Looking at DuckDuckGo
July 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm
While 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.
Entry filed under: My Favorite Sites, Uncategorized, Web Links. Tags: DuckDuckGo, search engines.