Is Google's Goose Cooked?
July 29, 2010 8:12 AM   Subscribe

DuckDuckGo (previously) is a startup search engine with built-in disambiguation, Wikipedia integration, and a bunch of site-specific searches. It collects no data on its users by default. Founder Gabriel Weinberg blogs and tweets.
posted by l33tpolicywonk (32 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Their disambiguation list is exactly the same as what Wikipedia has, so I guess that is just more integration.
posted by smackfu at 8:19 AM on July 29, 2010


How do you beat a company that has so firmly entrenched itself in the collective psyche that their name is now a verb used in everyday conversation?

Somehow, I think Google will be just fine.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:22 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pretty sweet. Too bad it doesn't have (it's own) image search. Since google got the one with admittedly better features, it is DOG slow. I might switch anyway, though.
posted by DU at 8:24 AM on July 29, 2010


They automatically have a short cut set to the down and up arrows, which moves a green box over different search results. I use down and up on a regular basis to scroll the window - especially when browsing on a laptop.

That's sort of irritating right off the bat.
posted by codacorolla at 8:24 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoa, the up/down thing is awesome. And you can turn it off.
posted by DU at 8:27 AM on July 29, 2010


Best logo ever?
posted by mek at 8:39 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Duck Duck Go is punk.
posted by domnit at 8:45 AM on July 29, 2010


It's like the AltaVista of 2010.
posted by swift at 8:52 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


How do you beat a company that has so firmly entrenched itself in the collective psyche that their name is now a verb used in everyday conversation?

Be better?

Offering a Mozilla search plugin doesn't hurt either.
posted by clarknova at 8:54 AM on July 29, 2010


It is more focused and pointed than Google and when it can not find exactly what you want, it suggests you try Google.
posted by Postroad at 8:57 AM on July 29, 2010


Playing around with it a little bit it seems pretty powerful, but there are two big things that dissuade me from ever stopping my Google searching habit:

1) It's second nature to type Google into my address bar. So much so that even when browsers started getting the search box in the upper right by default, I still manually go to the Google home page and type in the search. duckduckgo doesn't really roll off the fingertips.

2) I'm used to Google's set-up, even with all of the changes they've recently made. Duckduckgo looks... ugly. Its information isn't broken up very well, there's a lot of white space, but not in a good way, it isn't color coded very well... I could go on. At least Bing looks nice.

It's nice to see other people trying to get into the search field though.
posted by codacorolla at 8:58 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Be better?

That's kind of my point. You can be better, but until you you manage to get the phrase 'Google it' out of peoples vernacular, they will always be the default.

Google is to internet search as Kleenex is to tissues, Band-Aid is to bandages, etc...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:01 AM on July 29, 2010


I doesn't look pretty, but when I did a search for a specific type of image viewer I actually got useful results instead of pages and pages of "freeware" sites. So it's been added to my arsenal, for sure.
posted by charred husk at 9:03 AM on July 29, 2010


It's second nature to type Google into my address bar. So much so that even when browsers started getting the search box in the upper right by default, I still manually go to the Google home page and type in the search. duckduckgo doesn't really roll off the fingertips.

I switched my home page from Google to DDG. Also, I usually googled with a keyword in the address field, like "g charles babbage" where the "g" indicates the command "google". I just added a "d" for DDG, but I could have made "g" point to DDG instead. No need to retrain at all.
posted by DU at 9:03 AM on July 29, 2010


Google is to internet search as Kleenex is to tissues, Band-Aid is to bandages, etc...

You mean the word people use even when they aren't using the product?
posted by DU at 9:04 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Not sure I like their implementation of Safe Search. The last search query I had in the Firefox search field was "jefferson sex with a slave" (couldn't remember if there was merit to that claim), so I tried that when I added Duck Duck Go, because it was there.

Safe search is on. Your search was filtered to: jefferson with a slave

While it's three simple clicks to turn it off, and the link is provided on "on", I don't think that filtering out the search terms is the way to go here.

And just to confirm a suspicion:

Safe search is on. Your search was filtered to: cancer
posted by darksasami at 9:04 AM on July 29, 2010


On the URL issue: dukgo.com redirects to duckduckgo.com. You may find that easier to type.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:05 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


How do you beat a company that has so firmly entrenched itself in the collective psyche that their name is now a verb used in everyday conversation?

Tell that to people who do the hoovering with their Dyson.
posted by jontyjago at 9:15 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I switched my home page from Google to DDG. Also, I usually googled with a keyword in the address field, like "g charles babbage" where the "g" indicates the command "google". I just added a "d" for DDG, but I could have made "g" point to DDG instead. No need to retrain at all.

Huh... maybe I'll give it a try the next few times I'm trying to find something. I think my point still stands about it being ugly, though.
posted by codacorolla at 9:18 AM on July 29, 2010


How do you beat a company that has so firmly entrenched itself in the collective psyche that their name is now a verb used in everyday conversation?

When was the last time you "Xeroxed" something?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:05 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not a fan of the way it displays all results on a single page. I think I'll stick with Google.
posted by Dreamcast at 10:44 AM on July 29, 2010


I didn't know Scarlett Johansson was gay...
posted by drmanhattan at 10:53 AM on July 29, 2010


I like Duck Duck Go, especially the 'zero click info' feature, but it looks like blekko will eclipse it as the cool new search engine on the block in pretty short order.

blekko is certainly getting way more hype than DDG has in the two years since it launched, even though (or because?) it's still in private beta, and its 'slashtags' are pretty much the same as '!bang' searches.

Typing all those cutesy names made me remember how stupid Google used to sound, as did Hotbot before it. What was the last search engine with a reasonable name? I remember using WebCrawler and Infoseek in the early '90s - good, solid names that told you what the things were for (even if they weren't any good at seeking info or crawling the web).
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 10:54 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like DuckDuckGo, but Google's goose is definitely not cooked.

One place DDG could use some improvement is when looking for answers to questions like "how do I do X in Linux?" on forums. Google just blows it out of the water.

get it? Duck... water...? I'll show myself out.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 11:05 AM on July 29, 2010


I've heard of DDG twice in a week and blekko not at all (except for just now...).

I also didn't have any problems answering a Linux question.
posted by DU at 11:10 AM on July 29, 2010


I'll happily switch to the first search engine that lets me create an exclude list of shitty sites and domains so that they never soil my browser (I'm looking at you, Yahoo Answers and About.com).
posted by coolguymichael at 11:38 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


First result on your sample David Foster Wallace search is a 404. Second result is a Salon home-page redirect.
posted by nicwolff at 12:10 PM on July 29, 2010


Why the hell not? Just made it my default search in Google Chrome.

Irony!
posted by clvrmnky at 12:50 PM on July 29, 2010


I'll happily switch to the first search engine that lets me create an exclude list of shitty sites and domains so that they never soil my browser (I'm looking at you, Yahoo Answers and About.com).

Oh hell yeah... Elsevier, IngentaConnect, and SpringerLink will be the first ones on my list. If I want to search paywall stuff then let me decide to do that.
posted by crapmatic at 1:09 PM on July 29, 2010


Hey, remember me? Yeah, didn't think so.
posted by inigo2 at 2:03 PM on July 29, 2010


I like the ducky in the logo.
posted by slogger at 2:15 PM on July 29, 2010


Someone make a browser plugin that just randomly submits your search strings to one of a list of engines.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:19 PM on July 29, 2010


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