DuckDuckGo is a search engine that respects your privacy by not selling your search history or tracking you around the web. It also has a few useful features, including bangs, which let you search for other websites right from DuckDuckGo. Here̵
What is a bang?
A bang, or! Pop, as it is commonly known, is a term you can include in your DuckDuckGo search to limit your results to a particular website or service. The name comes from an old UNIX term for an exclamation mark, used to call the function in searches.
For example, if you are searching the web with DuckDuckGo and want to limit your results to How-To Geek, you can include “! Howtogeek” in your search term. Searching for “windows 10! Howtogeek” will perform a search for “windows 10” using How-To Geek’s own search engine.
There is a blast for all kinds of websites, from mainstream search engines like Google (! G) to personal accounts like Gmail (! Gmail). At Wolfram Alpha (! Wa) you can do sums or ask questions or search for an iPhone app in the App Store (! Appstore). There is also a Wikipedia bang (! W).
Find useful ponies
There are currently more than 13,500 ponies that you can include in your searches. DuckDuckGo has had to clean up a number of submissions in the past for legal reasons, particularly around the topic of piracy and the search for torrent trackers.
The best way to search for a bang is to type an exclamation point. DuckDuckGo will open a list of suggested ponies, with suggestions becoming more relevant as you type. So if you are wondering if a particular website has a bang, start typing an exclamation mark followed by its name. If you find a website that isn’t included, you can submit it for consideration.
One of the more useful uses for bangs is as a quick exit to a major search engine like Google (! G) or Bing (! B) when DuckDuckGo’s results aren’t as good as you hoped. You can also use them to search for products on Amazon (! A) or eBay (! Ebay), check restaurant reviews on Yelp (! Yelp), or comb the social web via Twitter (! Twitter) or Reddit (! Reddit) .
A pony can compromise your privacy
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that puts privacy above all else. While Google and other search engines store your search history and login information, track you around the web, and serve you personalized ads based on your browsing habits, DuckDuckGo doesn’t.
This includes third party websites that use Google for their site-wide search functions, like we do here at How-To Geek. Alternatively, you can try to include only the website name to avoid triggering an off-site search (eg “Windows 10 howtogeek”), which will return relevant results within the DuckDuckGo search engine.
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Still curious about what makes DuckDuckGo so special? Find out about one of the most personal search engines on the web.
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