When it comes to the best search engines, DuckDuckGo and Google vying for the top spots. While Google currently dominates the global search engine market, DuckDuckGo is making a name for itself due to its unique focus on user privacy. To find out more about the key differences between Google and DuckDuckGo, keep reading below!
Google is renowned for its extremely accurate, fast and intuitive search function. The tech giant uses semantic search (based on machine learning and artificial intelligence) to interpret the searcher’s intent and contextual cues of certain keywords. Users are returned with highly relevant results, event if the search query is misspelled or somehow nonsensical. Google Search even personalises the results based on your browsing history, allowing it to essentially follow the user with targeted ads based on their searched keywords.
On the other hand, DuckDuckGo uses innovative! Bang commands (or text strings) to perform your searches directly on other search engines. This useful search feature saves the user time and effort when they want to go onto another site to search. For example, if you wanted to search Amazon.com for ‘shoes’, then you can simply enter ‘!a shoes’ into the DuckDuckGo search engine and it will take you directly to Amazon’s website. DuckDuckGo is also very unique because it doesn’t track users or save their search results.
While Google is unquestionably the more accurate search tool, it comes at the expense of user privacy. Since Google saves and tracks your personal search results, it also tracks more private information about the user, including current location, contacts, web browsing history and web page analytics. This also enables the tech giant to ‘sell’ ads based on its users’ private information. Google’s omniscience makes its search function much more effective, yet many users are often unnerved by the possible privacy violations when browsing online.
User Interface & Experience
Google offers an effective user interface, with eye-catching features (like Knowledge Panels, Local Packs, Site Links and Featured Snippets) that enhance users’ search experience. Furthermore, it offers several highly-functional web integrations such as Gmail, Google Maps, Translate and more. These web services and G-Suite applications make it extremely versatile and cohesive, allowing users to easily engage with cross-service integrations and build productivity. On the other hand, advertisements (Google ads) take immense priority over organic search results, yet they are not obstructive and appear very subtly on the SERPs.
Alongside traditional web results, Google also offers verticals for news, videos, images, shopping, books, flights and finance. It even offers additional search settings and tools that can be used to further refine and personalise search results. Another great aspect of Google is that it offers many digital marketers and businesses the opportunity to gain greater online exposure and targeting capabilities, especially with tools like Google Analytics, Search Console and Google Ads.
DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, offers a slightly more basic user interface. It has a similar layout to Google with SERPs containing 10 organic search results, and some ads featured at the top and bottom of each SERP (ad number depends on search volume and keyword competition). It also has a box on the right rail, similar to Google’s Knowledge panel, which displays quick info such as name, address, phone, number, website, reviews (pulled from other sources), etc.
However, users can still apply custom themes, change fonts, modify page width and alignment, while changing background colours from the search engine settings menu. Unlike Google, this growing search engine is still more geared towards textual search, which can occasionally have contextual options. Its mapping, video and image results are also not as advanced as Google’s. Other notable search features include its Category Pages and Instant Answers, which offer visually clean lineups with brief descriptions and images based on the user’s search query.
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