DuckDuckGo Thinks You Don’t Want Personalized Search Results

    October 15, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

DuckDuckGo is following Bing’s lead with a new ad telling you why its results are better than Google’s. Unlike Bing’s “Bing It On” campaign, however, DuckDuckGo isn’t pushing a blind taste test of side-by-side search results. They’re simply telling you that you’re getting different results than everybody else because of the “filter bubble,” and that you could be missing out on stuff just because it doesn’t fit the profile of what Google thinks you should be seeing.

There are no “regular results” on Google anymore. from DuckDuckGo on Vimeo.

Google personalizing results is nothing new, as anyone who follows the industry knows, though I’m not sure how common this knowledge is to the average user. I’m not sure how often the average user thinks about this or even cares, to be honest.

Earlier this year, Google updated its privacy policy to consolidate numerous policies from its various products into one that can cover most of them, and enable the company to use data from service to service so that it can better personalize the user experience. This is, in fact, something that is even still causing drama in Europe. The EU is expected to tell Google it can’t do this on Tuesday, though it’s been doing it for months.

Google has not hidden from any of this, however, and maintains that a personalized experience is a better experience, and many would likely agree.

DuckDuckGo makes the point that Google is still personalizing searches even for signed out users, and says it had 131 who weren’t signed into Google perfrom searches for three different political queries (abortion, gun control and Obama), with a “wide variance” in resulting links, as it’s put in a Talking Points Memo article on the study.

In other DuckDuckGo news, the search engine has reportedly added “zero click” info from Zanran to its search results.

  • http://www.microsourcing.com/disciplines/search-engine-marketing.asp MicroSourcing

    Duck Duck Go has a point because personalized search, while convenient, puts Internet users in a bubble. It would be great of users were allowed and enabled to switch personalized search on and off as they wish.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    “I’m not sure how often the average user thinks about this or even cares, to be honest. ”

    I think I have to agree with you on that one. I like the idea that DuckDuckGo doesn’t want to filter my search results for me, deciding what I might think is important before I get to decide, but I doubt the average searcher even notices.

    • http://thepeoplescube.com wise surfers employ adblocking

      How often does the average user think?

  • http://www.beatlottery.co.uk Peter

    I did some test for keywords ranking quite well for my website on Google and I wasn’t even in Top 20 on Duck Duck. So I’d rather stick with Google even though it’s not ideal.

  • http://www.niallflynn.com Niall Flynn

    Got to say I am getting v frustrated with Google.ie and the lack of Google’s insight into what Irish people need. I am now using DDG for all my own personal searches. The Irish market is small granted but we are net addicts.

    I wrote a short blog post here;

    • http://thepeoplescube.com wise surfers employ adblocking

      who broke your grammar machine?

  • RT

    One thing is for sure, I can’t find anything in Google anymore and I know the sites are there with all the information I need. I use Bing and I find them quickly. I’m still going back and forth to Google as I am accustomed to it but Bing brings better search results.

  • http://thepeoplescube.com note

    the ducks should describe google’s profit scheme as:

    raping privacy for money