If you were turned off by poor results in the past give them another try.
Examples of where Google search fails to return relevant results because they know better than you are medical, political, illicit/illegal, conspiracy theory, and famous people. Often times the first page of results don't contain the keywords and don't seem to have anything to do with your search query, whereas DDG results do.
What was the motive behind this change? Was the previous algorithm really giving people results so bad that Google felt they had to hamstring their flagship product? It seemed to be getting better and better until this...
For a while I personally experienced better results on the queries I didn't know the exact name of the thing I was searching for. But those days are gone, because nowadays their search is so fuzzy that it can't extract the correct context from those queries.
Not that your workflow is incorrect, I'm a DDG user and I do the same thing, but that's what Google wants people using their product to do.
Kidding. Anyway, DDG has been my default for months now. Absolutely love it.
The only thing I've really had to change, is to remember to type in a city/ state when looking for local businesses.
Other than that, it feels so great to not be the product!
Very tedious, especially given it's the current year.
I had a serious impression that 24 months ago Google was absurdly good. So good that I thought no DDG would ever be compared to it. It returned exactly what I wanted all the time with just 2 words in the query.
Today it doesn't ever return what I want, because it seems to ignore what I've searched for more and more. It thinks it knows what I meant more than I do and I can't tell it otherwise.
Possible I'm wrong though. Or could be the heuristics for how long you stay on the page are off. E.g., it can take me a while to realize that some GitHub issue page doesn't help me at all, and I click back, then find another page and get the answer immediately. But maybe Google thinks "well they spent a while on that page, they probably got something useful out of it even if it didn't totally answer their question".
I think this is very common for developers, but then again the amount of shitty SPA sites that don't work with tabs...
Even being right 99.9% of billions of queries means being wrong many times.
This calls for statistical analysis, not cherry picking examples or asymmetric sample like "given a bad result from X, Y does better."
This isn't just about certain cherry-picked examples.
One idea that I've had is building an extension that monitors Google searches and compares the results you click on to DDG. You could monitor which percentage of your chosen results appear on the first page of DDG. Maybe then I could actually quantify which queries are problematic.
My experience is precisely the other way around, but I've heard other devs say what you're saying.
I wonder what the difference between us is?
For example, a few days ago I searched for "react dnd expected to find a valid target" on Google, and the first result is a GitHub issue describing the issue. All the results on the first page are related to the react-dnd library. The first result for the same query on DDG is an article titled "11 Prison Truths, Revealed By A Female Guard". None of the results on the first page are programming related.
First result: https://github.com/react-dnd/react-dnd/issues/1127
Then a couple more from react-dnd's github, then the other seven on the first page are a mix of relevant SO, and github. Seems quite a few people have opened issues on that topic!
Maybe they fixed it. :)
All searches vary, but generalising DDG does disappear off into the silly and completely unrelated as you hit lower pages, rather than fading into "looks relevant but isn't" of Google. Pages 1 & 2 I find mostly on the money.
What has changed is when I !g out to Google I often don't find the results there either, so it's time to get creative with keywords, or try millionshort for blog hunting. A few years ago a !g felt like a much more reliable escape option. Which feels like a mix of DDG getting better so I'm probably escaping harder queries, and Google simply missing the mark more often.
I tried that same search query and the first result is https://github.com/react-dnd/react-dnd/issues/236
Strange that the first result you got does not appear at all in my first page of results, although I get plenty of other pages related to the same react issue (and neither do I use or search for react issues).
While I find that DDG is pretty good for anything work related (e.g. programming stuff), it’s mostly worthless for things like "best chinese food in [some neighborhood]" or "shop cord knit stockings"… ironically, exactly the kind of stuff I gravitate toward my phone for.
Google has Google Maps. That's why Google can find the best Chinese food in your neighborhood, it's learned to interpret that as a semi-map query right? They also have ads, which means cleaner data on who sells what right?
DDG to me seems to be great for when I need to search for keywords rather than a concept or multi-dimensional query for which DDG doesn't have the other n dimensions of source data.
Google is better for obscure topics that lack good keywords to find them by. I usually know when I need to '!g'.
I do have one nitpick though: I clear all private data, and recently I was forced to get along with 16 kbit bandwidth (yes, slower than 56K, and yes, I spent a lot of time on HN for obvious reasons), and DDG definitely loads more data than Google for a query. Google needed maybe 20 seconds to load a page, DDG IIRC just timed out after some point. I'm guessing it's JS-frameworks?
They're only really worse at localized results for me (Swedish).
There's more info about our business model here:
Disclaimer: DuckDuckGo staff
!etym Online etymological dictionary
!ngram Google Ngram viewer
!trends Google Trends
!gbooks Google Books
!scholar Google Scholar
!tineye Image match search
!so stack overflow
!hn Hacker News
!thread Threadreader App, Twitter thread presentation, preferred to above ;-)
!img Image search (now DDG, Google Image is !gimg)
!worldcat Worldcat union catalog
!osm Open Streetmap
!wayback Internet Archive Wayback Machine
!archive Internet Archive global (non-Web + web) search
!dict & !define Word look-ups
!s startpage (proxied Google search)
!bangs will give you a list of bangs / search form for patterns.
!maps google maps
!mwt merriam-webster thesaurus
!images ddg images
Even though I only regularly use these few I find them very useful.
This seems to be a Google-specific problem.
Example that I just double-checked: (I don't claim any political views here; JUST an example)
Reddit's largest subreddit for a political candidate is r/The_Donald. Objectively, a rather popular site.
Google (with or without SafeSearch) returns zero results for "Reddit The_Donald" linking to the subreddit.  It's only results are indirect discussions about the subreddit.
Whereas DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Yahoo show the subreddit itself as the very first result.    (https://np.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/ which is Reddit's public non-logged in site.)
So Google won't display a high-traffic site. I can only assume they find the content objectionable and so will not link directly to it. I understand how some may want that, but that's not a simply not a service I want my search engine to perform, especially when SafeSearch is disabled.
Also, np.reddit.com seems to be excluded from all search engines: https://np.reddit.com/robots.txt.
I'm not sure why Bing is ignoring both the robots.txt and the "noindex" metatag.
Google indexes it perfectly. 
It can get pretty frustrating to rank #1 or #2 for a query, and not rank at all for a slightly different, higher-traffic query, like using the plural, a hyphen, different capitalization, or an article.
r/ChapoTrapHouse is a left-leaning political subreddit (and in the interest of true apples-to-apples comparison, also has a content warning by Reddit like the earlier example).
"Reddit ChapoTrapHouse" has top results for www. or np. from all search engines.
* Google: https://www.reddit.com/r/ChapoTrapHouse/ 
* DuckDuckGo: https://np.reddit.com/r/ChapoTrapHouse/ 
* Bing: https://np.reddit.com/r/ChapoTrapHouse/ 
* Yahoo: https://np.reddit.com/r/ChapoTrapHouse/ 
I'd love a simpler explanation than "Google being politically biased Big Brother", but I can't see one.
np.reddit.com stands for "no participation". np.reddit.com disables comment and voting. It's intended so that links to niche subreddits from popular subreddits like /r/BestOf don't result in a flood of outsider activity that disrupts the niche subreddit.
Somehow moderators decided to start using it for "no participation", and many subreddits use custom CSS to disable commenting and voting on np.reddit.com/r/whatever. But np.reddit.com with custom styles off works just like normal reddit.
I'm sure Nepal is very offended.
If you search "news" on Google, the 2nd result is Fox News (first being Google News). Half the suggested articles by Google on my phone are from Fox News, even though I've never clicked on any article from there. I do not use that to conclude that Google is politically biased.
Whether or not you are logged into Reddit, the first page of Google results (and I suspect the rest of them) don't display the actual link to the /r/The_Donald subreddit. It _does_ link to a bunch of articles about how the sub was quarantined, and the first result (for me) is a wikipedia page.
Google's bias has gotten especially noticeable this past year.
Makes you think why they present Google as compromising your privacy, but they're dead-silent when it comes to Microsoft. Or Yandex, their other search partner.
It's not about search engines seeing search requests, it's about tying them to particular people.
It really boils down to this: Can you trust a small company that chooses to grow via smearing campaigns, provides sub-par results, and _claims_ that it protects your data while sometimes feeding your queries off-shore, or the tech leader that tells you exactly what it knows about you, allows you to search privately and is widely believed to be the best search offering ?
However, I will say that I don't see a hell of a lot of point in playing more-contrarian-than-thou on this topic. If DDG put its entire staff onto full time evil, they still could not, in my personal opinion, match Google. Contrarianess may feel good and be fun in internet posts, but it's no way to actually make decisions.
But don't let facts get in the way of your "makes you think" theories.
10 first links from Bing:
10 first links from ddg:
So if it's a query with a lot of temporal churn in the results, it's easy to be confused.
Without realizing it there is a "how would this search/page visit etc. look on a tracked profile" process running in my head that is greatly reduced by DDG+Brave. A chilling effect not just on speech, but on browsing behavior that we have to counteract.
It sounds like you're just using Google without the branding/tracking.
I was using NoScript from 2010 until FireFox Quantum came out and broke things. Since then I've been on UBlock + UMatrix.
Agreed, seeing the internet without an ad blocker is a terrifying experience indeed.
2. You can easily ask DDG to show you country specific results by the switch on top, though (and you choose which country).
When I first read it I was expecting to see a list of the most frequently searched terms, which would be front and center in a Google report, but goes against everything DDG stands for. :)
I end up using both accordingly to the use case at hand.
I'm not saying it's realistic to maintain the growth rate, just want to get an intuition for what the current speed means.
In fact, for all we know, DDG might be owned by Google already.
I’d like to see DDG do some of its own indexing or perhaps indicate where results come from. Is this Bing? Is this Yahoo? Is there a percentage weight from both engines? This analysis would be cool.
DDG is still not a perfect replacement for Google for me, but it is a replacement most of the time, and it is my default search engine on browsers I use.
One feature I don’t have on DDG after all these years is limiting the search results to the past year. I go to Startpage whenever I need that.
They added it just recently. You can now limit the search results to the past year.
Google actually lost some share beginning August 2018, to Baidu.
I've been using DDG as my principle search since about 2013, and very happily. It's fast, relevant, bangs are awesome (see earlier comment), and there's now a "most recent year" date-range search, which is useful.
I still use Google when I'm interested in (rough) results counts, specific date ranges, or soem specialty searches such as Google Books or Scholar (though I'm finding alternatives).
I've not noticed a difference in result quality since the switch.
Lawnchair is great, I always forget it's even there.
I also swapped Chrome for Brave. Thank you, DDG.
Edit: Yeah, I found this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18734999
One day I just decided to switch to DuckDuckGo and give it a try for at least two months before giving up. And it turns out two months was enough to kill the bad habit. Also it turns out Google being the only good search engine is just a myth. I hope more users give it a try.
I sometimes use Google search for online shopping or as spell checker.
If you want to build your own engine, go ahead :)
I loathe Google!
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21332308 has more explanation.
> and want to move over and use one company's services I trust.
What do you think got you in this mess in the first place?
As for me here's the now expired NDA they had me sign; Google in 2013 just bought Motorola and they were working on the Moto X.
I don't lie! What do I get from telling people that Google kicked me in the face? Only thing I can do is tell my story in the hopes it helps out other little guy/girl inventors when Google comes knocking in terms of what they should do.
Please don't keep posting like this, or https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21315319, or https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21271732, etc.
Also, what do you call people who abuse their power like Harvey Weinstein?
If you want privacy use EU companies. If you don't want to use EU companies use Google since contrary to DDG they are heavily controlled by law. If you like the bangs of DDG use a native app like Albert or Alfred which is way more accessible anyway.
There is a HUGE difference between "we give your information to advertisers (or ourselves, if an advertiser)" and "we give your information to law enforcement when legally required."
"You are aware US/UK banks by definition cannot be secure regardless of what they say about themselves."
Yes, but it's a far cry from just leaving my cash on my doorstep.
Replace your checking account with Bitcoin if you want, but a bank offers enough security/privacy for most people.
> If you want privacy use EU companies.
The EU has gone back and forth on wanting to allow/forbid backdoors.
If your point was "US/UK companies in practice are not usually private", that is probably true.
As far as state surveillance goes, the EU is not a haven, the UK, despite being a member, is one of the worst offenders. Some European countries have relatively good surveillance laws, such as Iceland and Switzerland (neither being in the European Union).
I'm trying to search the web... from a web browser. I'd be interested to hear what EU-based search engines are out there that have privacy as one of their values.
Also if Google is heavily controlled by law, then what laws don't apply to DDG that would make me safer using Google?
One is for navigating apps, desktop and offline content. The other for discovering online content.
If the EU's privacy laws aren't sufficient in the UK I'm not sure why you think they are sufficient in the rest of the EU.