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I started using DDG as my default search engine about 6 months ago, and for 95% of the searches I do it's totally fine.

I don't know why people think that DDG needs to "stop" Google; did people think that Lycos and Infoseek and Yahoo couldn't coexist back in the 90's? I think it's good that both companies have some competition from each other.




history has mostly shown a zero-sum game when it comes to search. Didn’t all of those other search engines you listed die off? Even Bing has been mostly irrelevant in comparison to Google. Also a lot of DDG users came over because they were unhappy with some of Google’s practices. Therefore it’s natural for them to want to justify their decision as a good choice by hoping the rest of the world comes to the same conclusion.

I tried DDG, it worked good but Google is better. I can’t afford to spend cycles wondering what Google would have returned when I’m trying to research something while I code.


Oh, I'm not disputing that the world tends to converge on a brands, but I'm trying to say that that doesn't have to be the case; both Coke and Pepsi can coexist, as can Lysol and Clorox. When I eat at McDonalds, I never have the mentality of "by eating here, I'm stopping Burger King".

At this point I've found DDG to be comparable to Google, but occasionally I have to do the !g to find what I'm looking for.


With fast food or soft drink brands, the differences are minor taste based things and quite frankly one or the other doesn't matter much. It's easy to compare at different times and decide on your own tastes and efficiency factors. The problem is with search engines, quality of results makes a big difference in how your time is spent and it's trivial to check what the competition has on offer - almost every time I would run a query on DDG I would find myself going "huh, I wonder if Google would have done better".

You don't go "wow, that burger sucked, I'll go get the competitors now", you're already satiated enough with your crappy burger. Because it's easy and cheap to run a query, you're almost forced to check.

Given how much better Google often does, running my queries on DDG in the first place is generally a waste of my time.


You can get anonymized Google results on DDG by prefixing the search with "!g"

https://duckduckgo.com/bang


I think the choice is "!s" which redirects you to startpage.com, which is anonymised Google.


I don't think those results are anonymized. You're just being redirected to Google.


It used to redirect to encrypted.google.com, which DDG said Google didn’t track, but that changed/went away.


> history has mostly shown a zero-sum game when it comes to search. Didn’t all of those other search engines you listed die off? Even Bing has been mostly irrelevant in comparison to Google. Also a lot of DDG users came over because they were unhappy with some of Google’s practices. Therefore it’s natural for them to want to justify their decision as a good choice by hoping the rest of the world comes to the same conclusion.

What does that imply about sustainability of free market capitalism?

After all, all market benefits and dynamics die off if people on the market are unable to exercise choice.


It says that capitalism fails without anti-trust enforcement. This has been known for a long time.


But... it's... just Bing with federated search redirectors? Is that truly competitive? Any of the search companies could implement the same overnight if users were clamoring for it.


I'm more than happy if Google continues to exist and I have an acceptable alternative for my own use.


I've used DDG for about four years but not really to do DDG searches. I use its "!" prefixes so that I can do something similar to chrome's omnibox search with different engines in other browsers without thinking about it. Its muscle memory now for me to !g, !w, or !a whenever I need to search a specific site for something.


Just curious, what would you say the majority of your searches are category wise? Do you use it for a lot of local searches (finding restaurants) or more for tech/programming?

Seems like everyone’s has a different experience with DDG. But it’s sounds like it’s better in some categories than other stuff.


DDG = Bing for most of the queries in US. You are basically using bing and 95% of the time and happy with it. Good I guess.



Any breakdown of which source is used for which percentage of queries? No.


And what's your point, exactly? You aren't tracked by Bing because they are proxying. DDG gets ad revenue (who cares that they are Bing ads?) which pays for this service. If the results are good, what do you care?


Sure, I don't want to use bing behind a proxy, a lot of people here is acting as if it is something else. They are acting as if it is something else. You like it? Use it.


I don't know your intent but the link basically confirms that it's all Bing and Oath.

> We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we also source from a variety of partners, including Oath (formerly Yahoo) and Bing.


Without the personal information being recorded and sold.

Kind of goes to show that the personal information we are giving away may not be that important when it comes to finding what we need, even as it makes us a bigger and juicier target for ads.


Yet still it is Bing search + Bing ads.


DuckDuckGo do have their own crawler, how much it’s used I don’t know.


My guess, <1%. I would be happy to be refuted with real data. Creating and maintaining a global scale high quality search engine requires a huge team with billion dollar level resources. They have neither, for now.


If you want to know how much of a real, self-sufficient search engine it is, just look at the hardware footprint. You need a lot of computing and storage just for the crawling and indexing (webspam included), let alone the serving.


Expressing cynicism and demanding to be proven wrong is not an effective argument strategy.

If your goal is to convince others, you should collect the data yourself and share it with them.


Apparently they only use this data for simple question and answer queries, because they do not disclose breakdown of query types i can not certainly know the numbers, and i made an optimistic guess. Also i don't think my points regarding building a real search engine were unfair. Do you disagree with any of these? I express cynicism because of lack on transparency on their side.


Gabriel Weinberg's email is public; you could probably just email him and ask.


Even though a lot of the indexing data is from Bing, doesn't DDG do extra stuff to guarantee privacy?

I don't particularly care who is giving me the data as long as the results tend to be OK; I don't run any MS crap at home but if their search service tends to work alright, then power to them.


Sure, but in my eyes this makes them a proxy, not a search engine.It is nice to have alternatives, but it looks at the moment they are at the mercy of Bing. Maybe one day they will evolve and become an actual search engine. who knows.


I've heard that a few times on DDG-related articles this past week but I was under the impression that the duck had its own crawlers and used Bing on top of that to complete its results. Do they really solely proxy Bing results?


Yes, they have their own crawler but it's only used for widget stuff like Instant Answers.

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


Mostly Bing for any non trivial query. As far as I see, they never give actual numbers / breakdown and try hard to divert attention from this. If they do i would love to know.


95% just isn't good enough.


Search result quality is not a clear-cut issue. In my experience DDG/Bing even yield subjectively better results sometimes.


Same, there's some personal preference too. I don't always want to be shoved into the extreme bubble that Google builds for people.

DDG is much better for searches that I don't want personalized results for.


Given that google also fails to give me the result I want at least 5% of the time, I guess nothing is good enough.


It's good enough 95% of the time.

There is nothing stopping you from falling back to google that 5% of the time.


Or just continue to use Google and get better results every time.


95% is typically fine for me; I typically do the !g or !s thing when I don't get an answer quick enough. It is pretty rare that I don't find an answer after that.


Sure it is. For the other 5%, you can spend an extra 3 seconds searching again on Google, if you really need to.




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