DuckDuckGo – the search engine better than Google

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

how I do search

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.

DuckDuckGo - the search engine better than Google

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 Leo.org.

  • “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.

DuckDuckGo - the search engine better than Google

For comparison the Googel result:

DuckDuckGo - the search engine better than Google

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.

DuckDuckGo - the search engine better than Google

And Google for comparison.

DuckDuckGo - the search engine better than Google

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.

DuckDuckGo - the search engine better than Google

goodbye google reader – it was nice meeting you … hello feedly!

a good (and very fast) alternative for google reader

i was just about to switch from google reader to tt-rss when i scrolled through my starred articles and stumbled upon an lifehacker article mentioning feedly

so while i was uploading tt-rss i thought i could give feedly a try …

the good parts

what i can say now:

– it is fast

– it integrates in firefox and has an iphone app (which is amazingly fast)

– the ui is clean and clutter free

the missing

it seems to be the perfect replacement for google reader .. but .. from this first (approx. 30 minutes) evaluation i am missing two things:

takeout

just like google takeout i would like to know that i can export my feed list and switch my reader of choice at any time .. maybe that option exists but i could not find it …

search

the search seems to be a web search .. i was not able to search just within my feeds … (just found out it is requested and planned)

the conclusion

at a first sight it seems to be the perfect replacement .. but the lacking features makes it not my first choice …

i will set up and evaluate tt-rss next …