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Forget Google Search: Here’s Why You Should Switch to DuckDuckGo


More and more people are aware of the information they provide to businesses and advertisers, especially since the Cambridge Analytica Facebook Scandal and the number of data breaches reached a record last year. As a result, many people also take steps to protect their data, and one way to do that is to use DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo has positioned itself as a privacy-focused alternative to search engines like Google. DuckDuckGo has deployed Android and iOS mobile apps and browser extensions to help keep your information safe, no matter if you use it on your phone or computer.

Here are five reasons why you should use DuckDuckGo.

Stop online trackers from spying on you

Online trackers are all over the internet. Princeton’s Web Transparency & Accountability Project found that Google trackers are present in about 75% of websites and Facebook trackers are present in about 25% of sites. These trackers collect data about your interests and behavior on certain websites. Although this data does not identify you, these Internet habits associated with access to your profile on social networks are enough to recognize you, according to a study by Princeton and Stanford universities. (PDF)

DuckDuckGo identifies and blocks these online trackers on sites like Google and Facebook. The search engine can also show you which networks have tracked you over time to give you a more complete picture of how your data is being used.

However, DuckDuckGo has been criticized in May after certain tracking scripts from the company’s partner, Microsoft, were found while using DuckDuckGo’s browsers. Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, said this was due to the company’s partnership agreement and said DuckDuckGo works to change this policy.

You will see fewer ads

When using DuckDuckGo, you should see fewer ads overall.

If you search through Google, you may see advertisements in the first search results. You won’t always see ads in these places, but they’re formatted the same as normal search results, with just a bold “ad” and a separator dot to distinguish them.

When you search for something on DuckDuckGo, you’ll see fewer ads in your search results and you’ll save time.

In addition to fewer ads on the results page, since DuckDuckGo blocks online trackers, ads won’t follow you around the web. If you use DuckDuckGo to search for something like a new food bowl for your pet, you will no longer see ads for pet bowls on various sites. These ads don’t follow you around like said animal asking you to feed it when it just gave it food 5 minutes ago.

Websites should load faster

In addition to collecting your data and causing advertisements to follow you, online trackers also add additional data to the websites you visit, which slows down the loading time of the website. DuckDuckGo blocks these trackers, freeing up bandwidth and allowing websites to load faster.

Your search history is not stored

Let’s say you get into a debate with your partner about how toilet paper should be hung. You say it should hang below. They say the patent for toilet paper clearly passes toilet paper, making it the right way. You research the patent and find that yes, the toilet paper hangs. You sit in disbelief, and now your search history will put you to shame unless you have enabled the auto-delete feature in Google, or go to My Activity in Google and delete the search.

If you use DuckDuckGo, however, this default won’t show up in your search history to begin with because the search engine doesn’t save your searches. Every time you open DuckDuckGo, it’s a fresh start, free from anything you may have searched for before.

One drawback is that there are no suggested search options. Also, if you want to watch something you’ve seen previously, you won’t be able to search for it in your history.

Google’s Incognito mode also keeps your search history private, but it does this by deleting your search history once you close the window. If you do not close the window, it is still stored. Incognito mode also collects some of your information, such as your location and research activity.

Your search results will not be influenced by your browsing history

Google filters the results it shows you when you use it to search for something. Google shows you things related to your search that it thinks you’ll click on based on the data it’s collected about you. It doesn’t mind showing you results, it doesn’t think you’ll click. This means that depending on your search history, if you search for “coffee”, your best result might be nearest coffee shops, an article about the health benefits of coffee, or the history of coffee.

DuckDuckGo will show you more robust search results because it doesn’t filter your results. Some of the results you see on the first page of a DuckDuckGo search may appear on the second or third page of a Google search.

Because your search results are not tailored to you and your interests, search results may appear inaccurate compared to Google. Some DuckDuckGo users on Reddit have reported using Google for certain searches when DuckDuckGo gives them irrelevant search results. It sounds like a downside, but it ultimately means DuckDuckGo is working properly.

To learn more about privacy, see how to use apple lock mode, how Security Control on iOS 16 can help victims of abuse and how your abortion searches could be used to sue you.

Corrigendum, July 27: This has been corrected to indicate that Google does not display full pages of ads and to explain that trackers alone cannot identify a person and how your internet activity can impact your search results.


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