DDG is really good at returning a good result for a really general search term like "C++". However, for me at least, that is an extreme edge case.
Looking at the !bang help page for DDG, I discovered HN Search, for instance, which I did not know of before. Knowing this, I could of course set it up as my own custom search, but `!hn whatever` is easy enough that I haven't felt the need yet. Additionally, dunno if Chrome or FF do this, but in Opera if you select text and right-click it you can search it with a custom search engine. It's in a submenu of the context menu, and it's nice to not have it too cluttered :)
One additional trick with custom searches in the browser, is to key Google's "Feeling Lucky" to `go` (just append `&btnI=yes` to the search URL) and DDG's equivalent feature to `dd` (prepending `!+` to the query, that's a bang and an encoded space btw). Super useful if you know your first hit is going to be what you want anyway. For some reason, Google occasionally gives you the result pages anyway instead of redirecting you, btw. Didn't use to, but they changed something I guess.
Using DDG for such functionalities makes no sense when this particular feature should be a feature of the browser.
Yes it can. Chrome does it automatically. It also has a better UI to boot.
The way Chrome works is, if you've ever searched a site, typing the first few letters of the site name (say, "go" for google), then hitting tab, will give you the site's search. These are added automatically, as long as you've ever searched a site before.
Advantages of Chrome's way:
* They're added automatically. Visiting your family's house? They probably already have the standard Amazon/Wikipedia searches, no setup necessary.
* Once in the mode of searching a website, the text you typed (e.g. "go" for Google) is NOT part of the textbox. This means that when you press "home", you go back to the start of they text you're trying to type. Want to copy paste the query before hitting enter? Much easier with Chrome.
Disadvantages of Chrome:
* Very rarely, a search isn't added. I don't bother adding them manually cause they're rare.
* The letters you have to type for a site are the first letters of the URL, not site name. This means Hacker News Search isn't "Ha<tab>", but rather "ne<tab>".
I don't even use Chrome's search shortcuts anymore. I just type whatever into the address bar, and Google almost always has what I want in the top 3 results. With keyboard shortcuts, I can launch the correct Google result with my keyboard, and I think it ends up being considerably faster than using a specific search engine keyword. It's also better at times, since some sites (like Wikipedia and some documentation sites) have terrible built-in search functionality.
Ctrl + L -> [wiki] http codes -> Tab -> Enter
Google also screws up constantly when it tries to search for what it thinks you meant rather than for what you actually typed. I hate that feature.
And, of course, there's the spyware keystroke monitoring when you type in google's own search form.
All these reasons and more is why I long ago switched to DDG as my primary search engine.
I tried using Scroogle for a while, which at least tries to solve some of the privacy issues with Google. But the search results were just not as high quality as those of DDG.
I've done this for every single site I search regularly, and have used up almost all 26 letters at this point. It's amazingly useful.
(And again, the same thing I said last time, the added benefit of using browser shortcuts instead of ddg is that you can map them to intranet results that can't be indexed (by an external search engine))
- Start typing 'wiki...' and it will autocomplete to http://en.wikipedia.org In order to search that site, I have to left arrow, space, and then type my query. I found that while usually helpful, the autocomplete was occasionally unpredictable/frustrating enough to me that it negated the times it was helpful. Having fine tuned control w/o autocomplete is preferable to me.
- Using the omnibox to enter 'wiki http codes', which will pull up google results. I then have to tab or otherwise use keyboard shortcuts to select the first link, all of which are a worse user experience than the bang syntax to me.
I love the keyboard functionality google has.
DDG does this too. But fortunately, there's an easy way to turn it off in the preferences.
Unfortunately, there's a problem with setting preferences on DDG (or any other websites), as your preference choices can be used to track you.
• Google's results are much better. A handful of times I searched for something I would think, "Wait, that can't be all there is," and Google would give me back what I was looking for above the fold.
• Google is much, much faster in returning results for my regular searches, which are usually programming related or an esoteric Wikipedia topic.
• DuckDuckGo's bang syntax (!jquery, etc) isn't any better than search keywords built into Firefox and Chrome.
• DuckDuckGo's settings page is like Skyrim -- epic and freeform.
• DuckDuckGo is a very well-executed product. The UI is clean, browser integration is smart ("You're using Chrome! Click this!" or something), and it's tailored for my savvy search users.
I'm very satisfied with using DDG as my primary search engine. And when I feel my search results aren't finding what I need, I might go to Google and wade through the garbage to try to find the gem I'm looking for. But it's rarely worth it.
> • DuckDuckGo's bang syntax (!jquery, etc) isn't any
> better than search keywords built into Firefox and
1) You don't have to set them up, because they are already there.
2) You get them from whatever computer you are at. You don't have to setup or sync the keyword searches with every computer you use (or public terminal).
3) If you use DDG as your main search engine, it's right there, so you can use a singular search interface.
I'll use it when I want independent search results, but Google's catering to my interests usually works in my favor. When I search for Ruby on Google, all of my results are about the language. DuckDuckGo gives me results about the gem.
I've been DDG as my default search engine in Firefox for quite a long time now, and sometimes I still find myself re-running a query with "!g" - mostly when I expect to have to tweak my query once or twice and google is just faster (and still gives better results sometimes).
I think I would have been able to stick with DDG through the speed issues as painful as it was, but too often I found myself going to google anyway after failing to even find what I was looking for on DDG.
One nice thing about the bang syntax is that if DDG fails I can easily rerun the search on Google. I don't end up switching back to Google out of frustration after a bad search.
- Google: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ix=...
- DDG: http://duckduckgo.com/?q=curvio
It seems DDG even thinks I'm asking about Jose Cuervo-- really?? How many backlinks do we need before you think I may actually be searching for Curvio?
searching for just "django modles" returns pretty bad results, including what could kindly be described as a linkedin blog entry.
Now try the same search on google. (I made sure to try this logged out in case google personalized my results.)
search for "django modles". The first result matches DDG. The next three are Model field reference, instance references, and how to make queries. All highly relevant! I work with Django, and I think these are good results.
DDG in general has provided dissatisfying results and I suspect it is from not knowing what I don't know when searching, so I can't identify bad searches as they happen. But not knowing is why I search to begin with, so that is Why I don't use DuckDuckGo, but I don't care if you do.
Your complaint was very specific, yet you claimed it was a general issue.
All that being said, your complaints were entirely targeted towards meeting your needs. Hence, specific need. I can't even conceive of how your complaint wasn't about a specific need, or how this is so drastically different from a specific issue.
My complaint was a specific example of the general issue I wrote about in the last paragraph of my post. Did you ignore the last paragraph from my original post on purpose?
Let me spell it out for you.
DDG in general has provided dissatisfying results
follow by I suspect it is from not knowing what I don't know when searching, so I can't identify bad searches as they happen.
So I clearly say in general I am dissatisfied and posit a reason why that might be the case. The point of the example is, for the curious, something they can go try or talk about, but thanks for the nitpicking!
Your only other comment on this story is an "It works for me!" So thanks for contributing nothing but fanboi garbage.
> Your only other comment on this story is an "It works for me!" So thanks for contributing nothing but fanboi garbage.
Are you done?
I tried switching to DDG for a week. But went back to Google.
- Relevance: Google gives me high relevance, very high. Restaurant:Food-Quality::Search-Engine:Relevance.
- Speed: Google works in milliseconds. Instant search + search intents also add value.
- Gives me rich map results. Also switching to Maps/Image searches with same search term help. DDG doesn't.
Positives of DDG which are actually not:
- Not bubbling up. I WANT the search engine to know that I'm a hacker. When I search for ruby, it is a programming language. I see value in bubbling up.
- Keyboard shortcuts - Good value. But I don't go for more than 3 results in Google. So just a single tab and enter works.
- Bang syntax - Chrome's search keyword replaces it.
- User experience : DDG is much cleaner than Google.
Well there's still Google's mobile version around to feast your eyes on.
Currently I'm using this to search fast and clean:
A big hosts file, privoxy, and Opera's Adblock & Ghostery plugin take care of the rest.
Seriously though... I switched back a week later. Speed was one thing, but I'd rather take the latency hit and support DDG. The biggest issue I had was relevancy. I would find exactly what I needed using Google, while I'd have to scroll down quite a bit to find what I needed in DDG. Also... the format of search results in DDG is a bit too big for me (seems like too much centering and spacing)... I'd like a lot tighter layout.
I'd really like to use DDG. Until some of my qualms are fixed, I'll stick to Google. That said, I'll definitely be revisiting and retrying DDG every few months.
Now, the good:
1. The one-box is really, really good. A lot of the time, I'm searching for domain-specific queries, especially when I'm coding. DDG brings up a one-box with something like a stack-overflow link and often has exactly the code snippet I'm looking for.
2. I don't have to give more information to google. Admittedly, they already get my email and stuff, but at least this way I'm spreading my information so no one has absolutely all of it.
Finally, the things that are in principle useful but I don't use much:
1. Bang commands. Seriously, I'm not going to type !cplusplus to search cplusplus.com, I'll just click the first link. I also can't remember all of them. I do use !g, !image, and !video, but mainly because they take me to a better search engine.
2. The search suggestions in the top right. It's a good idea, but I don't have the cognitive capacity to keep track of those in addition to the search results.
When would you stop asking Jeeves or HotBot and switch to Stack Exchange?
I've been using DDG for quite some time (months) as my main search engine and it's been great. I'd say I only need to hit Google once every 50+ searches.
The inline results from Stack Overflow, Youtube and Wikipedia are excellent. That and the keyboard shortcuts are more natural to me (specifically j/k) than Google's (tabs and arrows).
Exactly. Half of the results for most Google searches I do are mostly garbage. DDG consistently returns far higher quality results than Google for me.
The litany of pro-Google posts in this thread really make me wonder if there are conflicts of interest the posters aren't disclosing (ie. how many of them work at Google?)
(Since I brought it up - in the interest of disclosure I'll say that I have no financial interest in or association with any search engine or web site.. or any company whatsoever, to be honest)
I don't work at Google in case you're wondering. But you say you have no financial interest in DDG which makes me wonder if there are interests you do have in them that you aren't disclosing.
I bet that's not the case for a lot of the other people commenting here on Google. More than a few of them are probably Google employees and/or have some other financial interest in Google and aren't disclosing it.
"I don't work at Google in case you're wondering."
Working at Google is not the only way you could have a financial interest in them.
I have them set to my search engine and I would say about 90% of my searches hit productive results. For the other 10%, I consult with Google via their handy link or just via Google directly.
You can't compete with Google for breadth of web search, but I find most of my searches don't utilize that for accurate results, eg finding a company page. When I look for a specific error message or help with a code snippet, GOOG is still king.
Worse results than Google (and even Bing) for most of my everyday searching.
"But we're not Google!" is not a real selling point.
I really want to like and use Duck Duck Go...I will keep trying!
Quite honestly, I don't see a need to switch now.
I like everything about DuckDuckGo except for the search results. I so often wind up re-googling what I searched it isn't worth the effort. And this is with a unpersonalized Google version. I am not logged into any Google account, I run Ghostery and I clean cookies at every browser shutdown.
Many times a search time yields zero hits in DDG and I instantly find what I search for with Google. Sad but true. And yes, i use "" around all words and phrases in Google.
The functionality being described here is something that I actually use Alfred for these days.
Auto complete (suggestions) - I tend to type a lot of things wrong, integrated image search and unfortunately some times quality of the results too..
I'm not saying every one has to stick with google.. just saying DDG isn't a viable alternative for most people used to google search (but its a lot better than bing)...
-Instant Search: maybe I've been spoiled by Google, but DDG feels slow in comparison
-Foreign language searches: Have you tried them? They're absolutely horrible.
-Ads: They're not relevant at all.
Wish me luck.
So typically, I set my browser default search to DDG and try to use DDG as much as possible. Certain terms or things I know Google will find better I just throw in the "!g" before the query.
It's not like DDG prevents you from doing this!
You can search DDG using the exact same "plain english" you use in Google.
DDG's bang syntax is an additional feature. If you don't want it or don't like it, don't use it -- just use regular search.
Personally, I don't use DDG's bang syntax myself. I like to create my own custom searches within Firefox.
But I love the high quality of results DDG provides, and the lack of spam/scam results compared to Google. Not to mention DDG's commitment to privacy, which is very important to me.