11 features that make DuckDuckGo special

Ready…steady…DuckDuckGo!

Believe it or not, the story of DuckDuckGo is similar to the above line.

They have been steadily gaining a footprint from the word “Go”.

We all know the dominance of Google, globally.

With over 75% share worldwide and over 85% in the US, Google is one of the biggest companies in the world.

With a current market capitalization of over $850 billion.

That’s huge.

We can simply say that it has a monopoly in the search engine business.

At least for now.

So how does one go up against a giant like Google?

What are the odds of succeeding?

Well, it might be better than you think 😊.

Founded by entrepreneur Gabriel Weinberg, DuckDuckGo, with its unique features, is now one of the fastest-growing search engines in the world.

Below is the comparison between DuckDuckGo, Baidu and Bing on Google Trends.

duckduckgo vs others

Named after the famous children’s game, “Duck Duck Goose”, this Search Engine has gained a lot of momentum since its inception.

Before we learn the features,

A few facts about DuckDuckGo:

1. Founded in 2008

2. Based in Philadelphia

3. Described as a hybrid search engine – as it is built on multiple APIs

4. 1.5 million daily searches in 2012

5. Over 40 million daily searches in 2019

6. Allows you to search the web without being tracked.

That being confirmed,

What is so special about DuckDuckGo?

There are many factors that you can consider here but the main one that I would go for is

Privacy

I’m sure you have seen the impact of browsing history on your search.

It is a convenience yes, but also a privacy issue.

You can delete your history, cache, and go incognito.

But your activity will still be tracked by Google.

Here is a special announcement:

Even your offline activities can be tracked.

If done properly.

The payment that you make (POS machine), the hidden cameras, etc.

Any device or a mechanism that can connect you to the online world can be detected and tracked.

Directly or indirectly.

DuckDuckGo, unlike Google, claims that it is safe, secure and protects your privacy.

What does that mean exactly?

For one thing, it does not store any data coming from you.

Meaning it will not scan your profile.

It will not store your browsing history.

So, for a given search term, it will show the same results for everyone.

Of course, the results may vary due to other factors.

But not due to the user profile.

I’ve tried this.

It works.

Type a keyword, say “digital marketing” on Google.

Exit the search page and proceed to the main Google Home page.

Search for the same keyword.

Google Autocomplete will display the previous keyword you typed.

Do the same on DuckDuckGo and find out 😊.

Now coming to the main section:

The features of DuckDuckGo.

The search engine looks like this:

duckduckgo search engine

You can add the extension to Chrome and Firefox.

We’ll go through the features now.

These are unique features as well as a comparison of

DuckDuckGo Vs Google.

1. I’ll start with a Bang!

Or Bangs as they are called.

What are Bangs?

duckduckgo bangs

These are nothing but shortcuts.

You can use these to skip one or more steps in arriving at your page.

How?

In the search bar, type “!”.

You will see a predefined set of shortcuts.

bang shortcuts

Say, you want to read about Adobe on Wikipedia.

Type the below:

“!w adobe” (w is the shortcut for Wikipedia)

Click enter.

You will directly land on the below page.

wikipedia adobe

Say, you want to go to the Amazon page on Linkedin.

Type the  below:

“!li amazon”

Click enter.

You will land on the below page.

amazon linkedin

When you type “!”, in the bangs list, you can see the respective shortcut for the site.

Wikipedia – w

Linkedin – li        

eBay – e

And so on.

You can click “learn more” to check for the rest.

2. Look-and-feel

In the DuckDuckgo search result, you can see the website favicon or the logo with the title.

I searched for “digital marketing”.

logo on search result

Looks good right?

Google has a Pagination at the bottom. DuckDuckGo does not.

Google pagination

It has a scroll option instead.

duckduckgo scroll

3. Settings

Google has the below settings.

Google settings

And DuckDuckGo has its own:

duckduckgo fullsettings

Here you have the option to remove the search icons, change font and theme among others.

It also has a Cloud Save option.

Duckduckgo cloud save

4. “I’m feeling lucky” with “\”

You’ve seen the “I’m feeling lucky” button on Google, right?

Google lucky

Ever wondered what it did?

If not, then what it does is,

Lead you directly to the landing page of the FIRST ORGANIC search result on the SERP.

For the keyword that you type.

Let me explain.

Search for “digital marketing course”.

You get the below page.

dm course search

This has Ads at the top.

And then Organic results with the first result being,

first organic result

Now, if you type the same keywords and then click “I’m feeling lucky”,

You will directly land on the above Ivantateq page.

Thereby skipping the search result page.

The result above is specific to me.

When you do it you will get a different result.

But the logic remains the same.

The first organic result will be the same as clicking on the “I’m feeling lucky” button.

So, what is the need for this option?

There are people who believe that the first result is the best result and will also save them time in browsing.

Anyway, I wanted to share that this feature is also on DuckDuckGo.

Use “\” as a prefix with a keyword.

And the process repeats.

5.Figlet

Now, this is one of the features that Google does not possess.

Type “figlet + “anything” ”.

Say “figlet uber”.

Click Enter.

In the “Answer” tab, at the top, you get the below image.

uber figlet

You can use this image for sharing or other purposes.

Pretty cool right?

6. Calendar

Again, another unique DuckDuckGo feature.

Type ” calendar ” on Google.

You get the below:

google search calendar

The same on DuckDuckGo:

duckduckgo calendar

You see it displays the calendar directly.

If you want an older date, then add it.

Like “calendar June 2018”.

And:

duckduckgo calendar

7. URL info

Many times you come across these shortened URLs like

“https://is.gd/gv8gDF”.

Or a short URL from Bitly.

These are used to reduce space and for a better display.

Even after you add the tracking parameters, you can shorten the URL.

But at the same time, a user will not know where the page will land.

If the URL is shortened.

On a normal URL, you can find out where you are headed.

Like:

https://digidomain.in/nine-awesome-ways-to-mobile-app-marketing

This is a post from this blog on mobile app marketing.

You know that as it is visible on the link.

But a shortened URL will have only the code displayed.

DuckDuckGo can help you here.

The above-shortened link is the same as the below normal link for app marketing.

Say you come across that shortened link.

And want to know where it leads.

On DuckDuckGo, type the below

“expand URL + “link” ”.

You get the below:

expand url

You now know the domain and page of the URL you are about to click.

Similarly, take a normal URL and type below:

“shorten URL + “link” ”

Your link will now be shortened and displayed at the top like before.

8. Password creation

This is a good one.

Type “password 10 strong”.

And DuckDuckGo will generate a random strong password for you.

password ten creation

This usually works with two-digit numbers.

9. Weather

This feature is similar to Google.

You get the below top result.

duckduckgo weather
google weather

10. Cases

By this I mean the upper and lower cases for a line.

Type “upper case +” a line with a lower case” ”.

Say, I type,

“upper case my name is tom”.

You get the below:

upper case

Same for lower case.

Type “lower case + “a line with upper case” ”.

Same for title case.

Type “title case + “a line” ”.

11. Stopwatch

Both Google and DuckDuckGo have this feature.

google stopwatch

But it looks better on the latter.

duckduckgo stopowatch

Other features:

Type “excel shortcuts”.

DuckDuckGo gives you the list on the top spot.

duckduckgo shortcuts

Google provides a part of the list with the link.

google excel shortcuts

Alternatives

Say, you want to find out similar websites.

Type “alternative to amazon”.

You get the below scroll options.

duckduckgo alternate

Anagram

(A word formed by rearranging the letters of another word)

Type “anagram + “word” ”.

If the word is eligible,

You get the below:

anagram

These were some of the top features of DuckDuckGo.

Site Index

Now, I’m sure you would want your website to get indexed and ranked on this search engine as well, right?

How do you rank your site on DuckDuckGo?

Simple.

You don’t.

DuckDuckgo does not have a tool like the Google Search Console.

Where you can submit your site.

It takes information from other search engines.

Like Google, Yahoo, Yandex, etc.

But it is easier to get indexed if you index your site on Yandex and Bing.

As they have networks.

How to run Ads on DuckDuckGo?

This is easy but a little tricky.

You need to create Ads on Microsoft Bing.

Those will also appear on DuckDuckGo.


Conclusion

On one hand, you have Google that tracks your behavior.

But inevitably you use it.

On the other hand, there’s DuckDuckGo.

Which claims that you remain an anonymous user.

But it still has a long way to convince the world (it has less than 1% market share).

And it has features that convey an anti-privacy message (like Bangs which takes you directly to the profile page from the search engine).

How do you choose?

Do let me know in the comments 😊.

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