How does DuckDuckGo improve search results

DuckDuckGo - the better search engine?

Anyone looking for something on the Internet does it - of course - on Google. But aren't there perhaps alternatives that don't create a complete profile of my life and still deliver useful results? I think so: DuckDuckGo.

For a couple of weeks now I've been seeing them everywhere: DuckDuckGo advertising posters. DuckDuckGo is a search engine and now you could ask yourself why you still have to write articles on search engines in 2020? Google has monopolized the market and you can get anything you could want there. And don't be fooled at this point: Google has the best results. And that's no wonder, after all, they're a multi-billion dollar company that pulls together data from all sorts of sources and creates personal profiles. So for an alternative it cannot be about delivering better results. Instead, it has to stand out in some other way. And of course the results can't be too bad. I can accept slightly worse results if the added value is greater overall. Of course, the results are not too bad. So what's the booth at DuckDuckGo? And why should I even use DuckDuckGo instead of Google?

One business model, two approaches

The answer is simple: data protection. Google is not a search engine. Google is a data seller. The business model is simple. We as users are not the customers, companies are. With its unbeatable free offer, Google collects data from users, sells it to companies that want to advertise and earns its money in this way.

DuckDuckGo stands out here. Yes, DuckDuckGo also advertises and earns a large part of its money. The adverts placed are not based on the user profiles like on Google, but simply on what is being searched for. If I search for “Vacation on the Baltic Sea”, I will get advertising for hotels on the Baltic Sea. However, there is no profile of me that could be used to understand what I was looking for five minutes ago, yesterday or two weeks, and what else interests me. In contrast, Google knows where I am going (Google Maps), who I am writing mails to (GMail) and what I watch in my free time (Youtube).

The crucial question about the results

The quality of the search results is of course difficult to quantify. One would have to carry out a long series of tests with different searches and user profiles in order to come to a reasonably comparable statement. So all that remains is the good old anecdotal evidence. And here I can say that my user experience has changed over the years clear has improved. When I wanted to use DuckDuckGo a few years ago, it just wasn't possible. I just didn't find anything.

It looks completely different now. I use DuckDuckGo on all of my devices and I no longer have the impression that it hinders my work. On the contrary. More often than not, I'm very happy with the results. I can't express that in percentages, but generally I'm satisfied.

The regional settings that are located under the search field are important here. When I'm looking for something in German, I activate the switch here and set the regional context to Germany. This works with a large number of other countries and improves the results dramatic. It's the same when I'm looking for things in English or simply in an international context. In this case I switch off the regionally specific context and get results that are significantly different than if I were still searching in the German context. So if you are dissatisfied with the results, you should first set your own country context.

Right next to it there are setting options for the family filter and the period to which the search should relate: sometime, yesterday, last week, last month or last year. If you are looking for news or other time-sensitive information, this is of course very practical.

And of course DuckDuckGo also has various special searches, as known from Google, for either everything, images, videos, messages or maps. This not only helps with the specific search, but also to protect your own privacy. You can watch YouTube videos directly in DuckDuckGo without YouTube and Google noticing who is looking.

With Bangs to meta-search

And then there is the trick with them Bangs and that's where DuckDuckGo really stands out. Bangs are shortcuts that convert DuckDuckGo to meta-search. They always work according to the scheme! Abbreviation and then search on the respective service without your own data being passed on. DuckDuckGo acts as an intermediary. For example, I can search with! G on Google, with! A on Amazon or with! Yt on Youtube. DuckDuckGo then leads me directly to the respective page and presents me with the results. These are only three examples, there are many more. Overall, it is currently the almost ridiculously large number of 13,505 Bangsto check them all out on a dedicated DuckDuckGo page.

It's also nice that I can use DuckDuckGo anywhere. With desktop computers or laptops this has never been a big problem: Simply open the browser settings for a short time and you can set the search engine of your choice. It's a bit more complicated with a smartphone, but luckily it works too. For Android it is described here, for iPhones and iPads I go to the Settings app and open the Safari settings there. There you will find the entry search engines and I can choose from Google, Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo. I'm already looking for a mobile device with DuckDuckGo.

Less comfort, better package

Of course you shouldn't fool yourself. DuckDuckGo isn't as good or comfortable as Google. You will have to do without many integrations, such as being able to see opening times, directions and the busiest hours of the day directly on Google when looking for a shop or restaurant. Or the practical answer cards that Google provides for some questions and that give you the answer without having to go to the actual page. Here, Google is simply one step ahead. But if you can do without such relief, you should definitely try DuckDuckGo. It's not a multi-tool like Google, it's just a search engine. This search engine works pretty well and can get through Bangs can be expanded in almost any direction. You could use DuckDuckGo for that alone. But the most important thing is data protection. I don't want Google to record everything I do day in and day out and that's why I like to accept poor search results every now and then. In a pinch, I'll help you !G but on Google - but anonymously!