I am searching for a search engine that doesn’t make me worry about privacy as I search. Why do I worry about privacy? Because this scale of private information on evil hands can create a havoc. I am not saying search engines today are evil. I am saying that this data may one day fall on evil hands. Here is a link to one cause of the fear: Google Hack Attack Was Ultra Sophisticated, New Details Show.
But how about the search itself. Is this one-man show at all comparable to the multi-billion dollar competitors? I think DuckDuckGo does beat them in several front. In fact, two searches that I did over the past week led me to this write-up, not the privacy debacle.
Case I: Google over does search
I searched Google for “College or UnCollege?”, the topic of my previous post, to see if my blog post shows up in the Google search result or not. The result was different from what I expected:
I did the same search in DuckDuckGo and I got results as expected. Simple.
Case II: Google doesn’t do enough
This one was a test that I came up with. I searched the word “Java” in Google. Google returned results in 0.11 seconds and all results on the front page related to Java, the programming language. But, aren’t there different meanings of the word Java? What if I was searching for place Java of Java Coffee fame. I would need to scan through the search results, spanning multi-pages (second page in this), until I came across the one that related to Java, the place.
I searched “Java” in DuckDuckGo. And guess what? DDG showed this “Get results for different meanings of Java” box that showed different meanings of Java that you could select to refine your search. ”Java is the most populous island in Indonesia” was the text suggesting the place reference of the word Java. DDG did take about a second to bring the results (which is 10 times longer that Google’s response time) but since I did not have to go through results to find out whether the results were related to my search context, I arrived at the desired result faster. Google has made search responses blazing fast, but not necessarily the process of you reaching your desired results.
To conclude, I am impressed by DuckDuckGo as pro-privacy search engine with nifty features that seem to be better than Google in certain circumstances. I am definitely going to try switching from Google. That would make a great post no matter what the outcome
PS: Please join the discussion at Hacker News: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2911175