Episode 34 – Interview with DuckDuckGo’s Gabriel Weinberg
Gabriel Weinberg is someone I've wanted to interview ever since I first heard of the DuckDuckGo search engine. I've always been intrigued by search technology and was pretty impressed by the fact that just one guy could create and maintain a search engine on his own. Couple his achievement with the fact that Gabriel is a very genuine and approachable fellow, anytime I emailed him; whether it be for a DuckDuckgo suggestion or related to the podcast; he always responded in a prompt and courteous manner. Surprising considering he's not a serial entrepreneur he's more of a parallel one. Being really busy with DuckDuckGo as well as investing in new start-ups I appreciate him making time for the little guys in independent internet media.
So why does DuckDuckGo matter? DuckDuckGo filters out a lot of what you might call "search spam" like link baiting landing pages and tends to prefer search results which have been filtered by human eyes. That's why you'll see Wikipedia and other human powered search sites get better ranking in DuckDuckGo.
Another great feature is Privacy. If you want to search without being tracked and marketed to then you'll like DuckDuckGo. Or what if you only want to search YouTube for a certain video? Using the "bang" syntax in your searches act to filter your search terms by category. As a Java programmer are you really annoyed whenever a JDK 1.4 API doc gets top ranking when you're trying to get the JavaDoc for HashMap? Bang syntax to the rescue:
If you are interested to learn more about DuckDuckgo, Jason Calacanis had interviewed Gabriel back in August, it's worth the listen as well. A lot of people don't like Calacanis, they find him too abrasive, aggressive and egomaniacal, that doesn't make his advice not worth listening too. He has a real knack for getting your entrepreneurial motor in gear. Whenever I feel down about my pet project, I just listen to Jason and the people he interviews and it makes me realize that I can "do it" too, it just takes some faith in yourself and a lot of sweat and tears to get there. So if you had to compare our interview with Gabriel to Jason's it would come down to the fact we actually ask Gabriel technical questions around how things are glued together at DuckDuckGo.
The easiest way to try DuckDuckGo is to make it your browser's default search provider. You can do that by going to the DuckDuckGo homepage and clicking on the link under the search box labeled "Add to <your browser name here>". Try it out for a week, you'll most likely keep it.
Have a listen to find out!