It only recently hit me.  I was on Youtube getting my Abney Park fix, when I tabbed over to Google to look for the lyrics.  I typed in the first word of the song “Building Steam” and Google gave me a list of suggestions right away.  This is normal, except for one thing: the first link was purple.  For those of you who do not know, a purple link means something you had searched for in the past.

The suggestion was innocent enough – a search for “building WoW addons”.  However, this is not something I have searched for in over 3 years.  That is a long time.  3 years ago I was in high school.  3 years ago I was just getting into a new relationship.  3 years ago I only wore Tripps and black shirts.  3 years is a long time.

Now here’s where things get even weirder: I never logged into Google.

Somehow, Google had taken my Youtube account info and recognized that I had linked it to my gmail address.  They took the liberty of automatically logging me into my Google account, and in the process, keeping a record of my search history.

Google is both creepy and powerful.

To be fair, it is entirely possible that I actually did log into Google at some point and just forgot, but that’s beside the point.  The point is, Google is both creepy and powerful.  Which brings me to the actual point of this post.

For the next X days, where X is some number I will decide upon in the future, I will be exclusively using DuckDuckGo as my search engine of choice.  But why DDG?

For starters, they have a rock-solid privacy policy that agrees with a lot of what I just said (down to describing Google as “creepy”, something I did not know when I wrote that).  This means that what you search for in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Second, they have a very powerful search syntax which allows for a much more fine-grained approach to searching and finding exactly what you want.

Third, searching for ambiguous terms such as “java” (coffee or programming?) is simplified because DDG lets you choose a category in which to search.

I could go on and on and on and on, strangers waiting up and down the bouleva- *ahem* on and on about the merits of DDG, but I will stick to these and let the results speak for themselves.

A follow-up review of my experience will probably be posted in X+1 days.


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