Getting More from DuckDuckGo

It’s been several years since I last wrote about DuckDuckGo and how I use it as my primary search engine. At this point, it is my default search engine everywhere for some pretty good privacy-related reasons.

I do not consider myself a tinfoil-hat-wearing privacy nut, but personal tracking on the web is out of hand. DuckDuckGo provides me some measure protection. Moreover, since using DuckDuckGo, I haven’t noticed much of a decline in search results over what I used to get with Google.

Another feature that I like about DuckDuckGo is its power-user features. There are a lot of them. It usually starts with an exclamation point and then some sort of code. DuckDuckGo calls them “bangs”. As an example, “!g MacSparky” performs an anonymous Google search through the DuckDuckGo system. There are, however, a lot more, and recently Brett Terpstra indexed the best ones on his website with the post appropriately called “The Ultimate Guide to DuckDuckGo”.

DuckDuckGo Growth and Its Future With Apple

9to5 Mac reports DuckDuckGo has grown 600 percent. It doesn’t surprise me that DuckDuckGo is growing. The word is getting out and its search gets continually better. I’ve been using it as my primary web search engine and I haven’t missed Google enough to want to go back. I’m not saying DuckDuckGo is as good as Google, but it’s close enough and the way in which DuckDuckGo respects my privacy more than makes up the difference.

John Gruber writes pondering what would happen if Apple made DuckDuckGo the default search engine on iOS. I can’t tell if he knows something and is being coy or just speculating. (I suspect it’s the latter.) Regardless, DuckDuckGo is a lot more in line with Apple’s stance on privacy and the idea that Apple would switch the default engine to DuckDuckGo makes some sense.

The Little Duck that Could

I've written about DuckDuckGo before. It's an alternative search engine that has, as item number one on it's white board, "don't track users". My searches really aren't all that interesting but I don't like becoming a Google product all that much either. DuckDuckGo isn't as fast, or frankly as good, as Google but it is narrowing the gap. They continue to evolve and most recently announced a redesign that you can try right now at

The search results, show in the below gallery, are very attractive and pretty good. I'm back to using it full time and it's not annoying me. The features to search images, videos, and the dictionary are very clean. Best of all, I'm not anybody's product. If you’ve not tried DuckDuckGo in awhile, go back. You’ll be surprised.