Admit it; you are obsessed with Google. You’ve used terms like, “Google it” or “Googling.” You’ve downloaded its Chrome extensions, taken advantage of its Boolean and even asked it a question or two.
Google has undoubtedly become the “Kleenex” of search engines. Rightfully so considering its dominance over its competitors. Google has a near 73% market share and has held the number one website ranking for the past few years, occasionally flip-flopping with tech rival Facebook.
Google is great, but it isn’t our only option to retrieve indexed information.
DuckDuckGo has been a modest alternative search engine since its inception in 2008. Known for its privacy settings (which are rare in our world today), DuckDuckGo has been slowly increasing in popularity. Currently, with an Alexa rank of 311 in the US, DuckDuckGo surpassed an accumulative 10 billion searches since the site was launched.
If 10 billion searches didn’t excite you (in comparison Google averages around 1.2 trillion searches a year), this search engine specializes in advanced privacy settings. DuckDuckGo emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo differentiates itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by intentionally showing all users the same search results for a given search term.
This is far different from Google. Google has been tracking our searches since we’ve been using it. If you are using Google Voice, then they are recording you. Google has a detailed history of our saved searches; websites visited and location (IP address). Every time you run a search on Google, your search results are customized based on your past search history. Have you ever searched on yourself? There is a reason why your websites will always be towards the top of your search (though it is quite humorous to watch and listen to others brag about their popularity in their own Google search). If you suffer from paranoia and think the government is watching you, then you might want to remove Google, it’s app, and delete your search history.
Privacy is one of many reasons to love DuckDuckGo. It doesn’t track your searches and will give you the best results from reliable sources every time. Envision quality with DuckDuckGo and not quantity. It also has a list of fun advanced and abbreviated search operators that will entertain the savviest of Boolean aficionados.
- Use inbody: (b: for short) to make sure something appears in the body of the page.
- b:resume “software engineer”
- Use intitle: (t: for short) to make sure something appears in the title of the page.
- t:resume “software engineer”
- Use filetype: (f: for short) to make sure the results are mostly files of that type, e.g. f:pdf.
- f:pdf t:resume “software engineer” -jobs
- Use site: to specifically restrict the results to a particular domain
- site:linkedin.com “software engineer”
- Use r: as a shorter abbreviation for region:
- r:uk t:cv “software engineer” -job
Duck Duck Bang!
The !Bang command in DuckDuckGo is one of the most unique and fascinating commands in a search engine. The !Bang command is solely used as a shortcut to search on another website. If you find yourself sourcing in DuckDuckGo and want to carry the search to LinkedIn, try this !linkedin “software engineer” and your search will automatically move to LinkedIn. It’s that simple.
DuckDuckGo is a remarkable alternative search engine. On occasion, I do enjoy using it. Many of us have become accustomed to using Google to find candidates. The increase in popularity of DuckDuckGo won’t change this. However, Google (and yes, LinkedIn too), isn’t the “end all be all” Holy Grail of search engines. The privacy settings in DuckDuckGo allow sourcers to have an equal advantage while searching its site. You might come across a few profiles in DuckDuckGo that you missed in Google, or were perhaps buried in the mounds of results retrieved. DuckDuckGo is a great changeup to sourcing. You should take a chance with DuckDuckGo and fly outside of the pack. I recommend giving it a “go.”