Have you heard of DuckDuckGo? It’s an alternative search engine that seeks to put privacy back into internet search. It looks, feels and works much like Google but doesn’t collect information or sell your data to the highest bidder. Normal search is intuitive but image search seems to present more of a problem. That’s the reason for this tutorial on how to search for images on DuckDuckGo.
Google may be the current king of search but it’s time on the throne may be limited. There is no doubt that it is the best search engine currently available but the company itself isn’t as popular as it once was. Concerns over privacy, data collection and the monopoly a single company has over the internet is causing people to revise their opinion of the organization and its services.
There are alternatives like Bing or Yahoo but they are also owned by corporations who make money out of your data. That’s DuckDuckGo and others like it come in.
Image search with DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo is an alternative search engine that seeks to deliver the same levels and speed of search that Google does without harvesting every iota of data on you while you do it. I use it all the time and while it is not as complete as Google, for the vast majority of my searches, it delivers exactly what I’m looking for.
I’ll cover more about DuckDuckGo in a minute. First, let’s not bury the headline. How do you search for images on DuckDuckGo?
It works exactly the same as Google.
- Navigate to the DuckDuckGo home page .
- Enter a search term and perform your search.
- Select Images from the top menu to switch from Web to images.
The only downside is that DuckDuckGo doesn’t have a direct image search URL like Google does. Where you would enter https://images.google.com  to access image search directly, there is no DuckDuckGo version that I know of. You can use a shorter URL to access DuckDuckGo though, just enter ddg.gg into your browser to be taken straight to the search engine.
Where DuckDuckGo does do better in image search is with !bangs. These are neat features within DuckDuckGo that allow you to search other websites from within the engine with a shortcut. For example, to search Flickr for images, you just enter ‘!f’ into the DuckDuckGo search box and your search term. For example, enter ‘!f Ferrari’ into the search box to search Flickr for images of Ferraris.
There are a ton of bangs and they are explained much better here .
Ironically, you can use a !bang to search Google Images. Type ‘!gi SUBJECT’ into the DuckDuckGo search box to return Google Images on that subject. You switch from DDG to Google in less than a second to see your results. As DuckDuckGo loads images much faster and more fluidly than Google, I use this all the time when trying to find images.
Detailed image search with DuckDuckGo
Like Google, DuckDuckGo allows you to refine image searches with filters. Unlike Google, you can specify where in the world you want to search. Once you have performed your image search as above you should see another menu appear under the search box.
You can manually select your country of search, control safe search, search images by size, type, layout and dominant color.
Is it time to switch to DuckDuckGo?
Chrome and Google are awesome at what they do and enable us to achieve so much on the internet. But that comes at a cost. Gigabytes of data collected every day on every one of us every time we use a Google product or app. If you’re okay with so much data being collected on you, then Google delivers everything you need. If you’re not okay with being treated as a commodity then there are alternatives.
DuckDuckGo is one of a number of entities trying to do something different. Like Firefox is to Chrome, DuckDuckGo is to Google search. An alternative that doesn’t collect and sell your data.
I first started using DuckDuckGo five or six years ago. Back then it was slower than Google and didn’t have the reach or depth of search results that Google has. Now it is much, much better. It actually seems faster than Google in search and is certainly faster for image search in my experience. You can also customize the looks and functionality, use the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials browser extension and follow lots of tips of privacy and all that good stuff.
Image search on DuckDuckGo is fast, fluid and customizable and well worth checking out. Have you tried it yet? Like it? Loathe it? Got any tips or suggestions for using it? Tell us about it below if you do!