I feel somewhat silly saying this, but DuckDuckGo is not that great of a name. I love the engine, and have gotten some great results from the few times I have used it, but I really, really wish it were not named DuckDuckGo. It seems tacky to me and it's hard to say. There's a support article that encourages users to "duck it". No thanks. I swear I would become a regular user of this product if it were named something more professional.
I know tech products often have whimsical names, and it's usually positive or at least tolerable, but something about "DuckDuckGo" rubs me the wrong way.
But every single time the topic of DuckDuckGo comes up, I find myself thinking that it's a bad name. And I'm not the only one - every time this topic comes up, at least one other person mentions the name thing.
I'm not saying this to be mean, and I'm definitely not saying this because I think I'm "right". I'm only saying this because I truly believe that changing DuckDuckGo's name would make it more popular, and it deserves to be popular.
1. "Google" and "Yahoo!" seemed funny in 1994, but we're used to them.
It's possible. This is what most people answer about DDG. I think this is wrong. Google and Yahoo!, while funny names, sound "cool". DuckDuckGo doesn't. My memory isn't great, so I can't be sure I'm right about this, but I'm pretty sure that the first time I heard "Google" or "Yahoo!", I had a much better reaction than the first (and every) time I hear "DuckDuckGo".
I also think it's not smart to cling to the "people will get used to it, Google was the same" defense. If it's true, sure. I think it's not, and it's just misleading and true-sounding enough that DuckDuckGo keeps going.
2. The domain name itself is a problem (long, annoying to type, etc.), and once they get ddg it will be better.
I agree on this point, although I do think the name is still an important point, not just for the domain. It's a brand.
I'd like to reiterate that I'm not saying this things to be a critic, or just to be mean. I really value the work of DuckDuckGo, I think it's great that there's good competition to Google, and I'm a fan of Gabriel Weinberg. I'm only saying this because it's an issue that keeps coming up, and I really think it has a bad effect on DuckDuckGo.
Actually, you can already use www.ddg.gg, which redirect you to the HTTPS version of DDG.
The funny thing is that the registrant of DUCK.COM appears to be Google when you do a whois lookup:
Obviously serious users of DDG don't have any problem with it.
I hope he just changes the name. No one will be upset by this move.
Here are my reasons for not liking the name:
- 3 is too many syllables (for a search engine name, which I think should roll off the tongue quickly)
- Difficult to use as a verb
- It sounds like a Japanese game show :)
+ Longer names are more visible.
(i was shocked that MS didnt take the name Microsoft Live Bing Home-Professional DotNET UltraGold Edition)
First time i used google i was thinking they misspelled goggles.
Also, I assumed the name was a play on the children's game: Duck Duck Goose.
I can definitely give credit to Google for inventing the word though. So few people try making companies without their names having some second meaning besides "my company".
I understand possible apprehension at bragging about it and proselytizing, but whatever.
I do think it's hard to sell to non-techies, though.
It is only a matter of time before I say goodbye to Google forever....
But I am not sure what privacy concerns people have, that being said I am not too worried about that sort of thing.
You just have to add the iBang !sp in DDG.
"Do no evil" will soon become a rediculously bitter irony. Just wait.
Adds in a browser search engine option that targets duckduckgo, but uses google for autocomplete/suggestions.
It gives you suggestions from Google but runs the search on DDG.
DuckDuckGo: The top three results were American Ebay search results (I live in Canada), a drum shop in Memphis (15 hour drive), and various other online stores like discountdrumequipment.info... looks legit.
Google: The first page of results had links to the official Sabian product pages, Youtube videos of people playing it, and the most impressive thing was a 3 day old Kijiji ad (still popular in Canada) with the exact cymbal I wanted for a good price in a city just 45 minutes from me. I responded to the ad, drove the 45 minutes, and purchased it.
DuckDuckGo's stance on user privacy is admirable, but Google is going to be my primary search engine for a very long time with results like that... it's accuracy still impresses me.
direct via google:
You can set up the same sort of thing in Chrome by going to Settings -> Manage search engines, then editing the middle column to have just one or two letters of your choice.
Keyword bookmarking is also very useful: http://lifehacker.com/196779/hack-attack-firefox-and-the-art...
In fact, at this point, the number of times I have to manually type in a URL (when using my own computer) is probably fewer than 10 per day. I've never understood why people make such a big deal about !bang when instead you can search the sites directly with a keyword search, plus you're not limited to those DDG supports.
For example, if I have the URL http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=%s tied to the 'wa' keyword, I can now search Wolfram Alpha from the address bar by typing 'wa'.
DuckDuckGo won't ever be able to compete with Google as a general search engine. Google already pretty much solved that problem, and even if they haven't they have a huge head start and a much bigger bankroll. If DuckDuckGo is going to succeed on it's search principles it's going to be as a curated search engine. That's a game where they can still compete with Google.
I completely agree with you about the lack of uniformity in search results. Curation is hard. It requires that a good source exist, that the curators are aware of it, and that it's amenable to being added to your system (technically and legally). Only one of these is under the direct control of the curators.
The reason the Python search sucks in DuckDuckGo the people running the curated Python search have a crappy search engine. Obviously either a better choice doesn't exist (probable), the DuckDuckGo curators don't know about it (very likely), or the better source isn't technically or legally accessible to the DDG curators (unlikely but possible).
Unlike the problems of a crawling and building general search index (where even to enter the market you need to have a massive infrastructure investment), these smaller problems of curation are attackable by a smaller team with limited resources. To improve the search results for !python they won't need to re-engineer their entire crawl/index infrastructure, they will simply need to pick a better third-party source once they are aware of it existing.
Yet you and billion others decided to be comfortable with it. Today the trend is clearly changing and privacy starts to become important. People not getting/losing jobs over it and other such problems certainly don't help.
But still. Faith in humanity certainly doesn't fare very well these days ;-)
Similar "stupid!" name outrages occurred over Vista, Xbox, Wii, iPad.. but they got absorbed into pop culture anyway and no longer seem weird. C'est la vie :-)
If I want to find a movie, I type !imdb Avengers
If I want to find a recipe, I type !allrecipes pizza
If I want to play music right now I type !grooveshark AC-DC Thunderstruck
If you know where to look use bangs. If you think Google does a better job, there's a bang for that too type !g
If I want to find a movie, I type site:imdb.com Avengers
If I want to find a recipe, I type site:allrecipes.com pizza
If I want to play music right now I type site:grooveshark.com AC-DC Thunderstruck
I almost never bother with sites' internal searches, as google's "site:" feature almost invariably works better, so I wouldn't be inclined to use DDG's site-search bang-lines myself. YMMV, I guess it depends on how good the site in question's internal search functionality is.
I dread to think how many human hours have been wasted because of sub-optimal Amazon searches.
I tend to do many searches in quick succession, so it sort of breaks my train of thought.
I suspect this has more to do with my internet connection/location than ddg, but for now it still makes it frustrating to use day to day.
Also, Google crawls and index's new content within 1-3 minutes. DDG takes 10+ minutes.
Remember, not only does Google have records of every search associated with your IP, but they've spent a lot of work trying to differentiate and distinguish people as their IPs change. They also index all email you receive using their services or if your place of employment uses those services.
In sum, this is actually a very detailed picture to paint of someone. It's not a matter of simply not using Gmail or Google, they've infested the internet with bugs that still provide detailed information of where people have visited and it's actually a bit of effort to slip under their radar. More effort than the average person will ever spend, anyway.
And it's not like you can have them remove what they already know about you, you just have to write that off as a matter of record now. If you still think this is a good thing to hand this all over to a company that owes you absolutely nothing and whose existence largely depends on holding this information about you...
I'm not a huge porn surfer but when I do find my self in certain corners of the internet, I use private browsing mode and a vpn. I doubt Google is using that as part of my profile.
The rest you say doesn't bother me as again it is a trade off. I trade information to get good search results.
"Brad seemed to really know his stuff in that phone screen, let's go ahead and purchase his past 6 months of search history before we bring him in for an interview". (sub in Facebook profile, etc.)
I'm not saying this will happen. I hope it never does. But there are definitely incentives in place right now to make this a reality, and I haven't event touched on big brother's back door access.
The only thing i can think of is news which i generally get via twitter links these days.
Its either some use case that everyone needs im ignorant of, or one so small its not a market worth chasing.
For the most part it works well, although, I periodically g! just to make sure I'm not missing something important.
The thing is, I don't particularly mind Google building up a profile of me, keeping track of my browsing, email, and prior searches. I mind them doing it to show me ads.
I strive to avoid needless purchases and prefer to keep as few items as possible (I've whittled my wardrobe down to couple pairs of pants and about a week's worth of shirts, undies, socks). I want to keep a simple, regular grocery list of bread, chicken, etc, and so avoid the coupons lest I be enticed to buy a fancy cereal or something. I know that Google constantly inundating me with products more and more relevant to my interests will lead to a life of higher spending.
DuckDuckGo is better in that regard (usually only one ad in the results) so I'm happy. But if I could pay a yearly ad-free fee to Google I'd do it in a heartbeat.
After all, Google's motto is "don't be evil". I think it's a bit naive to compare DuckDuckGo to Google at this point in time, where they have different statuses.
For brute force 'rgrep /internet' google has the scale and the technology to be way ahead of everybody else. But when I already know roughly what I want will exist, I apply duckduckgo.com, because they're less raw processing and more intelligently automated quasi-curation.
Love the bang syntax for site-specific searching. I have set up my browser before to do this, but now it's far more convenient to just set my browser's default engine to DDG and !bang syntax search.
Which is something completely different, and is also something present in DuckDuckGo.
Amazon is probably always going to be the most relevant search engine for their site, but the current choice for python searches may not be.
An example similar to python but that I have first hand experience with is Perl's CPAN searches. There are two search engines for CPAN, http://search.cpan.org and http://metacpan.org. DDG's !cpan originally defaulted to the first one, but at the time it's results were not as accurate or informative as the second one. Upon appeal the DDG people switched the default to http://metacpan.org providing everyone who used the !cpan results with what they felt was a better result.
Google tends to put too much weight on regional proximity and browser language settings, sacrificing the relevance to the query. I guess their approach works for a majority of people and queries, but there are so many times it just feels wrong.
E.g. on a simple query : http://imgur.com/ezKUm
(I am located in France, so french results come first. the two windows are in incognito mode for fairness, it's worse when logged in)
They have really improved in the last 3-4 months. The results related to programming are better than googles (imo).
I actually do. This, in fact, is a form of control over the information you get. Since I do not like that, I stick with DDG despite all the inconveniences.
Google should give people a way to opt out of the bubble.
Just sign out and clear your cookie every so often, or use an incognito window.
I was following what was happening in the valley at the time - and everyone used Yahoo!.
I went through and replaced all browser homes with the new and scrappy Google.com as the main search page.
I deployed this on all new machines as well, and I educated users on why this new, minimal site was better.
They ALL started using Google from that point on (~400 employees)
This is the same thing that needs to happen here.
Get an IT manager to set the default page to DDG and educate the users.
(CAVEAT! -- users are far more informed now than then, back then people hardly understood the internet's potential, let alone WTF a search co was -- so telling the avg user "google is bad, DDG good" will be more challenging than then...)
Us techier people knows that it's a more complicated, but there's no need to bother users with grey areas.
"I upgraded the Search Engine for everyone, it's a bit better now"
Google changes so much these days that most users wont notice it's not G anymore.
Either way I go the extra mile to give the underdog a chance.
I'm amazed Googlers can look at that every day at work and not feel like their company has lost it's way.
Just checked it now with ad blocker off on my 13" macbook air screen. The organic results are barely above the fold... barely. Offensive.
To be fair though, most people asking queries like this actually do want ads!
Original - http://imgur.com/AGM7I
Ad-blocked - http://imgur.com/Sj7pe
This is from my laptop screen. The first non-ad result is barely visible on the top fold of the page.
Thanks to that key word goes to zach from a comment in this thread. The results are pretty astonishing. I'm disappointed on barely how little visual difference exist between an ad and a legitimate result.