DuckDuckGo Pro

My favorite search engine just keeps getting better and better. It’s a joy to know that Google doesn’t have every corner of my life in their database—especially the significant corner that is my web search engine.

DuckDuckGo has been around for a few years now, and it’s just about every month now they are getting better and more renown. It’s actively improved—whereas, smaller competitors of Google search can’t keep up, they seem to manage well. DDG is a simple yet powerful search engine alternative for Google[1]. If you don’t want a log kept on all that you do on the web through the assistant that is Google search, and if you don’t appreciate personalized advertisements, then check into DDG. I find DuckDuckGo is satisfactory in about 90% of my web searches. The other 10%: Wikipedia 5% and Google Images 5%.

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One thing DDG has figured out is a method to customize the results and appearance of users’ search pages to their unique tastes and preferences. Google has a very limited and impersonal search experience. Whereas, DDG makes it your own if you care to customize settings for the appearance, search results per page, etc. What’s really cool is how you can customize the settings of DDG completely anonymously, then sync your customizations across devices. I find it fascinating that I can customize a search engine experience and then use those settings on any or all my computers and they all keep in sync anonymously. Brilliant.

If Google wanted to prove to me they are as transparent as they say, I’d like them to offer a privacy settings. Even Facebook has them (in their own special way), but there really isn’t any for Google. If you want to privately search with Google, be certain you are not logged into any Google web service. This includes YouTube. I find it especially user unfriendly to not offer users the anonymity if it really matters to them. It’s not like it would really hurt Google at this point if the less than 1% that care could privately search via Google. Because they do not offering privacy, I have lost a lot of respect for their company.

I remember when I contacted the developer, Gabriel Weinberg, and he sent DDG stickers. Great guy. I’m glad to support such a formidable startup as a search engine in a world ruled by the big Google empire. All the more power to startups and their noble products.

Footnotes:

  1. Not that I have a strong feeling against Google, but they were not especially friendly when I visited their headquarters. :-) Pixar, Facebook, and especially Apple were—Google and Adobe were not. But in all seriousness, I agree with David Sparks about Google. I know in our times it would be very tough for many productive people to switch to services other than Google’s, and that’s why “dumping” isn’t for everyone. However, there are several valid concerns. So, check out  the Mac Power Users episode 077 on Google here, and see why Katie and David discuss what is going on with Google and alternative services if you are ready to jump ship.
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