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I ditched Google for DuckDuckGo (wired.co.uk)
205 points by dsr12 7 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 122 comments

The problem is that a lot of what I search for isn’t boring and obvious: searching about quantitative finance, stack traces, economics, and some math equations or theorems. Of course there’s the common stuff as well: what movies to watch in a specific genre, video game reviews, etc. But while both ddg and google do a reasonable job on the latter, they both fail hard for the former, ddg more than google though:

ddg has never given me good results for technical topics. Google used to, but I feel like they changed something. Now google just regurgitates the same top sites over and over again, very rarely if ever displaying less popular sources like forums or a professor’s website or papers. In fact a lot of the time, google decides it wants to search for some other thing than I tell it because I must have made a mistake searching for something that not very many other people search for. IMO, the apex of google search was around 2010-2013.

Google loves to ignore search words nowadays. Even quotes won’t force it. Ugh.

At least they’ve added « Must Include » options sometimes.

All “must include” does is double quoting the word/phrase at question (and maybe turn off autocorrect).

I've never fully understood why Google hasn't provided an advanced search option. Even the most primitive library catalogs have one. Sure, there are a few options you can use, but they're extremely basic.

Is it because it would reveal key parts of the algorithm? Or is it a stance (i.e., a standard Google search ought to be enough for everybody)?.

There’s a decent amount of advanced search operators. Are you looking for something else? https://moz.com/learn/seo/search-operators

totally agreed. Most recently for me, I switched from VS Code to GoLand for Go development. Every search I do for learning how to use the ide gets butchered. "goland multiselect" (for example), Google auto-changes to "we searched for golang, did you mean goland?". Sigh. In any case, both search engines think I must want to do something with Grunt with that search, so maybe it is just me who does not know how to use search engines anymore.

I always include jetbrains or intellij in goland queries

Do you get results for goland? I don't have experience with it in particular, but to me it seems Google considers CLion, Rider and IDEA interchangeable.

That's a good idea because plenty of people just use Go plugin instead of dedicated IDE.

Have you tried Startpage? I've found results to be much more favourable

DDG needs more users to use it to give you better results. I’m afraid it will never become as good as Google if we all decide to not use it until it’s as good as Google.

I’m using DDG for more than a year now. Works well in most cases. Sometimes I have to use !g but that doesn’t stop me to use it.

I'm also having a lot more trouble getting good results from Google than I used to. Judicious use of quotes and other search modifiers are becoming a requirement. DDG is almost unusable for these topics. If I'm having to type !g for everything, I might as well stick with Google.

I get the best results by defaulting to google’s verbatim mode. Because it’s strict, you are more likely to find rarer pages.

That ddg doesn’t have a similar option makes it unusable. I suppose I could write a wrapper that puts every word in quotes...

Here’s one problem I have with DuckDuckGo.

I know DuckDuckGo have acquired the domain duck.com. Occasionally after an unfruitful Google search I would think, maybe I should give DDG a try. Since duck.com is easier to type than duckduckgo.com, I would visit duck.com. But duck.com would direct me to a stupid landing page that asks me to “Add DuckDuckGo to ...” or “Install DuckDuckGo” on iOS. There’s a teeny tiny “or try a private search first” line at the very bottom where I can click to reveal the search box. What the hell? The landing page makes me 300% more likely to just leave, instead of adding or installing it.

You can try it yourself: https://duck.com

(Btw, almost every time I land on Quora, that post by DDG CEO shows up as promoted. Kinda tired by now.)

Edit: To be fair to them, I noticed only just now that the box could be dismissed with a close button or clicking anywhere outside, so clicking on “or try a private search first” isn’t the only way. However, in my defense, the close button blends pretty well into the image, and being able to click outside is unclear since unlike modals elsewhere, there’s absolutely nothing behind.

I still fail to see why they have to hide the search box.

On their main site, start.duckduckgo.com will get rid of any of the "first time user" popups. They added it specifically to address the user concern of "I block cookies" users, who had no way to permanently turn off the messages.

I checked with start.duck.com and s.duck.com, and neither of them redirect properly. Seems like a semi-obvious oversight. If the popup is genuinely necessary, it would be nice to have a quick way to avoid it.

I still fail to understand why they cannot see why stopping people from doing what they surely came to the site for is a bad idea. The sizes of the things should be swapped: big search bar, tiny button on the bottom to install it in your favorite browser. But that’d just be their normal website…

It might be because I’ve already used DuckDuckGo on my browser and have turned off those things in the settings, but duck.com just redirects me to a clean DDG homepage.

Maybe it’s controlled by a cookie. On my tablet now so can’t verify, but I definitely still get that landing page even after using the site for quite some times (I didn’t look into settings).

It’s simply strange that they would try to coerce a first time visitor to install their app, and hide the search box behind some fine print.

Why not use ddg.gg? Even shorter.

“duck.com” is lower cognitive overhead to me than “ddg.gg”.

TIL. The point still stands.

Edit: Wow, this one downvoted to negative. Guess I pissed off a few true believers. You may argue why the point doesn’t stand, instead of just downvoting, or, say, giving me a helpful and condescending primer on switching search engine.

Anyway, I don’t harbor ill feelings toward DDG. I’m pointing this out because I think the dark pattern here will genuinely hurt adoption, even if to a minuscule extent.

Yes, I agree. They shouldn't force people to dismiss some popup.

That is an excellent and highly relevant gripe. I've submitted it to the DDG subreddit, which appears to be the principle mechanism for reaching DDG these days.


I switched to DuckDuckGo in my browsers, so now I just type search terms in the address bar. When I need non-personalized Google results I add "!s" at the end and DDG redirects me to Startpage. When I need personalized results I use "!g" instead. There are other operators (like !w for Wikipedia search), and you can add bang commands at the beginning like this: "s! search term" - or end like this: "search term !s"

None of this has to do with the complaint.

I know how to switch the default search engine, thank you.

Quite a lot of negative comments here.

I've been using DDG as my primary search engine for ages now - perhaps years now? It has been great - very refreshing, no filter bubble (that I can see).

I still end up doing !g maybe 3 or 4 times a week when struggling to find something, but often I can't find what I want on google either. On the whole, I generally really recommend it. I still use google as my primary at work and I cant say I notice the difference in the results quality (technical or region).

My main criticism is that the "products" search seems to basically be an "Amazon search" where as Google Shopping is actually quite useful when trying to find a retailer, and some of their search widget things (e.g. currency conversion) are pretty basic compared to the richer ones Google has.

Am I alone in that I don't speak of using a search engine as strictly binary behavior? Sure, I have long avoided using Google for the bulk of my search queries. I use Bing, DuckDuckGo, and others at times. But I still use Google for some queries, especially when I want information from the past 24 hours (limiting the search to updates from today), since it seems Google's indexers run more frequently.

So when people say they wholly moved from search engine A to B, I am suspicious. And when the counter-argument is, "but the problem is A is better than B on query X," I think, "of course, and you might keep using A for X, while using B for other things."

This isn't (yet?) your operating system or where you live. It's just a web site you are selecting in the moment to provide a service. You can use a different web site for much the same service the very next moment.

I personally just have bookmarks set up so that "b [query]" is a bing search, "d [query]" is a DDG search, and "g [query]" is a Google search. Further, "m [query]" searches MDN, "s [query]" searches SO, etc.

I don't care!

I've seen this in HN a million times before. Someone ditches Google or Facebook and proceed to tell you why they made that decision and how. I don't care!

This feels like the new Instagram food pics. I don't care!

But I feel alone here. Like how every time this same topic gets posted hundreds of comments validate it. Saying how this is too hard because Google is an evil monopoly or how it's not too hard because a random person also did it, and then proceeds to tell you a better way to ditch the evil corps. I don't care!

Am I crazy? Are all online communities destined to become an echo chamber pushing incessantly the same ideas and types of news?

At this point I wish I could drop Hacker News and replace with something less evil. Maybe I'll write an article on Wired when I do it.

I'm also frustrated with these threads and believe they violate HN's guidelines.

As per the guidelines, articles on-topic if they "gratify one's intellectual curiosity". [0] Yet these are so often rehashed arguments attached to a personal anecdote!

Personal stories of leaving Google search for DDG, Chrome for Brave, etc. are countless, and I can't see what ideas could be presented that are novel or stimulating.

The comments are always exactly the same as well!

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

I think that's being unfair and a rather misclassification of the HackerNews guidelines. I don't think this violates the guidelines at all, and I think it'd be very difficult, if not impossible, for you to prove that this post does not "gratify one's intellectual curiosity". This isn't merely a meme, it's a well reasoned and though out post. Personally I found it intellectually gratifying and I liked it.

See my comment about 20 minutes before yours:


HN is becoming an echo chamber of pro-DDG/anti-Google, which whatever, but these showing up on the front page almost every other day is starting to take a toll on the overall quality of the front page.

I’m not sure if the goal is to spread awareness, but not sure how effective that really is here (e.g. everyone here already hates Google).

> but these showing up on the front page almost every other day

Can you provide links to recent posts like these? If they show up "every other day" that should be fairly simple. Using the HackerNews search and looking for the term "duckduckgo" I only see 8 stories within the last week, only 1 having reached the frontpage (this one), and including this one, only 2 about switching to DDG and only 1 being somewhat critical of Google. My cursory search does not seem to agree with your statement.

I think this is something worth revisiting over time, because the process of untethering yourself from the big G can be fraught with complication.

I want to do it, I just don't want to go through the transition. Any article that gets me closer to that point is welcome to me.

If you truly don't care, simply move on to the next post.. There's bound to be quite a lot of content that you don't personally care about being posted. You can simply ignore it and move on.

People are starting to understand how Google and Facebook really work and spreading this knowledge is good for everybody including Google and Facebook. And I don't care that you don't care. Let people talk about what they care about.

So don't read the article.

People do care, hence the upvotes.

I want a browser extension (or native feature) that searches several engines at once and display's the results side-by-side. Sort of like this:

    | Search string                 |
    |         |          |          |
    | Bing    | DDG      | Google   |
    |         |          |          |
    | Hit 1   | Hit 1    | Hit 1    |
    |         |          |          |
    | Hit 2   | Hit 2    | Hit 2    |
    |         |          |          |
    | Hit 3   | Hit 3    | Hit 3    |
    |         |          |          |
And I want to be able to pull it up instantly with a keyboard shortcut.

The extension would need to be smart enough to de-duplicate hits across the different engines.

Finally, I really REALLY want to pay for the search engines themselves (make it a subscription at $50/m or something), because then I know their incentives are aligned with my needs rather than with their ad business's needs.

I don't think any of the search engines have search API's? Maybe they could make API access a paid feature.

Years ago, Microsoft built an internal site that showed Bing side-by-side with Google. Employees were encouraged to use it and report when Microsoft’s results were worse than Google’s. It got employees to actually use Bing, sent feedback to the team, and gave employees easy access to better search results when Microsoft’s didn’t suffice. It was pretty great.

Note: this was before Bing branding, but I forget the exact branding of the time.

Live Search? [1] I remember Microsoft heavily trying to build on this Live(.com) branding. Or was it still MSN Search?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bing_(search_engine)

I am self hosting searx, it is not exactly the same but it prioritize results found on most search engines, meaning that the paid results on google will sink if they werent paid also on ddg and bing (and others). It works great, I am using it exclusively for more than a year (I have do a redirection in my squid server from google to it, to avoid habbit of writting google.com as url), give it a try.

Completely googles for almost 5 years, android rom baked at home with microg, self hosted nextcloud, searx, mail server and squid doing permanent caching on cdns and removing all the tracking junk from pages.

A browser plugin could turn a search engine's UI into an API. Of course, the search engines would work against it, so you'd have to update the plugin regularly. It would be a bit like how YouTube-DL works but for search engines instead of videos.

Customise and selfhost Searx? A lot of work. But.

There are other reasons to switch:

- Google's blatant Youtube spam in search results. They no longer keep them in the "video" tab. It's becoming increasingly difficult to keep YouTube out.

- Better UX: no sticky headers, clean output without random stuff injected into your search results, which is especially annoying on mobile.

- Image search actually can be used for image search, i.e. I am not forced to visit pages of images, when I need an image URL.

Basically, DDG looks like Google circa 2005 which is a good thing.

> - Image search actually can be used for image search, i.e. I am not forced to visit pages of images, when I need an image URL.

I think they lost a copyright lawsuit over that one.

google also has a definite opinion on news, politics and other controversial topics which will get worse and worse during election years or during times of war.

I switched back to Google after using DuckDuckGo for a few months. The reason I switched back was because DDG was slow! I found myself waiting for DDG when I was running all of my silly currency conversion search queries, and didn't have the same problem with Google. (I'm located in Europe.)


To address some of the comments below, the slowness I'm talking about is probably P80-ish. Most queries run fine, but I was noticing throughout the day that some queries would randomly take multiple seconds to resolve. I never timed them, because just re-running the queries would work around the issue, so I suspect it's some backend thing on DDG's side. Google does have similar issues for me, but it feels more like P99-level.

I have a hard time believing this has anything to do with ddg. Im in europe and had been using ddg since the very beginning and cant recall ever having this issue

Really? I've just tried it and it was instantaneous. Currency conversion with ddg from firefox title bar in the UK. The result was visible before I had mentally completed pressing enter.

I agree, DDG is slow. Not slow enough to make me switch but still quite annoying.

I searched for something arbitrary (the word "omnipotent") and it came back in about 2 seconds. What are you getting?

My point is that Google is faster at displaying a page, even if the results are loaded in Javascript after the initial page is displayed.

The results take the same time to appear, but Google feels faster than DDG.

I have never experienced it being slow. Been using it for at least two years

I’m in Europe as well. Just searched for "200 USD to EUR" on both. DDG felt slightly faster, Google had a white screen for a moment before it loaded which was chiefly what made it seem slower to me. So I’ll allow the possibility that it’s because they do stuff when people have adblockers (Not that Google is even a serious option if you don’t run adblockers). Both of them were almost instant in any way though.

I'm curious why you didn't go to qwant. I'm not in europe, but I think it is, and uses the same bang mechanisms as duckduckgo.

In my workplace qwant is the default SE and I'm sorry to say it, but its awful. Maybe if you search in French it will be a bit better.

I'm using DDG and I'm quite happy about it. Very rarely I switch to google and if I do it usualy to search some location specific things like nearest pharmacy.

I can’t stand their key: "&"

"!" I can easily type just with my left hand, "&" requires left & right hand working together. For something, I use as often as bangs on DDG that is simply not acceptable.

DDG should really have a button that says "Search on Google instead".

That way, people can use DDG and easily fall back onto Google when the result is slow or inadequate. I know about the bang-syntax (!g) but this requires about 6 touch actions on mobile.

They do, just type !g within your query. There are many !bangs that you can use https://duckduckgo.com/bang

You didn't read the last sentence of my comment ...

Just give me a button I can hit whenever I want Google's result instead, and I'll gladly switch to DDG.

You can easily add a button to do that with something like Greasemonkey. I added a script that adds a button to GitHub that shows the file sizes in an extra column when clicked. Adding a button that adds !g to the front of a DDG query and then sends the search request is easier.

How slow? Seconds?

Google Search / Youtube really push the MSM into the top results, it's really not what I'm looking for.

DDG results are meoicre.

It's weird when you can say internet search has devolved.

Yeah, completely agree.

This year, for a site I knew existed, I had to use a very obscure search engine to find content on that site, for the other search engines it was omitted from the results. This only happened a couple of months ago, before then they listed that site. The site did not violate copyright.

YouTube has drastically increased its censorship this year, with both soft and hard censorship. Things that users found relevant that turned up first in search results are now replaced with MSM videos and people have to put very specific search terms in to get the video to show up in the lists, effectively removing it from most peoples results even if it is the most relevant thing they are looking for. There is altering recommendations. There is the hard censorship where a video doesn't even have to violate TOS or guidelines any more. YT now uses an AI from a very powerful lobby to decide which videos to censor.

This all happened very near to something that was called VoxAdpocalypse. Censorship was increasing the years before that but the sudden increase this year (2019) caught a lot of people by surprise, I think that was quite intentional, ram it through so fast that people didn't have time to react. This was all supported by MSM and the unity among the mainstream media organisations was very noticeable.

Where I live this year the largest ISPs have blocked a lot of sites on the flimsiest of pretense, sites like archive.is , zerohedge.com , and a variety of social sites that say they support free speech.

With the way things are heading, if you have something unorthodox to say, woe be unto you. Just look at what happened to Julian Assange, and CNN calling people don't support him being imprisoned as 'free speech activists', I would almost expect CNN to call them 'free speech extremists' if they could get away with it.

gaming placement has evolved. its an arms race search is losing.

also google has "evolved" in that it uses close matches for words which probably helps a lot of people. i find it terribly annoying to constantly needing to be quoting words and it still doesnt seem to work that well.

It's almost like mainstream media is what people click on and is <gasp> mainstream. Of course you are doing to have them higher up in the search rankings

No they intentionally put those sources higher in the results even when there’s more popular content below it. They get extra priority as they’re deemed “authoritative sources.” So if you’re searching something political you’ll get a Washington Consensus result every time pretty literally. If you search names of recent mideast wars, CFR appears to be a preprogrammed result like Wikipedia.

You don't necessarily know that source for CFR is necessarily less popular than Wikipedia: plus CFR is not necessarily Washington consensus. In addition to that it's much better to have informed discussion on a topic rather than some misleading news source.

Nah they specifically rank MSM higher

You don't necessarily know that, and assuming you are right, having msm at the top is better than having something like Breitbart. Might seem like a bad choice, but the alternatives are not good either

You can game this a bit by adding keywords that almost never show up in msm sources.

> It’s not a fair fight, but it is one, oddly, where the small guy can compete. It might seem ludicrous – DuckDuckGo has 78 employees and Google 114,096 – but often the outcome is the same. For the majority of your searches David, it turns out, is just as good as Goliath.

It has been repeated ad-nausea: duckduckgo's organic results are taken directly from Bing.

I regularly try DDG because I desperately want to quit Google for good. But everytime, it's just a huge time waster.

Let's take an example, here is the result of the last actual query I made in DDG: "dig show all": https://i.imgur.com/AccN8WJ.png

Now, in Google: https://i.imgur.com/KLjKfYu.png

This is just ridiculous. I end up using !g or !s (StartPage) for almost all my queries...

my DDG results for "dig show all" are much better than yours. try changing the "France" region to "All Regions" in the dropdown below the query.

"All regions" was already checked (even though it displayed France).

However I tried checking United States, and results are indeed better. I will try that :)

I do not use DuckDuckGo since they announced that they partnered with Yandex.ru. I do not want my searches going to Russia, even anonymized.


This is based on my political views. YMMV.

I switched back because technical questions lead to much more general websites then Google. Google usually points to better stackoverflow-pages.

Though I have hear the opposite from others. Not sure what's up with that.

I used both for a while because of what you say, but past 2 years I actually find that ddg returns a better result MOST of the times which is why its my default now. Also its super fast to double check with google (just add !g), but I find myself doing it less and less

DDG excerpts the top-rated accepted SO answer, which is a huge timesaver for me (when it's accurate) - great when searching for a snippet I never quite remember like `flatten nested list python`. Although I'd imagine it's probably an IP infringement, which is why Google doesn't do it, so maybe it won't last.

> Although I'd imagine it's probably an IP infringement

Content on Stack Overflow is CC BY-SA 4.0. It’s arguable whether DuckDuckGo shows enough information to consist attribution, but this isn’t generally impossible to do.

Also switched to DDG, while great for English, its localization is horrible.

My native language’s alphabet is Cyrillic and whenever I search for anything, I always get results in Russian, even though I’m not from Russia.

DDG is still bad for

* Languages other than English

* Regional search

not everybody is living in the USA. DDG simply does not work good enough in a global world!

I recently switched from Chrome to FireFox and moved my default search engine to DuckDuckGo. I've been disappointed with both, but am holding out still.

For DuckDuckGo, like others have noted, it is really poor at technical results. I thought Google was bad before, but now I almost always have to switch back. It does seem to "feel" slower than Google, but that could just be FireFox. I've also come to really enjoy two things that Google does: the weather graph where I can easily see the multi-day forecast and easily see precipitation chances _throughout_ the day, and I like that I can watch the day's trends on a given stock.

For FireFox, I have had it stop being able to log into _any_ site on mobile for Android, so I had to re-install it. A few times a week, the browser completely locks up in Mac. I can drag the window, but I cannot interact with any tabs. I have to kill it and restore. It feels slower much of the time. Also, on mobile, it is more finicky on clicking. Example, on HN on mobile, I have to zoom to click the collapse/expand and up/downvotes. I did not have to do that in Chrome. I do like that it is more privacy focused and I like the scrolling tabs compared to Chrome's continually smaller and smaller tabs.

I'll keep with it on both fronts, but it has felt like a step backward for the most part.

For firefox on Mac they made an important milestone three weeks ago in that performance got increased while power consumption was reduced. Are you using the latest version?

If mobile means Android you should give Firefox Preview a shot, a whole new experience.

DuckDuckGo is a little less powerful for some types of searches. Its date filter doesn't let you specify custom dates, the autocorrect behavior is some sort of bug (https://help.duckduckgo.com/results/autocorrect/), local businesses get lost amongst many others, etc. For example searching with "+goats" finds the author's movie, but the default search and the suggested correction of quoting goats don't: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=film+leonardo+dicaprio+%2Bgoats+sc... OTOH searching on Google doesn't find the scene for me either; I suspect it only succeeded for the author because Google knew he'd seen that movie.

DDG's index of web pages seems bigger. The index isn't as up-to-date on popular sites, but many obscure sites (e.g. my blog) show up in DDG and not in Google. But then Google indexes more PDFs.

My own permanent switch to DuckDuckGo came in 2013 (with a few previous false starts). Relevance during that period seemed to escallate rapidly.

Mostly: DDG is just a fantastic time-saver. Bang searches from the navigation bar, URLs directly in the SERP, no Google ad spam pushing organic search well below the fold, images accessible from the image page, and of course, no bubbling or tracking.

Yes, occasionally I need to offer slightly more specificity in my searches, which really isn't a challenge.

And yes, the list of shortcomings I'd made on HN in 2014 still largely apply: ranged-date searches, specific media collections (scientific articles, books), and specific Google tools (ngrams, trends) have me going off DDG. But those are much as HN searches (!hn), Wikipedia (!w), or the online etymological dictionary (!etym) a bang away (!gbooks, !trends, !ngrams).

Technical search quality is as good or better than Google at this point.

Archive collection, notably in older content, occasionally weaker.


Switched last week. Fed up by how Google gives a 90s-looking wap site when using Firefox for Android. I added an extension that switches my user agent just for google.com to get around it, but instead most results are then AMP links. And opening AMP-links hosted on google in firefox gives you a page that you cannot scroll.

Almost wonder if they're doing it on purpose.

Haven't used ddg long enough to comment on the quality. But at least google for Norwegian results have declined lately. Many results are just machine-translated spam on autogenerated blogs.

For instance, last week I googled "pes anserinus bursitt", and one of the top results is http:// bumyjaki .tk/arrestere/pes-anserinus-bursitt.html (don't open it). The preview is broken Norwegian, and clicking it I get popovers saying I've won stuff, and firefox asks if I want to enable vibration, and I'm instantly redirected to more spam. How the f is that so high, google? And it's prominent on lots of stuff I search.

Hi Mats (or do you prefer Matsemann?),

I am an engineer on Google Search.

Sorry to hear about your experiences; I would like to better understand the issues that you're seeing and reproduce them on my end, so that I can file detailed bug reports for the folks working on those features. I would appreciate your help if you're open to that.

First, I compared Firefox on Android with Chrome on Android for a few queries and they seem to get very similar results (but we are likely using different queries). Would you be able to provide some sample queries where Firefox was receiving the results that led you to change its user agent and get different results?

I also visited several AMP pages on Firefox from Google search results (Reddit and BBC) and they were all scrollable, so it's likely that we're looking at different sites as well. Can you tell me which sites' AMP pages were non-scrollable for you?

Regarding the poor results for Norwegian searches: I wasn't getting the problematic URL for this query; will try reproducing this again later. If you have any other search queries for which the Norwegian results are bad (or have been declining in quality over time), if you're able, please share them with me as well: either here, or if you prefer, you can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thanks in advance!

Yeah Google was getting as bad as Yahoo was in the 90s before I switched. I just think they’re in the phase of trying to suck as much money as possible out of each search.

I still have problems with DDG. I can usually find what I need within 1-2 pages on Google. With DDG sometimes it’s further in.

It seems be becoming very common that every article about some individual writing a blog about dropping Google for DDG makes it to the front page, with the comments sharing the same anecdotes about either why they do/don’t, with nothing else new really being shared.

Advocacy is great but nothing new is discussed really.

The article includes some of the reasons why I changed to DDG quite a while ago, but this is pretty odd:

"When you realise that most things you search for online are really boring and obvious, you soon realise you don't really need Google in your life"

How is this an argument to use one search engine over another? Whether it's boring and obvious or not, you're still using a search engine. I stopped using Google because I was tired of landing on sites that seemed to be chosen by Google rather than finding the types of sites that I was looking for. Not that I'm entirely satisfied with DDG, either. I'm very tired of typing in keywords only to have them ignored.

Side rant: I'm so tired of these headlines being phrased as if they're assuming that "we've all been doing this wrong" or "I did this so you should too".

A big problem for DuckDuckGo image searching — I can only access the image file, but no option to go to the webpage that links the file. Most of the time, the image is stored on a different hosting site. I find myself often using google image search instead, for this reason.

When I click the url of the site, rather then the view file button, I am directed to the site? What os/browser are you using, if you don't mind my asking?

Omg I can’t believe I missed that! iOS/Safari puts it there, but then hides it rather quickly. Embarrassing how much time I could have saved. Thanks buddy!

I just switched back, quite a lot of my searches are regional and DDG sucks for that (in the UK).

The regional search in DDG is awful. I usually have to add the country to the search as well has enabling the toggle for it to work somewhat reliably.

That said, I do 99% or my searching on DDG.

I’ve been using DDG on all my devices for work and for personal use for almost a year now. I’ve searched for error messages songs and tons of other stuff. Initially I was having trouble getting results. There seemed to be a whole skill to writing good search queries that had atrophied in me during the Google era. I’ve had to pay more attention to quotes and change queries sometimes but it’s never been impossible to find the information i’m looking for. And it’s nice to be free of the all-seeing eye of Google. DDG may not give perfect results initially but it’s good enough for me.

Don't know if it is Europe vs US thing, but I have been more happy with Qwant.com than ddg.gg.

(And to add one of my pet peeves: why none of the search engines let me easily blacklist domains from my results?)

I tried it for awhile and had to go back to google. I type in “relevant error message stackoverflow” and NO WHERE in the first three pages of results can I find the same stack overflow post that’s purple from my 20 visits over the last 5 years because I just can’t memorize everything. I google the same thing and it’s top results every time. I don’t understand search so it could easily be personalized results remembering what I looked at but it doesn’t matter. What matters is it just works and DDG didn’t.

If you want results from SO, why not use the search on their site?

It also sounds like maybe you should search your browser's history instead, if you're looking for previously visited pages.

I mostly use DDG but often switch to google whenever DDG does not return 'good' results. Especially on tech topics and literature search Google results are far superior.

No problems with DDG on tech topics unless it’s a somewhat rare error message.

Same. A lot of people here are saying they have issues with it, but I find it hard to believe that they gave it a fair chance. Probably just did a handful of searches before giving up on it entirely.

I've been using DDG for a few years now, and very rarely do I find that I need to go to Google.

Yes, this is what I did as well for almost a year.

Except that I eventually realized the frequency at which I had to add a !g in front of the query was above 50%.

I really wish I could use ddg as my default search engine. It's just not feasible.

TBH, there knowledge cards that ddg shows are significantly inferior compared to Google, and sometimes ddg is just worse in terms of research. Thank goodness for the Google bang.

Rephrasing: I ditched Google for a wrapper over mostly Bing with some handy shortcuts. And uh, they do not track me as agresseively but mostly because they can't.

Here's the usual reminder that DDG results are basically Bing's with minor tweaks. You're not supporting an independent index if you use DDG.

I wish this was actually possible, but, as much as I dislike Google as a company, the quality gap just makes the switch impossible.

I've been using DDG almost exclusively for quite a while now. I love the bangs feature, frequently using !w for wikipedia, and !wa for wolfram-alpha, along with several others.

I always see anecdotes from people who use !g a lot. I guess thats never a habit I got into. Maybe i can just never tell when my search has given "bad" results, but I've never felt like something was missing. I don't think I've purposefully done a google search for quite some time now.

The last few times I have done a google search, (mainly on systems that still have google as the default) I have gotten almost exclusively AMP pages as the results. I never see this with DDG and its given me a reason to stay away from google.

Interestingly one of the ways i still end up on google is the "spotlight search", or whatever the system search is called on iOS. It occasionally has a "show google results" button, separate from the "search web" button. It only ever appears sometimes, and its weird that its ever there at all considering DDG is my default search in Safari. When it is there I sometimes tap it on accident, because its always above the "search web" that I'd like to use.

The only feature that I use google search for nowadays is extension filtering.

Ext:pdf is great for finding about technical topics

Non-trivial difference when I searched for faropenem



DDG is fine for me. !g whenever it doesn't work well enough.

Searching for opening times of local shops is what keeps me on Google for now... Very basic but very common search for me...

I prefer Ecosia.org as they plant trees.

Me too ;-)

Is there a website or plugin that shows google/duckduckgo or google/bing results side by side?

What I find interesting is that DDG ranks our site: https://VisualSitemaps.com 2x higher than Google when searching for “visual sitemap generator”...and of course sans ads.

I've gone down the Google-free rabbit hole myself lately. Being Facebook-free is so much easier than Google-free but here's what I switched to:

Chrome browser -> Firefox

Google search -> DuckDuckGo (StartPage for specific searches that DuckDuckGo doesn't do well at)

Gmail -> ProtonMail

Maps -> OpenStreetMap

Translate -> DeepL

Analytics -> removed them from my site completely so no tracking scripts at all

Details: https://markosaric.com/surveillance-capitalism/

counsel-search `C-c s` in Emacs uses duckduckgo by default.

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