The Downhill Slide of DuckDuckGo

For several years many people have supported the idea of using DuckDuckGo (DDG) as a privacy friendly search engine and alternative to reduce data mining and tracking.

For the past many years the back-end search engine for DDG is Bing. Bing is owned by the Microsoft folks, who have demonstrated that they are keen on slurping user data in any conceivable manner as well as generating revenues through advertising.

The search results of DDG always have left much to be desired. For some years now using DDG to find helpful computer information is Sisyphean and often futile. Computer users do not seem to be a target audience. A common and irritating practice for many years is repeating the same exact results. Page after page of repetition, seemingly to create the illusion the search engine has many useful results when in reality the repeating results means few useful results at all.

For a long time DDG has been designed to ignore explicit search terms such as when using quotation marks or using exclusions (minus sign).

A peculiar trend is the displayed search results include nonsense IP address based regional topics that have nothing to do with the search request. Absolutely nothing. Perhaps this trend is caused by the underlying Bing search engine or the useless regional results indicate that DDG and Bing have no useful results to provide and then are designed to resort to distracting the user with superfluous results. Possibly these useless results are part of an underlying advertising campaign.

Search engines long have been victims to search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. Anything that results in generating advertising or related revenues rather than useful information. Now that large language model (LLM) systems are becoming popular, the SEO strategies will shift to gaming and abusing those results as well, further hampering efforts to find helpful information.

Search engines as a tool continue to deteriorate and worsen. Search engines no longer are designed to provide helpful information. They are designed to produce advertising revenues and track users to the end of the universe.

This is where the advertising foundation of financing search engines fails. Users are not interested in quantity. They are interested in quality.

Posted: Category: Commentary Tagged: General

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