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  • How do I get to do a search with duckduckgo? Not obvious.

    Posted on OscarCP Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box The Junk Drawer How do I get to do a search with duckduckgo? Not obvious.

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      • #2169575 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I just tried to do a search with duckduckgo, so the page would not be clogged with “hits” of a zillion ads for several pages followed by things totally unrelated, something I’ve done easily enough in several occasions in the recent past for this very reason. It was a simple matter of searching with, let’s say, Google, for ‘duckduckgo’ and bingo! there it was a link to the search engine: click on it and there was the search field for typing in the keywords.

        Today it has not worked out like that. Instead of access to the search engine, all I get is an endless series of articles about duckduckgo, manly actually from duckduckgo, but no duckduckgo in person, as it were. I wonder now how to do a search with this engine without subscribing or learning some funny secret handshakes, or whatever else might be required now — if at all possible.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2169588 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        In the address bar of your browxer, type duckduckgo.com and hit Enter.

        Or click this url:

        https://duckduckgo.com

         

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2169713 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          bbearren wrote:
          In the address bar of your browxer, type duckduckgo.com and hit Enter.

          Or, to save a few keystrokes and half a second, just type duck.com and hit Enter… 😀

          Hope this helps.

      • #2169589 Reply
        zat_so
        AskWoody Plus

        Also, you should be able to make it the default search engine for your browser, especially if you use Firefox or derivatives.

      • #2169601 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks bbarren: I must have had that search field right in front of my nose and just missed it among all the duckduckgo advertising (that the duckduckgo.com site mostly is.)

        Thanks also zsat so. I am somewhat reluctant to change default engine (Google), but rather prefer to choose whichever seems best for the occasion. And if Google spies and helps companies target me with advertising? Well, good luck to them! I do not buy things advertised at the top of Google searches, nor do I search for things to buy often enough for some interesting pattern to emerge from that, and always use an ad blocker when visiting sites, have “do not” track set in all my browsers, etc. Is my privacy very safe that way?  No, but it is probably small pickings for the personal infovacuum software of Google and their like, and so my best wishes of good luck to them.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #2169706 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          In Firefox, if you add DuckDuckGo to your search plugin list, you can just start typing in the search field in the URL bar, and it will pop up icons for each of your search options.  When you are done typing, just click the search icon you want to use, and it will search there instead of using your default (if you hit enter, it will do that).

          As far as Google goes, it’s not just that they track you… they also manipulate search results according to what they think you want to see, what they want you to see (based on their desire to get ad revenue), or other reasons.  That’s why I’ve been using DDG more and more recently rather than StartPage, which uses Google’s search results, but strips the tracking.  It’s possible that Google doesn’t mess around with the StartPage search results to the same degree as their own, but it’s Google– and there’s no way to know for sure.  I really don’t like the idea that the links I am being shown are not based completely on relevance to my search terms!

          I haven’t used an actual Google search in some time now.  I now use DDG as my go-to, and I use StartPage if I am not happy with the DDG results, and actual Google… pretty much never.  I try to engage with Google as little as I can.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.18.4).

          4 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2169861 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Ascaris,

            Thanks. I do not use FF but have Waterfox as my default browser in my Mac, and in both the Win 7 and Linux installed in my good old PC that originally was just a Win 7 one. I’ve never liked FF, long story as to why.

            But, although I use Google in many of my Web searches, I do not get targeted ads: what I was referring to is the very long list of links marked “ad” preceding anything that might actually interest me in the list of “hits” returned by Google searches. Most such ads are from or about the company, or item, I am trying to find out something about — even if this is the very first time I’ve had any interest on that company, or item, resulting in this search — as well as about companies that have products somewhat related to the keywords I have used.

            So no: the leading links are only to pages of companies that have something to do, even vaguely, with my current search and with this search only, to pages where the contents are mostly praises to the products of those companies and offers to sell them to me or have me download them for a trial, etc. This happens even if I never have made a search on that topic before, and are always about that one topic of my search, not about something where there might be a pattern of my repeated interest on the subject I am looking for, but that actually there isn’t, because there cannot be.

            I occasionally buy books and DVDs online, as well as products such as large-size sponges and other things needed for my regular housekeeping I cannot find at the local supermarket, or bookshop. I’ve never, ever got any ads for those things.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

            • #2169916 Reply
              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              But, although I use Google in many of my Web searches, I do not get targeted ads: what I was referring to is the very long list of links marked “ad” preceding anything that might actually interest me in the list of “hits” returned by Google searches.

              Those are targeted ads.  Any ad you get from Google is a targeted ad.  About all you can do is limit the info they have to do the targeting, but even if you do, it’s still targeted, just based on less info.  I wouldn’t tolerate having any ads in my search results, personally.

              Google is still fiddling with the search results.  Someone other than you could enter the same search terms and get a different set of links in return, based on what Google thinks it knows about that person.  It’s not just the ads, but the links themselves (and even if it doesn’t say “ad,” it could still be that they paid Google to get a higher placement in the listings of any search related to a certain thing).

              When you do a search in Google, the results will be related to the search term, but they’re not based only on that.  Having nonsensical results would hurt Google’s brand and the position of its search engine as the world’s top choice.  The results are based on your search terms and what Google wants you to see.  They should be based on the search terms alone… any two people entering the same query should get the same result every time, deterministically.  They don’t, and the details of how Google is fudging the results are unclear (and intentionally so).

               

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.18.4).

              • #2169920 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Ascaris: Perhaps you are right, but if I were targeted for ads of something, even when doing the one search I’ll ever make in my whole life on that particular subject, that is not a thing that would worry me. What bothers me is having to go more than one page to find something useful. If the intention was to pile up ads hoping I will buy something so advertised, this fails miserably every single time: Google and its pals the advertisers get zilch from me for their efforts. Or, well, OK: Google gets paid by the advertisers to give their ads a place at the top, or near the top of the list of so-called “hits”. I don’t much care about Google’s finances, as long as that does not hurt me. Which, as far as I have noticed, it does not.

                And to repeat: the “targeting” is only about the specific topic of the search: I do not get ads for CDs, books or large size kitchen sponges, which is what any decent targeter (so to speak) should be piling up at the top of all my search returns. (Don’t tell them I wrote that.)

                And is duckduckgo any different, better, in practice? Don’t have enough data yet to figure that out. But, taking advantage of the fact that I have been shown here how to find the ddg search field to enter key words and start a search with their engine, I am still checking.

                Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

              • #2169930 Reply
                Ascaris
                AskWoody_MVP

                Not messing with the search results is part of DDG’s business model, so I do think it is likely to be true that when they claim they don’t mess with them, they’re speaking the truth.  They have to have some reason for people to use them instead of the default Google, and that’s theirs.  If it was discovered that they were doing the same things that Google is while claiming not to, it would be the end of them.

                When DDG first appeared, I tried it and found it to be quite inferior to Google’s results, but a lot has changed since then.  Google has gotten a lot worse in terms of its results… it has become increasingly difficult and frustrating to try to find what I want.  DDG has improved, and since I moved to DDG as my initial go-to (using Startpage if/when DDG does not work for me), I haven’t noticed any big change in the quality of the results as I had seen before.

                I only ever really used Google after the real Altavista disappeared.  Altavista was the first decent search engine, IMO… the previous ones, like Lycos, AOL Webcrawler, early Yahoo, etc., all left a lot to be desired.  Altavista came out about a year before Google, if I recall, and it worked really well.

                When this new Google thing appeared, I tried it, and found it was not better than Altavista, and I never revisited it until Altavista was bought out by Yahoo, by which time Google was already a household name, and on its way to being the Galactic Empire of the web that they are now.

                One day I was particularly frustrated with the terrible search results of Altavista… and I noticed that at the bottom of the page was “powered by Bing.”  Yahoo gave up their in-house Altavista search that worked really well and outsourced it, replacing it with a third-party source that worked far worse.  That was when I reluctantly switched to Google, for want of anything better.

                 

                 

                Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.18.4).

              • #2170135 Reply
                DriftyDonN
                AskWoody Plus

                Google’s page after page of ads BEFORE your search shows up is remarkably profitable, targeted or not, not to mention time consuming-your time! Consider the number of people worldwide who use google and see these ads. If even 0.5% respond, that’s $billions!

                I used ddg until I found how close they are in bed w/ Amazon…I use amazon prime for 15 yrs now. But I use start page and then ddg , rarely google(sounds like something dirty!)

                Whatever works tho

                D

              • #2170195 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Not all those ads are marked as “ad”, but they might just as well be. For example: lets say I am interested (here a totally imaginary example) in a King of 13th Century Serbia known as “John the Hunchback” (although there was nothing the matter with his back) and who used to marry a fine-looking young lady, who had to bring to their marriage an exceedingly valuable dowry, but who never survived the apparently great exertions of the wedding night and, unlike Scheherazade, was not around afterwards to tell the tale. And that this was something that, mysteriously, kept happening night after night for the whole eighty years of his reign (that he ascended to at the already ripe age of 34). And, for obvious reasons, this king also happened to only have illegitimate children; and very numerous ones.

                So I enter: king Serbia hunchback — as search keywords.

                And I, that never before have made a search on a Serbia-related subject, get many, many “hits” such as: “Best hotels in Belgrade”; “Serbian Airlines welcomes you and your family…”,  and so on and so forth. Followed, after this very long list of irrelevant Web links, not with “hits” on Web pages with information about bad King John, but the usual, totally unrelated duds, such as “Fireworks declared illegal in Montenegro”, “King-pins are just business people that sell only the good stuff”, and so on and so forth.

                But if Google makes tons of money off that, it does not make it off me: it merely aggravates me, something I do not need and that is why I’m considering other search engines. Does any of the above sound familiar?

                Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

                1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2169925 Reply
        Kirsty
        Da Boss

        @oscarcp – I used this string to add a special AskWoody-results “search engine” link in my browser. @parkernathan is currently testing it to see if it works elsewhere, currently pending test results.

        Maybe you could try it too, if you are able to add a new search engine to your Waterfox:

        https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s+site%3Aaskwoody.com&ia=web

         
        To be able to add a non-askwoody searcher, you should just be able to use:

        https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2169935 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Kirsty,

        Thanks for those two links. At the moment I have placed the link to DDG in one of the tiles of the Waterfox “New Tab” page, along with several others I use often (Google, Netflix, my bank, etc.) At least for testing this service, see how well it works for me, this arrangement is quite convenient. At some point I may decide, if I get to like it well enough, whether to make DDG’s my WF home page.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2173439 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        I did the test with it in LaunchBar. I managed to get it working. Here’s what I did:

        1. I opened the LaunchBar Index from the Gear Menu on the Bar.
        2. I added a Search Template (UTF-8). I named it AskWoody and added this template: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=*+%25s+site%3Aaskwoody.com&ia=web
        3. I summoned AskWoody from LaunchBar (I now assigned keystroke AW), so now I can summon LaunchBar, type AW, hit enter, type a search term, and have it search AskWoody.com!

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2173440 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Nathan: Wonders will never cease! Is this one exclusive to DDG?

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2173473 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        Is this one exclusive to DDG?

        This one is. Kirsty may have syntax for other search engines.

        Nathan Parker

        • #2174110 Reply
          Kirsty
          Da Boss

          Give me a hint on which search engine, and I’ll see what I can do.

          PS I’ve found the AskWoody DDG special search parameters very handy, since I was able to get it working 🙂

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