Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jun 2, 2012
A couple of days ago I was talking about whether it was a good thing or not to trust companies that end up being too big. I mentioned Google specifically because these days they’re in the news almost as often as Facebook. I wondered if there was an alternative to some of these large companies.
Of course I already knew of one when it comes to search engines, and it’s called Duck Duck Go. It sounds like a silly name but it’s a serious search engine and fast becoming the nerds option for searches where they don’t want to be tracked by cookies. Indeed, it’s what Google used to be at the beginning; a clean interface that only does searches, with no advertising, no tracking, and sometimes more accurate results than what you might find on Google. Sometimes, that is.
You’re asking about the “more accurate” part I assume (of course you are lol). I did a test by running a search term for one of my business sites. On Google I’m not even listed in the top 100 for the term; on Duck Duck Go I came up at #22. Why I say it’s more accurate is because on Google all these sites come up that aren’t local, that somewhere on their site might have “Syracuse” listed but, because it’s a large site, they end up outranking me for the term. On The Duck (I think I’m going to call it that) it eliminated almost all of those sites, although there were still a bunch in front of me. Still, more sites that were above me were local, even if they don’t do one of the terms I mentioned, using it a much different way than I meant it.
Now, before you say you like something like this and will leave Google forever, there are some things you need to know. Right now it only does searches for pages. If you want to search for images, news, blogs, etc, it doesn’t do any of that. That’s why I have them side by side in my toolbar, so I can select which one I want to use for which purpose. And there seems to be some relationship between them and the Mozilla folks, but since I’m a major Firefox fan I don’t have a problem with that.
Anyway, it’s a nice alternative, and one I’ll be using more often. One can only hope that when they get bigger, and they will, that they hold true to their mission in some fashion. I will never have a problem with them adding advertising, but I don’t want to be tracked and, well, imposed upon all the time.