The sound of not sucking

February 04, 2011 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Google search has been experiencing a slow slide into the realm of unmoderated Wordpress comments. I'm sure Google finds a lot of relavent search results but in general the first 2-3 pages of results is garbage filled with link farm results and Adwords hits.

I've recently been on a quest to replace Google search with something that actually works. I was getting pretty frustrated until I stumbled across duckduckgo.com. So far the only bad aspect of the service is the name. I mean seriously, how can you tell people about this search engine and not sound like a lunatic.

This little unknown service has already surpassed the quality of Bing, which spends millions on their search each year. Maybe it's a difference in marketing.

The search results are uncluttered by spam. Just actual results that are useful. For example, searching for "Hot Sauce" produces the following results.

hot_sauce_results

I'm not going to waste bandwidth with showing the Google results. Importantly, the layout of the results are unobstructed by advertisements and detritus of various sorts. I also really like the option to choose results for different meanings of "Hot Sauce."

Beyond the quality of the results, there are a tremendous number of settings to make the experience exactly what you want.

Security Settings

You can turn on HTTPS encryption as well exclude your search terms from sharing with 3rd parties.

duck_security

Look and Feel

There are plenty of settings to customize how your results are displayed. This makes for a much cleaner experience and really allows a user to focus on the results and not the search engine.

duck_appearance

Integration

The service can be integrated directly in the IE and Firefox default search engine. Firefox has the added bonus of allowing for the SSL enabled search engine option. Unfortunately, the easiest way to integrate duckduckgo (see how terrible that name looks) into Safari is to install the plugin. Rather than just modifying the existing search field in Safari, it installs a completely new search bar. It's big and wastes vertical space. I'm not a fan of the plugin but I do really like the results.

duck_bar

Go and explore for yourself. Don't miss theĀ simple shebang system for getting better results.

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