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Difference Between Google and DuckDuckGo

duck-googleDuck Duck Go can be used as a replacement for Google, but is very different. Major differences include Zero-click Information, Category Pages, ambiguous keyword detection, simpler links, topic detection (for more relevant results) and much less spam. With less clicking forward and back between results, it is for anyone who wants to get information faster.

First, Duck Duck Go often displays information above the more traditional results. They call this information “Zero-click Info” because you get it with zero-clicks, i.e. right on the page (in a red box). This information includes topic summaries, images and related topics, and often answers your search queries directly. Other information that Duck Duck Go provides on-site are Category Pages, which group topics about similar concepts. These special pages enable you to discover useful topics related to your search that aren’t in normal search results.

Second, Duck Duck Go uses a proprietary technology called semantic topic detection, which allows them to detect topics within your search queries. If you type in an ambiguous term that can have many meanings, e.g. apple, Duck Duck Go asks you what meaning you want. After you select a meaning, you then get results (and Zero-click Info) that is more targeted to that particular topic. If you type in a search that contains topics within it, Duck Duck Go can also detect those topics and similarly adjust search results to target them in particular.

Third, Duck Duck Go tries to strip out all the “garbage” of usual search result pages, with the primary goal of getting you information faster and with less mental effort. That is, Duck Duck Go has much less clutter, much less ads, and much less spam. When people use Google, they often click forward and back a lot, trying to figure out what’s what and if anything has the info they’re actually looking for. That is because a lot of the information displayed in those results just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Duck Duck Go tries to reduce this so-called “clutter.”

To do so, Duck Duck Go draws on human powered sources that have titles and descriptions written by actual people (as opposed to pieced together by computers). As a result, it can often display much simpler links. For example, it detects official sites and always puts them on top and labels them ‘Official site’. So if you are just looking for the official site for something, you can just go there
right away without any deliberation.

In terms of spam, Duck Duck Go takes both a bottom-up and top-down approach. From bottom-up, in partnership with The Parked Domains Project, Duck Duck Go regularly crawls the web identifying spam and parked domains and then omits them from results. You will find a lot of these domains in Google’s index. From the top-down, those same human powered sources that Duck Duck Go draws on are also human policed for spam. By using links from them, the search results Duck Duck Go displays simply contains less spam from the get-go.

Finally, by making these changes, Duck Duck Go can in general provide a much simpler interface, making search a more pleasant experience. In particular, it can use bigger text, bigger click able areas and more white space, both increasing usability and making it easier on the eyes and brain to use.


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5 Comments

  1. and it doesnt “track” you

  2. I’d be curious to learn more what are these “human powered sources” and how they can process billions of sites.

  3. With google if I want new information on a subject I can use search tools to get only hits in a specific time/date range. So unfortuately I have to hop back and forth between Google and Duck Duck Go.

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