This is the 1st of a series of 4 posts comparing Duck Duck Go against Google. I’m not a fan of long blogs (I tend not to read them so I won’t write one), and there is going to such a wide variety of information to consume so I thought I’d offer you one morsel at a time.  

This blog is basically an introduction to search engines and DDG. It will look at difference between Google and DDG from the perspective of a researcher.  Parts 2 trough to 4 will basically be 3 case studies. I will be comparing the results of 3 different types of search I typically conduct for my clients.

Duck Duck Go a pure search experience

Duck Duck Go is becoming more popular these days.  It is now handling 40 million Searches a day. Ok, it’s nowhere near as big as Google, but Duck Duck Go are picking up a significant slice of the market. And it seams to be getting bigger.

It would seem that people are becoming attracted to the idea of keeping their searching data private.  Duck Duck Go is touting itself as the champions of their user’s privacy. They claim they won’t collect and/or share your data their so you will be safe from Adverts chasing you online.

Rightly so, as an online researcher, re-targeting adverts do bug me… a lot. It is nice to use a search engine knowing that what I click on won’t follow me onto my social media platforms.

Online searching is my bread and butter. I will search multiple of topics for varying business over the course of a week. In one week I could be looking at beauty treatments, the meaning of collaboration in the workplace, Manufacturers of soft toys in Australia and Business Coaches in NSW.

You can just imagine the type of adverts which will pop up in my social media after a Google search.

I used to get warnings from Google asking if I was bot or not. It was very annoying.  It is for these reasons that for a lot of my desk top scan projects I prefer to use Duck Duck Go.

There are two types of search engine users

Many of Duck Duck Go critics say that Google is better because their use of targeting algorithms allowing for a better user experience.  To some extent this may be true. Especially in regards to accuracy with local searches.

However, most of these critics are marketers and look at search engines from a SEO/SEM point of view.  Their focus is in how their information can be found whereas researchers like to focus on how find information.

There are basically 2 types of people using search engines, those who want to be found and those who want to find stuff.  Search Engines such as Google seem to have a business model which favours those who want to be found.  Now, this is not a bad thing per se, it’s just a thing.

Therefore, from a strictly research point of view Google searches aren’t pure searches. What I mean by this is, your search results are influenced by you past searching history. Google uses your past searches as an indication as to what they think you need to see and may rank sites you have already clicked on in the past over those you haven’t.

Now, this is all and good if you are looking to buy something online. Your past purchasing is a great indicator of what types of businesses you are most likely going to purchase from.

But if your searching for non-sales type information your past search history may not be of use to you.  E.G you might want to explore current trends in an Industry you’d like to target in your next marketing campaign. You might want to target local businesses in the hospitality industry. 

Depending on the keywords you use, Google may factor in any recent searches you made while checking out nice places to eat for your next date day and provided you with those links.  Because Duck Duck Do don’t factor in your past searches, this type of situation won’t occur.

What does this all mean?

Bellow is a summary of how I believe both search engines perform.

Online Research Matters

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