Google hoarding data always worried me but the results where the best - no competitor could deliver results that good.

For many years I am using Firefox’s “keyword search”-feature. This feature (first introduced by Opera iirc) helps specifying the site/search engine within the address bar and may be just one character long.

If I type “searching the web using my default search engine” into the address bar and confirm it with return, the text will be searched with my default search machine (DuckDuckGo). But if i prepend a “g” followed by a space, the text will be searched by Google. Analogue if I configured to prepend an “a” for Amazon, “e” for Ebay and “d” for translations by

  • “g Porsche 911” searches on Google for “Porsche 911”
  • “a Porsche 911” searches on Amazon for “Porsche 911”
  • “e Porsche 911” searches on Ebay for “Porsche 911”
  • “gi Porsche 911” searches on Google Images for “Porsche 911”
  • etc.

So setting a default search engine is a comfort feature or me to not have to specify/prepend the search engine.

looking for Google-Alternatives

Every now and then I convinced myself to try “not Google” as my default search engine as colleagues where using Bing for all their searches - happily. So I once tried Yahoo, then Bing, ixquick, and MetaGer to be my default search engine. Also when switching I forced myself to use that search engine for at least one week. I’ve been doing this for the last two years searching for an alternative - everytime with the same result -> switching back to Google as my default search engine.

the difference

Until I tried DuckDuckGo. IIRC I tried DuckDuckGo some months ago and was not pleased (while writing this I think I might mistook it for ixquick). Nevertheless I switched my default browser again and was excited looking at that result when searching for “linux test wifi strength”. Not only was there a list of links pointing me to websites where the answer to my question might be found but the result from the top hit presented right under my search query.

For comparison the Googel result:

The advantage is obvious - instead of clicking on the first hit, there looking for the answer to my question you get the solution right at a glance. The “Google step” where you have to click on a result list to get the answer you are looking for is omitted. Awesome!

Not always .. but every now and then

This of course does not work with every search query but when I was searching for “php cast string” (and similar things about programming) the answer was right there.

And Google for comparison.

Nice also

Very nice also was the result for the search query “beautify html”.

DuckDuckGo itself can beautify obfuscated HTML no need to click my way to yet another web page - another click less for me.