Reasons Why DuckDuckGo Is My Search Engine Of Choice

Reasons Why DuckDuckGo Is My Search Engine Of Choice

If you're a journalist, writer, researcher, business owner, or just interested in getting the facts and broadening your mind, you need to start exploring your search engine options and not just default to Google every time.

If there's one piece of advice I would offer to any journalist, researcher, or anyone in fact, it's this: Don't stick to the same old, same old. These days we shouldn't be spoonfed information that an algorithm expects we want or that the masses are searching for – it's a sure way to stunt our growth as a species.

Where do you go when you need to research something?

For many years, I, like the majority of people living in North America and the world, would head straight to Google. It was easy to navigate and it seemed to provide access to information I needed.

There's a reason why people say, “Google it.”

But not anymore.

Over the years, I have found researching a topic has become a lot harder on Google. You type in what you are looking for and you have to trawl through pages and pages before you find relevant information, and not the paid for or “presumptive” information that the search engine likes to feed you.

I have to say, for me, Google started to make my job A LOT harder.

I would be trying to find multiple angles on a subject to get a balanced view, but I seemed to be fed by a very one-sided argument.

I really don't need information to back up my beliefs – not in my business, and definitely not in life.

Don't get me wrong, Google has its merits (there's a reason why it has more than 86% of the search market share). As a business, you will want to appear at the top of the search results, and for me, it has become more like the good old Yellow Pages, where I can find out about people, businesses, products and services. It's also where I go to find out what the general public is reading as far as information goes.

But, in order to do my job, to dig deep, I need more than that, and that's when DuckDuckGo became my new bff.

Type into Google why DuckDuckGo 's popularity has exploded, and of course the first thing that comes up is about why DuckDuckGo's growth has dropped.

That's not surprising really, being a competitor to Google.

But, the reality is that while it only holds around 2.44% of the global search engine market share in North America, it has an estimated 80 million people using the search engine and grew by an estimated 46% in 2021.

Of course, this is a guess (based on searches per month), because the search engine doesn't track it's users and so it's impossible to really know.

WHY I LIKE IT & HOW IT HAS CHANGED

It seemed like only a few years ago now that I discovered the search engine DuckDuckGo.

At first I was intrigued. I liked that it didn't track or share my searches, not for privacy reasons, because personally that doesn't really bother me, but it meant that every time I conducted a new search, it wouldn't try and predict what I was searching, or give me information based off an algorithm that predicted what it thought I wanted.

Back when I started using it, it seemed a little limited with a fairly small database (it was launched in 2008), and so for a few years I completely forgot about it.

But one day I realized it was impossible for me to find a study on Google that I knew was out there, that I had read previously, and needed access to . . . but no matter what I typed into the Google search engine, I could not find it.

Lightbulb moment.

Let's try DuckDuckGo. Sure enough, the study came up straight away.

This happened a few times, and slowly, over the past few years I realized Google wasn't giving me what I needed to do my job properly.

You see, as a writer/content creator/editor, your search engine is the first place you will go to begin your research. From there, you head direct to the sources, before it's back to the search engine to continue with your research before reaching out to the experts or the people on the ground again. (If you're doing your job, of course).

The hours I wasted on Google trying to research people or topics that I knew existed, but just wouldn't show. Too. Many. Hours.

And that's when I made DuckDuckGo my “go to” search engine.

What I started to notice was that DuckDuckGo had a ton more information on there than a few years prior. Its database had exploded. I also found that if I wanted both sides of a story and everything in between, sure enough I could find it on DuckDuckGo.

There was limited information bias, as far as I could see.

It was the difference between asking a politician a question and getting some stock answer that really made no sense, and asking a scientist specialized in a certain field a question and getting the exact information you were after.

WHY YOU NEED MULTIPLE SEARCH ENGINES

Of course, DuckDuckGo is just one of a few search engines I use (Bing, Baidu and Yahoo! are others).

And then, depending on whether I want to dig even further with a worldwide view or a specific region view, I will use, for example, startpage.com, or even yandex.

What I have found since expanding my search engine profile, so to speak, is not only do I get access to information I need, but I get a really great overview of opinions as well as a deeper sense of what is going on from various angles.

It's almost like someone suddenly discovering alternative media after only ever reading/watching mainstream media – your eyes are opened to a different world.

If you want to see what I mean, pick a topic that you support, it doesn't matter what it is. Then type that topic into the various search engines and see what comes up.

I think you'll be surprised.

You can even simplify the process and submit your query or the topic to metacrawler.com, which searches multiple different search engines.

It truly helps broaden the mind and to see things from a perspective you may not have thought of.

In the end, every search engine has it's own way of doing things, and not one is perfect. Many will even default to return to the largest number of results for a query. But combine them, and they will at least give you a good springboard.

If there's one piece of advice I would offer to any journalist, researcher, or anyone in fact, it's this: Don't stick to the same old, same old. These days we shouldn't be spoonfed information that an algorithm expects we want or that the masses are searching for – it's a sure way to stunt our growth as a species.

(Btw, I have zero affiliation with DuckDuckGo)

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