Changing The Default Search Engine In Chrome

Yesterday I read a great post by Gabriel Weinberg, the founder of DuckDuckGo, on how he got DuckDuckGo into Time's top websites of 2011. I just loved the way he talked about what he did and shared the strategy with everyone else. So I decided I'd make DuckDuckGo my default search engine for the next month or two and see if I miss Google.

But since I use Chrome and just type whatever I'm looking for right into the address bar, I needed to change the default search engine. Happily DuckDuckGo told me how to do it. You learn something new every day and I learned this yesterday:

1 – When in Chrome, put the cursor over the address bar, doesn't matter what address is in it, and right click. You'll see a few choices, select "edit search engines"

2 – Then scroll down under "other search engines" and find the one you want to switch to and hover over it. There will be a button that says "make default". Click that.

3 – you are done. start searching in Chrome with a new search engine.

I think it might be nice to go back to a search engine that doesn't do anything other than search. DuckDuckGo seems to be exactly that. So I'm giving it a shot at my search business.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Wow…dramatic different results  between DDG and Google. Crossover of course but at first glance at least 20% difference in results.Need to dig into this. Especially since for something like “Natural Wine Blogs’ Google finds me in the top tier. DDG way further below the fold.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      Different results will make me give it a try.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        “Different results will make me give it a try.”That definitely makes it worthwhile.  I had forgotten how much different the world can look from a new vantage point.  Will have to remember that.As much as I am at times a power user, I get stuck in my little search engine rut which essentially influences how I see, think and make decisions.  This is one of the reasons I look forward to becoming more familiar with Charlie’s @jawaya:twitter when I have time to tinker with it.  I think this could be an extremely valuable perspective builder.

  2. Rohan

    Very interesting.  I am trying it out now – hand’t heard of DuckDuckGo before!And on that note, would love to hear your take on Google’s acquisition of Motorola, Fred – if you have the time!

  3. Alan Mendelevich

    I’m using YubNub as my default “search engine” for the past 5 or more years. It lets you just prefix whatever you want to search for with 1-2 letter commands representing the most meaningful search system for your query (like g for Google, gi for Google Images, wp for Wikipedia, etc.)

    1. fredwilson

      do you think yubnub could ever be a mainstream service?

      1. Alan Mendelevich

        It’s probably too geeky, but what do I care? 😉 I’m geeky and I’m not an investor in it. And I don’t know if there’s any business model behind it. But as long as it survives, I’m happy.

        1. fredwilson

          i totally get that you don’t care other than it survivesi as asking for my benefit and i appreciate your reply

          1. Alan Mendelevich

            Honestly I don’t know. I showed it to my wife (she’s totally non-technical) and she didn’t buy it. So it’s hard for me to guess from my own technical bubble. But I’m totally loving it and it’s basically the first thing I configure on every new computer.I guess the business model for them could be something like selling the default search engine status to Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo for that matter. Or maybe the can append their own affiliate id to “am” searches (Amazon), etc. And if they could go mainstream they would be probably sitting on a very interesting pile of data about searches on a gazillion of subjects.

        2. JamesHRH

          Alan – you nailed it: shortcut codes are geeky.Every serious SW wizard I have met prides themselves on shortcut and backdoor knowledge. I always have to put on my ‘look interested’ face when they go there ( ‘and then…. / if you want….’ ).I am geeky about other stuff, but when I go deep there, most techies do not seem to put on their ‘look interested’ face – greater curiosity  capacity, I guess.Mainstream is about 1 or 2 things that are really easy to do, not do something 20% better by knowing a bunch of stuff, that you have to know to make it work at all.People are too busy to learn that much – imagine if your refrigerator / stove / furnace was that way

          1. falicon

            RT is a shortcut code within Twitter that I would argue is mainstream…but it was born out of need and constraints…which I think is the key to most anything going ‘mainstream’ anyway 😉

          2. JamesHRH

            Kevin – I would argue that the mainstream members of Twitter are the readers.The tweeters / retweeters are not mainstream twitter users. They are people with business agendas who are willing to put in the work to raise their profile via Twitter.Some are Tweeks and some are doing a job.

          3. Donna Brewington White

            This is actually a reply to @jameshrh:disqus (BTW — if your Disqus handle was once JamesHarradance I’ve often appreciated your comments).I wonder what you mean by mainstream.  I wouldn’t think that someone who is a “reader” on Twitter would truly be mainstream even if this might represent the largest percentage of users.In some ways the Tweeks (good one!) might be the mainstream Twitter users.  I think that those who are using Twitter for a purpose and are therefore invested really represent the mainstream.Maybe I feel this way because I am by my own definition a mainstream user:  I’m invested because it is part of my online identity, I have a purpose for being there — but with a true desire to “give” so not entirely self-serving, I use it to connect with people and I have fun with it.My opinion.  (Not “humble opinion” because the instant you say you are humble you immediately are not.)

          4. falicon

            @jameshrh:disqus fair points…def. more readers than publishers…RT was just the first example that came to mind as a short cut code that ‘sort of’ went mainstream…I think it’s all about the situation and value…people will do the work if there is enough personal benefit/value in it for them…but it’s def. easier to go mainstream without than with 😉

      2. falicon

        command line anything is hard to make mainstream (IMHO)…in yubnub’s case, it’s extra hard because it’s browser based (and so there is no real benefit for the constraints of the system)…but take yubnub and focus it on texting where your only real option is a constraints with command line interactions and you just *might* have a mainstream option…

    2. Laurent Boncenne

      every browser except safari has this functionnality built in =)on Chrome, simply type your keystroke, hit space start typing what you want to search. boom. =) (the only trickier one is IE9 tho.)Chrome has this nifty feature of auto adding sites that have a search functionnality into your search engine list, so it’s really a breeze to add whatever site you want in there.

      1. Alan Mendelevich

        Yeah, but you have to manually configure each and every shortcut in browsers for this to work. yubnub just works automagically.

        1. Laurent Boncenne

          True,personally i’m a bit of a control freak for this kind of things so doing it myself is what I prefer…It’s a shame this feature and YubNub aren’t more mainstream, both of them make for a really faster workflow…

  4. dmgerbino

    I went to try DuckDuckGo and saw the Android link. I downloaded the app. Nice search engine. I too will try this for awhile.

  5. Tom Labus

    I felt the MMI move was mainly motivated by fear (of MSFT) rather than a full strategic move.How great is it that one guy from PA can take on the Champ and believe he can win and no one thinks he’s nuts.

  6. JimHirshfield

    I sense a new wave of search engine wars. ;-)DDG looks nice. And yesterday I met Charlie Crystie (AVC community networking in meatspace, FTW) at the corner SBUX to chat about his endeavors in search. 

  7. awaldstein

    Maybe I’ve been snoozing but I just noticed the [Top 25] next to my gravitar and the community rating panel.

    1. fredwilson

      disqus has been using this community to test stuffi’ve been seeing those sorts of things for a few monthsthey must be opening it up a bit more now

      1. awaldstein

        Thnx…jumped out at me. And of course, as soon as I see a number I want to know how they calculated it.

        1. falicon

          heh…in this case you *really* don’t want to know what category you are top 25 of…just be happy you *are* top 25 😉

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Me too.  Numbers don’t mean much without an explanation.  Although must admit that even with the mystery it’s kind of nice although for me it was a bit shocking.I wonder if it means we get sent free stuff.

        3. Fernando Gutierrez

          I always make myself that question too.There is not much data available, but I’ve done a quick analysis with the public data (comments and likes for top five liked in the community: fredwilson, JLM, andyswan, Charlie Crystle and awaldstein) and the best I can get with Solver in Excel is:score = 2.042*comments + 4.265*likesWith this function I get a 7.63% deviation from real score for the group. It gets fredwilson and Charlie Crystle perfectly, but has a big deviation for JLM (-29%) and smaller ones for andyswan (18%) and awalstein (13%). There must be at least one more variable. My guess is that it’s something related with time or comments per post because I think that JLM is the newer of the other three and also uses to be the most engaged when he storms into a discussion.Data in Google Docs in case someone feels the need to improve it and wants to make some hypothesis on new variables: Or @danielha:disqus can step in and fully explain 🙂

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Impressive, Fernando!  Thank you.But I noticed that some with a much lower ratio of comments to likes (such as me) ended up in the top 25 which puzzles me.  Maybe engagement level factors in which would help to explain it for me.I neglected to mention  @andyswan:disqus in my earlier comment. He always comes in with a bang. Very impressive ratio of comments:likes (or is it likes:comments?).  BTW, check your spam folder in a couple of days.  😉

          2. Fernando Gutierrez

            Well, Excel did everything!Yes, @andyswan:disqus has an amazing 78% ratio likes to comments.I always check the spam folder. I’m expecting to receive a lot of money from the cousin of an African king because of that. And I only had to put a few thousands to set up everything 😉

          3. fredwilson

            replies to comments?i don’t actually know the answer even though i’m on the board

          4. awaldstein

            Have I said thanks for leading this community Fred?The fact that a simple statement from me saying ‘duh, what’s that score mean’ gets Fernando in Spain building a calculation that he shares via a Google Doc is amazing.So…thank you!

          5. fredwilson

            Daniel also weighed in

          6. awaldstein

            (To your response below re: Daniel.)True, thanks Daniel!There is some sort of social or community gravity at play here. Creating a market or a place that has its own dynamics, that is greater than the sum of its parts, is a wonder when it happens.

          7. obscurelyfamous

            Nice breakdown. 🙂 We’re using a few different signals for ranks right now, including visiting frequency, post, replies, likes, reciprocation of those things, being the first to comment in a thread… etc. We’re playing with the balancing to see what feels right, but I figured the AVC community wouldn’t mind playing around with some unpolished features! We’re listening to any feedback you guys may have.Btw, if you hover over the ranks, you’ll see the raw score. 

          8. Donna Brewington White

            We don’t mind.  It’s fun.But I do wonder what is the purpose of the rankings?  Not a complaint, just wondering.Love the notifications feature at the top of the thread! Love it!  And also the link to my dashboard at the top.  Not sure I need the rest of the items in the drop down list.

          9. Fernando Gutierrez

            Cool! you really are watching what we do!

          10. Laurent Boncenne

            Thanks @danielha:disqus for using this community to try new stuff! Always great =)Wondering though, how low the “being the first to comment in a thread” is in comparison to others? I feel like here it wouldn’t really matter but on other sites it might just encourage people to keep saying “first” each time there’s a new blog post…Also, are you including average time on page and number of people from the same community someone is following? Looks like you’ve got a handful of opportunities for analytics!

          11. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          12. awaldstein

            Nice!You’ve got a lot of talents Fernando. No shortage of career directions for someone like you.We could use you in NYC if you ever decide to make a move 😉

          13. Fernando Gutierrez

            Ha, thanks!Some context for others (and s short pitch). I’m selling my business and relocating to the US end of summer. Looking for a marketing job, ideally NYC or SF, but open to other options. Tips welcomed. More info in my blog

  8. RV

    Thanks.  I am moving as far away from Google as possible.  I am not comfortable with them owning the OS and browser, pushing native Chrome apps over web apps, and their ability to prioritize their own services in results.  They are no longer an unbiased player simply providing search results to the user.   For those reasons I will be giving DuckDuckGo a shot.

    1. jason wright

      I wonder what the FTC investigation outcome will be? Google’s becoming quasi monopolistic.

      1. RV

        Unfortunately we the people can not trust government agencies to do their jobs.  It has been shown that money has infected every part of our government, especially regulation.  As consumers we have to consciously use our buying/adoption powers to  self regulate and foster competition. 

  9. tacanderson

    I love seeing Gabriel’s success with @DuckDuckGo and love the service. I have been following it from the beginning when it “launched” on – which used to be much better until Gabriel started focusing his efforts on DDG. Probably a better move. I also love changing the search engine in Chrome (it feels kind of punk rock). I had Bing as the default for most of the last year and just changed it back to compare, not because I missed Google. I think I may try DDG for a while as well, great idea.  

  10. Ryan

    I’m not sure why but I feel a weird sense of loyalty to Google search and it’s for no reason at all.

    1. fredwilson

      me toocause it delivers and has delivered for yearsi used to feel the same for blackberry

      1. JamesHRH

        at least BB got passed by, reasonably out of the blue.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Still mourning RIM.  Think they’ll make a comeback?

        1. fredwilson

          i think they can make their products better but i’m afraid they’ve blown their leadership in smartphones for good

          1. K_Berger

            I am just about to decide between the new BB or an Android.  Three things tying me into BB:- Email works (I can’t stand email on my iPad)- Real keyboard- BBM Groups.  I never cared much about bbm vs. texting, but my wife’s family (two parents, eight children, and spouses) constantly post pictures and comments.  It really brings the family together across the country.  I have found nothing else that has the same experience (on a phone).

        2. JamesHRH

          Donna – if you click on my profile, you will see that I am who you thought I was, before I decided to have fun with an online nickname!Thanks for the kind words!

    2. JamesHRH

      Its brand loyalty. And it is really powerful.Amazingly, after Google has decided to worry about competitors more than consumers, if they get the focus right again (making the service something that helps you find web pages that are relevant to your keywords – not tweets or businesses or coupons or friends or all the other things that are subcategories of search), you will likely forgive them!Human beings have a bias towards consistency. In our own minds, we don’t want to switch, for the reasons Fred lays out. Even though the brand is not sentient, your relationship to it carries some of those characteristics.Madison Ave branding folks have written zillions of articles on this type of stuff, most of it as arcane as techies talking code.

      1. Gabriel Weinberg

        Microsoft did a study a few years ago (having trouble finding the link though). In it, they asked people to evaluate results and rotated the logo at the top between Google and others. Just having the Google logo at the top gave perceived relevancy a huge boost.

        1. Ed Freyfogle

          I worked on search at Yahoo! a decade ago. We did the same types of experiments, showing results with no logo, etcUsers were not able to tell a difference in pure search results between Y!, MSN, Google. The problem at Yahoo! was not the relevancy, it was we cluttered up the pages with ads and promotion of y! products. Gradually users drifted away.Google is heading down the same path. Portalizing more and more every day. Which of course opens the door to true search engines like DDG or vertical players like my compnay

        2. JamesHRH

          Gabriel – I have this same story, with a degree of separation (someone I trust got the info from someone who ran the research).Bang on – same results are better from a trusted brand name.AVCers likely sick of this post comment from me, but this is not news to Madison Ave / P&G types.

  11. Laurent Boncenne

    Most powerful feature of this is to actually add a keyword/shortcut that automatically queries the engine you want.Been doing this for quite some time on Chrome and is the only reason i’m not switching back to any other browser (tho they all do it, pioneered by Opera I believe).For instance I have G for google, I for imdb, Y for Youtube, A for amazon, W for Wikipedia and a few others (duckduckgo, wolfram,, works too etc)So depending on what i’m looking for one letter is all I need to use the right search engine for the right purpose at any given time!

    1. falicon built right into the browser…cool!

      1. Laurent Boncenne

        =)This also works with Opera pretty well, Firefox has it too (basically you add search engine on the search field and you can use the keystrokes on the address bar. Works the same way but it’s not as intuitive as in chrome), and IE has something similar but nowhere near as fast as chrome or opera (basically, if you have multiple search engine on IE9 adress bar, type what you want to search hit the up arrow key and it lets you select what engine to use, then double hit enter and voila!)the only one that doesn’t work is safari tho for some unknown reasons…

    2. Fernando Gutierrez

      I didn’t know Opera did that, but a few years ago there was an extension called Ubiquity for Firefox that did just that. People could create commands and it worked great. They stopped the project though.

  12. joemccann

    Also, if you travel internationally a lot (I do), you can set it so it always makes Google your default in English (

  13. Adrian Bye

    i just switched my default search to duckduckgo too.  nice experiment.i also had to change the home page and another setting over to duckduckgo as well.

  14. jeffreyhuber

    I’ve been using it for about 3 months now. Often have to re-run searches in Google, but it’s worth it. Also, it is rumored that Alexis Ohanian uses it… in his sleep.

  15. Dan

    One day, maybe a year ago, I went out of my way to do this because I was sick of all of Google’s “features” and couldn’t find a way to turn them off and go to classical Google. 90% of the time I find what I want on DuckDuckGo, and sometimes I’d manually type in the annoying Google “features” are:1. City: Google forces you to choose your location, and inevitably you’ll see your results relating to location. Most things I search for have nothing to do with location. (I have asked around and some people do appreciate this, but please allow it to be turned off.)2. Instant Search: How obnoxious is this? To me it is infuriating, and even though it can be turned off, the instant my cookies are cleared or I used another computer it comes back.3. Scrolling disabled: I used to be able to scroll up and down the page with the keyboard, and then Google added another “feature” which makes the up and down arrow highlight a result. Don’t do that!So unless Google comes out with a Google Search c. 2005 mode, then I’ll continue to use DDG . I hope the DDG algorithm continues to improve, as it seems to have progressed over the past year.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      1) I think the idea is to prevent single websites from getting mass amounts of traffic – it will distribute traffic to more; I do understand that a lot of things aren’t location-relevant though. And I agree Google is doing this wrong.2) If you’re logged-in does it come back after cookies are cleared? Or do you clear your Google login cookies too?3) I’m assuming they’ve tested this or are testing it, and they wouldn’t keep it if it didn’t have the desired result they’re looking for..It would take Google almost no time to create a simple results page (they could even just add another button, or make it be a different URL you visit to.It’s possible only a small % are irritated by the changes though too..

      1. Reply

        That’s the problem, you have to sign in. Well, that’s the problem relating to number 2 anyway. Lots of other issues with Google’s search and their other web sites.

  16. ttasterisco

    I wonder what the traffic increase will be in DDG, due to this post :)Also, what about blekko? Fred, have you tried it?

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t think they will be as material as the Time top 100 websites impact

      1. falicon

        sometimes it’s about quality over quantity though 😉

  17. jonathanmendez

    In my opinion DDG not passing search referrer data (or ‘Search Leakage’ as DDG calls it) from the link is a step backwards from the dynamic, realtime, intelligent and relevant web that is evolving. It’s 100% anti-publisher since it crushes any measure of successful dynamic landing page optimization that 100% HELPS the visitor experience and successful publisher monetization.Search engines are built on the back of web publishers and content owners. The very least these engines can do in return is pass the query – probably the least likely attribute to lead to PII of anything that’s collected on the web. Link data is an integral part of making content relevant and growing the value of web publishers and is the backbone for more relevant and useful applications in the realtime web. Link data is *the* alternative to cookie data in the Privacy argument. I don’t understand why DDG blocks link data except for their own marketing. purposes.

    1. fredwilson

      that is a very interesting issue you raise jonathan

      1. danielharan

        There are also huge advantages for search engine quality to track user behaviours, from ensuring you’ve placed the most relevant / clicked on links at the top of the page to using word frequencies for a spell-checker.DDG has great marketing and it would be sad to see their approach win.

    2. awaldstein

      Thanks…Obviously there are two parts to search whole (at least): finding context and relevance info and knowing how to be found.If you are correct, the second part is missing from DDG. Correct?

      1. jonathanmendez

        There is a ton of helpful and useful business intelligence that come from search referrer query reports applicable to areas like content creation, UX and of course SEO. It can also be parlayed into other areas like Social and of course Monetization. It’s possible the core issue with DDG is that some site partners append the query to a cookie and sell that to advertisers for search re-targeting. But since those tags are in the code they should be able to weed those sites out of their index-  if that’s the problem.

        1. awaldstein

          Thnx Jonathan.

        2. Matt A. Myers

          Just followed you on Twitter 🙂

    3. ShanaC

      I’m not totally sure.One of the really interesting things about the social web is not that the content is out there- but that third parties use this content in unexpected ways.As a personal example:I’ve been searching a lot because Tuesday night I got prescribed my first mammogram and a referral for a breast specialist, because I’m in an ultra-high risk group for breast cancer.  Since I have no idea what questions to even ask, enter Google and social tools.Should google be passing that information along, particularly to drug makers/insurance companies?And my example is kind of extreme.  How much of the business intelligence research that you do would you be ok with being passed on, even in an anonymous form, to your competitors?Circles of privacy have their place

      1. Cam MacRae

        I use my real name on the web for all the reasons discussed here previously, but because I use my real name on the web I also use Ghostery, GlimmerBlocker and ClickToFlash, as well as blocking 3rd party cookies. Sometimes I use Tor.The current state of play with respect to online privacy has arisen because most people haven’t got a clue as to the trail they’re leaving behind, and legislation lags many miles behind the continuing evolution of the net. Sometimes this is desirable, as in the case of Paul Peter’s arrest (he is alleged to have strapped the hoax collar bomb to Madeleine Pulver) after he was tracked across 2 continents having thrice accessed a GMail account mentioned in the ransom note, but for the most part it’s not.

      2. jonathanmendez

        Shana – I’m not sure how passing along the query to the site you click on in the Google result set is an issue. If anything those sites can use your questions to better create content that is helpful to fulfilling your information goal and the goals of others with similar queries in the future. Your scenario is a “first -party” exchange of non-trackable data (words) from the referring URL. I’m ok with that.  I think if most consumers were educated on the matter they would be fine with it as well.Where there would be a privacy issue is if the publisher attaches that query to a tracking cookie and then sells it to a second-party (Search Retargeting company) that then resells it to a third party (DSP) that sells it an Advertiser (4th party). I think (rightfully so) most consumers would NOT be ok with that. Personally I’m firmly for Do-Not-Track legislation.URL strings are the BACKBONE of the web and our measurement and understanding of it. Removing them is a step backwards.

        1. ShanaC

          It is only first party within my search to the site I actually ended up on.But, one of their partner sites does use third party cookies.  And that partner site is Komen.… (granted, they are claiming they don’t share outside of the third parties they control, but I can’t tell you that – what if their third party accidentally leaks data)Then of course, there is always this:…And the fact that the site I used, is having issues as they moved to a new message board program, so stuff is publicly caching onto google.Though I have to admit, it would be totally interesting for me to see what  medical information one could get by tracking a group of people for treatment purposes…Like is there some common search with people with acne that shows predisposition to acne in life?(granted, it helps that I’m doing ad tech that I find that idea interesting and not bizarre…)

        2. ShanaC

          Just so you know – I’m now seeing oncology drug ads from novartis.

    4. Matt A. Myers

      I agree fully.This also helps the web evolve faster as it allows money to be pooled (even temporarily) to the most clever / most innovative publishers; And if they are doing shady things then eventually the gatekeepers (and users) will cause those fishy-folk to be more obsolete.

  18. Brian Stoner

    I’m addicted to DDG in my chrome bar.  Be sure to take advantage of the !bang searches right from the chrome bar.  It’s like a command line for the Internet (….!w fred wilson

  19. falicon

    Gabriel is one of those rare people that truly define the word entrepreneur…he’s always coming at things with really interesting and smart angles and even better, he always shares his experiments and details with us (which always inspires a million more ideas in my own head).We need more people like Gabriel out there living the dream for sure…

    1. Dale Allyn

      I agree, Kevin. Gabriel is great about sharing his visions, methods and insights. One can choose to agree or not with choices and processes, but the passion and experiences help many (via his blog and elsewhere).

  20. tmandarano

    You can also make any search query system (such as Twitter) a default “search engine” in Chrome.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. they all come up in the “other search engine” ui

  21. maxniederhofer

    Disclaimer: I love DDG and Gabriel has been superbly helpful to me.I did the same experiment you are doing. My main issue with DDG during that time was the lack of local results and maps. I did not realize how many of my searches are actually local, or addresses, or directions. No wonder Google has been working hard to get that piece right.That said, I think DDG is a great complement to Google, better than e.g. Bing, and I try and use it as often as I can. A USV investment into DDG would be pretty “dream team” in my opinion 🙂

    1. Gabriel Weinberg

      Thx Max! Know that we are working hard on mobile and maps. It’s started to get better already, but there is a long way to go on it still (and we have a lot of ideas). It will get better int he US first, but we also are looking to include more overseas (to me) Factual data and the Qype API. If you have other API/good data suggestions for local, please let me know. You know how to find me 🙂

  22. Jan Schultink

    I wonder whether there could be a business opportunity for a super fast “lazy URL” search engine (I search facebook all the time because I can’t bother to type the www.) taking your directly to sites (feeling lucky) and learning from your behavior.

  23. Cam MacRae

    I’ve been using DDG for a long time – since sometime in 2009 if the plist I just found is accurate – and I haven’t found a reason to switch back to Google. However, I do use a lot of other Google products (Scholar, GMail, Reader, Plus etc.).

    1. Dude

      I prefer NewsBlur.

  24. Esayas Gebremedhin

    I don’t miss the ads and Ducky ranked my page on top when I typed in my name:… 🙂

  25. ShanaC

    My question is as follows:How do you monetize, in light of DuckDuckGo’s privacy focus?  I actually could see a variation of fee for service model within certain niches (such as spinning off parts of search into niche categories behind a paywall of some sort), but still…

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I’m with you on the monetization question.Until I get this figured out I’m always afraid to rely too heavily on something knowing there is greater likelihood of the product vanishing into thin air. The exceptions would be that a friend and/or AVCer is the founder or a VC I respect is the funder.

  26. Mark

    Thank you. I would not have done this otherwise. I dig DDG but didn’t know this was possible.

  27. Donna Brewington White

    Still can’t believe the stuff I learn here.  Really like the clean look of DuckDuckGo and the search results were much different than with Google.  More comprehensive to some extent but also less relevant.  Glad to see that DDG does a good job with boolean search strings.  I did a test with a complicated boolean search string for a job we sourced awhile back and the first page was filled with results from outside the U.S.  Which would have been great for an international search. The location aspect really matters in some instances — especially in recruiting.  Plugging in my name I actually found some new and interesting results.  However, I am probably not a mainstream user since I sometimes get the screen on Google that requires me to verify that I am a real person due to the volume of queries. So initial verdict is that for complicated location sensitive searches, I will use Google — but for more “mainstream” use I’m going to keep playing around with DDG and see where this leads.  Might like this better for my kids too.And, yeah, I realize this post wasn’t really about DDG, per se even though some of us have turned it into that. If DDG was within USV’s investment model, would wonder if this was an oreo.

    1. Mark Essel

      I started using DDG a year or so back (ps Gabriel’s blog rocks for tech and startup advice), and at that time I found the differentiation for types of searches based on the terms was very helpful. I still rely on Google primarily but now I have a secret search weapon up my sleeve when Google fails to deliver (which happens regularly).

  28. Donna Brewington White

    BTW, the numbers next to our names is interesting especially given a comment I made just last night on a similar topic — and Fred’s response!  Now I just need to figure out what I’m in the Top 25 of.  And glad not to have the pressure of being in the Top 10 like @ccrystle:disqus who ought to be in the top 10 of whatever he is in the top 10 of.  (Couldn’t find anything on Disqus to explain.)Can’t wait for @jlm:disqus and @tereza:disqus  and @fakegrimlock:disqus  and @shanac:disqus to appear (now that I’ve summoned them with this newish feature that I love) to see their numbers.  Must admit that when I typed a comment and no number automagically appeared my vanity was a little disappointed and I chided myself about taking myself too seriously. Especially since I still feel like a lurker here — albeit a verbal one.  Then I returned and there was the magic number.I think Fred’s should be changed from “The One” (cute) to Neo.  😉

    1. fredwilson

      where does it call me “the one”?

      1. Donna Brewington White

        You may have to log in anonymously to see it. Right next to your name instead of a number in the box, it says: the one.  

        1. Guest

          Donna I saw it too. It said that on my screen when I logged in this morning and was perusing a couple of days posts and comments I had missed.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Do you like the notifications feature (red box)?  What about the dashboard thingy?

          2. Guest

            @donnawhite:disqus honestly I was only on to see the original posts because I saw someone I follow posting a bit. I thought Fred’s posts must have been really good and since I had not had time to go to the actual blog, I decided to do so. I had not seen the Notifications feature yesterday (glad you mentioned it). I did see the Rankings feature when I was on yesterday, which is intriguing and has got me to thinking.

        2. Mark Essel

          I like bartender, good swap.

        3. Donna Brewington White

          I have no idea why I thought you would need to log in anonymously.  #brainfail

      2. JamesHRH

        At least it doesn’t call you NEO!

    2. andyswan

      Testing my number.  It better be “BAMF”

      1. Donna Brewington White

        haha!As I expected — Top 10!



      1. Donna Brewington White

        Sometimes your humility is shocking!I was so expecting you to demand a higher title — like something that starts with G and ends with D.;-)

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Donna Brewington White

            Ha ha!

  29. Katelyn Friedson

    If you like DuckDuckGo, definitely try out Bing. The two search engines return nearly the exact same results, despite the social content that Bing layers on top of results. The algorithms are so similar its as if they come out of a box.  I think you’ll find them very different from Google Search. In fact, I think it will be tough to go two weeks without using Google. Both psychologically (“is duckduckgo the source of truth? what sources of information am I missing?”) but also because Google, in my opinion, is a better search engine. And I base my opinion off of the fact that I’m a power user, I’ve tried other search engines, and Google remains as the only one that returns as relevant results as possible.In fact, I think that Google Search, as an Internet product, deserves more positive attention I’ve written a few posts on how they continue to impress me by tweaking their algorithms, trying out new features, all while competing with a social giant trying to combat against the utter tidal wave of new information posted to the web each day.At its core- returns the most relevant results. Try a few searches yourself (one being your name) and evaluate the results. If a future employer or someone who I admired were to search my name via DuckDuckGo, they wouldn’t even find my blog!What’s similar about DuckDuckGo and Bing is that they both tend to deep link into content as much as possible-whether its travel or comments on techcrunch.  Finally, what I love about Google are the options. Want to avoid personalization or the “filter bubble?” simply log out of your gmail account, use Google in Incognito mode, or change the preferences in your tool bar.If you don’t like Google Suggest or Google Instant, you can also turn off these settings.Personally, I indulge in all settings. Google has learned that I like searching for sources in PDF format- which is so cool- so that’s typically what I get. I’m also able to search much quicker using Google Instant, and Google’s Sidebar of search tools and ‘history” are a gem that should be on the front page of Wired!I’ll have to learn more about Gabriel- he seems like a stellar guy. Just wanted to shed some positive light on an Internet product that I believe we tend to take for granted.

  30. testtest

    Learning the new user interface is the switching cost. There’s no proprietary lock-in, and the use of search applications are free.If there was a choice of user interfaces, such as one that’s similar to google people could change search applications without the learning curve. Once they’ve become accustomed to the UI they could select an alternative that allowed different functionality, or presented information in a different way. Bing’s use of images is an example of a different type of UI that’s effective; in as much as certain people prefer having an image on the home page. It may seem trivial, it’s not IMO.Are people who use search all a homogeneous group, who like information presented in the same way? Henry Ford may think so: you can have any user interface you like, as long as it’s a list with ads at the top, and maps mixed in.

  31. William Mougayar

    A world wiithout Google Search? Yoo hoo !Can you imagine the implications if more users take a month off on Google!Frankly, I’m getting tired of the gaming-oriented SEO world despite that it’s a multi billion dollar industry. Google thrived on organizing the web’s chaos …kind of- just enough to keeping us hooked. Then, they gave us crappy search on YouTube. Now, they are close to giving us another messy search on Google+.Why can’t search be simple, accurate and efficient?

  32. lowi2010

    Great reminder that there are still great technologies being created every year and the only way to really benefit from them is to try for a bit.  It seems that as relatively young as the Internet is many of us have already determined our core interfaces, the ones we deal with every day without even realizing.  Things like our non work mail providers, search engines, news sources, social media, etc.  The games not nearly over yet but I must say personally I’m far less proactively searching for and open to new solutions than I once was.  This was a great reminder that worth spending time experimenting again.  Mid new years resolution.  One new service/technology used each month.  Small start but thats 12 a year which isnt bad.  Will do what I always do at times like this.  Get a half dozen of my friends to do same so together we leverage our efforts and have a great deal more success finding new solutions that work for us.  I know many of you must be laughing about what a dolt I am to be pointing out such an obvious thing but if your not a VC but rather running a small online company (combo service and solutions provider to specific industry) you can get caught up in ridiculous stuff like making sure sales are on track, new marketing programs are getting out door and tracking to expectations, finding/managing partners and just the other less interesting stuff making sure the business is growing.

  33. Sean Saulsbury

    I’d like to see Chrome allow for using multiple search engines much more easily.  For example, if you enter your search query and then hit ALT-ENTER instead of just ENTER, it would pop up a list of user-defined search engines which can be selected from a dropdown list (e.g., DuckDuckGo, IMDb, Amazon, Wikipedia, etc.).

  34. Info About Education

    great sharing this post increase knowledge of people .

  35. Karthik Setty

    Fred, Thanks for introducing me to DDG.I use Safari as my primary browser. There is a way to make DDG default in Safari as well.First get the omnibar plugin… Add ddg search and make it default.Search in Safari will now work the same way as in Chrome! 

  36. fredwilson

    his blog got me to switch. now there’s a lesson in there

  37. awaldstein

    If there is a post that digs into the ‘why’ of the search results, I’m interested.

  38. Donna Brewington White

    If YOU say so, then it’s worth a try.

  39. ShanaC

    How do you feel about its/Gabriel’s conception of privacy considering you are doing in part, the exact reverse….

  40. Peter Beddows

    As development continues and adoption of @jawayasearch grows, along with using DuckDuckGo as the search tool of choice, it will be very interesting to see if your intuition about Jawaya as an opportunity is finally realized.I see the J icon ready for action in the top right corner in my open Chrome browser. Need to get it added into FireFox which I tend to use by default since I discovered – using process explorer – that Chrome over time quietly opens a myriad sub components using up additional memory under Vista Ultimate 64 Bit.

  41. Gabriel Weinberg

    I wrote a post on fads vs markets. In it, I laid out some of the thinking behind the why — let me know what you think.http://www.gabrielweinberg….

  42. awaldstein

    Will do, thanks.

  43. Donna Brewington White

    Tried to summon you a few moments ago and see that you are already here.  Hey.

  44. Matt A. Myers

    Ooohh meetups make me giddy…

  45. Donna Brewington White

    ouch I knew that!  @jawayasearch:twitter — had to get it right to broadcast on Twitter!  Shoot, sorry that life got crazy for a while there and I missed the bumpy beta.  That’s the fun part.

  46. Donna Brewington White

    (Couldn’t reply to your last comment below — with the video, so commenting here.)Ha ha!  Sorry to make light of your pain.  🙂