DuckDuckGo vs Google: Which Search Engine Is Better?

Mar 29, 2021
By Staff writer

The recent controversy between Australia and Google has caused a huge uproar online, and it may change the way people use the internet and online services.

Google may be unavailable in Australia if the federal government implements the law, which forces all tech companies to pay for having Australian-based news content on their platforms. This has compelled Facebook to a move, prohibiting Australian users to share news on their timelines and pages.

An amendment has been reached between Australia and tech companies, but the future is still uncertain. Tech companies are only given a two-month corridor to reach an agreement with news companies. If things don’t work as planned, Australians may have to look for alternatives.

Although New Zealand hasn’t officially started to make the same move, what can you actually do if Google were to be banned in the country? DuckDuckGo can be a great search engine alternative. It has all the right features that you need to ensure data privacy and security.

Check out how it fares against Google — the leading search engine in New Zealand.

Who is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo (DDG) is a search engine that values your data and security. Since their establishment in 2008, they’ve gone from 79,839 average daily searches to 33,964,034 average daily searches just in the first 20 days of 2019! They’re growing exponentially by 50% annually.

DDG’s main selling point is privacy. They don’t track your activities and searches, so you always get unbiased and unfiltered search results. Unlike other search engines, it doesn’t give you personalised results based on your search history and location. 

Currently, they ranked as the third biggest search engine with a 0.97% market share. Google dominates the market with a 94.13% share, which isn’t surprising at all. Bing comes in second with a 3.65% market share.


How does DDG privacy fare against Google?

The privacy setting for DDG isn’t only one of the most secured, but it’s also one of the most straightforward. It doesn’t track your activity, which means that all your data only stays within you and the browser. Most of all, it promises not to sell your data to other companies just to earn revenue. They value your data just as much as you do.

For example, you searched for the “what is the best ice cream flavour” using Google. When you type on the search bar “how to” the next time, the relevant results will show are “how to make homemade ice cream,” or “how to make ice cream.” This is because you’ve searched for “what is the best ice cream flavour” previously.

When you use DuckDuckGo, it won’t take into account your past searches. Even when you previously searched for “what is the best ice cream flavour”, it will show relevant results like “how to lose weight,” or “how to lower blood pressure,” which actually rank in the search engine. 

How far is DuckDuckGo from catching up with Google?

Google is the leading search engine in New Zealand, but can DDG beat it globally? Well, the same is true even on the global scale. While 34 million daily searches are already a feat, it’s hard to compare it to what Google achieves in a day.

For perspective, Google can reach this number in just about 12.5 minutes! Their average daily searches is at around 3.5 billion! Annually, this adds up to 1.2 trillion searches! DDG has come a long way, but they still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of their actual number of searches per day.

However, considering that DDG is 10 years younger than Google, it may soon get the crown as the leading search engine in New Zealand and the world.

What are the advantages of DuckDuckGo?

Aside from privacy, what are other advantages of using DDG? They have other useful features that make your user experience great and personalised without compromising your personal information. Check out other advantages of DuckDuckGo.

Block Google trackers and crawlers

Google doesn’t only dominate the search engine market. They also have plenty of services that most people use every day — be it email, streaming, calendar, photos, notes, clock, and more. Through these services, they can track your activity and store your data.

Even if you use Google’s incognito mode, you’re not safe from tracking either. They recently lost a lawsuit and are required to pay $5 billion for tracking users in incognito. Luckily, DDG promises not to track your activity regardless of what mode you’re in.

No ecosystem to trap you in

Using the Google ecosystem is convenient, but at what cost? It may cost your personal information for the ease of access! The worst part is, you can’t just escape them even if you want to as it’s deeply ingrained in your online life. 

DuckDuckGo doesn’t offer any kind of ecosystem. You can change search engines anytime, without worrying about missing out on anything. This is applicable whether you use their mobile or web versions.

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Skip the annoying and persistent ads

If you’ve ever used Google, you know how targeted their ads are. One simple search for “car,” and you’ll see the car advertisements in the next few days. What’s more is, you can see them across their different services and devices.

Whether it’s on YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, or Play Store, you can see recommendations about cars. As DDG doesn’t record and track your searches, you won’t be bombarded with annoying and persistent ads you can’t undo.

What are the disadvantages of DuckDuckGo?

Of course, DuckDuckGo has its fair share of disadvantages too. Its low market share means you may have limited perks and features. Take a look at some caveats you expect to experience with DDG.

Not having an ecosystem

Not having an ecosystem can also be a disadvantage in the long run. Having synchronised accounts and applications means you can access your data without worries. It’s a great tool if you like working across different devices.

Being with Google means you can take advantage of their wide array of services. You can start working on your laptop or desktop and continue working on your phone or tablet. It’s just that easy having Google services!

Lack personalisation settings

While Google’s tracking and filtered searches are on by default, you have the option to turn them off in the settings. They also have plenty of customisation features. It can be a bit more fiddly, but they’re there when you need it.

DDG has the reputation of lacking personalisation settings. While it’s technically an advantage that it doesn’t record your search history, it can be a bit inconvenient sometimes. The worst part is, you don’t have the choice to turn them on if ever you want to,

Content tools are less optimised

DDG may offer a less optimised experience for your content results. Most content and SEO tools are built on the rules of Google. This may mean your content recommendations, keywords, and search results may not be as optimised.

Although DDG has its own crawlers and optimisation rules, not many people use them. It may not be as practical, considering they only have a small market share. If most companies can earn a return on their investment, then DDG may soon be more optimised.

What are other alternatives besides DDG?

Besides Google and DDG, here are some search engine alternatives you may want to check out.

Which search engine is better?

Ultimately, it’s just a matter of preference. If you want the convenience of having your search history and data across different devices, Google may be a better choice for you. Their services offer seamless integration, which is perfect for your needs.

On the other hand, you may be better off with DuckDuckGo if you value your data and privacy. They have unbiased and unfiltered search results, so you can scroll through the internet without prying eyes. Nonetheless, you have plenty of search engine options to choose from. Just pick whatever you feel most comfortable using.

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