Smarter Search with DuckDuckGo

David-sized search engine DuckDuckGo is a sweet package of search goodness. While it certainly doesn’t have the vast tentacles of a Google or even a Bing, it offers some features that might persuade you to join the flock.

Duck Duck Go’s results are a duck soup made from many sources, including Yahoo! Search BOSS, Wikipedia, and its own Web crawler (DuckDuckBot). Although it has been around since 2008, the Duck flew across my radar this morning, when I happened on Robert Scoble’s stream of conciousness post on DDG’s new use of Twitter lists on the home page. So, being the curious sort, I checked it out.

DDG offers a great search result, free of most advertise-y, spammy, content-farmy sites that pervade the larger players. It also is private in that it does not track or retain your search and browse history. It even looks clean. I personally like the all-on-one-page feature – you simply keep scrolling down and new items load. Navigate the results with keyboard shortcuts if that is your thing. For some results, DDG will offer alternative sets of results that it “thinks” might be of value. And, if you like ads, you might want to avoid DDG – there are none. Whew!

It also has a pretty cool feature called iBangs. You can use a dropdown button next to the search box and it will put results from your most frequented sites at the tope. Or, for certain sites, simply type an exclamation point before the site name and the subject of the search and your results will come from the site. A simple ! or !ducky takes you to the first result. So, even though it does not yet have a video tab, searching !youtube will limit your search to only YouTube videos.

So what’s this about Twitter lists? Apparently, as of yesterday afternoon, you could embed a list on your DDG page and make that your homepage. Essentially, you could get search and your fav Twitter stream in one stop. Pretty cool, especially if you consider Twitter a search resource.

Have you used it? Will you use it? I intend to check it out, if for no other reason than I am sick of ads choking out my valid results.