Can A Small Search Engine Take On Google?

Friday, April 12, 2013


Duck Duck Go is a small search engine based in Pennsylvania that is, according to Google at least, a Google competitor. OTM producer Chris Neary talks with Duck Duck Go founder Gabriel Weinberg, SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan, and a dedicated Duck Duck Go user about the site. Also, each of the OTM producers try Duck Duck Go, and only Duck Duck Go, for a week.


Theme from I Dream of Jeannie


Sarah Abdurrahman, Alex Goldman, Danny Sullivan, PJ Vogt, Gabriel Weinberg and Jamie York

Produced by:

Chris Neary

Comments [16]

Laurel from Mechanicsville, VA

I heard the show, and want to know - what is the best search engine for finding LEGO bricks?!

Jul. 13 2015 01:07 PM

I've been using dut dut go, (hehe), as my primary Search for two years now. And while it's not perfect i use the bang command !sp that lets fill in the gaps.

May. 10 2013 11:03 PM
Eric M. from Las Vegas, Nevada

I can't help but think "DuckDuckGo and only DuckDuckGo" is a bit wrong. Provided you know you will be subject to the generally much less scrupulous privacy policies of external sites, the bang commands are there to be used. I often need access to something fairly specialised in my search, and DuckDuckGo has handily replaced nearly all my YubNub use in that regard.

The goodies and bangs are very valuable and powerful features when you need them, and they allow you to quickly draw upon many of the best resources the Internet has to offer. In particular, Google is available for quick access from several perspectives with direct bang commands for image search, news ,and others. I also appreciate that I can use " term" as a quick shortcut for most searches when using a browser which is not set up to use it as the default.

May. 10 2013 03:32 AM
Drew from Irvington

Here's a better way to compare search engines than the method described in the program: whenever your usual search engine either finds a seemingly-obscure reference that is useful, or fails to deliver any good results, submit exactly the same query to a different engine, and keep track of whether it does better or worse.

Apr. 19 2013 11:43 AM
Frances Krug from OH and Canada

Your listeners and readers might be interested in a recent article we published by Nate Gancher of Anvil Media, Inc., discussing which search engine will rule after Google. DuckDuckGo is one of the three options considered and Nate offers some pros and cons. The article is at

Apr. 15 2013 12:20 PM
Harold Pomeroy from Beacon St., Boaton, MA

I came here to see if I could find the name of Google's competitor. The speaker on the air tended to drop second hard consonants from words. I thought it was "Dut Dut Go". I never heard a "k" sound, and I was listening closely.

It turns out I learned a new word, "dut". It's slang for "anus", according to Urban Dictionary.

Apr. 14 2013 09:39 PM

I use DuckDuckGo more than any other search engine. It's my first choice in search engine. I can empathize with a struggling entrepreneur trying to make something big, and the founder of DuckDuckGo is one of the most brilliant startup guys around. I have not looked back, have enjoyed every bit of using the DuckDuckGo search engine, and highly recommend it! I hope they succeed! Good luck!

Apr. 14 2013 04:43 PM

Besides DuckDuckGo, there is another search engine offering a high level of privacy: Ixquick, and its sister site Startpage ( and

Apr. 14 2013 04:41 PM
Francisco from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Thank you for this article.

I've been looking for another search engine since Google was caught grabbing data from open WiFi networks. The way they responded to that showed that thye didn't care about people's privacy. In fact, in the early stages they gave the impression that they thought that anyone who was concerned about privacy was part of the tin foil hat brigade. It was only when the Data Protection authorities here showed how seriously they were treating that, that Google apologised but they still are up to their old tricks (see ).

I've been using Yahoo because they're not as bad as Google but Duck Duck Go's explanation of why they don't track queries (see ) shows that they get it. Companies like Google and Facebook (and, admittedly a court case in America a few years ago[1]) have made me wary of American companies.

I've now switched to Duck Duck Go and I've not had any problems finding stuff I want.

[1] I can't remember where it was (I think Memphis or Minneapolis) but the judge more or less said that, once a company has got hold of a person's data, it was the property of company and they could do whatever they liked with it (even if that broke their own privacy policy). In Europe, your data remains your own.

Apr. 14 2013 12:45 PM
Ramesh from NY

I heard of DuckDuckGo for the first time. I changed browser homepage setting to DDG. I think other browsers have cought up with Google when it comes to search results. Google may be ahead in connecting the person behind the search to search.

Apr. 14 2013 11:53 AM
David M. Boehm

I use "Duck Duck Go" as my first choice search engine, because of Google's penchant for storing data about me when I search there.

However, when I listened to your story, I did not hear "Duck Duck Go", although I was listening for it. I heard "Dot Dot Go".

Could that be why this story is at the top of your list as "most viewed"?

You owe your listeners a follow-up correction on the air next week.

"Dot Dot Go" had no hits for me on Duck Duck Go, but Google did take me there.

It is a real website, but seems to contain only links to advertisers as diverse as Elgin Air Force Base and "English as a Second Language".

It is a blind alley, and you led me there.

Apr. 14 2013 11:35 AM
tom from chicago

I was happy to hear a discussion of search engines, in particular my personal favorite, DuckDuckGo. However, I'm surprised that there was no discussion of DDG's most interesting feature: they don't "bubble" the searcher. I was introduced to DDG through the linux community, and privacy was one of its selling points, but I believe this is its more salient feature (I can handle a few ads pitched at me in exchange for a free service). I might be showing my age here, but I still remember the excitement of connecting to the internet to find out about things I didn't already know, especially things I didn't even know existed. DDG's homepage has a nice short demo that illustrates the tendencies of other engines to present results that fit the users demographic profile. I'm hoping the journalists and media professionals of OTM might have more to say about this aspect. Please don't dismiss a tool just because of its small market share. Maybe in the follow-up story we can hear more about how search is shaping what the public does and doesn't hear. Thanks for all your great work.

Apr. 14 2013 08:56 AM

Liked this story and especially the comments made by the artist/teacher. I use google but also have real concerns about privacy so will try this search engine as a new user....and had never heard of it before. I will say however that as my husband and I listened to this story neither of us could determine whether the journalist was saying dotdot go or duck etc....Might have been also useful to spell out the web address.

Apr. 13 2013 04:54 PM

Are most people really searching with search engines, or just saving the effort of having to organize & store links to places they've already been to? Duck Duck Go works great most of the time for me. I do use Google, but sparingly and usually when I need a second opinion or I am looking for pictures. The OTM story naturally had journalists as the testers of Duck Duck Go--but journalists probably benefit from a supercharged search engine like Google more than the average user.

Apr. 13 2013 04:37 PM
suesee358 from Dayton ohio

I have used duckduckgo for nearly a year after a friend told me about it. I'm an attorney and use different search engines all day and every day, but for personal searches I stick with duckduckgo. Privacy is the reason.

Apr. 13 2013 07:49 AM
culprit from brooklyn

Oh PLEASE. Not only Mormypublicans use Duck Duck Go. I'm a 50+ female radical commie, and I use it because I don't want to watch ads or be tracked or bubbled. I want real search results, not paid ones.

Apr. 12 2013 08:37 PM

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