In an age where our every move is tracked online, it’s more important than ever to use a search engine that respects our privacy. Enter DuckDuckGo.
This unique search engine doesn’t track its users, which means we can surf the web without worrying about our data being collected and sold to the highest bidder.
In addition to its commitment to privacy, DuckDuckGo also offers some unique features that make it worth considering as your go-to search engine. Let’s take a closer look.
One of the main advantages of using DuckDuckGo is that it doesn’t track its users. This means we can search the web without worrying about our data being collected and sold to advertisers.
In addition, DuckDuckGo doesn’t show personalized results, which means we’re not being served up a biased selection of results based on our past search history.
Another advantage of using DuckDuckGo is that it has some unique features that other search engines don’t offer.
For example, DuckDuckGo has a “!bang” feature that allows us to search directly on other websites (e.g., !amazon product name).
This can be handy when we’re looking for a specific product or piece of information and don’t want to wade through the millions of results that a general Google search would return.
One of the most notable features of DuckDuckGo is the Fire button, which allows users to clear all open tabs and remove all cookies and history with one click. This means that each time you use the search engine, it will feel like first-time use, with no trace of your previous activity or data.
The Fire button is visible on the top right on all devices, but only if you want the website data cleared.
In Settings, there is an option to “fireproof” a website that won’t remove any cookies on that website and will keep you signed in even after using the Fire button.
However, third-party cookies are still blocked. There are three types of customized animation to choose from when clearing your tabs and data: inferno, whirlpool, and airstream. There is also an option to have no effect.
With DuckDuckGo, you can say goodbye to those pesky “Next” buttons. The next set of results will automatically load underneath the first page, creating one continuous results page. If you’d prefer, this feature can be turned off in the settings menu. Either way, DuckDuckGo makes it easy to find what you’re looking for without all the clicking.
How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money?
When you use a search engine like Google or Bing, you might not realize it, but you’re being tracked. Your search history, browsing habits, and even your purchase history are all used to compile a profile about you, which is then used to target ads.
This means that the ads you see are based on what Google or Bing think you might be interested in rather than what you’re actually searching for. This isn’t always a bad thing. If Google knows you like knitting, it will show you ads from knitting companies, even if you’re searching the weather.
DuckDuckGo is different. They don’t collect any personal information about their users, which means that the ads you see are based on the results page you’re viewing, not on you as a person. For example, if you search for cars, they’ll show you ads about cars.
This makes DuckDuckGo a more privacy-conscious option for those who don’t want their personal information being used to target ads.
And while it does mean that DuckDuckGo doesn’t have the same kind of targeted ads as other search engines, it also means that their ads are more relevant to what you’re actually looking for in your current search query.
Disadvantages of DuckDuckGo Compared to Other Search Engines
While there are many advantages to using DuckDuckGo, there are also some disadvantages compared to other search engines—namely, Google.
The biggest disadvantage is that DuckDuckGo doesn’t have nearly as many results as Google does. This is because DuckDuckGo doesn’t crawl the entire web; instead, it relies on other sources (such as Yahoo!, Bing, and Yandex) for its results.
Another relevant disadvantage is that DuckDuckGo doesn’t show image results, while Google does. This means that if we’re looking for an image (e.g., “UCT logo”), we’ll generally get better results with Google than with DuckDuckGo.
Wrapping It Up
So, should you switch to using DuckDuckGo as your primary search engine? That depends on what’s most important to you—privacy or the sheer number of results returned by a given query. If privacy is your top priority, then absolutely give DuckDuckGo a try.
But if you need the comprehensive results that only Google can provide, then you might want to stick with good ol’ Google for now—just be aware that your privacy is not Google’s priority.
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