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Duck.com (not the search engine you might expect) (duck.com)
114 points by romland 1221 days ago | 63 comments



I get how this could be confusing (after all, a lot of people access URLs by googling them first). Regardless, this isn't Google being evil but rather, taking advantage of a fortunate coincidence. They acquired a company in the past that owned a domain. Ironically, that domain happens to be similar to a competitor in the present. They have no immediate use for the domain, but why not redirect it to Google (just in case someone was trying to get to their competitor)? That's not evil, that's business. If DDG is that concerned about it, make an offer to Google for the domain name.

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I don't think Google is doing anything evil here at all. The purchase of On2 (where the domain came from) very clearly had nothing at all to do with duckduckgo.

That said, if they wanted to be more neighborly they could put up a landing page like this one instead: http://omnisio.com/ (also a company that was acquired by google/youtube).

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In all honesty, that "neighbourly" action would be even less helpful since you can't even find DDG from a basic landing page which might cause the same confused users to think DDG was one of the assets that Google acquired.

Of course, Google could provide a disambiguation link to DDG on that page, but I can't honestly see any reason why they would or should provide a competitor with free advertising. They could sell the domain, but I can't see any reason why they would or should set an affordable price for a highly-brandable generic four letter domain name.

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Backstory: https://duck.co/topic/duck-com-redirects-to-google

tl;dr no reason (IMHO) it should point to Google search -- it's just confusing people.

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Does it seem to violate their "Don't be evil" mantra to anybody else? This was clearly a conscious decision to confuse people.

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They bought a company before duckduckgo existed that owned duck.com.

I guess it's becoming fashionable to think of Google as the new Microsoft. Sometimes it's fair. In this case, it's not.

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I guess it's becoming fashionable to think of Google as the new Microsoft.

How is my question consistent with things people have said about Microsoft? It's not when they bought it, it's how they reacted to Gabriel contacting them about it.

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It's that somehow Google is using unfair advantages to beat their competition.

And the timing of it definitely matters. It shows their decision to acquire the domain was not influenced by competition.

As for how they reacted to Gabriel, I'm not sure what their specific reaction was but I probably wouldn't give up a 1-word, 4-letter domain regardless of the state of the competition. The fact that the competition decided to name their company something I own would be unfortunate for them. Too bad. So sad. SOL.

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My god, I never said they acquired the domain because of the then-nonexistent DuckDuckGo nor did I suggest they give it up to them. All I'm saying is the domain was sitting there idle, Gabriel asked them for it, and they told him no and made it point to their own search page instead. They had every right to say no but it seems like a conscious act of meanness on their part to suddenly make it point to themselves when their competitor asked to buy it. It's kind of like adding insult to injury (rather denial).

Why are you so aggressively set on defending Google when I'm not really even attacking them?

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"Does it seem to violate their "Don't be evil" mantra to anybody else? This was clearly a conscious decision to confuse people."

With your statement, you're implying malicious intent. I'm stating that I don't see it together with substance to back up my statement. That's not "aggressively set on defending Google." That's simply trying to clearly make an argument.

No aggression here related to this topic :)

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I consider it aggressive because your substance was arguments against things I never said.

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Of they just didn't realize they had such a cool domain until Gabriel contacted them. Google is a big company and it's entirely possible for things to fall between the cracks in an organization of that size.

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please, for the love of god, stop with the "google is evil" crap. every single post about google, there's at least a couple comments saying google is violating their don't be evil principle. it's really fucking annoying. can't you find a criticism that's at least a little bit more original?

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You shouldn't dismiss my question just because it reminds you of things others have said. I'm not those other people, I have no idea what you've read. I'm sorry my question isn't "original" enough for you. Google is a huge tech company and anyone who reads tech news hears a good amount of criticism about them. You don't find it weird that they changed duck.com to point to their domain when DuckDuckGo's founder inquired about it? It seems more likely that you didn't even think about it because I brought up their slogan.

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I have read here comments along the lines of "Anyone doing that would be evil, but here it's Google. So it's OK. Google would never do any harm" (it was a post about privacy)

The "Google is evil" trend may be an overreaction to those comments, but it embodies a sane criticism in my opinion. It gives a counterpart to the awkward "Google is my big brother"

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How is this "confusing"? The other search engine is not called Duck is it? No one uses the term Duck to refer to it?

And when people enter duck.com and go to Google, are people thinking they are at DDG? Doubtful. Anyone who uses DDG knows they went to the wrong site by mistake.

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I get consistent feedback that it is confusing people.

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Define "consistent". There are over 300 million people in the US alone. If 1% of them are stupid enough to be confused, you could get as many as 3,000,000 such pieces of feedback. That doesn't mean it's a substantive problem.

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3,000,000 people is a substantive problem, no matter what percentage of some population they comprise.

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No, it really isn't. These are the same people that can't locate the Pacific Ocean on a map.

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As ericd said, it depends on the percentage of DDG's userbase, as well as the effect on the bottom line. From a business perspective, that's 6,000,000 highly impressionable eyeballs that aren't generating ad revenue. From an ethical perspective, those are human beings that "deserve" access to a good search engine to e.g. help them learn how to read a map.

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Your "ethical perspective" is only relevant if DDG is a "good" search engine. Considering the extreme slowness and utter irrelevancy of results, I think you'll find that a highly debatable issue.

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Now you're not even trying to conceal your trolling. Keep it civil or buzz off.

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I'm not the one who injected a question of quality into the discussion, and not agreeing with the obviously-biased founder of DDG is not "trolling". Please apologize.

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If somebody is using it, they presumably think that it is good, your opinion on the matter is irrelevant to them. Hell, the issue of quality doesn't even have bearing on nitrogen's statement; it works just as well if you remove the word 'good'. You very clearly were trolling and I will certainly will not apologize.

Furthermore, nitrogen is not epi0Bauqu.

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> You very clearly were trolling and I will certainly will not apologize.

Well, you'll be happy to know I'll be ignoring anything you post from now on. I certainly won't engage with someone who can't tell the difference between honest fundamental disagreement and trolling.

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Just to clarify, is your honest fundamental disagreement that "people that can't locate the Pacific Ocean on a map" are not important users?

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I think that's a problem.

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The more valid way of looking at it is what percentage of his user base are confused by it.

And it's not a matter of stupidity, especially before a user has a solid idea of what DDG is.

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> The more valid way of looking at it is what percentage of his user base are confused by it.

Hence my question. All he said was "consistent". What does that mean? It's not a quantifiable unit. He could get a complaint every minute, or he could get one every day, or every year, all of these would be "consistent", but their meaning differs vastly.

> And it's not a matter of stupidity, especially before a user has a solid idea of what DDG is.

If their response to being told about a thing called "duck duck go" is to go to a web browser and type in "duck.com", it's stupidity. They're treating a domain name as a "do what I mean" mechanism. It's not. It's an address.

If I hear the restaurant is at "123 <garbled>", is the correct solution to go to building numbered "123" on the nearest street and get angry when it's not the restaurant?

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Keep in mind that DDG's url is duck.co and .com is still the default, in most people's mind.

Also, consistent usually means uncontested and unambiguous, rather than representing some quantity.

Edit: DDG's url is not actually duck.co, that's just the community url.

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duck.co is not the URL for the DuckDuckGo search engine, nor are most people even aware of its existence. The search engine is at duckduckgo.com, right where it should be.

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Ah yeah, you're right about that, thought he'd come out with it as an alias.

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http://ddg.gg is a common short alias for it.

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It's more about the people who don't use DDG but do know there is a search engine called duck... Something. What those people aren't looking for is Google search. Google should redirect it somewhere, anywhere, other than their main search page

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DDG is the first result if you google: duck search engine

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I'd like to think that the evil chocolate factory is so scared of DDG such that they would buy up a related domain name, but the domain was owned by On2 technologies which, as you may recall, was bought by Google for their video codec. Of course, Google may be undermining competition in other ways. I'm sure they are.

They should just donate the domain to DuckDuckGo if only to squash conspiracy theorists.

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> They should just donate the domain to DuckDuckGo if only to squash conspiracy theorists.

No, it should go to Black Duck Software. Or perhaps Duck Records. Actually, it should go to Disney. Duck Guides Inc.? How about Automatic Duck Inc.? Or perhaps redirect to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck ? There's a Flying Duck Inc. in Berkeley, heaven only knows what they do, but they've existed since 1998, why don't they get the domain?

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I have seen ducks in my garden. Why don't I get the domain?

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I had no idea what was being referred to here, and I am a DDG user. I thought duck.com was a search engine in the 90s, or something

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Unicorn.com (not the technology solution you might expect)

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Fun domain to own.. what a waste.

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googlegooglego.com is available as of the moment.

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I sense a parody site coming on ;-)

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all in google's details (and same registrar as their main domain)

   Domain Name: DUCK.COM
   Registrar: MARKMONITOR INC.
   Whois Server: whois.markmonitor.com
   Referral URL: http://www.markmonitor.com
   Name Server: NS1.GOOGLE.COM
   Name Server: NS2.GOOGLE.COM
   Name Server: NS3.GOOGLE.COM
   Name Server: NS4.GOOGLE.COM
   Status: clientDeleteProhibited
   Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Status: clientUpdateProhibited
   Updated Date: 19-nov-2010
   Creation Date: 23-feb-1995
   Expiration Date: 24-feb-2015

edit : http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2027691

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I thought duck.com would redirect to the Cyberduck application, at cyberduck.ch Which is now nag free: http://isharefil.es/Dm9C

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Doesn't this qualify as domain squatting?

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By duckduckgo or google?

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I guess Google isn't so much into helping people find what they might be looking for. Or they are, so long as what you're looking for is Google.

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Dick move, google.

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duck move.

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I think this is great for DuckDuckGo. Brings more awareness.

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It is domain squatting. DuckDuckGo could consider hiring lawyer for UDRP -- could probably win the domain.

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Sigh, The grounds for an ICANN UDRP complaint require:

(1) the manner in which the domain name(s) is/are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

(2) why the Respondent (domain-name holder) should be considered as having no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the complaint; and

(3) why the domain name(s) should be considered as having been registered and being used in bad faith

Domain squatting has nothing to do with who had it first.

You may not like it, but downvoting me doesn't change it.

EDIT: Really, only #2 is questionable in this case. That is why UDRP arbitration might be worthwhile.

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> (1) the manner in which the domain name(s) is/are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the Complainant has rights; and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_moron_in_a_hurry

> (2) why the Respondent (domain-name holder) should be considered as having no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name(s) that is/are the subject of the complaint; and

They were called Duck. Their early codecs were often referred to as Duck. Assorted patents are still assigned to The Duck Corporation. Why did DDG decide to infringe on their trademark?

> (3) why the domain name(s) should be considered as having been registered and being used in bad faith

It was registered by The Duck Corporation, and pointed to their home page. That corporation has eventually wound up as part of Google, and the domain now points to Google's home page. Seems pretty straightforward.

> Domain squatting has nothing to do with who had it first.

Trademarks have a lot to do with it. By the way, why is DuckDuckGo infringing on the trademark of the Oregon Ducks? What about DuckĀ® Brand duct tape?

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You don't infringe on a trademark by using the same name -- you infringe if you use the same name (or confusingly similar name) in the the same type of business. Or, if you use a similar name to intentionally confuse.

In addition, UDRP is separate from trademarks (mostly), and is just useful when someone is abusing a domain name to confuse your customers.

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If they did move it intentionally it's a stupid move. It can't be winning them users and someone will mention it and depose staff about it the next time antitrust proceedings are brought against google.

They should offload the domain to DDG, redirect it while maintaining ownership, or start a service named duck something that's unrelated to search and use it for that.

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I'm sure Google knows what they are doing. They have a competitor and were able to obtain a domain name that in some cases will direct people away from DuckDuckGo and to Google. Yes its seemingly evil but its competition. Yes, yes but its Google and they are 'not evil'. BS - they aren't evil or nice - they are a corporation. They will do whatever helps their profit machine. If you don't like this particular action raise awareness around it and maybe someone at Google will reconsider that this move may put them in a negative light that impacts their profits in other ways.

Lastly it makes me somewhat sad that people seem so shocked when Google does something seemingly evil. You're personifying something that despite all the marketing is by its nature setup solely to most efficiently make money. Google's "don't be evil" is just marketing in that their products inherently require the public's trust to be profitable. I would actually argue that by the nature of their business plan and profits, Google has to be one of the most responsive to scrutiny by the public. In other words, in comparison to other corporations, Google should be one of the easiest to get to change 'evil' actions.

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Google's "WebM" video codec is derived from work by a company they acquired, On2, which was formerly Duck, with a codec called TrueMotion[1].

Duck.com belonged to that company, which Google bought.

This Duck.com[2] is from long before DDG existed.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TrueMotion_S

2. http://web.archive.org/web/19970209085620/http://www.duck.co...

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Thats fine but I think many are misinterpreting what occurs upon acquirement of a company. The assets get broken up and each asset is analyzed to decipher how it should be put to use or disposed of for the company. Some person or work group made a decision to point the duck.com new domain name at search. Its not like when they acquire the domain names they just automatically all switch to Google.com.

I actually don't find it to be incredibly evil. There are a number of teams at Google that try to best understand how to best put these domains and assets to use in the interest of Google. They pointed it at search and continue to do so because they have gotten some benefit from it.

Additionally, if Google wasn't getting benefit from this wouldn't it make more sense to point this domain at something WebM related for customer transition?

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In my opinion, just like landing pages, it makes most sense to point unused domain names to the place that makes you the most money.

Pointing On2 at company info makes sense. People typing it would be looking for that company info. People typing "duck" are very unlikely to be looking for anything about the old company called Duck so it should go to the money page.

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This is obviously a deliberate poking-of-tongues at DDG. http://www.on2.com/ was apparently owned by the same company but leads to an page with information about the buyout.

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I just said that about On2, and explained why the two domains would be handled differently.

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