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[dupe] Pro-privacy search engine DuckDuckGo hits 30M daily searches, up 50% in a year (techcrunch.com)
363 points by AiaMD13 34 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 131 comments

After everything that has happened in the last few weeks I've completely moved away from Google.

1. I retired my ~15 year old Gmail account and registered with Fastmail

2. I moved away from Chrome to Firefox on both my laptop and phone

3. I stopped using Chrome's password manager on iOS in favor of 1Password and Firefox Lockbox

4. I've mostly stopped using the Google search engine and now using DDG and Bing if I have to.

Part of what helped me transition away from Google to DDG was skinning DDG to look like Google[0]. The first few days were really tough and I kept finding myself going back to Google about 80% of the time. I thought that the search results were remarkably poorer. I considered that it might just be anxiety of not using Google affecting my view, so as an experiment I decided to theme DDG to look like Google... and it worked. I stopped going back to Google and suddenly the searches became better.

I still use the !g bang for about 20% of my searches, and there are things that Google does so much better that I use quite often (for example searching a store name and it brings up all the local ones with information on what time they close etc, or if you were to write "tengo dolor de estomago en ingles" it would bring up an interactive translation box and so on) but for general searches I've more or less completely moved away.

[0] https://userstyles.org/styles/153678/duckduckgooglymoogly

I switched away from Google to Bing on my iPhone because I like to Google in incognito mode for basically everything... and recently Google’s added some annoying friction to that.

I started Googling in incognito when Google decided to return “personalized” search results instead of standard results, a few years ago. I was always more interested in the normal results than whatever Google thought I specifically wanted to see. But, since this Summer when I switch to a fresh incognito mode session to do a Google search, I have to click on traffic lights and sidewalks multiple times just to see the first search result. And it always says I failed the first two tries even when I know I did it right. I end up having to do a minute of clicking on images just to do a search. It’s like I’m being punished for wanting to Google in incognito. It happened often enough on my phone for me to go screw this and switch the default search engine.

Bing’s search results just aren’t as good though. I often have to Google for some things, still. But now I’m trying Duck Duck Go.

By the way not sure why my own anecdotal experience is being downvoted. This is my own actual experience, not really an opinion piece.

I've never seen this behavior by Google in incognito... Wonder if they're doing some questionable browser/os fingerprinting to track you??

It happens more often when I copy and paste the search instead of type it in. So for example I’ve already searched on Bing and I don’t like the results. So I copy and paste the query on Google in a fresh incognito mode instead of retype (I use Safari on iOS so maybe that helps with recreating it)

Other times when I don’t copy and paste I’m just Googling stuff related to my work as a programmer. And I’m guessing since I don’t always use natural language it raises a few flags? I’m not sure.

This was before we had wifi at this house (just got it last month) so I was using a cellular connection almost exclusively, except when at a coffee shop or something.

But I’m a fully coherent human and I can attest that it happened often enough for me to get annoyed by it real fast.

I haven't seen this in incognito either... which is probably why op is being downvoted.

I didn't downvote because I feel bad for OP, but the information is innacurate according to my personal experience, which IMO is a actually good reason to bury it.


edit: By the way I DO see the traffic lights, crossroads etc and can sometimes NEVER get past them sometimes when using Tor, so this might have something to do with google restricting op's network provider rather than incognito mode.

> By the way I DO see the traffic lights, crossroads etc and can sometimes NEVER get past them sometimes when using Tor, so this might have something to do with google restricting op's network provider rather than incognito mode.

When I do a Google search outside of private mode I’m logged in to my Google account. Under that scenario I’m pretty much never asked to prove I’m not a robot. Same when visiting websites who have that “I’m not a robot” checkbox. When I’m in private mode I have to train datasets. When I’m not in private mode I just hit the checkbox and I’m not a robot.

For me there is a direct correlation between being in private mode on mobile Safari and being asked to click on street signs and sidewalks.

- 100% of the time when clicking “I’m not a robot” checkboxes (which I don’t really mind),

- and pretty reliably (although not always) when doing a google search on a fresh private window on mobile Safari (which I do mind because I get sidetracked for a minute and exit my search mode mindset)

As a dev I was pretty anxious about the quality of results from DDG but a couple of months into my experiment I’ve only found myself going back to Google for dev-related searches a handful of times (maybe 2 handfuls).

So I’m now sold on DDG. Yeh sure there are cool little helpers in Google that DDG doesn’t have (yet) but can’t think of any right now that I miss so they can’t be too important.

!g is very handy.

!sp even handier, dunno if that is a word, since english is not my first language.

I never considered the general perception of worse results on DDG was due to pyschology but it's an interesting possibility.

I’ve been very happy with ProtonMail since I finally ditched gmail last month too. Been using FireFox since quantum and DDG around the same time. It was disruptive for the first week but I can’t remember the last time I made a google search except maps. The google maps app didn’t make the cut for my new iPhone, though. Now I just need to dump my photos into Azure so I’m not dependent on drive.

Now, DDG just needs to rebrand with a “verbable” name so it’s easier to talk about...

> Now, DDG just needs to rebrand with a “verbable” name so it’s easier to talk about...

As has been suggested here before, "just Duck it".

> 1. I retired my ~15 year old Gmail account and registered with Fastmail

I'm looking to switch my email. Any thoughts on Fastmail vs ProtonMail? Do you feel secure with Fastmail?

Assuming you're looking at paid services, I wouldn't recommend either of them as the first choice. Take a look at Posteo.de, Runbox, Mailfence and Mailbox.org before you decide. At least browse through their websites and see what they offer. All these services are a lot cheaper than Fastmail or Protonmail (more so if you need multiple mailboxes, not just aliases). All of them offer IMAP access on all platforms, which isn't available directly in ProtonMail and requires a "bridge" application to be installed and setup on computers.

I think it’s mostly a matter of who you trust. For me the deciding factor was mostly that I trust the EU/Swiss authorities to spy responsibly more than the US ones.

If it’s just about privacy from Google reading your email, both work equally well.

I had the opposite experience. I felt like the results were finally relevant to the search term again, instead of relevant to whatever Google thinks I like to see.

if anyone can recommend a replacement for google scholar then I'm pretty much set. it's hard to give up youtube still cause so much content is on it e.g. lectures.

Unfortunately, I don't know any replacement for any of the features of Google Scholar.[1] I usually access YouTube via NewPipe[2] on mobile, and youtube-dl[3] elsewhere (and there's a GUI version of youtube-dl[4], though the command-line version is really easy to use).

[1] Although, given that it's useful, I expect Google will probably shut it down within the next 5-10 years.

[2] https://newpipe.schabi.org/

[3] https://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/

[4] https://mrs0m30n3.github.io/youtube-dl-gui/

If you were to page down a few comments you would see reference to bangs in DDG. To search for results in google scholar you would use:

!gsc enter topic you're interested in

With Google analytics installed everywhere, half the world still using gmail, and various browser fingerprinting techniques, is it really effective ?

DDG is arguably worse than Google. Can you estimate what year of google search is DDG equal to in terms of search quality? Eg. Is DDG2018=Google2012?

I really prefer Searx[1] to DDG. It has a not dissimilar feature set to DDG (and you can even use it to search DDG). I've been using various public instances[2] of Searx for a while. And it's free/open, licensed as AGPLv3+[3].

[1] https://asciimoo.github.io/searx/ [2] https://github.com/asciimoo/searx/wiki/Searx-instances [3] https://github.com/asciimoo/searx/blob/master/LICENSE

With !sp you get startpage search results, google search under the hood.

Nit: “tengo dolor el estomago” does not read like valid spanish to me (pero no soy hablante nativo)

Edited the "el" to "de" :)

DDG gives pretty decent results. I search a lot, across various topics and interests, and DDG has never failed me.

The average tech person has been switching away from Google products, and this filters down to their social networks, and then their networks, and so on. It's a big deal when the tech people decide to switch.

For me, it was Chrome making me log-in to my account. Now I use Firefox, DDG, ublock, privacy badger, etc. I think society writ large will begin to take privacy more seriously in the coming years.

Edit FYI: If you want google results, add '!g' to the end of a DDG query and it will route to google. I use it sometimes, but not that often given that DDG is usually good.

> The average tech person has been switching away from Google products

I would like to see something to back that up. HN is not "the average tech person" and even here I have the feeling there are a few people who decided to die on the anti Google hill but it's nowhere near the foregone conclusion you state. A few problems: Firefox wiped the extensions store clean less than a year ago and the long tail didn't, couldn't recover yet. If you are any sort of consultant, Google Docs invitations are par for the course. I might be missing something but Google Mail is still the only mail application with labels instead of folders. A simple and cheap Gsuite subscription gives you infinite storage.

Yep, Docs is going to be a tough nut to crack. I use DDG for search, but Docs [/Sheets, etc] is hard to get away from in business. [Sorta like Office was 20 years ago, I guess]

My kids use G Suite in school but I have never seen anyone in business use it. Office (and more specifically, Office 365) are very prevalent still.

I know a lot of small companies (including mine) use it a lot.

Nextcloud + Collabora is a pretty nice alternative and good enough to meet my needs.

Not sure if the average tech person is switching (from what I see in my environment) or if it's the vocal minority on HN. I'm happy for their success although the number is still not very significant

If it helps offset the echo chamber, I’ve been much happier with Google search than DDG (after setting it as my provider for a year). I’ve got no plans to move away from Google services, because I don’t think they actually pose some huge moral or privacy threat.

Famous last words ;)

I've been exactly where you are until very recently... It might be a general cynicism towards the world at large recently, but I've found myself finally honestly considering that Google might do some actual evil, and if they really wanted to it could get ugly... Removing "don't do evil" from their company motto may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy?

It wasn't removed, it was just moved to the concluding sentence. https://abc.xyz/investor/other/google-code-of-conduct.html

There's all kinds of awesome 'bangs'. I realized it's actually easier to use the variety of google/bing search engines from ddg.

google scholar: !gsc

google images: !gi

bing: !b

Bing should have been !bing and !b should have been reserved from something more useful, like butternut squash recipes.

Not only is this funny, it's very true.

I work in IT, and even the most computer illiterate people generally can't get tricked into using Bing.

Bing's video search is actually surprisingly good. Some of my friends have told me that it's a lot better for porn than Google.

That's the only (positive) thing I ever hear about Bing.

Wait until you go to China and you will love Bing. That is unless you enjoy turning on and off VPNs

..except by putting a privacy skin around it

You can make your own and submit them too. It's all written in gasp PERL.

!pw generates password :)

I was curious what type of hash I would get and !pw took me to pricewatch.com. What am I missing here?

It seems you just need to say 'strong password' now.

Edit: their tweet to announce https://mobile.twitter.com/duckduckgo/status/827516489251041...

I find it easier to create keyword searches in Firefox

My favorites:

etymology dictionary: !etym

encyclopedia of integer sequences: !oeis

There is even !hn

mdn: !mdn

wikipedia: !wiki

django: !django

python: !py

All sorts of them for your average developer.

Wikipedia is also just !w

!wikt is also very useful for wiktionary

or even !wt

Google isnt even a good search engine any more. I tried finding my friends website, www.catbartlett.com.au, with the terms "Freelance graphic designer Cat Bartlett Perth Western Australia" - pretty specific, but the first page is nothing but LinkedIn profile links and random mentions of her in testimonials. If it takes thousands of $$ in SEO to get found, how is that a useful search engine? We might as well go back to human-submitted catalogues.

I think the Google vision is to become internet gatekeepers, not to be a useful tool for finding things. That's why they need to die.

This is most likely a WiX configuration issue. The HTML source for https://www.catbartlett.com.au/ contains

  <meta name="robots" content="noindex"/>
Maybe try https://support.wix.com/en/article/enabling-search-engines-e... ?

The website also gets a 0/100 pagescore [1] because of "noindex". Plus the <title> tag has a single word "design"...nothing about the contents of the site. It only's mention of "Cat Bartlett Graphic Design" 1x and is in an <h5> tag halfway down the page (not repeat anywhere nor in an H1 tag.

No wonder google can't find it. This is SEO 101 that Google will tell you how to fix for free.

[1] https://sitechecker.pro/seo-report/https://www.catbartlett.c...

Ironically for a site seemingly dedicated to checking other sites, it's unusable on mobile (especially after the over-wide and unscrollable "create an account" modal takes over)

On google mobile is actually a factor in page ranking, if you're not mobile friendly you won't rank. Obviously this person needs some help w/ their website, if they were on wordpress with a good mobile theme, and good page load they'd definitely be ranked first for that serp.

I have to doubt that this is a problem with Google. Either your friend's website was just launched (and not yet indexed), or your friend's site seems to have unusually bad SEO and configuration. Doing a Google search just for the URL brings up no results for the actual site -- though it does bring up all of your friend's social media sites:


I don't think the problem is with Google. I think the problem is how the site is set up. I hope this is not something particular to Wix sites:


I agree. Searching those exact terms on DDG does not yield the desired site on the first 3 pages (I gave up searching after that).

Am I the only one that finds that the DDG’s bang commands actually make DuckDuckGo more useable than google, even for googles own products? E.g. it’s faster to type in a location and append !gm after (which will cause DuckDuckGo to redirect immediately to searching within google maps itself) than it is to click around on google to bring the maps up? (Likewise for google express !ge google images !gi and especially YouTube !yt)

My only wish would be some way to customize them and add new ones as they almost make web browsing into using a command line (and what that would be like with aliases and adding scripts to PATH).

I just use Chrome's address bar. "map<TAB>" enters a maps-only search. Same for "you<TAB>" for youtube, etc.

On mobile that's not possible though. !gi for image search is one I use often on mobile.

But otherwise that's very true, I also use desktop Chrome's search engines as a keyword system (typing "ny" to launch https://nytimes.com), regardless if the URL actually includes a search query.

ffx also has this feature, you can right click in a search field and 'add keyword'. i distinctly remember thinking 'this would be a really cool feature' maybe 10 years ago and discovering that it was already there.

I use ddg but don't use bangs. Instead I have 'map' and 'wiki' set up as keyword searches in Firefox. Then all I have to type is 'map London' to search Google Maps for London.

Just right click in a search box and you will see an 'Add a keyword for this search' option.

Does anyone know of a recent-ish description of the DDG infrastructure? Only posts I can find are 5 or 6 years old.

I would be interested in this as well.

So is privacy at last becoming mainstream? I look forward to the end of people saying "nobody cares about privacy".

Some of my friends, who aren't in tech nor are privacy-inclined, were shocked to receive an alert that data on them had been exposed in a data breach.

The data had been collected by a third-party without their consent!

Not long after, the dataset became available and now it is one of the top result when you type their names in Google.

While the data isn't embarrassing, it includes some personal stuff they wanted to keep private.

That they had not even consented into giving that data made them feel violated. And truth is, that happens everyday. Which made me think that privacy is truly a consent issue at heart.

Now for a "fun" exercise, imagine how many CRMs out there run on insecure machines and what are the odds that there's someone incompetent enough to leave these databases publicly exposed and not password protected. IMO, it's extremely likely.

Well, they have very strong opinions on privacy now. I guess that's the only way people will care, sadly.

I don’t really care about privacy on my internet searches, but google isn’t what it once was.

It’s not uncommon that I have to go to the second or third page of results, or even refine my query and then go to the second or third page of results to find what I’m looking for.

If I set search filters to the last 24 hours, and search for an event, like the recent hurricane. Half the results that pop up lead to spam sites.

Google wasn’t like that before. Until last year, I don’t think I’d ever visited the second page of search results on google, unless I was searching for something really obscure or niche.

If DDG wasn’t terrible for non English searching, I’d use it exclusively. Not because of privacy, but because Google really sucks these days.

For E-mail I switched to Runbox.com, this was partly because of privacy, but it was primarily because the new gmail client kind of sucks in safari/Firefox, and despite invading my privacy, those 2-3 advertisement-pretend-to-be-real-mail-annoyances they put on top of your inbox, never actually advertise anything I’m even remotely interested in, unless I’ve already bought it.

It’s been much longer, but my first smartphone was an android. When it got ridiculously slow after two years, even when rooted and fresh installed, I got angry and bought an iPhone. I’ll never own an android device again, this is also partly because of privacy (I’d want the play store) but it’s mainly because of useability.

I’m happy people are taking privacy more serious, I should too, but my main reason for not chosing google products, is that they’ve become inferior. I mean, I think google maps is the real test on whether or not you care about privacy. OSM and Apple maps aren’t terrible, but I think most people still use google maps even though it’s arguably one of the most privacy intrusive things you’ll ever use.

I do use DDG a lot, but I still have to resort to GG almost 50% of my search when I don't get meaningful results. So I think there is still a lot of work to do before someone can really fully migrate to DDG. My 50c.

The number is still very low - I'm probably responsible for 30 of those searches myself, so at most there are a million like me.

As long as they're getting enough traffic to survive and grow it's a good thing, though. They just have to exist and have enough mindshare that when Google hits their major stumble, that media story that terrifies the general public, that public will know they have the alternative and take it.

Search isn't facebook; if it weren't for Google's manipulation of its monopoly power, there'd be absolutely no friction in switching search.

That saying does seem to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, so I look forward in the same way.

I predict that a large swath of the population still won't care much about privacy, or at least take action to protect theirs, but I'm seeing an awakening of people coming to realize how dangerous big tech can become. What's funny to me is if Google wasn't so brazen in ditching their old "don't be evil" pretense, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion as often as we are.

Yeah I think this is the key, privacy online is very abstract. But the sentiment of a large, evil corporation out to get you is somehow less abstract.

I think people in tech underestimate how much normal people care. Maybe it is because tech people mix with the sort of tech-crazed consumerist who is more likely than most to swallow the kool-aid and disregard privacy concerns. In my personal life I have been surprised many times by how privacy conscious normal people are.

Just today my wife's "friend" tagged her in a photo without asking. Public photo with face and location and full name. The post is available to public as well. So who cares about privacy once again?

The concept or actual privacy? The concept will inevitably become more well-known if the actuality is becoming so obviously not private (which it is).

I switched earlier this year. It takes some time to get used to it. I used to !g often. It doesn't feel as intuitive at knowing what you are looking like Google. Addresses and map integration is not that good either and does not come even close to Google. It is a good enough. I have their app on my phone as my search tool, which I miss Google maps more often.

Try using "!s", which sends you to Startpage, a search engine with Google search results but which promises privacy.

(I don't know much more about Startpage, and in many discussions about DDG I ask if anyone knows more, but no luck so far.)

My only encounter with Startpage was when it mysteriously showed up on my parents' computer as a self-resetting default and I had to clean it off for them. If Startpage is legit, they need to maintain much better control of their affiliate campaign to prevent the use of malware to drive affiliate revenue.

!gm <address> will push you back to google maps if you need it!

!maps also works for google maps, !osm will use OpenStreetMap instead.

just !m works actually (same with !i for google images and !n for google news)

I use DuckDuckGo as my default. The only time I ever have to revert to Google search is when I'm searching for things indexed within the past year. This is a pretty crucial feature when searching for technical items (ensures a good number of search results while also being relatively current). For some reason, DDG only lets you search up to the last month. If they added the ability to search within the past year, I probably wouldn't need to use Google search at all.

I've found that Google is better when you're doing research and your net is wide (e.g., rectal cancer incidence in Hispanics). Searching for specific and/or popular things works great on DuckDuckGo.

Definitely. When you search for technical stuff or specific things that you are not sure what you are looking, Google results is better. but as a day to day quick searches DDG does a good job. I hope as they increase revenue they get better.

I had no idea how good ddg had gotten these days. Being from NZ, I thought I'd give it a good challenge. I entered !maori love, thinking it was impossible it would have a bang pattern for that, and it automatically brought me here https://maoridictionary.co.nz/search?idiom=&phrase=&proverb=....

The !bangs aren't too hard to implement. It's basically just a very large config file. You can see that in our code: https://github.com/jivesearch/jivesearch. I run the project, btw. And, yes, we have that same !bang as well as all of DDG's !bangs.

Using it as my default on my personal gadgets. Practically the same as Google for generic searches.

I haven't been so lucky, maybe that's because of searches in the UK ?

Google manages to find more locally relevant information (the most annoying one is the stuff from amazon.com instead of amazon.co.uk). You can easily turn "UK search" in DDG, but when you do it, but in turn that's less relevant for technical search.

Probably will wait a few more months to give it another go.

Yes, it's not good for the use case you described. That's what I intended to say with my comment on "generic searches". If you are looking for something very specific like a piece of code that resolves your OOM error or a uk seller of a xkcd hoodie then it's better to add !g to your search.

If it doesn't work the !s bang command can search with Startpage (proxied Google search)

Even !g does some masking for you, although you still wind up on google.com

I installed a DDG Chrome extension and said I'd try it for a week.

That was a month ago. Haven't found a need to switch to Google yet.

Same here, and I had done this same experiment last year and switched back quickly. DDG is better than google often, I find relevant things quickly. For most of my searches it takes the cake, Google has a heads up on relevant recent (last hour) sort of info at the moment

I'm curious to know if DuckDuckGo promotes itself using privacy-invasive platforms. How much do they truly value privacy if they're willing to let others invade for them?

Reason I ask is because strangely enough, after reading this article, I hopped on Reddit and saw a promoted ad for DuckDuckGo. That can't have been a coincidence...

This is still very slow growth, 30M is still less than 1% of the amount of searches Google gets in a day.

If you add in the searches you don't see, i.e. those little titbits of travel and other information Google decides to search for you without you even asking, then the DDG search volume is really small.

Has anyone here tried 'Ecosia', the save-the-planet search engine that gives you 'Bing!' results? They don't exactly advertise where their search results come from. I wonder how their share of the search engine pie compares to DDG given that 'Ecosia' do advertise whereas DDG don't.

A search engine that has nothing more to offer than "privacy" isn't really worth my time.

Whenever I use DDG I get inferior search results. If privacy is your concern with Google use Startpage. That Bing/Yahoo mashup that DDG want to sell simply doesn't cut it for me (or any of my friends/colleagues).

You are not concerned with privacy, obviously. What’s your name, address, favorite food, latest medical issue?

That's not at all what I wrote.

But I believe you fail to see that this is just like watching somebody throw trash at a neighbor lawn and then go on thinking, well they did not do it in my lawn.

At this point, everybody knows that the data mining operations run by Google and Facebook are detrimental to society as a whole for a lot of reasons, but more importantly because they represent a big brother operation without having elected officials.

What is going on with Android nowadays is beyond comprehension in the privacy aspect. Unless you go really technical, it is incredible the amount of apps that will fetch your contact list, location, phone number, etc. The fact that the apps do not work if you do not consent to some of that stuff brings into question some of these business models.

At a 50% growth rate, it would take DDG 12 years to surpass Google's 2015 volume of 3 billion searches, correct?

Not that DDG has to catch up to google to be a success. But it's interesting to consider the scale.

The cynical side of me wonders how long DDG will continue before they sell out. You can only live so long off of angel investors and random grants. Some organizations have been able to survive (wikipedia) this way, but it's definitely not easy.

I believe they have revenue through ads. Don't know if they're profitable or not, my guess would be no.

The main reason I use DuckDuckGo is when I want to search for more controversial topics that Google decides to filter how they want.

When I search on DuckDuckGo I know I'm not having that filter imposed on me.

What kinds of searches are you referring to? I would guess DDG has the same legal requirements as Google. And do they not also filter violent hate groups and similar things?

many examples but non-illegal sites like antipolygraph.org

The only place I still use google on is my phone because I haven't care enough to change the default browser. Even on desktop when I don't find what I want from DuckDuckGo I find myself using !b (bing) instead of !g (google)

On mobile it's another story. The intrusive ads from content creators (think auto playing video, full screen popup, etc.) ruin the experience and it's easier to just look at the google-provided snippets and stop visiting these sites altogether

I think a mobile browser that basically puts everything in a Reader-mode style format all the time, would be truly awesome.

The web is an absolute mess. I don't even like browsing stuff anymore because I know i'm going to be overwhelmed by horrible heavy designs, endless external scripts, autoplay video on every news site, and more ads than content.

I use adblockers, no-script (on desktop), etc, but there's definitely a market for browsers that take this on and give us a cleaner experience akin to the old-web.

Can anyone comment on the security of StartPage/IxQuick?

As far as I know, they proxy Google results and avoid storing them in the browser via either a URL rewrite or a POST call. I find Google to return superior search data than DDG, particularly if it's not giving you recommended or personally ranked results (that alone makes it feel worthwhile to switch to SP/IxQuick). But it kind of feels like a free lunch.

Beyond what you pointed out, it's hard to really know what's going on with something closed source. Disclosure: I run jivesearch.com (basically, an open source version of DDG). FYI, we've got an open issue on GitHub to add POST requests in addition to a proxy.

This is great, and congrats! I have also moved away from a google eyes.

Just for comparison though, Google is serving about 3.5 billion searches a day.

One thing I was surprised about DDG was that most of their code is written in Perl. Curious how well this will actually scale.

This metric is meaningless, for all we know DDG could have become less helpful and people have to rephrase their queries more often than before.

EDIT: I'm not saying that is the case, but I hope that this example illustrates why this metrics is not a good substitute for standard metrics like DAU, MAU, revenue.

>EDIT: I'm not saying that is the case, but I hope that this example illustrates why this metrics is not a good substitute for standard metrics like DAU, MAU, revenue.

You made a comment stating "This metric is meaningless". You are not being downvoted because we misunderstood - you're being downvoted because you are wrong.

There were no downvotes when I made the edit.

> There were no downvotes when I made the edit.

I doubt that. I replied very shortly after, and it was displayed in grey as downvoted comments are.

If the results were less helpful than people would stop using it

I can vouch for that. We recently made a big improvement to our search results at Jive Search and have seen better traffic. People will set it as their default more if it's better.

A big part of this is probably Brave. I wasn't using DDG on mobile until I replaced Chrome with Brave (and I love Brave).

i really want to switch to ddg, but despite seeing many comments to the contrary, the results for a lot of searches i do have noticeably inferior results. i know i shouldn't expect the world and i'll likely gradually switch, but google can be exceptionally useful for eg open-ended questions phrased in natural language.

Honest questions:

1) isn't it somewhat unlawful these days not to log anything on the people that are using your website? I'm all in favor of DDG, but can't they be liable if it would ever come up someone build and detonated bomb thanks to finding info via their search engine?

2) How do we know they haven't been served with NSL ? With NSA capable of breaking SSL, how do we know using DDG != using Google ?

1. No, services in the US like DDG largely aren't liable for what users post (or do) on their sites, mostly because of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 [0].

2. We don't know they haven't been served with a national security letter. DDG's protection scope doesn't cover you needing protection from the government, though. So we know using DDG != Google because that's the surveillance threat vector they're concerned with: literally not being Google (which they aren't).

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Decency_Act#Sec...

1: I'm certainly no expert on anything remotely law-related, but Google would be in a lot of trouble constantly if they were liable for the real life actions of their users, especially since Google doesn't host the information, they only link to it. The same would apply to DuckDuckGo.

2: Of course nation-state level attacks are going to be an issue for a very limited number of users. Regardless, the privacy benefits from using DDG are still significant, even if it's not a silver bullet.

is it possible to get personalized search results when using duck duck go?

The whole point of DDG is that they don’t personalize results.

I would love to try out a search engine that would be able to offer personalised results while still being relatively private. Otherwise the feeling I get from DDG is a step back both in user experience, and from a general tech point of view.

You can set a default region, but nothing more personal that affects search results.


Add reverse image search and I'm there.

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