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Definition

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo (DDG) is a general search engine designed to protect user privacy, while avoiding the skewing of search results that can happen because of personalized search (sometimes referred to as a filter bubble).

DDG does not track users – user IP addresses and other information are not logged. A log of search terms entered is maintained but the terms are not associated with particular users. Because DuckDuckGo does not record user information, it has no data to turn over to any third-party organizations.

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo does not default to personalized search, which constrains search results based on information related to the user, such as location, preferences and history. Users may opt to boost results based on locality, for example, but it will not be done unless they specify that they want it to be. Results that appear to be from content mills are also filtered out of search engine results pages (SERP).

DuckDuckGo is sometimes referred to as a hybrid search engine because it compiles results from a variety of sources including its own crawler, DuckDuckBot, crowd-sourced sites such as Wikipedia, and partnerships with other search providers including Yahoo!, Yandex, Yelp, and Bing.

Instant answers, which appear at the top of the results page, are available for queries involving many types of searches, including flight statuses, recipes, rhyming words, calculations and statistics -- among a wide variety of other possibilities. Instant answers also include functions, such as a stopwatch and a strong password generator.

The !bang feature allows users to search a particular website. Typing “!Facebook” before a search term, for example, restricts the results to those found on that site.

DuckDuckGo was founded by Gabriell Weinberg in September 2008. Initially funded by Weinberg, the search engine received $3 million in venture capital in 2011 and is now supported by keyword-based advertising. The company’s headquarters are in Paoli, Pennsylvania.

DuckDuckGo is available in most browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

This was last updated in June 2015

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