Today it’s been three months since I moved away from Google as my default search engine. I’m still able to search for anything I want on the web and do my job as a web developer normally. Also I moved one step forward on my goal to contribute to the open source community.
My policy about getting rid of Google started when I discovered that I actually can use and contribute to a search engine that embraces the open source philosophy, Duck duck go.
The most amazing thing about it for me is that you can extend the search engine functionality. How? By adding plugins for something that is called an instant answer.
Basically instant answers are information you’d like to get when you search for something without entering any other site. For instance, if you want to know the weather on you area you don’t want to enter the search engine, search for weather websites, enter some of them and finally get the weather information. This is not the natural way of doing it. It adds a lot of overhead. A far more efficient way it’s by asking a search engine that actually “knows” what’s the state of the whether in your area. And this is where instant answers play its role.
When I search for the weather on duck duck go I get the following results:
And the best part of this it’s that you can add your own instant answer for whatever you may think it’s helpful for people searching for a particular topic.
If you are interested in contributing to the project I’d recommend you to start here. You can also collaborate with documentation, translations, ideas, etc. if you are not the technical kind of person.
Another great point of this search engine is that it doesn’t track your searches. Somethings that is very criticized in other search engines. On duck duck go the queries are completely anonymous.
And to finalize, you can use duck duck go as your default search engine! Right when you are typing queries on the browser bar. Here there is a guide of how to do it on your favorite browser.
Hope you enjoy hacking this platform as I did developing my own instant answers. A Bitcoin exchange rate calculator:
and an code editor: