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Why a duck? Exploring Duck Duck Go

A new search engine seems to have lots of people quacking.

Duck Duck Go is one of the simplest interface I’ve seen. The About page explains:

Duck Duck Go is a new search engine with less garbage and better results. With less clicking forward and back between results, it is for anyone who wants to get information faster.

We do a lot of things differently.

The very handy icon bar that appears to the right of your result screen, allowing you to easily migrate your search onto Twitter, or Flickr, WebMD, or the New York Times, or CNN, etc. (Serious comparison shoppers will appreciate the handy link to NexTag.)  If you don’t want to perform this type of focused search on an alternate search site, icons also flag items in the vertical result list.

Familiar bookmarking and sharing tools follow you as you search. The site’s structured result pages demonstrate elements of a more organized, semantic search.

When available, official sites are noted. Zero-click red boxes highlight essential information. Category pages (like the White House page above), as well as Content pages, group together similar sites. Meaning pages (see the Other Meanings link above) group together topics with similar names for disambiguation.  Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg notes that the category pages are a complicated mashup of ~100 sources, including Yahoo! BOSS, Wikipedia and our own crawler.

Duck Duck Go does a very nice job reducing spam; it omits over 40 million spam/parked domains.
Like Google, it calculates and locates phone, tracking, car #s; and finds zip , book, product codes, as a well as street and IP addresses.  Its large font size, clean, interface, and intuitive search features will appeal to many users.

But no one search tool does it all.  I am absolutely adding this one to our search tool pathfinder.

I wonder about the usefulness of the A-Z arrangement of pages beyond the first screen of results. I am not sure I could predict a topic name that might be valuable. I guess I prefer to search within a search.

I am still testing, but I suspect this one will one best for beginning researchers, for developing context at the start of a project. 

Duck Duck Go will join my students’ toolkits.

More intense diggers require the depth and the reach of Google with its directory, Google Books, Google Scholar, and Google Blog Search, to say nothing of our databases and several other search tools, each with its own unique charm.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Lisa Stave says: is a nice new search engine. I found it nice how simple the links were, by that i mean the page had a lot of white space and was not overwhelming me with information. I also liked that it only gave me about 10 hits, and then I could choose the more option if that was not enough. Unlike Google the site does not base its ranking by hits

  2. Kristi Amrine says:

    I also really enjoyed First, when it wasn’t sure what I was looking for it gave me several options in a list form. Also, when I searched a particular word, it gave me the definition in a box at the top of the search results. This would be very useful in research projects. Although it doesn’t have the short description of the website under the link, I found that the link names were specific enough that I did not need further explanation. It is less busy and therefore less distracting. This is going to be useful for my students!

  3. Duck Duck Go says:

    Thanks for checking out Duck Duck Go–all feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Gabriel Weinberg, Founder and CEO

  4. Mary Nordi says:

    Duck Duck Go is a great search engine. So simple, and all relevant hits!

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