Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th May 2014 22:23 UTC
Internet & Networking

Everybody's favourite not-Google search engine - DuckDuckGo - has received a complete redesign and a whole slew of new features.

Today DuckDuckGo is launching a reimagined and redesigned version that focuses on smarter answers and a more refined look. This new version adds often requested features like images, local search, auto-suggest and much more.

Compared to today's Google, it looks incredibly clean, and the new features - for once - do not get in the way of the stuff that was already there. It must be hard to redesign and add new features to a search engine that is more or less known for being the opposite of Google, but I think they have managed to pull it off.

Order by: Score:
Nice job
by dmrio on Tue 20th May 2014 23:00 UTC
dmrio
Member since:
2005-08-26

The guys at DDG are doing a very nice job! Hope they keep their promises of privacy forever.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Nice job
by Radio on Wed 21st May 2014 10:47 UTC in reply to "Nice job"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Meh.
http://www.alexanderhanff.com/duckduckgone

You're better off using https://www.startpage.com/ or https://www.ixquick.com/. DDG is a pure marketing phenomenon. It will die as soon as it will attract attention: either because the other, actual search engine they rely on (Bing and Yandex) will make them pay or will block them, or because

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Nice job
by Radio on Wed 21st May 2014 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice job"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

[Sorry, bad manip & timeout to edit] or because the result will begin to be gamed by websites (SEO is a whole business targeted at skewing Google results, and Google spends a fair share of its time fighting it. If any search engine dethrones Google, they'll be targeted -"poisoned"- the same way).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Nice job
by Soulbender on Wed 21st May 2014 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice job"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

either because the other, actual search engine they rely on (Bing and Yandex) will make them pay or will block them


So the solution is to use another site that also uses 3rd party search engines? Yeah, ok. How about no?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Nice job
by Wondercool on Wed 21st May 2014 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice job"
Wondercool Member since:
2005-07-08

If you read the whole episode, you will see a link to the DDG forums, with a response by the owner of DDG

https://duck.co/forum/thread/1807/we-have-to-talk-about-ddgs-honesty

The gist of it that it was a bug, no malicious intend.
DDG can't help it if the US government is asking for a trace or wants to eavesdrop, DDG is obliged by US law to comply.

Of course, if you send data to *any* person/company/organisation, you are not guaranteed that your data is not maliciously used, no matter what they say.

Personally, I have no reason to doubt DDG at the moment, while I doubt Google much more.
I think the major good thing about DDG is that they don't give the search queries to the advertiser. That is what it is all about.

And I think the shortcuts and layout are really, really nice compared to Google, Yahoo or Bing

Reply Score: 3

My take
by sb56637 on Tue 20th May 2014 23:02 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

The main problem with DDG is that I can't stop myself from comparing every search between DDG and Google to see how the results compare. Therefore the most simple search ends up taking me three times longer. ;)

I'm still waiting for Webster to update their dictionary with another definition of the verb "to duck". Or a snarky response to a forum post: "Just Duck it."

Seriously, congrats you silly geese. I mean ducks. It's a David vs. Goliath battle, but it's looking REALLY good. Thanks for giving us an alternative.

Edited 2014-05-20 23:05 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: My take
by sb56637 on Tue 20th May 2014 23:54 UTC in reply to "My take"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Update: I just set DDG as my default search engine.

Man, I can't believe how bad Google's search results have gotten recently, and I never noticed until I started comparing them. Here are a few major problems that Google has developed:

1. Google gives high priority to frivolous social network posts (especially G+, wonder why?) that are usually totally lacking in originality and credibility. DDG, on the other hand: "Our only focus is search. We don't have to promote other services like social networks in our results."

2. Google has developed a nasty habit of completely ignoring certain search terms. It gives high priority to certain sites that have a high ranking for only SOME of the search terms, even if those sites completely lack some of the other terms in the query. So it's almost impossible to use my knowledge of a given topic to use a specific term to disambiguate my results, because Google's automatic disambiguation is often subtle and unannounced. I'm not just referring just to the "Showing results for X, search instead for Y" message; far worse is when it tries to correct me without telling me or giving me the option to reconsider. Stop second-guessing me Google! I know how to search, and when I enter some terms I mean for ALL of them to be there.

3. Most of the highest ranking results in Google seem to be commercially influenced. The sites that know how to game the system invariably come out on top, and the smaller, honest, hidden perls of knowledge tend to remain hidden.

4. You fill in the rest. There's a lot more problems with Google search these days.

Edited 2014-05-21 00:06 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: My take
by Alfman on Wed 21st May 2014 01:21 UTC in reply to "RE: My take"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

sb56637,

Update: I just set DDG as my default search engine.


I've had it as default for a while.
I don't like everything about it. I'm accustomed to using the arrow keys to scroll the browser window, but DDG intercepts the arrow keys to select the listings. But all in all I think it's great.


Stop second-guessing me Google! I know how to search, and when I enter some terms I mean for ALL of them to be there.



I hate this about google too. It even does this when I place a phrase in quotes!

But the most compelling reason to use DDG, to me, is the privacy.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: My take
by umccullough on Wed 21st May 2014 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My take"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I admit, I still use Google - but I set DDG as the default search from the address bar - that way if I typo something while entering it, Google doesn't track those searches ;)

One of these days, I may always use DDG as my default though - it seems to pull back decently relevant results in most cases.

Edited 2014-05-21 02:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: My take
by Doc Pain on Wed 21st May 2014 05:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My take"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Stop second-guessing me Google! I know how to search, and when I enter some terms I mean for ALL of them to be there.


I hate this about google too. It even does this when I place a phrase in quotes!
"

This is a common misconception of "modern" search engine implementations and not specific to Google (even though it's probably the most prominent one): The goal is to provide search results, no matter if there actually are results. There are two reasons for this:

1. Growing inability of proper spelling and addition of "valid" variations of spelling require search engines to search for known variations even if something different has been entered, assuming the user "has meant 'foo' when he wrote 'fuh'". This simply seems to compensate the fact that functional illiteracy has successfully arrived in the middle of the society.

2. The urge to print search results is so high because of the comparison a user might make to a different search engine: "This search engine finds more results than the other one.". This leads to many kinds of false positives: wrong spelling (different things), meta results (listing of similar queries, but not results of queries) and unrelated "3rd party opinions" like social network posts. As it seems, this is "better than nothing", even when there is something that is not found on the web.

3. Dumbing down the query "strictness" is a result of not acknowledging the concept that a system that prevents you from doing stupid things also prevents you from doing clever things. If you enter some "explicit search" (may result in a complex query, involving double quotes) may lead to the search engine discarding your command and just listing something else, for the sake of at least having listed something (see no. 2). Those who grew up in the age when search engines had to be told how to perform a search (like AltaVista) can probably remember the difference between AND, AND-NEAR, OR and NOT "operators" when forming the query. Also, those who can hardly spell (see no. 1) are not considered being able to construct more complex queries.

Another "nice" example is the search function on eBay (at least its german branch): They have removed the ability to search with a (at least trailing) * wildcard, but even if you search for something, you get unrelated results (for example, try "Großrechner" - you get desk calculators which don't even have the word in their product caption). Not even the "extended search" could keep that functionality.

Google just "has to follow" this trend in order to avoid "looking inferior". Finally, it's about usage share and market share (especially when it comes to advertising, "Big Data" about users, and other ways to make money from users). Those who are doing "too advanced things" will likely fail. Power users (a decade ago: normal users) aren't the primary target audience anymore... :-(

Reply Score: 11

RE[4]: My take
by sb56637 on Wed 21st May 2014 05:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My take"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

In this case, DDG has a huge niche market to exploit, and hopefully they're free to focus on it without too many commercial barriers in place or investors to please.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: My take
by Alfman on Wed 21st May 2014 08:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My take"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Doc Pain,

This is a common misconception of "modern" search engine implementations and not specific to Google (even though it's probably the most prominent one): The goal is to provide search results, no matter if there actually are results. There are two reasons for this:


Misconception? Google sometimes returns non-matching results, full stop. I realize that google is dumbing down search and has an incentive to broaden results, but that can make it less useful when I'm trying to find something specific. Sometimes I want to search for a direct quote, but the "correct" page often gets listed well below other high PR noise pages that happen to contain some similar search terms but not the literal quoted phrase I searched for.

I guess whether that's a 'bug' or a 'feature' is in the eye of the beholder.


Google just "has to follow" this trend in order to avoid "looking inferior". Finally, it's about usage share and market share (especially when it comes to advertising, "Big Data" about users, and other ways to make money from users). Those who are doing "too advanced things" will likely fail. Power users (a decade ago: normal users) aren't the primary target audience anymore... :-(


Yea, that's the truth.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: My take
by shiny on Wed 21st May 2014 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My take"
shiny Member since:
2005-08-09

This habit of ignoring some search criteria by google really really annoys me. If I put stuff in quotes (bye bye plus sign ;) ) I insist on that word being on the result page.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: My take
by Soulbender on Wed 21st May 2014 05:58 UTC in reply to "RE: My take"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Google gives high priority to frivolous social network posts


Never really noticed that.

Most of the highest ranking results in Google seem to be commercially influenced.


No shit Sherlock. How do you think Google make money?


Oh well, time to give DDG another try. Hopefully the search results have improved sicne last time.

Edited 2014-05-21 05:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: My take
by sb56637 on Wed 21st May 2014 06:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My take"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

How do you think Google make money?


Supposedly through ads. Not some kind of under-the-table promotion of search results.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: My take
by Savior on Wed 21st May 2014 07:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My take"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

Supposedly through ads. Not some kind of under-the-table promotion of search results.


And what do you think that orange "Ad" label next to these "under-the-table promotions" means...?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: My take
by sb56637 on Wed 21st May 2014 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: My take"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

I'm talking about Google's apparently biased promotion of junk commercial sites in the standard search results, not the "sponsored ads". I don't even mind the sponsored ads, and if I'm searching to purchase something I occasionally even find them useful. But what I'm talking about are NOT Adsense ads or "sponsored results", but Google's apparently programmatic bias toward commercial sites and less toward relevancy of keywords and results.

Edited 2014-05-21 15:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: My take
by Savior on Thu 22nd May 2014 07:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My take"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

I'm talking about Google's apparently biased promotion of junk commercial sites in the standard search results, not the "sponsored ads".


I guess we cannot know for sure if they are doing that, but honestly, I don't think so. Why would they promote some sites for free when they also have sponsored ads? I think that is just the effect that those were clicked the most often. People do seem to go to stupid places, unfortunately.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: My take
by zima on Mon 26th May 2014 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My take"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm talking about Google's apparently biased promotion of junk commercial sites in the standard search results [...] Google's apparently programmatic bias toward commercial sites and less toward relevancy of keywords and results.

I don't see it ...maybe because I let Google learn about my search preferences (I have on the search history)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My take
by Savior on Wed 21st May 2014 08:07 UTC in reply to "RE: My take"
Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

I have just tried DDG, and I am not really impressed:

1. "jpype": while the first two results are OK, the third result is completely random (OSX? really?). Google also has a Pypi link* -- well, DDG has, too, just not for this project. ;) Finally, the snippet in the first hit is just boilerplate.

* Of course, trying to install Jpype with pip fails, but that is beside the point.

2. "these creatures have a one-track mind": while the main result is not bad (Wikia page vs. video on Google), the videos are completely unrelated.

To be fair, I experienced the same effect as you: now that I actually pay attention to the results, Google does not seem so great anymore, either. Maybe I should give all these alternative search engines a go.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: My take
by Wondercool on Wed 21st May 2014 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My take"
Wondercool Member since:
2005-07-08

I have just tried DDG, and I am not really impressed:

1. "jpype": while the first two results are OK, the third result is completely random (OSX? really?). Google also has a Pypi link* -- well, DDG has, too, just not for this project. ;) Finally, the snippet in the first hit is just boilerplate.


I think this is by 'design': if a lot of people search for jpype and then go to a certain site, this site will go up in the rankings, even if in your eyes it is not important.

The first snippet is indeed a boiler plate. This is also a feature of DDG. I think it was copied by Google. Google nowadays shows the first couple of links to Wikipedia, Dictionaries and country specific sites. This is because 80 percent of people clicked the Wikipedia link. So why not put some 'most used' links on the top? I think the defaults for DDG are much better than Google's.

Reply Score: 1

Default
by wojtek on Wed 21st May 2014 03:53 UTC
wojtek
Member since:
2010-01-24

I had it as default for a while but quite often ended up typing "g bla bla bla" in the addressbar instead of using ddg. But the new version seems to work better (and it definitely looks better, with the easily selectable dark theme) so great majority of my latest searches are done DDG and only if I haven't found something I fallback to google.

Really, really kudos to DDG guys!

Reply Score: 1

v Comment by Moses
by Moses on Wed 21st May 2014 04:06 UTC
Comment by TusharG
by TusharG on Wed 21st May 2014 04:57 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

I am using it for last 4-5 months... loving the results. What I really really hate is 1. Logo and 2. Name! Such a shitty name duckduckgo !!! damn!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by TusharG
by shmerl on Wed 21st May 2014 06:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by TusharG"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I like the name. While some connect it with the duck, duck, goose game (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck,_duck,_goose) for me it usually associates with the duck test. I.e. if it walks like a duck and if it quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. Which implies that unlike other search engines which offer search while using their users interests for data mining or whatever other reasons, DuckDuckGo actually just offers search.

Edited 2014-05-21 06:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 21st May 2014 06:32 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

I'm using DDG for a while as default. It works well most of the time, but not always. When it fails, I use !g bang and usually it produces what I need. Google has the advantage of actually indexing tons of data, so it can find more. What DDG tries to excel is removing noise, so while they have less they can find better results most of the time. But if they don't have what you need - you'll get none.

Edited 2014-05-21 06:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

torrent sites
by SeeM on Wed 21st May 2014 08:23 UTC
SeeM
Member since:
2011-09-10

Since Google "avoids" links to the piratebay, DDG is a good alternative for iso and pdf hunters, at least for now. I wonder if they could be persuaded to remove those results, just like Google.

Edited 2014-05-21 08:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

v Good
by tacks on Wed 21st May 2014 11:01 UTC
Scary mobile Safari UI Trend
by Steve Jabs on Wed 21st May 2014 11:35 UTC
Steve Jabs
Member since:
2006-09-14

Anyone else weirded out by sites that draw over mobile Safari's navigation controls (Huffpo sometimes)? The new DDG mobile interface appears to do this. Makes it impossible to open a new "tab" or bookmark anything while on one of their pages. Am I missing mistaken?

Steve

P.s. Sent from an iPhone 5 with latest iOS 7.1.1

Reply Score: 2

Love DDG, hate the redesign
by BushLin on Wed 21st May 2014 11:57 UTC
BushLin
Member since:
2011-01-26

I Love DDG but removing the full url from the search results by default is fairly dangerous in many situations.

Still, better than Google's mine field of companies paying to get to the top of results only to push malware or impersonate someone else's firm.
Google's vetting of these fraudsters seems completely absent all the while they're tracking everything you do, on nearly every major site and selling that info on.

Modern life is rubbish.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Love DDG, hate the redesign
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 21st May 2014 11:58 UTC in reply to "Love DDG, hate the redesign"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Go to top-right menu (the three dashes), and enable the option to display full URLs.

My pleasure.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Love DDG, hate the redesign
by BushLin on Wed 21st May 2014 12:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Love DDG, hate the redesign"
BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26

"by default"

No pleasure taken

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Love DDG, hate the redesign
by sb56637 on Wed 21st May 2014 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Love DDG, hate the redesign"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Thanks, I was looking for that option and wasn't finding it.

Reply Score: 2

Let Me Duck Duck Go That For You
by andrewclunn on Wed 21st May 2014 13:08 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

https://lmddgtfy.net/

The most effective way to spread the ducky love.

Reply Score: 3

Big DDG fan
by jessesmith on Wed 21st May 2014 13:36 UTC
jessesmith
Member since:
2010-03-11

I am a big fan of DDG and have been using it for a few years. The layout and interface are much clamer and cleaner than other search engines, like Google. I find my search results are usually more relevant with DDG than Google too.

Reply Score: 3

Bleeko > DDG
by Machster on Wed 21st May 2014 15:59 UTC
Machster
Member since:
2007-05-15

I still prefer Blekko whose category layout is much better organized.

Edited 2014-05-21 16:01 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Eh...
by deathshadow on Wed 21st May 2014 17:15 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

I hate the fact they are doping themselves to the gills with scripttard BS, and that their non-js version reeks of "I can haz intarnets" markup.

In particular the lack of pagination and instead the 'endless scrolling' facebook-style nonsense that takes as long if not longer than a pageload to function, and wastes memory to the point the browser can seize up if you let it go too far -- it's the type of "gee ain't it neat" bull that I thought DDG was supposed to be against.

In general though, it's like all the search engines -- google included -- have forgotten what put Google on top in the first place; clean accessible search results.

From the HTML 5-tard bloat, script-tard bloat, and "semantic markup, what's that?" crap they're vomiting up right now and having the giant set of brass to call a website, the time is ripe for someone with the right amount of backing to take them all down -- by looking at the past and what actually put Google on top; because frankly, results was only half of the equation. Clean clear accessibility being the other half -- and something all that scripttard garbage is NOT going to provide.

A real laugh since I thought DDG was supposed to be about NOT having all the crap that makes Google search start to suck as bad as it's competition did a decade and a half ago -- instead ALL the search engines seem bound and determined to load up on the type of idiocy that drove Ask/Ask Jeeves/whatever into the ground.

Since much like "view source" of your typical halfwit turdpress template, if you don't know what's wrong with this:

<div class="zci__main zci__main--tiles js-tiles has-tiles has-nav tileview__images at-rowtop">

Do the world a favor, back the **** away from the keyboard, and take up something a bit less detail oriented like macramé.

506k of Javascript, 140k of CSS, not even counting the 40k of JSON for actual content -- to deliver 5.7k of plaintext?

Ineptitude? That's one word for it.

Edited 2014-05-21 17:19 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Eh...
by historyb on Wed 21st May 2014 22:19 UTC in reply to "Eh..."
historyb Member since:
2005-07-06

Well then you think you can do better go help them

Reply Score: 3

RE: Eh...
by ameasures on Thu 22nd May 2014 08:31 UTC in reply to "Eh..."
ameasures Member since:
2006-01-09

I hate the fact they are doping themselves to the gills with scripttard BS, and that their non-js version reeks of "I can haz intarnets" markup.

Do the world a favor, back the **** away from the keyboard, and take up something a bit less detail oriented like macramé.

506k of Javascript, 140k of CSS, not even counting the 40k of JSON for actual content -- to deliver 5.7k of plaintext?

Ineptitude? That's one word for it.

Web page code has long been a nightmare with the idea that it is somehow clever to blend several languages into each source file. The conclusion I reached a while back is that web pages are analogous to assembly code. Up until now, we have been crap at devising compilers for this paradigm; hence the brainpower invested into making vast quantities of detail interlock.

Reply Score: 4

DuckDuckGo FTW!
by nomasteryoda on Thu 22nd May 2014 15:55 UTC
nomasteryoda
Member since:
2014-05-22

Great new design... I like the integration of Wikipedia info right at the top - search for Arch Linux and there are all the stats and a summary. Nice!!

I'll certainly be giving it a try for a while.

Reply Score: 1

Good new design
by kateline on Sat 24th May 2014 05:00 UTC
kateline
Member since:
2011-05-19

I'm a Startpage user but I like the new design. Simple, effective. Thumbs up!

Reply Score: 1