Monday, November 26, 2012

Search Engine Tip: Duck Duck Go

You probably use Google for all your online research, and rightly so (Google does seem to bring better results than most search engines or even meta-search engines). However, there is one search engine that you might want to start using for searches that involve your personal life: it is Duck Duck Go.


Get past the terrible name and childish logo that make it look like a resource for little kids, and you will find a search engine that does not track nor bubble your results. What does that mean? Whenever you use a regular search engine, it stores information about you AND sends that information to the websites you go to. Duck Duck Go, on the other hand, hides that information from the sites that you access. So your online presence is much safer with Duck Duck Go, since companies cannot track you, nor see how often you visit their website or even what search terms you entered to find them.

It also does not “bubble” you, which means that it does not save your search history, nor does use it in your future searches to find resources that it thinks you might like - it gives you everything that it finds about your topic, and allows YOU to do the sorting. This is very handy when you want to research a topic that controversial (politics, religion, etc...). Any other search engine will give you results that are influenced by your past searches and the websites you have gone to. For example: did you follow one political candidate more than the other during the past few months? Google knows it, and will present results that reflect your political preference, which will not be helpful if you want to find unbiased resources. Duck Duck Go does not save your history, and thus gives you results that are not influenced by it. As such, it is a great resource to share with your students for their academic research.

At a personal level, the fact that Duck Duck Go does not save nor share your information and history means that it is a safer search engine to use to find your bank’s website, or other websites that you access that you would not want someone who gains access to your computer without your knowledge, to see.

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