DuckDuckGo is a growing search platform that offers users great flexibility and a fantastic guarantee of privacy.
Launched about ten years ago, DuckDuckGo (DDG) recently reached a record of 30 million direct searches in a day. Of course, this is nothing compared to Google – DDG makes up about .18 per cent of all global searches compared to 77 per cent for Google.
But for journalists, DDG has the potential to be a very powerful tool. In particular, DDG’s !Bang function allows users to quickly conduct searches across thousands of websites.
Whether searching for a tweet (!twitter) or looking for information across Government of Canada websites (!canada), bangs are the easiest way to get specific results quickly. All you have to do is insert the bang for your platform of choice before or after the search terms.
There are over 11,000 bangs and that number is increasing because users can submit their own to DDG (Hopefully my submission for !ott to search the City of Ottawa’s website will be added shortly).
Check out DDG for a directory of available bangs and add one of your own if you think of something useful.
Remember that DDG’s normal privacy features do not apply to bangs because the search does not take place on their platform.
Update: Great news — DuckDuckGo accepted my suggested bangs. You can now use !ott to search Ottawa.ca and !ottawacitizen to search ottawacitizen.com.