Making the most of DuckDuckGo

Yesterday I changed my default search engine in Google Chrome from Google to DuckDuckGo, known for not collecting personal information and Zero-click info (not my example!). I’ve noted down a few points for getting the most out of this interesting search engine.

  • Add DuckDuckGo to your browser and make it the default search engine. That way you wont instinctively go to Google.
  • Be sure to turn on SSL in the DuckDuckGo settings, which will turn on SSL for some links too in accordance with the same ruleset HTTPS Everywhere (a Firefox extension for forcing secure browsing where possible) uses. (source)
  • Learn some useful !bang commands to speed up your searches. Prefixing a search with these commands causes the search to run on that site instead, for example !fb for Facebook, !tw for Twitter, !youtube for YouTube, and even !so for StackOverflow.
  • Change your region in the settings to where you live if you don’t mind DuckDuckGo at least knowing that (they don’t store it though).

DuckDuckGo does some indexing of the web itself, but it also makes clever use of third party APIs such as Yahoo BOSS (source) and has been considered more of a ‘Hybrid Search Engine’ than a traditional one. This makes sense; why compete with Google’s vast indexing infrastructure when you can just combine data from loads of other services, add a bit of your own, and refine it to something really useful?

Got any other tips for using DuckDuckGo? Have you tried it but now gone back to Google? Let me know in the comments!

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