Is DuckDuckGo a Good Search Engine?

Filed under DuckDuckGo Q&A

Yes! We clearly think DuckDuckGo is a great search engine, though we’re actually that and much more.

If you’re unfamiliar with DuckDuckGo, we're the leading provider of simple privacy protection tools to help you seamlessly take back control of your personal information online. We’ve been providing a private alternative to Google Search at https://duckduckgo.com for over a decade, and also offer browsing apps with privacy protections for iOS/Android/Mac (DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser) as well as browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Edge and Safari (DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials) to help protect your privacy in other browsers.

Searching the web with DuckDuckGo Search is completely anonymous; we simply never save or share any of your personal information that can tie you back to your searches, as explained in our strict privacy policy. For example, we don’t store IP addresses or any other unique identifiers in search logs. As a result, we don’t even have the ability to create search histories or data profiles for any individual. It’s privacy by design.

We think that’s awesome (and hope you do too), though, are the search results any good? Again, yes, and we’re not alone in saying so!

DuckDuckGo Search gives you truly private search results without tradeoffs in result quality. We have everything you’ve come to expect in your online search experience, and a few bonus features that make searching the Internet not only private, but also faster and a bit more fun.

DuckDuckGo Search features include:

Maps

Weather

Local business answers (e.g., restaurant addresses and phone numbers)

News

Images

Videos

Products/shopping

Definitions

Wikipedia reference

Currency conversions

Flight information

Calculator

Timer

Sports scores

Question/Answer reference, (e.g. StackOverflow for computer programming)

DuckDuckGo Search Bonus Features

In addition, we have a couple of bonus features that you might have never seen before. There may be times when you want to search on other websites and we make that very easy with a feature we call "bangs". These are shortcuts that take you directly to one of over 12,000 websites, for example searching for "!w duck" will take you directly to Wikipedia's article about our feathered friends. Remember, though, because your search is actually taking place on that other site, you are subject to that site’s policies, including its data collection practices.

It's also important to be able to customize the search experience, so we have many settings such as language and region localization.

One you may not have seen is that on DuckDuckGo you can even customize the way the search results look and feel including a popular dark theme, which even triggers dark mode maps.

Back to Privacy

As you can see above, we've tried to make it as easy as possible to switch to DuckDuckGo Search from other search engines. But, why would you do that? Privacy.

You share your most intimate secrets with your search engine without even thinking: medical, financial and personal issues, along with all the day-to-day things that make you, well, you. All of that personal information should be private, but on Google it’s not. On Google, your searches are tracked, stored, and packaged up into a data profile for advertisers to follow you around the Internet through those intrusive and annoying ever-present banner ads, using Google’s massive ad networks embedded across millions of sites and apps.

If you do switch to DuckDuckGo Search, keep in mind that some of the results you are used to getting when you search things will be different. And different isn’t a bad thing!

One way our search results are different is, unlike other search engines, we don’t alter search results based on someone’s previous search history. In fact, since we don’t track our users we don’t have access to search histories at all! Those other search engines show you results based on a data profile about you and your online activity (including your search history), and so can be slanted towards what they think you will click on the most based on this profiling. This effect is commonly known as the search filter bubble, but using DuckDuckGo can help you escape it.

This does not mean our search results are generally “unfiltered” because, for every search you make online, a search engine’s job is to filter millions of possible results down to a ranked order of just a handful. In other words, a search engine has to use algorithms programmed by people to determine what shows up first in the list of results, what shows up second, and so on. Otherwise, for every search you’d just get a completely random set of results, which of course wouldn’t be very useful.

So, give DuckDuckGo Search a try – the results are not just private, they're accurate and fast! And to go one step further we’d recommend moving away from the Google suite of products entirely. As mentioned, we have our own browsing apps, and for other Google services, we have recommendations for private alternatives for when you’re ready to take complete control of your online privacy.

Note: This blog post has been edited since initial publication to stay up to date with our evolving product offerings.

Is DuckDuckGo a Good Search Engine?
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