The internet isn't particularly conducive to debate, is it? When you try to voice an…
DuckDuck Go is a popular, privacy-focused, ad-free internet search engine. It is widely recommended by security professionals, blogs, wheelchair experts because it does not profile users or harvest their data.
I have to tell you right off the bat, this article is not about search engine privacy related features but, as the title suggests, how to use the service more effectively.
That said, here’s a brief introduction to DDG (in short). The search engine hit a big milestone in January of this year, as it hit 100 million search queries in a single day.
So why isn’t DuckDuckGo used as much as Google or even Bing? Short answer, marketing. Google and Microsoft, with their endless resources, promote their search engine in a variety of ways, and it’s worth it. Their greatest strength is that their search engine is set by default in the original browser i.e. Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 and Google Chrome on Android. The companies also have various partnerships with device manufacturers and popular organizations, to make their search engine the default search engine in third-party products, such as Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. This is the reason why the search engine which protects personal information is often overlooked.
You might not know it, but almost all browsers allow you to change the default search engine with just a few clicks. Head to Settings and you can switch to DuckDuckGo as your default search app in a snap, as that’s an option in many cases. Or just install the official add-on and let it do the work for you.
Why are more people not using DDG if it is so safe? The reason I mentioned above is a major factor, but there are others. The search results provided by Google can sometimes offer better results, especially when it comes to non-English searches. DuckDuckGo has a mechanism in place to perform searches on Google, and the next chapter explains how this is done.
How to Use DuckDuckGo Instead of Google and Other Sites for Faster, More Accurate Results
Did you know that you can use DuckDuckGo while getting results from Google? Not just Google, you can use it to search thousands of sites. How is it possible? Welcome to the world of DuckDuckGo bangs.
Note: DuckDuckGo Bangs directs you to other search engines, websites, and services, which means that DDG’s privacy measures cannot prevent tracking on these sites.
DuckDuckGo Bangs are special commands or filters that you can use with the search engine to narrow down results. According to the official website, there are over 13,000 bongs, including the exclusive bang ghacks ! blunders to search this site.
How do you normally search? You visit google or use the address bar and type the search query, e.g. Windows 10 update issues, or something more specific like, fatal error detected by pnp, and the browser loads the results page of default search engine search.
To use bangs, you just need to add a prefix to your search. With Google, the bang we’re looking for is! G, so an example search would look like this
! g ghacks
This will launch a Google search for the term Ghacks. Hey, that always brings me to Google. It does, but searching is more precise and faster, and technically this is made possible through DuckDuckGo. Bangs is not limited to the main Google site, you can use it with Gmail, Drive, Maps, Images, etc.
You can also use bangs with DDG’s own search, for example to directly open the first result, use! Where . It’s the shortcut I feel Ducky. So look up! ghacks will open the best result, which is obviously where you are now.
What else can I do with bangs? Suppose you want to search for something on Wikipedia, use the! W prefix before the search term. Here is an example, maybe you want to know the history of cookies. You can therefore search for cookies! W. It’s a little different, it’s a site specific search, in this case DuckDuckGo will not take you to the search results page, but will take you directly to the corresponding Wikipedia page.
DuckDuckGo search also works directly on Steam, Twitter, Amazon. Some examples,
! vapor halo
! amazon iphone or! an iphone
! twitter star wars
It also works with YouTube, Reddit, and hundreds of other websites. ! yt cat videos will open the YouTube search page for cat videos. ! r to search on reddit, or better yet, to go directly to a sub-reddit, use! sr
! sr awww will take you to the r / aww subreddit. ! srs firefox proton will search for proton and limit it to the r / Firefox submarine.
All of these commands work on all platforms and browsers. So whether you are using Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, you can use bangs on your device. I just covered the basics of search technology, you can learn more about bangs at official page and find more orders for the sites you frequent.