DuckDuckGo vs Google Search – Privacy or better search?

To start, I have been an avid supporter for Google for the past 19 years. In fact, I still rely heavily on Google every single day. I use their email, web services (Adword, Adsense), and mobile software.

Give me back my Privacy

Over the course, Google has improved it’s algorithms by tracking users all over the web. This not only allows Google to serve user targeted ads, it also allows them to predict user behavior. The big debate is whether this infringes on user’s privacy. In my opinion, I feel that as technology increases, the amount of information Google will retain will become even more scary. Already with Android phones, they record your location, driving patterns, and shopping preferences daily. When it comes to search, even if you click not to have your history recorded, the actual search is recorded by Google. They may not tie that search directly to your profile, but they will record every other aspect.

DuckDuckGo has a different philosophy from other search engines. Put simply, their goal is to perform an accurate search with one caveat: They don’t record or collect any information. This means that they won’t target you with ads or record your search data without you knowing. This essentially is an industry game changer.

DuckDuckGoooooo! Surge in users

With, I have seen a 16% increase in organic referral traffic from 2012-2016. In 2017, this organic traffic from DuckDuckGo is up 44%. This seems to correlate with the surge in users switching to DuckDuckGo over Google. The below image is published on their website. You can see how they have been experiencing a huge increase in user traffic. What is also unique about DuckDuckGo is that they publish their search statistics. Here is the direct link for this information.

DuckDuckGo Growth

Image from DuckDuckGo website. – Direct link to Traffic

DuckDuckGo Growth

Even though they DuckDuckGo has seen a huge increase in traffic, they still trail behind Google in search results. In my test searches, Google still returns the most accurate results. With that said, the results that DuckDuckGo returns are accurate. The below video shows some of these example.

In my honest opinion, I like privacy. Even though I can’t fully get away from Google. I have decided to switch my Chrome default search to DuckDuckGo.

Please provide your own feedback below in the comment section. Will you switch to DuckDuckGo?


  1. You have a typo – Google hasn’t existed for 25 years so, unless I’m missing something, you haven’t supported Google for 25 years.

  2. just

    duckduckgo within chrome seems like an oxymoron. you dont think google is still tracking your searches when using their browser?

  3. justreplying

    duckduckgo within chrome seems like an oxymoron. you dont think google is tracking your searches within its own browser? or google desktop? or any of their other apps you may have running in the background.

  4. I switched my defaults over to DDG a bit more than a year ago (~May 2016) and don’t regret it a bit. That said, the lack of robust date filtering is the main reason I find myself resorting to !g (usually !gyear). Without a doubt that is my biggest “wish” for DDG. Overall I’m very happy using DDG though. Perhaps a few times per day I waste a bit of time scanning the 1st page of DDG results, only to conclude that I need to check big G to make sure I’m not missing something. But that is offset somewhat by the time I save in general use with !a, !w, !imdb etc. Search by image is another reason I pull google, and while that is an essential feature it isn’t one I need to use everyday or even every week.

    I do wish that it was easier for non-technical users to contribute to instant answers or to fix/improve bangs. For instance, I reported !ars bang as not working properly months ago and it still isn’t fixed. All that needs to be changed is that it calls the URL as “…/?query=” when “…/?q=” is what’s needed. Of course I realize that implementing non-technical interfaces to make these kinds of adjustments is non-trivial. There are probably vandalism concerns as well. Still, I’d gladly spend some of my time to fix such issues which I run across or improving the IAs that I’m inclined to use (sports scores for instance) and I think time spent developing a robust user-contribution system would be well worth it in the long run. Hopefully there will be a replacement in the vein for DuckDuckHack.

    Anyway I feel DDG is a worthy and eminently usable replacement for Google search as is and a few improvements over the coming years could make it outright superior—even discounting privacy concerns.

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