Looking at DuckDuckGo

July 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment

Duck Duck Go Search EngineWhile I truly love just about everything that has Google in its title, I that we, as librarians, need to be aware of what else is out there in the world of search tools.  I read a brief article by Greg R. Notess (Search Engine Update column) about a search engine with a funny name – DuckDuckGo  in the July/August issue of Online magazine.   I enjoyed Greg’s column, so I decided to take a look at this Google alternative.

My first impression of the home page is that it reminded me of the way Google looked when it first came out – clean and simple – but with a duck icon.  I did my normal trial search (using my last name) to see what kind of results I’d find.  To say I was impressed was to put it mildly!  While I didn’t see a total number of results, I can tell you that it brought up blog entries, Facebook mentions, photo credits from newspapers, tombstone inscriptions and a wide variety of what I’d call traditional pages.  Next to each result was a small icon to let you know what type of resource it was.  My first search, alone, was enough to make me want to learn more about this product.

What I really liked about DuckDuckGo is that they don’t track your searches.  I’ve become more and more concerned about privacy issues lately, so this is a huge selling point for me.  Another great feature of this site is the “Goodies” section.  There is a long list of sample questions you might ask – and you fill in the missing part.  For example, under the Dates area, it says “Birth Date of” and I filled in “Napoleon.”  My answer came back immediately, courtesy of  Wolfram/Alpha to be Aug. 15, 1769.  Pretty slick, huh!  There is another section of goodies for techies which gave me a nice display of hex colors to use in web creation. 

Bottom line – I really liked DuckDuckGo.  I probably won’t give up Google for most things, but I feel like I have a new tool to use in my research arsenal at the Reference Desk.  Take a look at it and I think  you’ll be impressed as well.

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Entry filed under: My Favorite Sites, Uncategorized, Web Links. Tags: , .

An Hour at the Reference Desk Digipalooza 2011

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