Is DuckDuckGo Better Than Google?

Category: Search-Engines

Google has an overwhelming lead in the global search market, handling over ninety percent of all searches. But that doesn't faze people like Gabriel Weinberg, an entrepreneur who developed an odd-sounding search engine to address flaws in Google's search strategy. Find out if DuckDuckGo can be your primary search engine, and if this fast-growing, privacy-focused option is likely to knock Google off its perch as the top search engine...

What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckgo is a hybrid search engine based in Paoli, Pennsylvania. DuckDuckGo's search results are duckderived from Yahoo!, Wolfram Alpha, Bing, Yandex, its own web crawler (the DuckDuckBot) and crowdsourced sites, including Wikipedia and others.

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo does not try to index every page on the Web. It screens out obvious "content farms" that consist of low-quality content written mainly to rank highly in Google search results. DuckDuckGo filters out most pages from eHow for example, as well as pages that have "too much" advertising. Whether this sort of relevance-screening is helpful or dangerous is in the eye of the beholder.

Privacy, though, is the main selling feature of DuckDuckGo. By default, search terms and other information about users are not saved by the search engine, or passed along to the sites that user clicks on from the search results. DuckDuckGo doesn't compile data dossiers about their users and sell that information to advertisers. Their privacy policy is simple: "We don’t collect or share any of your personal information." You can search privately at, add private web search with an extension to your favorite browser, or use the DuckDuckGo mobile app.

DuckDuckGo Search Engine

One of the more interesting features of DuckDuckGo is its panoply of "bang words," which are shortcuts that quickly take you to search results on other sites. For example, entering "!amazon bags" will launch a search of for the word "bags." Using bang words, you can search a set of specific sites instead of the entire Web. In addition to Amazon, Wikipedia, Yelp and eBay, over 13,500 other sites are supported.

Just A Bunch of Quacks?

The name "DuckDuckGo" is a nonsense word with no hidden meaning; it was just the first name that popped into Weinberg's head, he says. Some have noted the name's similarity to the children's game, "Duck, Duck, Goose." But before you criticize DuckDuckGo for having an odd name, think about the success of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Launched in 2007, DuckDuckGo makes public its traffic statistics. As of September 2021, the site was handling about 100 million queries per day, almost double the volume of the year prior. Google draws about 5.6 billion searches per day, by comparison. Looking at Search engine market share worldwide, we see Google 92.04% / Bing 2.66% / Baidu (China) 1.64% / Yahoo! 1.48% / Yandex (Russia) 0.9% / DuckDuckGo 0.61%. From 2019 to 2021 in the U.S. DuckDuckGo's market share doubled from 1.25 percent to 2.52 percent. It's a small slice of a large pie, but growth is accelerating.

You might wonder how a privacy-focused search engine makes money. DuckDuckGo's CEO says there is plenty of opportunity to make money in search without tracking and profiling searchers. To wit, the company has been profitable since 2014 with revenues exceeding US$100 million per year. Anonymous keyword-based advertising is the primary revenue source. If you search for "dishwashers" on DuckDuckGo, you'll see ads for dishwashers. They also have non-tracking affiliate partnerships with Amazon and eBay.

It's unclear how many search users DuckDuckGo can ultimately attract with its privacy and relevance pitches. Other wannabe Google killers include Ask, Ecosia, Gibiru, Lycos, Naver, Neeva, Qmamu, Seznam, Swisscows, and Yippy. When was the last time you used any of those?

That's not to say there isn't a place for innovation or alternatives in the search engine arena. If DuckDuckGo or one of these alternative search tools meets your needs, and helps you find what you seek, then more power to ya. Have you tried DuckDuckGo? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Is DuckDuckGo Better Than Google?"

(See all 57 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

John T
27 Oct 2021

Will have to take their (and your!) word on the privacy angle, but I switched to DDG a few years ago after finding I got better / more relevant "answers" to my searches with them.

Posted by:

27 Oct 2021

to Ronald Ottenwess:
Even something firmly in the centre can appear to be "left-leaning" if you're standing on the right.

Posted by:

Eli "Dr. Blues" Marcus
27 Oct 2021

I have been using DuckDuckGo off and on for years, as it is the default on Linux Mint installations. But in the last year, in order to minimize exposure to the Google monopoly and to avoid Chrome-based browsers, I have made DDG my exclusive search engine on all devices - in the workplace and at home (3 laptops, one tablet, one phone).
I do occasionally check with Google for hard to find, very old data, just to make sure that I haven't missed anything by only searching on DDG.

Posted by:

Eli "Dr. Blues" Marcus
27 Oct 2021

Historical perspective: I recall the days when the Firefox browser was new and the underdog, and many predicted that it was just a passing fad, a "geek" thing that would never surpass Microsoft's Internet Explorer... So, all I'm saying is, we can support what we think is better, and hope that in time, enough people join us to possibly help curb the monopolies and create a little more of a balance...

Posted by:

27 Oct 2021

I've been using DDG as my primary internet search engine for at least a couple of years now and have always been impressed with the search results. I started using it because of google's privacy issues. Your article has exposed me to some other aspects of DDG. Thanks

Posted by:

27 Oct 2021

I trust nothing that has to do with Google. DDG has served me well since it first became available.

Posted by:

Jay B
27 Oct 2021

Yippy was a great search engine, I used it all the time until its demise. I was sad to see it go the way of the buffalo.
I have used DDG occasionally since 2007, I should probably make it my main search engine.

Posted by:

Kate A
27 Oct 2021

I use DuckDuckGo almost exclusively. I sometimes used Google, chiefly when I wanted to set a date range--not wanting computer information from 10 years ago, for example. Now that I know how to set a date range with DDG, I don't need Google and all its tracking. I value my privacy.

Posted by:

27 Oct 2021

I have been using DDG as the search engine on my PC, and on my phone I am using the browser as well as the search engine and have been for a number of years. I get good results and love that I am not using Google and get some privacy without compromising good results.

Posted by:

28 Oct 2021

LOL, this article reminded me of the tender" years on the innerweb when I used Dogpile. A search results aggregator which is still there !!
A REAL sink hole for your info. Must admit, I'm most often a drooloogle lemming.

Posted by:

28 Oct 2021

I have been using DDG almost exclusively for a number of years. But I have not figured out how to the deep specialized searches (genealogy) without the special characters and nature of google. So I may use google, reluctantly, none or a few times a month.

Posted by:

29 Oct 2021

I have been using DuckDuckGo ever since the political landscape changed several years ago and it has never failed to produce the search results that I desire.

Posted by:

30 Oct 2021

to Richard:
and I would suppose something firmly in the centre can appear to be "right-leaning" if you're standing on the left too.

Posted by:

30 Oct 2021

Only use DDG for years. It finds things most relevant things which Google never did.

Posted by:

31 Oct 2021

I have been using duckduckgo for around 18 months. Generally very good, and only use Google when searching for maps, as the maps via Google maps generally tend to be superior.

Posted by:

31 Oct 2021

Wow. This website is such a throwback to the simpler times of early internet... I kind of love it for the nostalgia.

Posted by:

03 Nov 2021

Regardless of what side of the ideological spectrum you call home, we should always be skeptical of companies that form a nearly seamless relationship with government. Google did that over a decade ago, and they have also been unrepentantly cavalier about ignoring user privacy.

I started using DDG about a year ago and found it seems to have a better combination of content and commitment to privacy than previous "privacy conscious" search engines that tried to compete with Google. When people start choosing their privacy over convenience, search engines like DDG have the chance to gain major market share.

Posted by:

21 Nov 2021

I have used the "DUCK" exclusivity, and avoid like the plague all things Google,and their intrusive software/freeware/free-use garbage.

Posted by:

Lee Larkey
01 Dec 2021

How do I change my primary search engine to duckduckgo?

Entries provided did not answer my quesion.

Posted by:

30 Dec 2021

Google does a lot of "editing" for Big Pharma, Big Money and Global Warming etc, which DDG does not appear to do.
Try "Hilary Clinton hits" in each and you will see.

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