


What is !so and !gh? Can I use them on google?


Type ! in DDG and press down. You will see a list of accepted keywords. Those two search stackoverflow and github.


I tried using DuckDuckGo many times over the past few years, but the results never enticed me to stay.

But for the past 3-4 months, it's been my default. Haven't felt the need to use Google Search even once!

Big props to Gabriel Weinberg and team!


I switched to DDG ~5 years ago for two reasons: 1. Infinite scroll, and 2. Smaller ads (which can be entirely disabled).

I stayed with DDG because: 1. !bang is addictive, and 2. Dark mode.

Also, early on I had some thoughts on how to improve DDG, so I emailed the owner and he responded thoughtfully. I can't imagine that happening with Google.


Agreed. I use !bangs so regularly I don't even notice it except when I sit at another PC and it doesn't work.

And I often use the QR feature to quickly send links to my phone.


QR feature? Nice, I didn't know about that. Though it's kind of disappointing that it directs to a google service...


The article says that DDG was profitable since 2014.

I wonder just how profitable it is, and how soon would it be able to return the investments. A high investment load means that a company strives for an exit. I won't like DDG to be bought by whatever party.


I interviewed with DuckDuckGo a few months ago and their founders, investors, and board are not looking for the quick payout. They are more intent at a self sustaining alternative to Google.


How could you know that from an interview? Of course they would say that


I can imagine a company where everyone is excited by the perspective of being bought by a major corporation for a huge sum. You join the megacorp (which is not easy to get hired to), and your options suddenly are worth a lot. Win-win!


A Canadian pension fund may be a bit less aggressive for an exit than traditional SV VC firm. I'm not too worried so far.


At Terms of Service; Didn't Read, we were one of a whole host of privacy-focused projects that received a donation from DuckDuckGo: https://spreadprivacy.com/duckduckgo-privacy-challenge-2018

Thus, however successful DDG will be, at least it will have supported quite a few other projects in its wake.


Whether or not DDG is "beating" Google, they are successfully competing with Google on G's home turf. That's pretty impressive.


DDG is getting better with time. I completely switched to DDG about 2 years ago.

I tried Google search recently and found its results are less relevant and presented in an awkward form where I cannot copy result's URL (searched for a technical paper). DDG is clear winner.


How do you copy the URL?

Neither of them shows direct URL to search results, https://duckduckgo.com/l/?... is no better than https://www.google.com/url?...


In Google - do a search for hackernews. This site is the number one result. Right click on it, copy the link location and this is what is in your clipboard: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web...

In DuckDuckGo, you do the same search and also get the same top result, but when you copy the link location for that top result you get this: https://news.ycombinator.com/


> when you copy the link location for that top result you get this: https://news.ycombinator.com/

I’m getting https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=https%3A%2F%2Fnews.ycom...

Update: in Firefox I'm indeed getting https://news.ycombinator.com/ But I use MS Edge as primary browser, and for MS Edge, DDG returns me the above redirection URL.


I’ll bet this has something to do with the Referer header. Iirc DDG used to always use this forwarding method so that you don’t leak your search phrase to the site you’re going to. I wonder if now there’s a way for DDG to instruct Firefox to omit the Referer header (or if DDG detects that you have Firefox configured to not send the header), but that Edge still sends the Referer header?


You’re right, I’ve found the article about that: https://duck.co/help/results/rduckduckgocom And also found “Redirect (when necessary)” setting.

I’ve switched off the setting and tested with web debugger. Apparently MS Edge respects the “referrer-policy: origin” HTTP header i.e. it only sends “Referer: https://duckduckgo.com/” without query strings attached.

However, duckduckgo treat MS Edge the same way as IE, i.e. it doesn’t believe it’s not an older browser. I’ve wrote their support, hopefully they’ll fix soon. Meanwhile, I’ve switched off “Redirect (when necessary)” setting and it works OK on this PC.


Undirect [1] (for Chrome) and Google search link fix (for Firefox) [2] can help with that.

[1] https://github.com/xwipeoutx/undirect

[2] https://github.com/palant/searchlinkfix


I'm I the only one who's surprised to see how small this round was?

The modern SV economy seems to be built around $100M seed rounds and valuations in the low billions, pre-launch.


The modern SV economy to which you refer is built around massive valuations with huge growth expectations ahead of a buyout or (less rare these days) an IPO. I don't see DDG going public anytime soon, and it's unlikely to be sold to a player like Google given ethical differences (or any other similar player given the modern SV economy is also primarily based on privacy violating business models). Thus, a $10M investment isn't small...it's more rational. At least that's my opinion!


The fact DDG can even get to the ballpark, let alone compete against an opponent whose budget is 3 orders of magnitude larger is astounding, and should be applauded.


you understand that DDG is a wrapper around bing right?


I don't think a "wrapper" is the right term. They aggregate results from multiple sources including their index which is built by their own spider.

Also I don't see how that negates the fact that they are doing a fantastic job against a company that's is much bigger, more powerful, more experienced and with an incredibly larger budget.


Still they are a meta search engine mostly depend on bing. Have they ever shared how much of traffic they serve from each "source"? Never.


In 2015 I tried using DDG for programming questions and the results were inferior to my co-worker who used Google Search. Even without the comparison I could tell DDG was inferior due to how few answers I'd find. I recently switched away from Google services to Firefox, Fastmail, and DDG for privacy reasons. I no longer have issues finding answers within the top 4-5 results and if I do, Google almost never has the answer anyway.


What made you opt for Fastmail over Protonmail? I'm still on gmail, but I'm interested in switching. Want something that supports calendars too. Only think I'm not sure I can get away from is Android... I really do prefer it to iOS.


I’ve been using FastMail for a year, it’s an easy switch from gmail.

The spam-filter is terrible but the support actually answers you.

I chose fastmail over proton or tutanota because they’ve been around longer and charge everyone money. Maybe I’m paranoid but I don’t trust free as in beer very much anywhere. + none of my mails would actually use the encryption.


I think I was more aware of Fastmail than Protonmail. I also prefer paying for a product so that I don't become the product, which is a big reason why I left behind those various google services. Which reminds me that I should look for an Open Street Maps app on iOS to replace Google Maps.


I tried Open Street Maps, but it is so bad compared to Google Maps. The results sometimes made no sense and it was just a pain to use.


After this Proton/Tesonet/Luminati fiasco, I would stay away from ProtonMail.


These are actually false accusations being spread by competitors, you can actually find our response here: https://www.reddit.com/r/ProtonVPN/comments/8ww4h2/protonvpn...


Fun learning from this article: the Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System does its own venture deals (including this one!) and has invested in a ton of startups:

https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/omers-ventures#secti...


The one thing I find really painful is when I want a localized search like searching for "[chain resturant name] grubhub" and I get results half way across the country. Other than that it's great.


Try using it outside the US. Then you get results halfway across the world. :(

Example: if I search DDG for "Worcester" (a significant city near my home in south-central England), 28 of the top 30 results are Worcester, Massachusetts.

There is a toggle at the top of the page where I can choose "United Kingdom". That fixes it. But the default should be "worldwide" or "localised by IP address", not "US".


I promise I don't mean this in a snarky way, but: isn't the behavior you're describing almost the exact opposite of not being tracked?

Or, put another way: does "[chain name] grubhub [zipcode]" still do what you are describing?

Heh, as one might expect, "there's a bang for that" which will save you two characters: https://duckduckgo.com/bang?q=grubhub


I'm generally OK with a search engine using my IP Address to provide localized results. I don't think that's really a privacy concern as that is exposed to everyone. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that though?


What I mean, though, is I wouldn't mind if duckduckgo did localized searches based on IP geolocation. There are no privacy implications for this as long as the results are not logged anywhere.


Maybe they could add geolocation data to the query if the query contains keywords like "near me" and similar. No user tracking involved.


I've been giving DDG a try for a few weeks. A small thing - the absence of Past Year in the time searches is a surprisingly big annoyance. Adding to the annoyance factor is how easy it would be for that to be added and especially since they are apparently aware of it - P.S. We are working on implementing the past year as well![1]

[1] https://duck.co/help/features/dates


DDG's bang search is by far my favorite feature, I've been using DDG for about 4 years and being about to just !w or !m for common stuff is a huge win.


when the alternative is adding the search query to my browser for each and every service, ill take the bang searches.


i gave ddg a few tries back then but two months ago i've switched to it for good. on all my browsers it is the default search engine. on android, chrome does not let you set it as default engine so i also switched to firefox on mobile. not being tracked is a good feeling. i also never had a problem with search results, especially for development.


You know I had the same experience bring me to Firefox on mobile. I'm not sure that was what Google intended to happen. It isn't like they prevent you from using other search engines. Just DDG! Maybe they identify it as a real competitor.


DuckDuckGo is a great search engine, I've been using it for a while. The only thing that stops me from fully moving to DuckDuckGo is eseential DOM load speed. Google search results page loading speed is two times faster.

DuckDuckGo needs to hire a Frontend wizard that will address all the issues with load speed and hopefully make it quicker than competitors.



Wow, it's loading with the speed of light.

Bye, Google.


I've been lately trying to get myself accustomed to DDG, and while I appreciate the bang feature immensely, I find myself spending more and more time using !g to revert to Google Search. It probably has something to do with the fact that I search a lot in Japanese as well as English; While English search results are somewhat good, DDG's Japanese search results are just plain bad. I suspect the similar is also true with other non-English languages as well. Hope the new money gets spent on improving search results on non-English.


I've been using DDG for several years now. I pretty rarely fall back to google for something these days and, when I do, they usually don't have the result I'm looking for either.


I have been using it for more than year. I occasionally switch to google in extreme needs. I hope it improves more in coming days. Good going DuckDuckGo.


I switched to DDG over a year ago. It works for my purposes. The only problem is they do not use Google maps so I have to switch when looking for directions.

For research though I switched to Yippy. Their business model is selling replacements for Google Search Appliance which is at EOL in a couple of months. So they can sustain themselves while providing a free search tool.


I use DuckDuckGo as default... from time to time I need to use Google but I try to keep it at minimum. It's not about privacy, it's because I like Google less every fucking time that they do update on any of their products. Look at Google News, it was simple and nice before, now looks like it is a part of Yahoo.


For a company that aims to do ethical businesses, they have an uphill better. But it helps that they have such a great search engine. I've been using ddc for a few years exclusively and I think I get better results. Some of my old google-fu works, unlike new google, which seems to ignore it now.


I use DDG on a daily basis. Out of ignorance, I haven’t used the bang switches, but I think I have been satisfied with the quality of the search results to the point where I very rarely go to google anymore.

I am happy to have an alternative to google search even if the effect is too small to be measured.


I'm a recent DDG convert. However I'm pretty locked into the Google Maps platform. I've used stars and "want to go" for years. Those don't translate over to DDG even on their Google Maps option for maps. Anyone know of a work around?


It’s still such a poor choice of name.


The name google also sounds pretty retarded if you remove all the context from it.


Two syllable naming conventions will always prove dominant.

- Goo-gle

- Faceb-book

- Twit-ter

- Snap-chat

- Git-hub

The list goes on and on. Duck-Duck-Go is just a poorly thought through name and the fact it's 3 syllable just makes it worse. At least with Instagram you can abbreviate it (ins-ta).


I’m probably one of the few who do this, but I use Google Chrome with DDG. I really just have a much easier time on Chrome than I do on Firefox, and I’m optimistic that my Internet history is not being piped to and stored on Google’s servers somewhere.


Not bad for general queries, but still not suited to specific, local and timely queries - at least, in the UK, anyway. Even whilst searching with country-specific settings, most results tend to be American.

Also, I miss pagination of results pages :(


Love using them, hopefully with this money they will finally implement the date filter to allow for the last year instead of just the last month. Very important when searching for the latest coding implementations of a new version.


Another happy DDG user here. But I always wonder - DDG is basically an aggregator, it doesn't have its own general index. Isn't there a danger that Google and Bing will just close the faucet to it one day?


Rather yes than no.

I tested DDG vs Yandex/Google/Bing and I'm pretty sure Yandex acts as "main" (if not "single") search provider for my language (or whatever heuristics DDG uses). For some senseless Ukrainian keywords Yandex shows almost identical to DDG results, while Google/Bing - mostly different.

In 2017 Yandex (among some other Russian companies) got ban in Ukraine and access to its services was blocked. Roughly at the same time Ukraine region have disappeared from DDG ("kl=ua-uk" URL parameter is still mentioned on search params page[1], but not working).

These events are likely connected. Furthermore, if DDG is just an aggregator, why a year later they can't switch to Google as local search provider and bring regional search for Ukraine back? Google local search results are at least as relevant as Yandex were. Or there are some hidden contractual obligations, partnerships, royalties directly from Yandex etc.? This looks unclear and suspicious to me.

[1] https://duckduckgo.com/params


They seem to be doing well, generally: <https://duckduckgo.com/traffic>


I think either Google will awe us again and become stronger or duckduckgo will figure out a way to finally give us better search results.


am i the only one that is just too lazy to type DuckDuckGo.com? i feel i may go there more if it was just ddg.com or something short


http://ddg.gg is a working alternate domain (:


In Firefox you can change the default search engine to DDG. Then you just type your search query straight into the address bar.


you can use alias dgg.gg


ddg.gg and ddg.co are both theirs, apparently.


What's DDG's moat? Its search index is bing so they don't have significant own tech. Is it just the brand?


I think it's only loyalty of userbase - they're the first mover of privacy conscious search.

Any competitor would have to prove credibility in the field, as they'd be trading on ethics.

I use DuckDuckGo exclusively - the only two reasons for me to stop I can see would be some kind of ethics scandal, or the quality of the search dropping dramatically.

I'm very happy with it currently.


Firefox focus and DDG is the best combination on mobile. Leave no cookies behind.


I am using DDG exclusively for over a year now. It works realy fine.


DuckDuckGo claims to be all for privacy. What it doesn't tell users is that it is just a wrapper around Bing search results. The $10M they plan to spend is just going to increase search traffic to Bing.


"all for privacy" implies that duckduckgo cares about privacy at an ethical level, which doesn't really seem to be the case. I think it's more likely that they simply saw private search as a hole in a profitable market and decided to try to fill it.

Before founding duckduckgo, CEO Gabriel Weinberg ran Names Database. Names database was a social media site that collected personal information much more aggressively than any modern site that I'm aware of. This information was sold happily by Weinberg for about ten million dollars to classmates.com (a particularly controversial subsidiary of United Online) just two years before founding duckduckgo.


Is this actually true?


Wikipedia says DuckDuckGo generates "results from over 400 individual sources, including crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia, and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex." Even if it was just a proxy to the Bing Search API, DDG users would be unseen by Bing servers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuckDuckGo


No, in general it's not. https://duck.co/forum/thread/4350/did-you-know-that-duckduck...

IME, inline results from third party sites (like StackOverflow, images, youtube videos, etc.) are pretty easy to notice when they're included and easy to tell where they came from.


They cite Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex as "sourced from," and they do list DuckDuckBot as its own thing -- although I am pretty sure they don't have the same resources for running their own distributed crawls as the 3 sources they list:

https://duck.co/help/results/sources


DuckDuckBot only handles results for Instant Answers afaik. No own spiders in the traditional sense (following links between domains).


https://duck.co/help/results/sources says they have 400 sources which is special cases like Wikipedia,etc. The core search is powered by Bing (Yahoo uses Bing) and Yandex in Russia.


My guess is that it is mostly bing, a few percentages for other sources. They never share the breakdown. It would spoil their magic I suppose.


It's pretty bad for non english content.


i have used duckduckgo for years, they are really good :)


Maybe they could buy ddg.com with (part of) this money?


They've owned ddg.gg for a while, but as far as I know it's only been used as a shortcut to the homepage.


Or maybe google will sell them duck.com?


the Government should force them to give it away... along with a few billions... in a monopoly lawsuit.


What happens to the pension fund if DDG fails?


They lose their cash in this one investment, but only up to the 10m invested. Funds diversify their risk by investing in lots of businesses


Nothing, seeing as how OMERS (the pension fund) is worth $95 billion.


When I noticed that DDG is using (among other sources) Yandex.ru (Russian search engine) index I've stopped using it.

It is not a question of privacy but rather a question of trust and bias. Of course YMMV.


I don't believe there are any options here. All tech companies are politically aligned, that includes all search engines.


muh russia




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