Of course you know about Google, Yahoo, Bing and AOL, but have you heard of the DuckDuckGo search engine? Well, it’s an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the “filter bubble” of personalized search results.
A Look at the DuckDuckGo Search Engine
The “filter bubble” is a term coined by internet activist Eli Pariser to refer to the selective information that search engines present to users based on variances such as location, past click behavior and search history. That means that different results are shown to different people. Not everyone who searches for a particular topic sees the same results. While this might be beneficial at certain times, the filter bubble also can isolate and deter you from seeing the entire picture. DuckDuckGo doesn’t have a filter bubble. And the ability to switch which local region you’re searching in gives you more options and ultimately, a truer search.
While its main draw is lack of a filter bubble, DuckDuckGo has another killer feature you may not have heard of – !bangs. By simply appending “!g” or “!google” in the search box you will be taken immediately to the Google search engine. If you type !stackoverflow, !wikipedia or a large number of other similarly well-known web destinations, the DuckDuckGo will bring up these respective websites too. This is pretty clever stuff!
The search engine also doesn’t follow you around with ads.
Here’s a scenario; you search for restaurants and go through a few. The next time you want to search for something, the search engine will show you targeted restaurant ads. This could be useful for a variety of reasons, but it is typically a monetization strategy. However, DuckDuckGo keeps a clean, clutter-free interface at all times. “We don’t store your search history,” says the company on their main search page . “We therefore have nothing to sell to advertisers that track you across the internet.”
The downside with this search engine, however, is that it’s not as intuitive as Google when it comes to news. The search engine doesn’t seem to have a section that’s specifically dedicated to News.
Overall, DuckDuckGo is definitely one of the more private search engines around. Its clean design, lack of filter bubble and ibangs makes it a useful research tool if — you need to get out of your bubble and explore some new things on the web..