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    However, I have to admit, the search results of duckduckgo are by far inferior to what Google used to give.

    The search results of Google are also by far inferior to what Google used to give.

    I suggest that the Internet is a worse place now than it used to be: There’s more spammers and SERPs than ever before, and that just means that organic means a lot less than it used to.

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      I would argue that most of what you call “organic” is actually trying to game Google’s algorithms. When you look for SEO best practices, many tricks are to help with Google Search. In that sense, the other search engines have to use the data that people use to game Google Search.

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        As long as ranking in search results matter (always), there is a huge incentive to game the system. Pre Google there’s been thousand-words METAs and keyword page footers in invisible ink.

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      Google search results have got worse and worse over the years. It used to be that the first result of my search was nearly always what I wanted. Now Google insists on trying to be clever, and often the MOST IMPORTANT keyword in the search isn’t even there at all.

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        A million times this. Google seems far less useful today than it did 10 years ago. Most of the time, I get search results for what Google thinks I’m trying to search for based on popular searches, rather than what I am actually searching for. Basically if your search query is fairly uncommon, Google won’t show you any relevant results, period.

        There is a big gaping vacuum in the market for a search engine specifically focused on technical users looking for technical content. Who wants to start a company with me?

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          Isn’t that … almost literally what DuckDuckGo is?

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            No, DuckDuckGo pulls from Bing, and both tend to change what you searched for to what it thinks you want instead. Even the old trick of +wanted_keyword -unwanted_keyword does not guarantee it will honor your request (they are treated as ‘suggestions’ instead of rules now), but it does help a lot.

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            I’m sure it started with the demise of: https://www.google.com/bsd

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              google.com/linux was literally my first contact with Google. I was attending a local Linux user group (are those still a thing?) in the city I grew up in back in South America, and someone told us we should check that out next time we were looking for Linux resources. I remember the quality and breadth of the results was mind blowing, and I immediately stopped using any other search engines. Never thought I would end up working for them about 15 years later, heh.

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            Catering to the lowest common denominator rather than to people who actually know how to structure search queries.

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            However, I have to admit, the search results of duckduckgo are by far inferior to what Google used to give.

            It’s a different search engine, so you should get used to. After a while your searches will get better because you learn how DDG works and you get (almost) the same quality of search results.

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              DDG is almost as good for most things but one area Google far outshines it, still, is looking for error messages or log strings. DDG seems more competitive than it used to be, but my gut feeling is it’s because Google has gotten worse.

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                I’ve found that Google’s seemingly changed their algorithm where natural language seem more accurate than keyword-oriented ones.

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                  I frankly haven’t noticed this myself. I’ve been using Duck Duck Go for years in lieu of Google without complaints.

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                    This. I basically use only Ecosia, Duck Duck Go, and a lot of times I’m using lynx as it’s simply very handy, especially if you enable DEFAULT_KEYPAD_MODE:LINKS_AND_FIELDS_ARE_NUMBERED

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                    I feel that people that find DDG less powerful are actually missing the tracking features from Google Search. Like auto-geolocalisation, matches corresponding to your past browsing/search, there’s probably some categories of users (especially if you’re connected with your Google account,), …

                    When I type “Chinese restaurant” on DDG, I don’t get the closest ones by default, whereas on Google, that’s implied.

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                      That’s been my experience as well. Once you get used to it the results are acceptable to very good.

                      Where I think google still excels is on the UI front. If I search for a restaurant on Google I get their hours, reviews, a phone number - everything right up front. If I use DDG I can find the restaurant’s webpage but then have to look myself. I suspect that Google has a deeper data set to pull in, and hope DDG can improve.

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                        The UI point is an interesting one - unlike almost every other alternative search engine, DDG has stuck perhaps the closest to Google (imo) in terms of not trying to turn their homepage into an internet portal. It’s a shame about some of the data pull-ins, because iirc DDG started its instant answer things before Google did its equivalent (I might be wrong on that, I only vaguely remember reading it). Regardless, the instant answer API and you can contribute to any of them - perhaps hooking in to a restaurant database is something that you could add?

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                          perhaps hooking in to a restaurant database is something that you could add?

                          I considered that. Regrettably, DuckDuckHack shut down and it looks like it won’t be coming back any time soon. It’s a real shame because now seems like the time for DDG to gather free contributions from programmers fleeing Google.

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                            Damn I didn’t realise, that sucks! You’re totally right, it’s a shame as I bet at least a handful of people would be willing to help to make the contribution process nicer.

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                              Indeed, that is a shame. As one of those who fled Google, I’ve gotten pretty enthusiastic about DuckDuckGo; it’s the best of the limited options. That said, DDG is still trying to make a profit and I’d really rather see the community rally around entirely open-source efforts.

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                        as per hackernews comment from someone working on it, it’s unintentional and being fixed after he brought it to their attention

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                          being a blind person, I guess I have to accept that Google doesn’t care anymore

                          Bloated websites reached the point of being unusable for visually impaired people as well as people with very slow and choppy connections and old hardware. That’s hundreds of millions of people in the world.

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                            This is why I’m okay with the ADA being applied to websites. There’s little to no incentive to make content accessible, only push features that even normal people struggle to use or comprehend.

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                              visually impaired people as well as people with very slow and choppy connections and old hardware

                              As well as people with fast connections and modern, mid-to-high-end computers. It’s a lose-lose all round. I was using a friend’s gaming computer recently, and although I don’t really know anything about hardware, I know that they are proud of how good it is. I was looking through web pages after searching something, and even on that machine I had to keep leaving the page because they were taking so long to load, making the scrolling feel sticky and slow… sometimes I feel bad about my old budget hardware, but it’s good to know it’s coping just as well as the big guns.

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                              I have a friend who is visually impaired and uses console to get around who will be similarly impacted. They should offer a stripped down html interface as a subdomain or something.

                              https://github.com/jarun/googler

                              there are tools like this but its pretty stupid to have to rely on them.

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                                Mario, if you read this thread I wonder if you can try using DuckDuckGo’s Google “bang” to reach Google results where the DuckDuckGo results aren’t as good as you like. Just prepend the text of your search with “!g” like, “!g Araceae family” and DuckDuckGo will take you to the Google results, although I can’t vouch for how this may work given your needs.

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                                  How about metacrawlers like startpage and searx?

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                                    Have you [the author] tried the browsh?

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                                      However, being a blind person, I guess I have to accept that Google doesn’t care anymore.

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                                        Oh, I missed that.

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                                      Console-based browsers are not an accessibility tool. Saying that google doesn’t care about blind users because of dropping support for a browser that an incredibly tiny number of people use is quite disingenuous.

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                                        If you can set your font to be something you can see, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be. They are more deterministic than any GUI. They have just as good keyboard shortcuts. They are generally higher contrast. They don’t have much of the visual noise that makes the web tougher to use. What accessibility tools do you need that are insufficient in a terminal?

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                                          Yeah, it can be set up like an accessibility tool, but it doesn’t need to be supported like one. If google somehow made its website completely inaccessible to screen readers, for instance, that would be a definite transgression for those who rely on screen readers. There are better solutions than terminals, and it doesn’t make sense to have to support every single platform that “might” be accessibility-improving.

                                          Also, there’s the whole fact that maybe lynx just needs to be updated to conform with modern web standards if it’s not able to render a page properly anymore.

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                                            “Modern web standards” and “web standards” aren’t necessarily the same thing, whatever the governing body says. World Wide Web perhaps isn’t even the best description of what it’s become; it’s much more of an application platform now than simply a hyperlinked system for sharing information. Lynx is an excellent application for what it was made to do. It’s not really fair to criticise lynx for failing after the goalposts have been moved.

                                            Also, regardless of what can be done with modern web standards, Google is still essentially a page of links. If those links can’t be accessed without a heavyweight browser and a load of Javascript, the only culprit is Google; just because new tags are available doesn’t mean that <a href="url"> isn’t the standard way to create a hyperlink.