For the past weeks or so, I have been using the DuckDuckGo search engine for my Internet research. You can read about the motivation for the move here. In that time, I have learned a few tricks that improved my search experience and I would like to share those today with all of you.
One of the major issues with every search engine is that you sometimes cannot seem to find what you are looking for. That's true for Bing, Google Search and also DuckDuckGo. When that happened, I initially loaded the web address of Google Search or Bing Search manually, pasted in the copied search phrase to search on the new search engine again in hope of finding an answer there.
Soon thereafter I discovered a more comfortable way of redirecting searches to another search engine.
All I had to do was to add !g for Google, !b for Bing or any of the hundreds of additional "bangs" to the search phrase to open the search results on the selected search engine.
Those shortcuts are not only available for general search engines, but also for other sites that you may want to find information on. Here is a short selection of shortcuts that I found most useful:
You can find all of the shortcuts on this page. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of them so be prepared to spend some time on the page (yes, there is even the !ghacks bang to search exclusively on this site).
Bangs may redirect queries to non-search related services. Use !deepl to redirect the query to the translator DeepL, !alt to search for software alternatives on Alternative.to, or !archive to search the Internet archive.
The second tip that I have for you is about keyboard shortcuts you can use on the search engine's site to speed up navigating on the website.
You can for instance use the down cursor key to select one of the search results, and press enter to load it directly all without using the mouse. And if you hold down Ctrl while doing that or press "v", you can open the result in a new tab instead.
If you hit the "d" key, you perform a new search exclusively on the highlighted domain.
Have other tips to share? Lets hear about them in the comments.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.