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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, which he offered to purchase before it was acquired by Google. His offer was declined and now directs to Google's homepage. Weinberg isn't the first to make similar claims; there was, 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.'"
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DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair?

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  • I call bullshit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LF11 ( 18760 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:46AM (#42073791) Homepage

    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.

    There is a market for a not-Google. Just like there is a market for a not-Facebook. But just like recent U.S. elections proved, being a "not-something" is not necessarily enough to gain market share. You have to be better, or at least perceived as being better. DDG is not, at least not in my experience, and whining in public is certainly not helping.


  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot&hackish,org> on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:46AM (#42073793)

    What seems more likely:

    1) He offered to buy from On2 Technologies (which was originally named The Duck Corporation), but they held out for more than he was willing to offer. It's an obviously valuable domain name so this doesn't require some kind of secret agreement with Google: maybe they just thought they could get more than he was offering for it.

    2) Sometime later, Google bought On2 for their codec (VP8, on which WebM was based). Of course this means they got all their other assets too, like their old domain name. Typical Google practice is to redirect acquired domain names to, or to a specific product page on if relevant. Considering that Google is very interested in codecs, it seems rather unlikely that Google really bought On2 for the domain name.

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

    by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @10:51AM (#42073827) 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.

    if you wanted privacy in your search, use a multi-search engine and get real results the way you want. It's that simple, and they do exist. To act like people are somehow " at a loss" when they can go to any website they want to search is to fail to acknowledge that bing is a horrible search engine.

    TLDR: anti-google (and pro-microsoft) article.

  • Re:Oh well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UltraZelda64 ( 2309504 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @11:31AM (#42074077)

    Except that when you realize DuckDuckGo is actually Bing in disguise, it regains the social stigma of using a Microsoft product. So you're back at square one.

  • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @12:26PM (#42074471) Homepage

    These sites are using Google's (and Bing's and others') results, collating them and presenting them to the users. Why exactly do they expect Google would play fair with that? It's not like Google specifically provides a service for third parties to reuse their search results. They're setting up an additional, unsupported layer between users and Google, and thus shouldn't be surprised that said layer requires frequent changes to work. Google won't stop and ask "we want to change this, that fine by you?" when they see no profit, no advantage from it.

  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @01:15PM (#42074789)

    If you'd read the link inside post, you'd see that the citations were already there, and Google and DDG are both represented by quotes.

    They're not lazy at all. Instead, the post was used to craft a reactive opinion based on only a few facts inside the referenced link so as to provoke a response. This is called: suckerbait, and many took it.

    Should search engine choice be the same number of clicks? Perhaps. But what the article alludes to is that a preponderance of facts *appears* that Google is engaged in anti-competitive behavior. Whether that behavior is monopolistic or sufficiently injures the public so as to motivate FTC litigation is still unknown.

    Is DDG crying empty tears? I think they have some legitimate beefs with Google. I believe that Google is anti-competitive, but I don't know whether they're sufficiently anti-competitive so as to necessitate action to control that behavior. A good fight is a good fight until someone's fighting "dirty".

  • by mydots ( 1598073 ) on Friday November 23, 2012 @01:21PM (#42074845)

    I started working at The Duck Corporation ( in 1996, a few years before it went public as On2 Technologies/The Duck Corporation ( and, and was working with Google/Duck/On2 until a year and a few months after the acquisition in 2010. At Duck/On2, I was responsibile for everything related to building our networks and maintaining all the hardware, software, servers, domains, networks and a ton of other stuff, you know the typical system administrator job.

    Prior to the acquisition, but after going public as On2, we likely didn't sell because that was still my primary email address and I and a few others still actively used it, and we still kept up a basic website for information about our old and basically no longer supported software; and it was just one of those things still tied to the company with a lot of history as The Duck Corporation, so we decided to keep it. Feel free to blame me, since I always requested that we keep it when we saw the many offers for the domain over the years, mostly in the hundreds to couple of thousand dollar range; and because of my history with the company, I am sure I was a big part of that decision to not sell it.

    When Google bought us, I knew I was still going to be there for a while to make sure all our company data, and some specific services that had to stay up, was migrated into their servers. Since we hosted all our own servers with our own hardware and software and they had to ulimately be shut down, I had to get things moved over and still needed to get my email.

    So at that point, since I was still getting a lot of emails and had my email address for literally many hundreds of websites, publications, mailing lists, business contacts and other things, since I mainly used for well over a decade, I wanted to make sure Google's DNS and email was configured to still get emails. I actually had started trying to switch all my to, but it was an overwhelming process. I still wonder how much email is still going to my email address.

    I took it upon myself to learn the Google way of configuring their public DNS, email and a bunch of other things because I was nosey and wanted to learn and did learn some really cool and interesting stuff about them while I was there. I made sure the MX record for was still configured to deliver my email (and a few other email addresses) to my Google email account. Since it was decided to no longer keep the website up, I can't give you a real explanation, but I ended up configuring websites to point to the main page instead of nothing. So you can go ahead and blame me, but no one at Google specifically told me to point to their site.

Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz