Oct 3, 2012 — by: Karl Johnson

DuckduckgoSafari Users can change their search engine using a plugin called AnySearch (outlined in a previous article), and default search engines can also be easily changed in Firefox and Chrome. Now that we know the default search engine can be changed, what should we go with?

Google Search is the most popular search engine, but there are better alternatives. DuckDuckGo is one of those as outlined in a previous article. I have been using it for months and have been very happy with it. It has an extensive list of search features that take time to discover, but it is well worth it. With Google's questionable privacy practices, it is best to minimize the use of there free products. Search is a great place to start.

DuckDuckGo can be used for answering many questions in addition to searching the Internet. Their goodies page has an extensive list of items that can be answered. When DuckDuckGo fails in providing a good result, they also have a great solution. With a "!" and a few letters at the end of the search term, DuckDuckGo will send your search item to another site. For example, they don't have an image search feature like Google. One can type "Baby Animals !gi" and google image results will be displayed. The same is true for Bing images as well as many others. Some more popular sites include:

  • Amazon: !a
  • Bing Images: !bi
  • Google: !g
  • Google Images: !gi
  • Google Maps: !m
  • Google News: !n
  • Wikipedia: !w
  • Youtube !yt

There are tons of other sites in which DuckDuckGo can send your search. The big list is here. These search terms make DuckDuckGo far more useful than Google Search as the default search engine because you can quickly decide where you want to search right in the search box.

For Safari 6 users, DuckDuckGo and AnySearch creates a better search box than just using Google. They give the users the freedom to choose where and what they want to search. All of this can be accessed with one easy shortcut, command-L. It is time for users to ditch Google as the default search engine.  

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