Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Google Technology

DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair? 178

Penurious Penguin writes "Privacy-oriented search-engine and Google-rival DuckDuckGo is contending possible anti-competitiveness on the part of Google. MIT graduate and founder of DuckDuckGo Gabriel Weinberg cites several examples; his company's disadvantages in the Android mobile OS; and browsers, which in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five. Weinberg also questions the domain duck.com, which he offered to purchase before it was acquired by Google. His offer was declined and duck.com now directs to Google's homepage. Weinberg isn't the first to make similar claims; there was scroogle.org, which earlier this year, permanently shut down after repeated compatibility issues with Google's algorithms. Whatever the legitimacy of these claims, there certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches — avoiding profiled search-results, a.k.a. 'filter bubbles.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair?

Comments Filter:
  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@nosPAM.hackish.org> on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:51AM (#42073829)

    They didn't specifically purchase duck.com, though. They bought On2 Technologies, formerly known as The Duck Corporation, in order to acquire the VP8 codec, which became WebM, and got all the rest of On2's assets as part of the package. It seems unlikely that the real point of the purchase was to acquire duck.com, considering that VP8 is actually pretty important to them.

  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:57AM (#42073869) Homepage Journal

    Since July 2, 1890. You shouldn't ask rhetorical questions that have actual answers.

  • Re:I call bullshit (Score:3, Informative)

    by KugelKurt ( 908765 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:02AM (#42073897)

    DuckDuckGo can sod off, in my opinion. My one experience with DDG results from their inclusion as the default search engine in Linux Mint. 1) Their search results are crap. 2) Trying to replace them with Google as the default search provider was CRAZY DIFFICULT. I don't want to hear about how hard it is to change default search providers to DDG, because changing back was a non-trivial task for me.

    And how is it DDG's responsibility how Mint is configured? DDG makes a search site and nothing more. They don't develop a web browser or an operating system.
    Go and bitch at Mint if configuring it is difficult but this story is not about Mint.

    From DDG it's totally easy to search via Google: Either select Google from the drop-down menu or add !g in the search field.

    The quality of every developed search engine obviously varies over time.

  • Re:I call bullshit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:03AM (#42073907) Homepage Journal

    Goofy naming doesn't seem to prevent a product or service from getting popular, witness Wii and iPad. I think DDG is a better name than those of web services that add or drop vowels.

  • Re:Nobody plays fair (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:12AM (#42073949)

    Adding a search engine isn't "one click", you need to go to "manage search engines", scroll to the bottom, click "get more search engines", search for one, click "add to firefox", "allow", and then select it from the search menu. The effort in Chrome is roughly the same.

    This is a fraudulent, astroturfed complaint.

  • Re:Nobody plays fair (Score:5, Informative)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:24AM (#42074021) Homepage
    Actually, just tested with Chrome. It's trivally easy. Once you've done a single search with DDG, it shows up in a list of "Alternative Search Engines" Try it right now. Do a search on DDG. Then go to settings. Under the search section, Click on Manage Search Engines, Look for DDG in the "Other Search Engines" section, and click on "Make Default". That's pretty simple. I mean, they could include DDG in their default list, but then WebCrawler, or AltaVista, or a multitude of other search engines would probably complain as well. If you've already done a search on DDG, it's the exact same number of clicks. "Wrench", Options, Manage Search Engines, Make Default. VS. Wrench", Options, Drop Down Box, Bing/Yahoo/Chrome.
  • Re:Nobody plays fair (Score:5, Informative)

    by MysteriousPreacher ( 702266 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:31AM (#42074069) Journal

    which is why DuckDuckGo, a so called "privacy oriented browser", uses bing for it's underlying searches. Any time you hear "anticompetitive search", it's 100% microsoft/fairsearch funded. It's not even remotely about privacy or security as a result of that. Anyone who believes duckduckgo is about your privacy when bing has your information, is misinformed.

    Are you sure you're understanding how the site works?
    Standard searches made via DuckDuckGo will not result in you personally being tracked by the underlying search engines. This is because your client isn't making direct contact with the underlying search engines - DuckDuckGo is collating the results together and presenting them. In that context, what you're saying is that buying a can of Heinz Beans from a supermarket results in Heinz tracking me - even though I have no direct contact with them (and assuming the supermarket isn't passing on personally identifying purchaser information to Heinz).

    There's no Bing/Google tracking happening here:
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=test%20search [duckduckgo.com]

    Using a bang (such as !bing or !image) is where tracking can kick in because at that point you're most likely hitting a source site. This is comparable to ordering beans directly from Heinz.

    This link would result in tracking from bing:
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=!bing+test+search [duckduckgo.com]

    DuckDuckGo is a multi-search engine. You're only making contact with the underlying search providers when you choose to, and at that point it's pretty clear because you're seeing a Google/Bing page.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:31AM (#42074073)

    Free banking in the UK isn't broken. What's broken is the bank's attitudes. Rather than just being happy making a good profit from interest payments and the investment of people's savings they want to make massive profits. Because free banking is the norm they do this mainly by raping you with charges. To the point that going overdrawn just once can, for some people, lead to a viscous circle of debt they cannot pull out of. They would STILL do this if banking wasn't free. Anyone who thinks this kind of thing would go away if they charged is operating at a sub-creationist level of mental retardation or a banker.

  • Meanwhile inOpera... (Score:4, Informative)

    by ryzvonusef ( 1151717 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:43AM (#42074167) Journal

    Right-click the search entry field, select "Create search", enter keyword in the pop-up, Done.

    (check the checkboxes in the pop-up if you want to make default (else it just add it into your list))

    To search a word, just select it and right click, it offers to search both the default or select from your entire list.

    Yet another reason why Opera is awesome :D

  • Re:Nobody plays fair (Score:5, Informative)

    by __aaqvdr516 ( 975138 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:46AM (#42074183)

    Duckduckgo isn't a browser, it's a search engine. It doesn't just use Bing. It pulls from over 50 different sources for search results

    From http://www.pcworld.com/article/245129/are_duckduckgos_bing_ties_a_problem_for_linux_mint_.html [pcworld.com]

    It is true that DuckDuckGo bases its results in part on those from Bing, according to an explanation on its support center. DuckDuckGo actually draws its results from more than 50 sources, it says, including also Yahoo, BOSS, embed.ly, WolframAlpha, EntireWeb, Blekko, and its own crawler.

    Bing doesn't get your information. Duckduckgo is an intermediary in the process and duckduckgo doesn't store your information.

    It's time to take off that tinfoil hat and start wrapping the house instead.

  • Re:Oh well (Score:4, Informative)

    by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:53AM (#42074245)

    It's not just Bing. They take results from a long list of engines, including their own crawler.

  • Re:Nobody plays fair (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2012 @12:02PM (#42074311)

    I fail to see how you can claim this a pro-microsoft ant-google article since DDG uses results from a lot more sources than Bing. From the DDG FAQ:

    Last Updated: Nov 05, 2012 02:47PM EST
    DuckDuckGo gets its results from over 50 sources, including DuckDuckBot (our own crawler), crowd-sourced sites (in our own index), Yahoo! (through BOSS),
    embed.ly, WolframAlpha, EntireWeb, Bing, Yandex, and Blekko. For any given search, there is usually a vertical search engine out there that does a better job at answering it than a general search engine. Our long-term goal is to get you information from that best source, ideally in instant answer form.

    I use DDG and find it useful for a lot of reasons but it doesn't always give me better results than the other search engines I use. As for the privacy aspect I think that DDG does a good job there as well, certainly better than Google, Bing, Yahoo, or a host of others.

  • Re:Nobody plays fair (Score:5, Informative)

    by koxkoxkox ( 879667 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @12:08PM (#42074345)

    No, when you are on www.duckduckgo.com, you show the list of search engines by clicking the small arrow, you see "Add DuckDuckGo" at the bottom, you click it and you are done. Admittedly, that's two clicks.

  • Re:Nobody plays fair (Score:5, Informative)

    by jensend ( 71114 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @08:25PM (#42078215)

    DuckDuckGo has made a whole host of guarantees [duckduckgo.com] that they will never track you, collect personal info, etc. They've built their entire brand around these guarantees. (Their billboard slogan is "Google tracks you. We don't.") You don't have to simply trust their goodwill; their self-interest will enforce this too. If they broke their guarantees, their company would lose its reputation very quickly, their brand would soon be worthless, and they'd likely be vulnerable to a host of lawsuits.

    Google, on the other hand, freely admits that they do collect and use such information [google.com]. You have to read the fine print and look around to get a better idea about how they plan to use that info, and they won't tell you at all about the unintended ways this info gets used (here's DuckDuckGo's page about that [donttrack.us]).

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson