DDG, their own search, not just a proxy.
DuckDuckGo gets its results from over one hundred sources, including DuckDuckBot (their own crawler), crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, which are stored in their own index), Yahoo! (through BOSS), Yandex, WolframAlpha, and Bing. For any given search, there is usually a vertical search engine out there that does a better job at answering it than a general search engine.
Their long-term goal is to get you information from that best source, ideally in instant answer form. DuckDuckGo also has many open source components and projects. They offer XMPP Services, Goodies, DukGo Platform, !Bang commands, and Duck.co community forums. Plus a DuckDuckGo hidden service at 3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion for Tor users.
You will notice that as a result of their sources, their results are often very different. That's because they have an intelligence layer on top that attempts to improve upon results provided by external sources. Not only do they try to pick the best source and use it in the best manner, but they also do other things like remove spam, re-rank, provide instant answers and add official sites on top, among other things.
While their indexes are getting bigger, they do not expect to be wholly independent from third-parties. Bing and Google each spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year crawling and indexing the deep Web. It costs so much that even big companies like Yahoo and Ask are giving up general crawling and indexing. Therefore, it seems silly to compete on crawling and, besides, they do not have the money to do so. Instead, they've focused on building a better search engine by concentrating on what they think are long-term value-adds -- having way more instant answers, way less spam, real privacy and a better overall search experience.
There are endless different ways to use DuckDuckGo when searching. The default for DDG is safesearch on without WOT ratings. But you can customize DDG to search however you wish. If you would like to try DDG, below is a list of DDG plugins with different settings already enabled.
This is an example search box using DuckDuckGo Full Search.
Pick a DuckDuckGo search thats right for you.
|DDG SafeSearch||DDG SafeSearch w/WOT|
|DDG Full Search||DDG Full Search w/WOT|
DuckDuckGo's default settings return excellent hard to beat results, however they are not localized. Google's servers automatically provide Internet users all over the world with a "localized" version of their search engine. DuckDuckGo can't really provide this because they don't track you, therefore you have to tell DuckDuckGo if you want to boost region results by using the right search parameters.
Using the region setting will boost results within that region (as opposed to exclusively displaying results for that region), including support for region language. Below are preconfigured region boosted DuckDuckGo plugins for your searchbar. Full search settings are enabled by default.
You can type in a command like '!amazon bags', which will take you to Amazon.com and auto-search it for 'bags'. These are !bang commands, and this syntax works for 100s of sites:
- Most big sites work, e.g. !youtube (see full list below)
- Most generic keywords work too, e.g. !images
- There are also shorter versions, e.g. !g (google) !i (images) !yt (youtube)
- !ducky or '! ' or '\' will take you to the first result.
DuckDuckGo has an extremely long list of !Bang commands that can be used. Below is my attempt to reign in that list for normal stuff and linux stuff. There is so much opensource bang commands that I had to add an extra page which can be located here.
Barnes & Noble
!firefoxmarket or !ffm
The New Yorker
Excellent distro. All other distro's I tried gave me untold problems with my (seemingly very non-standard) laptop wireless card. LXLE worked straight out of the box. ~Adam