January 09, 2013

Search me

Since I use Firefox as my browser, I have a search bar that can default to a number of different search engines.  Quite a while back I set it to duckduckgo.  I didn't think anything more about it. 

Then I was listening to the most recent Mike Tech Show podcast #440.  He had a segment about duckduckgo.  Apparently they are located in Phillie which is where Mike lives and they presented at a tech meeting he attended.  Thus I found new and shiny search information goodness.  

Here are some of the take-aways that are very nice and impressive.

1 - They don't track you.  Your searches are yours. They aren't watching what you're doing and where you're going like google does.  Granted google does it to send ads your way, but that's not important to me.  So I like this feature.

2 - They don't filter the results.  This means I may find something I would have to dig deeply to find on google, if I even bothered. 

and my favorite of all:

3 - The "bang" search (so called because in tech speak this: "!" is called a bang).  This is very very cool.  It allows you to search a particular site instead of the entire internet when you are looking for something. 

For example. 

Say I'm looking for a "desktop monitor stand".  If I search for this directly I will get half a bazillion different sites with monitor stands.  In some cases that might be what I want.  However, if I know I'm going to search Amazon for such a thing... it's duckduckgo to the rescue with a "one click search".  And since Amazon or Wikipedia among others are such heavily searched sites, they even have abbreviations to make the typing faster. 

Therefore in my duckduckgo search box I would type in

desktop monitor stand !a

This takes me to Amazon and shows me all the desktop monitor stands available.   

If I wanted to find out about the Mayan end of the world on Wikipedia, the search would be:

Mayan end of the world !w

I love this.

To find all the "bang" commands (of which there are many from shopping to research) go to their search bar and type in:


This will bring up their page showing what you can do to make your searching better and faster. 

Give it a shot as a search engine.  I sometimes go to google for things like game scores which it brings up on an initial search, but nearly everything else I search for is on duckduckgo.

You may want to watch their vid which is on their About page.

Happy searching.

***small update:  There's also an app for that!  If you are on idevices just go to itunes and search for it.  If you are on Android head to the app store and do the same - it's free. 

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 01:05 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 Thanks! I had never heard of that one, but am adding it now.

Posted by: Julie at January 09, 2013 03:29 PM (/BeSW)

2 Hope it works for you Julie!

Posted by: Teresa at January 09, 2013 04:12 PM (hJwgq)

3 Wow, that sounds awesome!  Thanks!

Posted by: Pam at January 10, 2013 02:41 PM (VZULe)

4 Have fun Pam

Posted by: Teresa at January 10, 2013 05:04 PM (hJwgq)

5 I had DDG in my toolbar next to Google. Didn't know about the !bang feature. Use it all the time now. !w is much easier to type than site:wikipedia.org.

Today (January 2 I learned it's Data Privacy Day. Duck Duck Go made a special page How-to stop getting tracked in your Browser

Thanks for your tip. It's been great to use.

Posted by: cin at January 28, 2013 02:24 PM (DBAeF)

6 Yay Cin!!! Glad you like it

Posted by: Teresa at January 28, 2013 06:25 PM (hJwgq)

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