It has been over two years since I migrated all of my browsers on all my personal and work laptops, as well as my iPad and iPhone to use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine. When I initially made that decision, I feared that the inherit trust and familiarity of Google would make it a difficult pill for me to swallow, that I won’t achieve search parity with the larger monolithic Google search engine. But that fear certainly proved to be unfounded. But what were the triggers that got me to make that jump from google to DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine? Well I’ll give you three…
Privacy has played a key part of my day-to-day residence on the internet, and being an Apple user, I have certainly come to enjoy the privacy-centric ecosystem Apple provide. Two vulnerable services aside from social media, that I come to rely on that have historically been a data-mining trove is my search engine and email. I made the jump from gMail to [Fastmail](https://doronkatz.com/2020/02/02/moving-to-fastmail-from-gmail-and-office-365-two-years-on/) a while back, and have written extensively about it, which left my searching.
I quite enjoy DuckDuckGo’s functionality, it’s searching syntax, and the `!bang` command is a feature that lets me search another site directly. For instance, I could search `!youtube the wiggles` and it will give me results directly via YouTube. There are dozens of these syntaxes for different sites, and even for coders out there, `!python` to search the Python documentation.
Finally, the absence of ads (for now) means I get an aesthetically clean and de-cluttered search experience. From years of using Google, this is truly a cleansing experience, and being a minimalist myself, can appreciate
The biggest question however is, despite those three reasons that has navigated me towards DDG, how powerful is their search capabilities? Google probably wins the crown for being more extensive, but to be honest, but you don’t practically loose out on anything. You will get results when you need it, and not feel like you are missing out. I would invite you to take four weeks, a month to exclusively use DuckDuckGo on your browser, mobile and tablet devices by default, and see for yourself.
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