In case y'all didn't know, DDG does some neat things like this:
To use them you can take a look at the file and search for the term 'triggers' which should give you a hint.
Edit: Goodies seem to be just one category. The other categories can be found here: https://duck.co/ia
Being able to write "tengo hambre en ingles" in Google and have it give me back an translation box I could interact with is awesome.
I imagine they could use Bing translation or something?
cats filetype:pdf PDFs about cats. Supported file types: pdf, doc(x), xls(x), ppt(x), html
And generate passphrases:
My killer app is the bang commands: https://duckduckgo.com/bang
!hn for hacker news
!a for amazon
!w for wikipedia
!imdb for imdb
!reddit for reddit
!wa is the best for calculations and other weird stuff (ex: type in a date and find out what day of the week it was)
Tip for non-English speakers
!wen for English wikipedia if your default language is something else.
More specifically, typing "!imdb matt damon" will simply forward you to the following link: https://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=matt%20damon
!a soap => https://www.amazon.com/s/?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywo...
!hn duckduckgo => https://hn.algolia.com/?query=duckduckgo&type=story&dateRang...
In Safari, typing "imdb matt damon" and hitting the down arrow before enter gives me the same result. Do other browsers not have site search built-in? It will also pick up search fields on any site you browse you instead of requiring it to be added to some central repository.
And I use Spotlight for calculator and unit/currency conversions. Seems wasteful to roundtrip that kind of stuff online.
Also, when your search didn't give you what you were looking for, you can just prepend e.g. !g to search on Google, which for me is slightly faster than to copy the query, go to the address bar, enter "g" and then paste.
= 2.4*10^54 Cal
The energy still exists, presumably, but claiming that's relevant would be like claiming a cheese at the top of a hill (potentially about to be rolled) has more calories.
In that context, the cheese at the top of the hill really does have more calories or value or something along those lines.
Not seeing any passphrase generation though.
You need to worry about where the produced password is stored, how random it is and you can't prove any of it.
Generally, you can't just decrypt your traffic... there are other attack vectors.
We’re not storing these generated phrases anywhere.
It can be useful for low risk scenarios.
(Ex: setting up a new netflix passphrase to share with a new partner)
/ddg <query> to try it out
I just hope the search result quality will improve over time as right now, I still use !g for about 10% of my searches.
Color picker is a native element of most browsers.
Calculator is a CompSci 101 project.
If you're counting on either for traffic, you need a better business model.
I don't know who controls the contributions and decides what is going to be included in the final result, but so far it looks just fine to me. After all, they still present the normal search results below the tool.
It's nice to protect the little guy but in this case.. it's just too much.
Right. And when done by non-monopolies, we call it "competition".
What if I made a color picker that competes with your other HN-person-color-picker? How does that work? If my color picker gets a search engine feature, am I unfairly intercepting traffic from DDG?
Surprisingly, I find the only substantial signal personalization uses is on your current location, and on results you have clicked before.
Search for 'pizza' for example, and the results will be all companies that are in your country, even if you search on Google.com.
I don't know about you, but this is pretty rude.
> Show HN: QR codes - my mini project | Hacker News
> Mar 28, 2011 - Hello HN! Check out and comment on one of my
mini projects: http://coderqr.com. It's a website for the QR-uninitiated crowd to quickly make QR ...
Ddg also has 'bangs'. For example !whois looks up a whois record,!b searches it in bing and !translate translates via google translate. They havr many more :-)
JepZ posted this link above https://github.com/duckduckgo/zeroclickinfo-goodies/tree/mas...
It has a filter for the goodies along with other good stuff.
In my experience Firefox + DDG is a viable alternative to Chrome + Google Search.
Occasionally I still need to go for google, but for about 98% of the time I'd say DDG is a no-op drop-in replacement for Google. I highly recommend this browser & search engine combo - DDG is great now, and Firefox is now decent again after a while in the wilderness.
Firefox also has some neat extensions like Google Container  that sandboxes all google cookies so you can still login to Gmail etc, but the cookies are not available for tracking elsewhere (e.g. analytics). I've recommended this add-on a lot recently - I've got no connection to it, just a satisfied user.
1 - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-contai...
For example, when I want to search for the documentation for the Ecto library in Elixir, I search for "elixir ecto" on Google:
Top result is what I want. Second result is the Github page. Third result is the wiki on Github.
This is what I get for the same search result on DDG:
Totally irrelevant results. Why isn't DDG able to deduce what I'm actually searching for?
Even when I search explicitly for "elixir ecto docs" I still don't get the results I want:
So yeah, DDG is basically unusable for me, at least for these types of use cases. I get the privacy benefits but IMO if a search engine is failing at its core job then everything else is pointless.
Lots of !g and I don't try to use it on mobile yet.
Both on computer and iPhone.
I expanded the boxes in the top right, but it seems clear it gives the "correct" results for me.
I wonder why the results are so different.
"elixir ecto" on a public Searx instance:
Searx is much more liberating, I can do searches multiple searches in one - and also do code search on github, gitlab etc.
How is that “consistent”?
Yup, Firefox is better than Chrome (especially with tree style tabs on the side) and DDG isn't really as good as Google so, when you average things out, these are comparable combinations.
I'd rather use a bad browser and find what I need on Google, than use a good browser and get sub-par search results.
However on a search engine like DDG I now search without worrying of being tracked.
For example I’m researching obesity and diabetes. Do I want Google to know that? Do I want them to infer my potential illnesses from my searches? Hell no and I don’t care how good their search results are.
In my experience DDG is poor when the query is vague. But adding a word or two to make the query more specific helps DDG give results that are as good or better. You eventually get used to it.
Also fun fact but I deleted my entire history from my Google account, going back 15 years or so. Immediately afterwards Google’ search started giving me visibly worse search results.
So Google is being smart by doing your profile based on your history. That seems great at first but when you realize they’ve got more than a decade of data on you and that they know every problem you’ve had (like in my case, they know that my son was born prematurely for example, or that I used to smoke and many other personal issues I can’t share), it should freak you out.
People not worrying about this are either very young and thus don’t have baggage or haven’t thought this through.
Should I switch if I do nothing wrong? I stopped downloading illegal videos and my porn is tame.
What bad things can google do to me if I'm a user that doesnt care about privacy for myself?
That said, I think it boils down to this: we all want privacy, but digital privacy is a hard problem because we are not "wired" to understand it. Humans are not good at interacting with systems with perfect memory, huge computational power, and extremely insightful statistical modeling capabilities.
This affects us differently than interacting with a person. Now, a machine can categorize you automatically based on political beliefs, religious beliefs, friend networks, conversational style, etc. This can be used to target you for (arguably unethical) influence via surgically targeted propaganda, or to retroactively mark you as a dissident in a tyrannical regime based on a comment you made off-hand years before the regime took power.
Left unchecked, these invasive tracking systems could be used for a myriad of unethical purposes. And even if you "do nothing wrong," it's important to remember that in most legal systems, it's very difficult to lead a normal life and never break any laws. Add to that the very, very long records these systems are capable of keeping on you, and I think it's clear why many people, myself included, wish to minimize our presence on platforms such as Google.
Also, who knows what changes in the future? Maybe something you do online today seems harmless but gets you in trouble in 20+ years.
Some people do have things they want to keep private. If only those people care about privacy, then they eventually stick out like a sore thumb and that’s not fair. It’s not always bad or malicious. Diseases, traumatic experiences, conditions, things you should be able to get help with or information on without Google or some other company profiling you.
Who decides if you do nothing wrong? Think about that seriously - who decides what is right and wrong?
Also - if those 'powers that be' decide you have done nothing wrong now, what about in perpetuity? What if in 5 or 20 years who or what you are itself is simply deemed wrong?
These arguments aren't fictional. Being gay and Jewish are just two unchangeable traits that have seen persecution in living memory. Let alone countless others.
Perhaps the Rohingya would be a very recent example.
Be cautious that your own sense of 'right and wrong' in the here and now doesn't cloud the reality that you are beholden to those with actual power to agree with your behaviours and traits - and that those powers can (and will) change over time.
Even though you are "not doing anything wrong", perhaps you did a search on that funny looking rash you noticed the other day, or that trivial programming question you needed to look up the answer to.
For me, it is about keeping control of my information. And the best way to control it, is for it not to be collected.
You might want to search for a new job without it influencing searches that may be visible to a current employer.
You may want to search for health topics without it becoming associated at life insurers on the ad network.
You may want your teens to be able to search bullying and sexuality without Facebook or Google tagging those to their profiles, in perpetuity, or worse advertising and retargeting the topics to them.
Do you still close the bathroom door, even if you are not doing anything wrong in there?
I believe that individual privacy as a social norm is a prerequisite to free speech, that free speech is a prerequisite to democracy, and that democracy is a prerequisite to fairness in the world.
Advocating for your own privacy is worthwhile if only to provide herd immunity for others less privileged than you, and to send a message about how you wish others would act; to demonstrate popular demand, and to lead by example.
You may start searching for divorce lawyers at some point, and your spouse might stumble upon that.
These search histories could also be obtained with a subpoena, for reasons totally unrelated to you.
Chrome can no longer be safely used to login to google sites. Just because you don't care about privacy now doesn't mean that you won't later.
Even if you do nothing wrong, would allow streaming cameras and hot mics in your house? How about leaving the door open to allow anyone on Earth to freely enter/exit your property?
I like being able to contribute to a good project (by using Nightly I believe you submit some telemetry, a small contribution).
The concept is: create additional Named containers, and assign domains to always load in X named container
I am so happy to be a user and be part of their growth as well.
The only thing that could improve it would be searches in other languages, I still don't get a good result when I search in other languages such as Russian, Persian, Arabic, etc..
Thank you DuckDuckGo for the great service <3
The one thing that I have to go back to Google for is when I want to search just one specific site (usually Stack Overflow, I guess). Google has the `site:example.com` feature. I don't think that's possible with DDG.
EDIT: Apparently it does work! Thanks, I'm pretty sure it didn't when I started using DDG. Maybe I'm just an idiot.
So for example rather than having to use Wikipedia's or Stack Overflow's search bar to find something, it's just Ctrl+t and "!w <term>" or "!gi <term>".
On Windows this is quite 50-50 -- you're likely holding the mouse anyway. On Unix machines with more keyboard-oriented UI, with say a tiling WM, things like bangs at browser address bar are a godsent. Of course it is nice on mobile too -- direct queries rather than hoppping around using clumsy touchscreen.
There are likely browser extensions for this though, but none of them set DDG as their default search engine -- so just doing that manually also gives you the bangs so in my book DDG wins here ;)
It's my understanding they are profitable, a large chunk being things like Amazon referrals (nontrackable).
They may not have as many users but they also have much lower overhead since they don't need vast teams of engineers working on new ways of slicing and dicing data.
Putting "duckduckgo bang" into DDG itself produces results that are ... not helpful. At any rate, nothing on the first page looks like it has any chance of answering the question.
But "!g duckduckgo bang" gives me https://duckduckgo.com/bang as the first hit (this is a high-level description of the bang feature), followed by https://duckduckgo.com/bang_lite.html (which has the actual complete list right there), followed by someone's list of the 25 allegedly-most-useful DDG bangs. Most of the rest of the first-page hits are also informative -- they're things like Reddit and HN discussions of the bang features.
I think this is actually the clearest case I've seen since switching to DDG where Google had demonstrably more useful results. Which is kinda ironic.
[EDITED to add:] Actually, I seem to get it for "duckduckgo bangs" and for "bang duckduckgo" but not for "duckduckgo bang". But I'm not sure it's consistent from one search to the next. Anyway, I think the reason I didn't see it before is that it wasn't there, not that I'm banner-blind.
Google is doing it's best to take all the knobs and dials away making you reliant on it guessing your intention correctly. Which is pushing us into a monoculture (the ignoring of important keywords is getting more egregious)..
Anyway ddg is doing the complete opposite, I feel like I can actually find anything if I use it properly (but like with any other tool you need to learn how). I have it set as the default on some my machines but it's clear I haven't been using even half of it's potential.
Looking at the list makes me think that parsing of simple sentences is the way to go (like "translate xyz from swedish to russian") or the site:someurl filter from Google, not having a keyword per site or per language
But you can also use site:wikipedia.org syntax in DDG to search any particular website, just like in Google.
So don't criticize bangs for not being good at everything "site:" allows you to do, they're different tools; use the right tool for the job. DDG gives you many of the same tools that Google gives, but adds many other tools.
And DDG has shown willingness to add more tools; just find/remember the (small) subset of these that helps you out, and someone else can find/remember those tools that help them out, and you each have good user experiences.
!bang hacker news
!bang stack exchange
But maybe it's part of some sort of strategy where in the early years the branding is weird in order to gain notoriety, and then change it when the timing is right.
I think right now this is probably slowing growth. I wonder how much would duck.com cost.
Google wasn't always there, and even after it became popular, some time passed before the name was used as a verb.
Personally, I Ask Jeeves to Lycos it.
Point being, if it really gets wildly popular it still might be translated into a verb.
Maybe we should separate the ideas of the search space (the web) and our access to it (the search engine). The destinations will exist whether google or whoever points to them or not. By making that distinction more obvious it might encourage people, when selecting their search tool, to consider the effect of corporate bias on search results.
there are quite a few search options out there these days so telling someone they should specifically search with X when their favourite is Y is being a bit too pushy for my liking. (i still mention ddg sometimes if i think they are using google or something similar)
the other thing is that DuckDuckGo might not always be around or might not always be the best. some new shiney search engine might come along in a few years that is miles better but then everyone would have to start using a different verb when they were only just getting the hang of the last one.
with the old reliable "look it up" or "search for it" you dont have to worry about these problems.
and anyway, did google become the best search engine because it had a good noun or was it because of other reasons? i would personally just like to see DuckDuckGo just focus on making the best search engine they can. that way we wont have to rely on a noun being the only thing stopping it from succeeding. if its one the best people will find it regardless
> If you meant to visit the search engine DuckDuckGo, click here.
I wouldn't have expected that from Google.
With Google, I have to take an extra second to think about why they're showing an answer at the top. But if DuckDuckGo inlines an answer from StackOverflow, I know what the algorithm is --> Get top-rated StackOverflow result, get highest rated answer, inline the first X paragraphs, give a button to expand.
I still occasionally use !g for some searches if I strike out finding answers on DuckDuckGo, but I'm at the point where I generally prefer DuckDuckGo's answers. It's really tough to explain what's different about them, it feels like DuckDuckGo has a different "style" of search results or something. Even when I'm using Google, I usually have DuckDuckGo open next to it, because Google and DuckDuckGo feel like they cover different ground.
It's just that by default, the ground that DuckDuckGo is covering feels more relevant for just very quickly getting information and then getting out (especially with the better search cards).
Google couldn't do that due to past court decisions about the maximum they can show being 'snippet length' without getting further into disputed copyright territory.
I expect they're working on AI tech which can read the whole web and directly answer your questions rather than having to use an extract of a webpage at all.
But that's exactly the problem. Google already will try to auto-answer some questions that you ask. But the way they do it is completely opaque.
So I have no idea a) when they'll suggest an answer, and b) why they'll suggest an answer.
When I see an answer on DuckDuckGo, it's consistent. I immediately know how much trust to put into it. I don't have to look for the source and try to figure out where it sits on that scale. What's even better is that over time with DuckDuckGo, I get better at phrasing queries in a way that I know an instant answer will pop up. With Google, because they probably already use a bunch of weird AI in the background, I have never been able to predict whether or not a query will pop up a card, so I can't actually rely on getting an answer quickly in advance.
These are tiny things that shave time off of my searches. I often use DuckDuckGo's StackOverflow cards as language references -- to be able to say, "hey, jog my memory with a really quick example of this syntax." I want to know details like the source of that answer before I search it.
AI tech will never be as good as having a consistent algorithm for this -- because even if it got to be as good as a person going out and looking up the answers for me, a person is never going to be as good as a consistent algorithm. This is what people don't understand about natural language interpretation -- they think that there's some theoretical end-point where a computer will be as good at interpreting commands as a human is. But they forget that giving a human commands is already slower and less reliable than giving a computer commands. Having a digital assistant be ridged and predictable is a strength, not a weakness.
An example I ran into a few days ago: As it turns out there are two "Brent Lee's" in music. This one  and this one . If you search Brent Lee on duckduckgo you get the first in the card. If you search Brent Lee on google you get a card that appears to be about one person but includes a mix of information about the first and the second.
I want to make the switch.
But typing "!g" when a search does not return what I want is too clumsy. It requires 7 touch-events on mobile (including focus and space).
Please make that simpler, and I will switch.
(My suggestion would be to have a "!g" button at the bottom of the search results. Perhaps make it optional, depending on user-settings; I don't mind a cookie for just that.)
Part of the issue is you search differently with Google. Most users treat their keywords as circles in a venn diagram - the top result being the center.
Try being a little more explicit with DDG. Add the year a movie came out, the first and last name of a person + their title if it's a common name, things like that.
Also an aside, "!s" routes through startpage, which proxies a google search for you - much more private but still leveraging the Pagerank algorithm.
At least with DuckDuckGo I know that it's searching for what I told it to, rather than searching for something easier to find, which seems similar to a machine, but completely different to me.
Will return results for Dog OR Cat
To force to AND one has to quote every word, thus:
Which is tedious especially on mobile.
I don't know why they think people would want to default to OR.
However, on Google you do get an identifier next to the result that shows whether your term is missing from the page or not which allows for weeding out "unrelated" results relatively quickly. It also has the "must include" link so that you can narrow your searches without having to retype the query.
Doing the same search on DDG just shows some results but it's not clear whether my specific terms are on the page or not.
So I believe that there is a consensus that using IP addresses to improve search results would be fair game for DDG. It's also consistent with the DDG promise: "we don't track you".
OTOH, not using them has only marginal effect on user's privacy: (a) DDG doesn't serve ads anyway, and (b) the metadata of user's online activity are still available to three-letter agencies to analyze.
Also IP by itself isn't really that much of a privacy problem. It only becomes a problem when it's used in the process of delinkage of more sensitive information
Bringing all the result pretending everyone lives in US sounds like a crappy strategy.
But ... this also means that a DDG search would work well on Google. So a revert-to-Google button could help people make the transition. I suppose that people will become more and more specific in their queries until at some point they never need to hit that "!g" button anymore.
DuckDuckGo is Google before it started down this path. You have to be specific. The more words you provide, the smaller the set of possible answers, and the more likely your answer is at the top.
Google, these days, tends to report the same number of results no matter how specific you get. It used to get smaller the more words you put in. It's a philosophical difference. Google assumes you only have a vague idea of what you're looking for and is increasingly confident it knows best.
DuckDuckGo starts with the same assumption, but trusts you to refine your own query without the help of a global network of patterns acting on data. That doesn't work too well on Google now. You're just as likely to trigger an anti-bot check refining queries as you are to find what you're looking for.
One weird thing that I noticed is that every so often when I'm in a Google SERP (e.g. in a friend's phone) and I'm not fully satisfied with the results, I add in !g, only to realize that makes no sense. So I wonder if there's a subset of queries that DDG produces better results for, or if Google's search quality is declining.
"camping sites [Near Lake Tahoe x]"
What is the personal, private information they could be monitoring for, that would allow them to rewrite better than Bing ?
While there are a lot of things to like about DDG, the searches are still pretty rubbish.
What's worst about DDG is that it is absolutely useless at location searches.
The one that really bugs me is "Nottingham Weather". Location set to UK, yet it returns the weather for White March, MD
Nottingham, population 700,000, but somehow a road in White Marsh, MD, America, population 9,513, is the result it shows.
If I'm searching a venue, pub, club, etc. with United Kingdom set, it usually returns US bars or venues with the same name.
Anything technical Google is also much better at filtering the dross and returning something meaningful, though that might be because it's learnt the programming languages, etc. I use.
I liked all the other functionality a lot, but the results themselves just didn't work for me.
I tried to use DuckDuckGo, but even still I feel its results are not up to par with Google, despite Google's results sliding in quality year after year. Qwant has been a decent supplement, the results for general queries are good and on the more specific ones (part numbers, key terms from papers and articles) its equal to or better than Yahoo/Bing.
On specific queries, Google has really dropped the ball. Part numbers get ignored or rewritten, and results are just plain missing (despite other search engines having those key results).
I was looking for a company developing intraocular lenses that are better than a healthy human one but I couldn't remember the company's name. My search was
artificial lenses better than human
Google gave me the company name on it's 3rd result description but duckduckgo gave me irrelevant stuff all the way down. That was yesterday. Today duckduckgo gives me the company name on the description of the second result. So it's pretty volatile I guess.
Edit, ok, I see it redirects the user to Google.com
Regarding DDG on general, I've been using it exclusively as my first search provider and it has ramped in quality searches at a nice clip. I find myself bouncing through to the above search-flow less and less over time and I'm now in the process of deGoogling other things.
Keep donating to those privacy focused services where you can! DDG is a prime example of showing how these services can exist without an agenda, other than customer oriented features.
As good a moment as any to publicly express gratitude to the donations DDG has provide to us (Terms of Service; Didn't Read) and several other privacy-focused projects, which has been of great help.
Try to create a separate google account, use browser profiles, and this particular account only for searches in a specialized field (say CS, IT etc...). Than start looking at the ads you're getting. Google can't do that if the request comes from ddg.
I use https://www.startpage.com/ as fallback when duckduckgo fails, because it gives the same results as Google.
You can use searchstring !sp in Duckduckgo, to switch to Startpage.
The results between Bing and DuckDuckGo are usually identical, but I haven't checked in a few months. I wonder if the metacharacters work the same on both sites.
It's also nice that Startpage finally stopped blocking Tor browser. I use it much more now.
It feels more like the old Google that wasn’t stuffed with ads, and I find it superior for programming queries (aside from Angular 2+ docs).
I still type in google.com and perform queries there a few times a week. I also turn to Google Images for copyleft photos, as DDG doesn’t seem to support filtering by license yet.
Sort of, yes. See other comments around here as well. It's like Google without the backend which knows your habits and bubble and tries to be smart (and succeeds, often) and figures out what you want to search for despite you being a bit vague. DDG doesn't do that so, like in the old days, you have to be specific. Like if you talk to a person and ask a question: you also don't ask 'pasta?'. You ask 'where can I buy pasta' for instance.
I am sure it’s fine for more evergreen content like SO, but for current news it’s awful.
Ha but my point was just to explain how it works. I've been using DDG for years and find it extremely usable :)
It has improved (UX-wise at least), I've used it occasionally, hope it's also getting better with search -- Google is certainly getting much worse.
The other day, I couldn't remember what the title of a food-y documentary show I had watched on Netflix was - so I googled "netflix food show asian host." It's the first result on Google and a direct link to its Netflix page (as opposed to a blog or something). On DuckDuckGo, it's not listed at all. There's definitely room for improvement.
While 20m searches per day is impressive in a vacuum, it's more or less a rounding error on Google's numbers.
I'll give it another swing, we need some viable alternatives.
I miss the summary responses at the top of search results because they made Google much more of a reference. For example, defining words, quick view of Wikipedia results, etc.
I do still use maps, for now.
(Satellite data + reviews are lacking, but if you're like me and look up cities you see named in the news it gets the job done)
and for usage like you mention it's also way faster than !gm
Personally I find it perfectly adequate and I literally never resort to searching on Google.
Lots of people in this thread agree, but lots of others totally disagree.
What is so different about different people's search habits that make it good enough for some but not for otherS?
Works in DDG :-)
Can you elaborate on this?
Then you walk outside and facial recognition takes over.
Privacy is dead.
Google isn't the NSA. Even if the NSA see everything, they still see it if you use Google instead of DuckDuckGo.
But Google don't see anything you do with DuckDuckGo. There are only upsides to using DuckDuckGo.
The "bangs" feature never appealed to me much because I already have ~25 custom search engines in Firefox that I have keywords set to.
I've been trying Qwant (Lite) recently as a Google alternative, and it's pretty good, but I find myself searching for the things like "500 mxn in usd" or "30 days from 29 sep 2018, and Qwant doesn't answer these. It looks like DDG's "instant answers" does do this, so I'm going to try it again.
I also like the appearance options, such as setting your own font, so I can use Source Sans Pro, and that it shows a MapBox/OpenStreetMap map, but you can set it to open directions in Google (or Bing or OSM).