Gnome Web Drops Google For DuckDuckGo

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 30, 2013

In a blog post on the site by Claudio Saavedra, the Gnome Web browser team announced that they had switched the default search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo. The team cites issues with privacy and collaboration as the main motivators, and were inspired by a talk by Jacob Applebaum at GUADEC 2012.

I've been a big fan of DuckDuckGo for a long time, and I have always thought that the open source community and an open, private search engine were made for each other. I have also found myself becoming increasingly critical of Google, and doubt that they have the open source communities best interest at heart. Google tracks and logs everything you do on the Internet to build an accurate profile that they can sell to advertisers. Every product they release has at its heart the goal of getting people signed in with their Google account and online as fast as possible. This holds true for Android, Chrome, and Chromebooks.

DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, collects no data, concentrates solely on being a search engine, and builds great features into the main site. Being a Vim user, my favorite feature is that the Vim keyboard navigation is built into the site. I browse with "j", and "k", and hit CTRL-Enter to open links in the background.

Claudio mentions a few features as part of the reason for the switch:

It works: as this is something that we've been debating for pretty long, I've spent this time using DuckDuckGo as the default search engine on my own machines, and I am happy with the results it gives. It even has pretty handy keywords that you can use to directly search in Wikipedia (!w), Amazon (!a), or even Google if you still need it (!g).

The Gnome project and DuckDuckGo joining forces is a great win for the users. I hope to see more open source projects adopting DuckDuckGo, most notably KDE, Ubuntu, and especially Firefox.