DuckDuckGo

 

Use DuckDuckGo here.

This is problematic, because DuckDuckGo is not exactly a corporation (it only has around 20-30 employees), but it’s owned by one person, who could sell to the corporate sector or grow the company to the size of Google in future. It is not a democratic company with a non-corporate structure.

Having said that, there are two benefits that DuckDuckGo has over Google:

  1. It’s not Google: if anything challenges the monopoly power of that giant, then it’s worth supporting.
  2. Privacy: It doesn’t track your search activity and build up a profile of you, the better to target you with corporate advertising (which is what Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. all do); here’s DuckDuckGo’s privacy page – it deletes IP addresses from its logs, and doesn’t even tie searches together anonymously, so it has no way of even knowing if two searches come from the same computer.
  3. Standard results: because it doesn’t track you, it doesn’t give you skewed, customised search results; the same search gives the same results to everyone (imagine being on the phone to someone who does the same Google search as you – you might see the page you’re looking for sixth on the list, but your friend might not see it on the first page at all).

So we’re promoting it until it becomes a giant itself, or until a reliable, non-corporate alternative is developed.

How good is it?

Well, it’s growing. Fewer than 40,000 direct searches per day in 2010, to nearly 14 million per day in 2017.

Here are some reviews:

Here’s one that’s largely about the privacy policy, rather than use.

Here’s an interesting one – a largely negative review, but followed by lots of positive reviews in the comments below (plus the criticisms are from 2012, and it’s constantly improving).

Here’s a positive review from Metro.

And here’s one from PCMech that rates DuckDuckGo as good as Google when it comes to searches, acknowledges that it doesn’t track its users, but stresses that if it’s complete privacy you’re after, then the Tor browser is for you.

Most reviews are positive or neutral about its search results, and acknowledge its superiority as regards privacy.