There was a time when we were growing up when we had many search engines active on the internet. Yahoo, AOL, and other search engines were all effective and had similar shares of the search market. That was until Google. It quickly became the king of search engines. However, a serious rival might have emerged in the form of DuckDuckGo.
The only real alternative
Currently, there are no real alternatives to Google when you need a search engine. There are others on the internet but most are afterthoughts. Google has a huge share of the market here. DuckDuckGo has been showing signs of being the only potential rival to it. Just this September, they have had 800 daily direct queries on their search engine. It is actually already profitable, which is quite impressive for the relative newcomer. However, profitability alone won’t keep a search engine afloat.
DuckDuckGo’s entire selling point is its privacy. The search engine prides itself in not tracking your search history, time or location of your search, or your internet address. It’s a stark contrast to Google’s latest Google+ fiasco. This is the type of feature that will never feel like making a difference. This is because you don’t know what you’ve lost till you’ve lost your privacy. It’s not something you’ll find yourself caring about on a day to day basis. You will, however, need it every day with our ever-increasing dependency on the internet.
Easy navigation and similar results
Functionally, there are almost no differences between the search engines of Google and DuckDuckGo. The results are stunningly similar on all but a few niche words that are used much more sparingly. The navigation of DuckDuckGo is also very fluid. It’s fairly easy to conduct a search and use other related options. Image search is different to Google but still, show similar results. All in all, without the change of interface, you would have never known you’re using a different search engine.
Again, the biggest marketing for DuckDuckGo is that it does not track its user. That’s why it should be a no-brainer that it doesn’t result in as many ads as Google. There will still be many ads in generic ad bait search phrases, but the number of ads on other kinds of searches are lower.
One of the things that we have come to depend on here is the spellcheck from Google. Google provides the “did you mean” feature, which helps users identify if they have made a typo. No such feature can be found in DuckDuckGo.
Sure, no one actually turns to the second page of a search on Google. Still, there are ten or twenty pages of search results on it. This is something DuckDuckGo lacks. It only has a few search results shown comparatively. We could only click on the “More Results” button 5 times when searching Overwatch.
There are some interesting features on it. Namely, if you type stopwatch, you will get a stopwatch on your tab. DuckDuckGo’s “Bang” feature has generated some buzz in the tech industry. We find it to be gimmicky at best. For example, typing “yt!” takes the user straight to YouTube. This sounds cool in theory, but most of us millennials already get to YouTube by simply typing “y” in the URL bar.
The DuckDuckGo is a cool alternative to Google, but it’s also less convenient. The privacy features make it a great option, but Google still has better convenience. Overall, if your main issue is online security, it would be a great choice for you. However, if your online presence isn’t something you worry about, Google is still too convenient to ditch.