I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as my default search engine for a few months now, and I’m still not thinking about going back to Google. Yes, there are other options for search, just as in the nineties! Apple recently even added DuckDuckGo as a standard search option in Safari on Yosemite and iOS 8, behind Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
My problem with Google Search is that I don’t always want search results that are tailored to me. When I want to learn more about a certain political event, I don’t want to see only the FoxNews reports as search results; I want the best results, including other opinions. This phenomenon is called the Filter Bubble and is explained in this ‘guide’. DuckDuckGo doesn’t track its users and thus doesn’t collect personal data, so the results are not user specific.
But, over time I got an even bigger fan of another DuckDuckGo feature: The !bangs. With these !bang commands you can directly search on thousands of websites, without having to visit those sites first. When I enter !a Xcelsius in my Safari search bar, I’m directed to the Amazon.com search results for Xcelsius. !yt takes me to YouTube, !imdb to IMDB.com, !bol to BOL.com and !w to Wikipedia.
If I can’t find anything on DuckDuckGo I just use the !g bang to quickly search it on Google. If I need to translate something I use !gtnl or !tr. Here you can find the whole list of !bangs. I just submitted a new !bang for SCN myself, since the old !sdn doesn’t work anymore.
Using the !bangs saves me a lot of time. But there is more. You can use the keyboard to quickly navigate through the search results. Just use ↓ to go to the next result. Hitting Enter opens the result. CMD-Enter opens the search result on another tab in the background. / takes you back to the search box.
Hitting d after selecting a search result starts a new search on the domain of the selected search result. This is very useful when you search for a SAP related issue, and you want to see some more results from http://scn.sap.com/. All keyboard shortcuts are here.