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I'm on my second attempt to use DDG instead of Google. As time goes on, my percentage of searches I use google for ticks higher and higher. I'm starting to intuitively recognize when search results will be garbage with DDG. It's tough because I really want to take back my privacy, but it seems that for 50% of searches, DDG just doesn't get me anywhere near what i'm looking for.

The other day I searched for the website to check a restaurant gift card balance. All of DDGs results were obvious scam webpages. I often search for ElasticSearch documentation. DDG always returns very old versions for these docs, while google returns the most recent version.






1. Hmm, I rarely switch back to Google, and the most recent time I did, it did not deliver better results. It might be that Google has so much information on you that it gives better results (while it, fortunately, has not much information on me, so it has to compete with DDG on an equal footing).

2. I don't use ElasticSearch, but I can tell you that searching the python docs is quite simple in DDG, just throw a !py3 in there to directly search the latest Python 3 docs. Apparently, there's a comparable bang for ElasticSearch, !elastic. But I don't know how well it works (and it's a bit long, really).


The joy to me of Google search is that I don't have to incant '!py3' - I just search, and the thing I'm looking for is usually in the top 3.

DDG is my default search engine, and I really want to use it for privacy reasons. However, I have developed a habit of querying with "!g" to switch the search over to Google.

This has happened because, firstly, I, too, can instantly recognise when results are garbage and so immediately type "!g". Secondly, I know when certain types of searches will be garbage - usually anything related to programming is useless using DDG. So, for work, my default search engine is just Google.

Sometimes, I just query with "!g" without even thinking about it, and at one point I realised I hadn't even been using DDG for several weeks except as a redirect.


DDG is my primary engine yet i bang Google probably 40 to 50 percent of the time to find what I’m looking for.

I look forward in time to not having to bang Google a lot and being able to find...

- Distance info.. how far a drive is X point to Y point. DDG doesn’t offer this capability yet and it’s something I do Very frequently.

- nearest Movie showtimes

- nearby concert listings for today, tomorrow, weekend

- flight info and links to purchase flights


Curious to know whether someone has made a website to compare DDG and Google search results side by side. Anyone on HN want to take up that challenge? This story is definitely not the first DDG against Google story in the last few months.

You could do it pretty trivially with a pair of iframes and a text input

EDIT: I tried to do just this, and both of them blocked it :(

  Refused to display 'https://www.google.com/?q=cheese' in a frame because it set 'X-Frame-Options' to 'sameorigin'.
  Refused to display 'https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cheese' in a frame because an ancestor violates the following Content Security Policy directive: "frame-ancestors 'self'".

Iframes are pretty much dead on the web for this reason. It's kinda lame, because it means the web platform is incapable of making a web browser, which is sort of the 'turing test' for a platform/programming language.

Not true - people have made browsers in Electron. The permission-denial above would have to be respected by the browser itself; it'd be easy to tell the server your iframe doesn't exist in a page from a different domain. The reason it exists at all, I'd assume, is for the security of the person using the browser. A malicious site could embed a legitimate site within itself, for purposes of misleading the user or scraping information. So if your app is using a highly-controlled iframe within itself, and it has the authority to overrule these blockers (which presumably Electron gives it), then you can do whatever you want.

Also FWIW, iframes can still be useful on the regular web for third-party widgets, as well as same-domain pages.


The fact you have to use Electron kind of makes my point...

If the web is a 'turing complete platform', then it should be possible to run a web browser in a web browser. So Chrome inside Chrome. That could be anywhere between the level of 'webassembly to run the whole thing', or it could be at the level of 'iframes give all the necessary functionality'. Today the first isn't viable because webpages can't make raw TCP sockets. The latter isn't viable because of the way sites can differentiate between iframes and the top level window.

If I have to use a fork/modified copy of Chrome for the outer copy with slightly different rules, then it isn't capable of implementing itself.

Imagine if gcc couldn't compile gcc - you needed to use a seperate compiler-compiler. It's the same thing.


DDG has a "retry search in Google" mode if you prefix !g to your search query.

I usually try in DDG first, and then in the small cases where it's not found, I just prefix "!g" and re-execute the query.


Even better is the !sp bang, which is for StartPage (a google search proxy). This way you can get the Google results and still retain some privacy from Google. I also use !w (wikipedia) and !so (stackoverflow) bangs regularly. Finally, the search doesn't have to be prefix with these bangs, it just needs in to be in the search somewhere - I find it quicker to just append it to the end personally.

Full list of supported bang queries: https://duckduckgo.com/bang


You can save one keystroke and type !s for Startpage.

I too just type the bang command somewhere, and usually it’s at the end of the search term or phrase.


Nice, thanks for pointing that out! It seems like a small think but typing !s only is more convenient.

I have all search keywords in Firefox be a letter followed by an exclamation mark due to this now, simple and no way for it to mess up searches.

I use this regularly, and still find it frustrating. It gets old fast to just keep trying a search in DDG only to find it not working and do it all over again with !g

Or suffix; actually anywhere

I've been using DDG for the past few years and I think I've lost my Google-fu. I used to be able to get the result I was after in a couple of searches with a few carefully chosen keywords. Now when I strike out on DDG and search Google, I get a bunch of popular stuff with similar words in it, rather than what I'm looking for. Whether that's my fault or Google's, I dunno.

It's worth remembering that the data Google collects does actually influence your searches; it might not be you per se.

I've had a similar experience. I stick with DDG anyway for personal stuff, but at work I still use Google because it affects my productivity.

Have you tried Jive Search? I run it and it's 100% open source. Would love your feedback.



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