November 14, 2022 at 7:04 p.m.
- Launched in 2008, DuckDuckGo is a search engine claiming to protect user privacy and offer unbiased search results.
- Relying on other search engines, such as Bing, to index websites, DuckDuckGo faces a similar problem of indexing an incomplete World Wide Web.
- Unlike Google Search, DuckDuckGo doesn’t offer comparable protection from malicious websites.
- Overall, Google is far superior to DuckDuckGo due to its large-scale indexing, more user reporting of web scams, and greater intelligence in search.
What is DuckDuckGo?
Named after a popular children’s game, DuckDuckGo is a fledgling search engine based on Microsoft’s Bing web index. Although DuckDuckGo assembles its search data from various sources, including Yahoo, Wolfram Alpha, and Yandex, it does not obtain any information from Google.
DuckDuckGo’s claim to fame is that it protects end users’ privacy and offers unbiased search capabilities. Google is superior to DuckDuckGo in both aspects.
Regarding global market share, DuckDuckGo is ranked at the bottom, with only a 0.71% share of searches. Compare that to Google, with 92% of the market, which would be higher without China’s exclusion of the search giant. (Chinese authorities also banned DuckDuckGo.)
Most of DuckDuckGo’s awards and accolades date back over a decade. The search engine peaked in January 2021 at 2.6% of the U.S. search market. By the next month, its market share retreated by 0.16%, which may seem small; however, given DuckDuckGo’s minuscule stake, it’s a significant decline.
Both Bing and DuckDuckGo Are Missing Many Websites
The main problem with DuckDuckGo is that it’s missing a lot of websites. Because it’s based largely on Bing’s index, which excludes many sites, DuckDuckGo is similarly limited.
Don’t think that Bing de-indexes sites based on quality or any measure of merit. Appledystopia was de-indexed from Bing for writing unfavorable but accurate reviews of Microsoft products. Because Bing de-indexed our website, it’s not on DuckDuckGo either.
It’s not just us. Thousands of webmasters are scratching their heads over why Bing won’t index their sites. All of these sites are absent on DuckDuckGo too. Many are high-quality, informative websites that you’ll never experience on DuckDuckGo.
We spent several days trying to fix our Bing problem, chronicled in our article “Bing Sucks.” Bing’s staff gave us the runaround. They re-indexed us for a few weeks to appease us, then pulled the plug again when they thought we weren’t looking. They would never tell us why we were de-indexed. It’s incredibly frustrating to deal with such a crooked team.
Bing, and consequently, DuckDuckGo, don’t omit websites based on quality. In 10 years of operations, Google has never penalized Appledystopia for a single web page.
We have over 1100 web pages and haven’t received one violation or penalty in ten years of operations! Appledystopia is considered safe on Norton Safe Web. We’ve been scanned and verified as a legitmate website. There’s nothing malicious or shady about our site, yet Bing and DuckDuckGo have banned us. Why? We write about smartphones, tablets, computers, and related technology.
The vast majority of our articles, even ones dating back ten years, are indexed on Google. We’ve earned over 40 million page views. We’re a legitimate, independent technology news site with highly educated and experienced experts on our staff.
We (and many others) are not indexed on DuckDuckGo because we’re not on Bing. We’re not on Bing because we told the truth about Microsoft products. We wrote some favorable and unfavorable reviews, but they’re all honest and accurate.
You can find criticism of Microsoft products on Bing and DuckDuckGo because they would never ban a major corporate publication. These prominent corporate publications often suck up to Microsoft for access and free products. If they’re ever critical, it’s always restrained to ensure they receive the fruits of Microsoft’s PR efforts.
Both Bing and DuckDuckGo index disgusting adult content and horrendous white supremacist websites. But any independent technology website like ours will be banned from Bing for telling the truth about Microsoft products.
DuckDuckGo, independent of Bing, de-indexed eHow.com, a large portal for DIY information. eHow.com was perceived as a “content mill” by DuckDuckGo management and removed from the index. Since the company published 4,000 articles daily, primarily through freelance writers, DuckDuckGo removed it.
Of course, if you’re in the mood for some disgusting pornography, you’ll find plenty on DuckDuckGo. The rules don’t make sense, and competitive deals may be why some sites are banned and others are permitted. It certainly has nothing to do with merit or morality.
Reviewing eHow.com, I can see a lot of helpful articles. It’s valuable content that I would like my search engine to index. DuckDuckGo indexes official KKK websites and perverted adult content portals, but now eHow? Wow!
DuckDuckGo: Biased by Design
Based on Bing, DuckDuckGo is similarly skewed toward corporate sources of information and omits independent publishers, regardless of merit. If you’re looking for unbiased searching, both Bing and DuckDuckGo have information asymmetries baked into their systems.
DuckDuckGo claims to provide unbiased searches because they supposedly don’t track users. However, since they omit many websites, their results are inherently biased. You can’t search a vast knowledge base of DIY information on eHow.com with DuckDuckGo. If you search for Appledystopia, you’ll see many websites that mention us but nothing from our site. Thousands of sites are omitted from DuckDuckGo for seemingly random reasons, making it one of the most closed and biased search engines.
DuckDuckGo’s Dubious Privacy Claims
DuckDuckGo’s privacy claims are less valid than one may believe. For those looking for a benevolent, virtuous corporation, keep looking because DuckDuckGo is more of a giant “f**k f**k no.”
Cybersecurity researcher Zach Edwards discovered that DuckDuckGo blatantly lies about protecting consumer privacy. Due to a deal with Microsoft, DuckDuckGo tracks Edge browser users. CEO Gabriel Wineberg admitted to this partnership, abrogating user privacy:
“our search syndication agreement prevents us from stopping Microsoft-owned scripts from loading”
They only admitted to this because a cybersecurity expert caught them. Other deals may be less apparent. It’s enough to cast doubt on DuckDuckGo’s privacy pledge. Why sacrifice comprehensive search capabilities for bogus privacy claims?
Unlike Google, federal regulators don’t care what DuckDuckGo does. No authority audits or verifies any of the company’s privacy claims. The Discovery of Microsoft spyware on DuckDuckGo was accidental. Google is under a microscope. No one cares about DuckDuckGo.
Also, by claiming DuckDuckGo ensures privacy, it lulls users into a false sense of security. What about your browser? What about your ISP? Many browsers still track you even if you’re using a private mode. Your ISP is tracking everything you do.
You can see for yourself that DuckDuckGo tracks your location. Open the search engine, type in “donuts,” and after all the ads, you’ll see a map of your city’s donut shop locations. How did they get my whereabouts? I didn’t consent. I’m using a private Firefox window, yet they obtained a surprisingly precise location, most likely from my IP address.
You can use Google and keep your privacy intact. Whenever you search on Google in a private Safari or Firefox window, you’re protected far better than searching on DuckDuckGo with Microsoft’s Edge browser. If you use DuckDuckGo with any other privacy-enabled browser, it’s as confidential as Google.
Benefits of User Tracking
Just because a search engine tracks you doesn’t mean data will be used against you. You will not be abducted by government agents when you search for donuts or an embarrassing health condition on Google. Instead, you’ll obtain relevant search results.
Sometimes tracking is beneficial, and DuckDuckGo agrees. After all, they know my location, even when I use Firefox in private browsing mode. If you’re looking for a search engine that doesn’t track you, you’ll have to create your own.
The fear and paranoia about electronic tracking are akin to election denial or other conspiracy theories. There’s some truth to it, but it morphs into mythology.
Elections are rigged from the outside, with ad expenditures. This is a fact of political science. The campaign that spends the most money usually wins. People misconstrue political science reality, converting it into a populist myth. Just the whiff of political science turns into the stink of elections rigged by Venezuelan communists.
Similarly, all search engines track you, even DuckDuckGo. If you’re going to be monitored, you might as well get better search results. That’s why most people still use Google.
Google is Safer Than DuckDuckGo
When it comes to identifying and mitigating threats on the web, Google does a much better job than DuckDuckGo. In fact, its Project Zero initiative identifies security threats in just about every operating system and code library.
The sheer scale of Google enables it to protect users from scams and misinformation better than DuckDuckGo. Both have mechanisms for reporting content, but Google has abundant users to search and report bad actors and talented employees to automate such tasks. If there’s a threat on the web, Google will remediate it faster than DuckDuckGo, Bing, or any other search engine. Google finds security holes in Apple products quite often!
More to Google than Search
DuckDuckGo is just a search engine. It can search videos, images, news, and maps like Google. Unlike Google, its search is based on a limited subset of the Internet — far less than Google.
But Google has much more to offer than search. Its Android operating system is an impressive competitor to Apple’s iOS. For webmasters, Google offers countless tools to analyze and manage our content. These components work together in perfect synergy, giving both consumers and producers of web content a thriving ecosystem.
DuckDuckGo doesn’t have this. They don’t have a mobile operating system that integrates with their search engine. They don’t have a virtual marketplace to purchase apps, software, music, and content. All of these pieces fit together with Google. With DuckDuckGo, you get a search engine with too many limits to be helpful.
Beyond search, Google is a full suite of products that work together in an ecosystem. Google search incorporates this environment into every search if you want it. If not, you can use a browser in private mode.
With DuckDuckGo, you get a search experience that’s inferior to Google in every way. It’s a search engine for the paranoid. If you want accurate results, go with Google. DuckDuckGo is for the tinfoil hat crowd.