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Author Topic: DuckDuckGo  (Read 1519 times)
« on: September 24, 2011, 10:28:25 am »

'In februari's "Best Waves" I shortly wrote about the search engine DuckDuckGo. I've been using it on and off since and the search engine has been developed and improved ever since. Some improvements are really welcome for my normal (programming) searches.

The way it handles searches and prints information is quite different from the way Google (tries) to do it. Not only does it claim not to track your searches, it also tries to answer your question itself rather then linking to a page. There are a couple of really interesting additions that I'd like to write about.

Search results
Every search engine is judged based on the search results and DuckDuckGo's are pretty good, usually it shows me the sites I'm looking for: sites that actually show the info and not sites that link to other sites. Moreover if I look for a certain brand DuckDuckGo usually shows the brands official website, sometimes even with an "official website" icon. If no or few results are shown links to google and bing are provided.

Zero click info
 This is probably the most important reason that I like DuckDuckGo and, I think, one of the parts where most developing is going. With zero click info DuckDuckGo tries to give you the answer to your question rather then a link to the answer to your question. E.g. when I search for "php mysql_connect" the syntax of this function is showed followed by the normal search results, google however just shows the search results. Zero click info has many sources like wikipedia, weather sites, dictionaries, tech info sites etc. and are triggered by certain search terms.

Bang tags
Bang tags are short words starting with a bang (!) that let you use other search engines or websites directly trough the DuckDuckGo searchform. For example "!google HTML::TokeParser" will look up the perl module HTML::TokeParser directly on google, while "!cpan HTML::TokeParser" will lead directly to the CPAN website. This is really useful in the search form in the navigation toolbar of my browser, I no longer have to change the search engine for specific information.

Besides these useful services there are lots of goodies that are useful. I hope development of this search engine will continue and will show relevant zero click information about even more topics.'
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