Privacy is the new search quality

Search quality is not a distinguishing feature any longer

Google does provide the best search results. But do you care? DuckDuckGo’s search quality is almost as good. Do you care if you got the result you wanted as the very first result, or the third? Privacy is the new search quality.

Do you understand the privacy policies of search engines? If your answer is ‘I don’t care’, you are making a mistake. You SHOULD care.

Here is what Google‘s policy says:

When you access Google services, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website. These server logs may include information such as your web request, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser.

Google also specifically calls out that they can and will use this data for targeting ad content

Here is what DuckDuckGo says

… DuckDuckGo takes the approach to not collect any personal information by default. The decisions of whether and how to comply with law enforcement requests, whether and how to anonymize data, and how to best protect your information from hackers are out of our hands. Your search history is safe with us because it cannot be tied to you in any way.

Readability of the privacy policy

Unlike the ridiculous gobbledegook other search engines make you read (oh, BTW, if you are using Google, there are separate policies for DoubleClick & Postini) , DuckDuckGo’s founder, Gabriel Weinberg personally wrote the privacy policy for DuckDuckGo. You will be hard pressed to find something else on the web as well written. What a breath of fresh air for English Majors and Nerds alike !

HTTPS Everywhere

DDG now supports HTTPS everywhere . This means that when you search DDG and you are directed to a site like wikipedia, it will automatically use HTTPS

One Click

Get the information you need without having to click further. DDG is smart. when you enter a search term, it uses a bunch of sites (like wikipedia) to disambiguate and present definitions. Very often, this is quite sufficient for your search needs – no further clicks needed.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Use the keyboard to nagivate. For example, the down arrow takes you to the next search result

Best customer support. Period.

Every tried sending mail to Google complaining about something? Are you kidding me? It goes into some black hole.

Every time I have sent mail to DDG (about 3 times now) I have had a response – from Gabriel himself – in under 5 minutes. Or maybe it is someone pretending to be Gabriel, but the clone is every bit as smart as I suspect Gabriel is. At some point, this will stop scaling, but this is a company that cares about customers.


Give DDG a hint about where to go and go directly there

Wow, that almost sounds like an infomercial (BTW, I have no relations with DDG other than being a very satisfied customer)

Sorry, but Google looks tired compared to DDG. Forget all this BS about instant search. I know all your stats about how your revenues are a function of how many microseconds you shave off search results. Unless you are more honest about privacy, you will slowly but surely start losing market share