Time to ditch #duckduckgo

In the last couple of months I have noticed an increasing trend of supplying me search results that are completely unrelated to the current query and tie back to my location or previous searches. I can say this with a high degree of certainty this is without a doubt beyond the 100th instance this has happened.

My browser is configured against tracking and fingerprinting (in fact all my devices are) which would make it fairly difficult to retain any data unless they are profiling me.

elias_griffin, (edited )

Looks like you are using Firefox. Use arkenfox sure, but cut Mozilla off it’s 115 server network it uses to track you via FF by using a host deny list, FOSS git clone harden-firefox. You’ll have to disable to update ublock origin or remove the extensions line, but it’s better to just cut the adverts and tracking by removing it from the networks than by browser interception (slower, loss of performance, still hits your computer). Links included to do that in that repo.

Alternative browers are Librewolf and Qutebrowser. When you really don’t want to be tracked for some things use Lynx.

A great search engine replacement is Grasp. It’s being funded by Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator and although you only get 100 free searches a months, it can come in very handy. The search results it gives you, unlike Kagi which is just a reformat of DuckDuckgo yet with AI, it’s results are completely different than any other engine and imo, on point, surely for anything technical.

My general search engine is an envs.net free hosting of Searx. envs.net is a free Linux shell community with many services like blogs, email, matrix hosting, etc etc. If you do end up using their German Searx as main search donate to them, I did.


Kagi!!! It’s cost money but it’s cheap. If you do alot of searches it’s worth it


I tried Kagi and canceled after a week. It’s a reformat of DuckDuckGo, a better format for sure, and lack of sponsored links, yet it adds AI too. In the end, it’s the same old curated unhelpful results that leave millions of high value boutique and indie sources of information out. Also, it’s Orion browser is bad.

Basically ask yourself that knowing all the good writers, content creators went to Substack, yet hardly any search engine gives results from there, why?


There isn’t going to be a search engine without some type of ai or content agitation tool. Key word search is not enough to make one of these work. Search engines need to sort through millions of web pages, and try to give you the best match for what your looking for via smart algorithms. With Google these algorithms are designed to sell you products and get the most clicks out of you. Kagis profit incentive is to curate good links for your search results. Indie results will always be low on the ranks thats why they are indie. As they get more popular so so their search results. You don’t want your search engine feeding you only new and up and coming shit. You want the most relevant search results. Sometimes it’s going to take some digging to find what your looking for. UNLESS you want to give up mountains of your data to and hope that the company uses it to serve your interest instead of feed you sponsored bullshit.


On DDG I can type in an exact company or product name and not get a proper result, it’s crazy. Google seems to find the stuff no problem, it’s really quite frustrating when the search engine isn’t even capable of basic queries.


The time to ditch DDG came when they started gatekeeping during the first Russia thing, COVID, etc.


Try ddg lite


Working fine here. OP are you sure it’s not your network?


I am running OpenWRT and forcing DNS traffic to Mullvad with a fallback to Quad9, besides this happens across different networks.


I’ve never seen the point of this search engine or any commercial alternative to google. It’s all just varying layers of proxy to Google. You might as well just find a searx instance and use that because it’s all the same crap at the end of the day.


Huh? I thought duckduckgo maintained its own index?

@TheAnonymouseJoker@lemmy.ml avatar

As someone who is a data hoarder/curator and dives into the deep ends of web abyss, I use Searx, Startpage and Yandex. I do not mind Startpage only because I no longer use search engines that much anymore. If something truly needs to be searched, Yandex is the absolute, untouchable king for web, image and reverse image searching, and is better than Google for privacy (very low bar but > Google/Bing).

Searx usually does deliver for the common use cases, and Startpage gives Google results minus SEO and sponsored trash.

If I were to rank them for results based on years of experience, Yandex is easily a 10 (ignoring its unbeatable image search), Searx with “default/all” language results a 7, Startpage a 5 (censors Russian/Chinese sources since it is based on Google), Qwant probably 3.5-4 (unavailable in many regions), Google 3, DDG and Bing 2. I am not sure how Metager, Mojeek and Kagi fare, but they probably perform somewhere between Searx with “default/all” language results and DDG.

Why Yandex is so above Searx metasearch is because its indexing is a lot faster than once a day, besides giving the experience of what Google was around 2009/10 and with no SEO crap. You will find the most obscure personal blog and website there, and DMCA bullshit does not work in Russia, which would work on any of these other search engines or metasearch instance owners.


I paid for Kagi and have been super happy with it. If you don’t mind paying, I highly recommend it. Not having ads or manipulated results is worth it for me.

@LinkOpensChest_wav@lemmy.one avatar

I’m unhappy that Kagi uses geo-location data to provide certain types of results


Oh that sucks, can you turn it off or spoof the location?

@LinkOpensChest_wav@lemmy.one avatar

You can easily spoof the location on most search engines by using a VPN, but I’d much prefer my search engine solely respond to deliberate input from the user


you can just turn it off, see help.kagi.com/kagi/settings/general.html

ejmin, (edited )

Same here. Every time I ditch Google and go to ddg, I just laugh how irrelevant all the results are and I continue feeding Google with personal data and telemetry and whatnot.

It is true that even Google’s results feel much worse than before but it’s still significantly better than ddg.


Not for me – if DDG is trash, Google is actually unusable.


Me neither. Even Bing is better than google nowadays.

Also, when it comes to piracy, google basically blocks every relevant result.


I feel like Qwant has become the best when it comes to the quality of the search results. My experience with kagi is limited, though.


I feel like ddg has never had good search results


great. i finally get off google and now duckduckgo is bad. i hate the internet.

@LinkOpensChest_wav@lemmy.one avatar

Try this one: searxng.no-logs.com


So like… all Searx instances are independent, but I can save my preferences in a reproducible query string? Or like… how’s this a long-term, easy, good move for me? (I know ≈nothing).

@LinkOpensChest_wav@lemmy.one avatar

You can do it that way if you grab that URL from the “cookies” section. Otherwise, it can save your preferences in a cookie.



Do all the Searx instances generate and keep independent indexes of the entire internet, or is it more like Lemmy (where, maybe, each instance is a window into the entirety of the index)?

@solidsnake2085@lemmy.world avatar

Kagi was my favorite but their pricing model is a little too high still. If it was $5 for 500 searches I would do that but the unlimited for $10 is just a bit too high for me.


I get that not everyone has extra cash to spend. I’m very fortunate to be able to throw $10 at a problem. I don’t begrudge you if you need to save cash (I have no kids to raise, for example). But I think $10 is fair if you search a bunch. Maybe I’m overvaluing it; I have heard great things about Kagi, but I’m still fucking around on Google cause it’s “good enough,” even though it’s in great decline. Fuck it, I’m a hypocrite.


Try kagi.com

I you have to pay for it, but t’s amazing


I’ll take the trial sometime and see if I should drop the cents


Thanks for mentioning Kagi! I’ve been looking for some Google/DDG replacement but every single one I’ve tried had some sort of dealbreaking drawback for me. Google collects all my data and heavily filters my results, DDG provides dogshit results most of the time I don’t even bother using it, Startpage is awfully slow, and I didn’t even get to understand what Searx is as looking for it led me to some random ugly pages.

Subbed for 1 year 10 bucks plan. Works super-fast on mobile too. Hell yeah!


It has been doing this shit for a while. Returning results based on just one key word out of many keywords from my query.

Lately they have been even ignoring the restrictive +“keyword” syntax and returning whatever shit just so they won’t admit their (or Microsoft’s indexer) is shit


It’s not the fact that there are filler results that bothers me, after all there might not be results for everything we may possibly search.

It’s the fact that these are links to services which have a tie to my unique identifiers which I deliberately declined access to in all available ways!

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