Google has been on the floor for quite a long time now. And yes, it does have an edge over others considering the amount of services they offer. Other competitors such as AltaVista and Lycos lost the market as Google kept growing.
But how long can it keep growing? Not for long.
According to the Search Engine Market Share analysis conducted in the year 2015, Google seems to be loosing grounds. Mozilla took a move of making Yahoo the default search engine for its popular web browser, Firefox. Also with 200 million installs of Windows 10, which comes with Cortana(Microsoft’s Personal Assistant), Bing is gaining popularity as the searches on Cortana pulls data from Bing.
Wait a second. Only three search engines compete? Don’t I have any other options to try? Yes, you do.
DuckDuckGo is a 7-year-old search engine that primarily focuses on protecting its user’s privacy. It does not collect any information about the user and so it does not provide personalized answers as in Google. The search engine comes as default for all GNOME(Linux) installations.
It compiles results from various sources(about 50 sources) and also from its own indexed data. The search engine also works over a Tor network(for anonymous communication).
So, What makes it different? Here are some of the key features that turns out to be handy.
The feature allows users to run searches on other websites directly from the search engine. On giving the command “!amazon nexus 6p”, DuckDuckGo takes me to the search results page in Amazon itself. Also, it shows location-based links so that users are redirected their localized version of Amazon or any other similar service.
Yes, it supports the use of keyboard for searching. Shortcut keys are assigned for easy navigation between search pages, preview results and lots more. Turns out to be helpful for a keyboard person.
The search engine tells you the weather information from Forecast.io for the entire week. This is the Instant Answer feature of DuckDuckGo.
When you enter the search query as”stopwatch”, it provides you with an HTML version of a Stopwatch UI with the usual options to start/stop, reset and lap split.
The search engine also provides the steps to make certain foods as well. When I asked it how can I make an Indian fry bread, it popped up with a set of suggestions that are related to the query.
The DuckDuckGo also acts like a dictionary and as a thesaurus too. It provides meaning and pronunciation, also suggests similar words to the one in the search query. Yes, Google also does a good job in this one.
By giving the name of the song, the instant answers feature matches it with music albums to identify the song and provides the lyrics from the same.
Tip: Type in “password” and you get a random password of 8 characters. An additional word “Strong” provides you with a much stronger password.
The Best Part:
The DuckDuckGo settings allows users to customize the entire options of the search engine. It also lets you disable the advertisements that appear on the search results page. Cool, isn’t it?
Other options like animations, instant answers, auto-load etc can be turned On or Off.
Now, it’s your turn to decide whether to give it a try or not.