Duck Duck Go Bangs are shortcuts to query other search engines when either DDG isn’t specific enough, you are searching a different genre of result (video, photo etc), or you want results from the horses mouth. Although I am a massive fan of Duck Duck Go search I was just remembering how I asked for, and within hours had received, the !guk bang for Google UK search which is better at local search. That was me that, all you UK Duckers that can bang through to !GUK for local issues can hail praise at me. A constantly updated list of !bangs available can be found here, many are targeted at programmers and hackers but in this post I want to list the most useful !bangs that benefit everybody, not just computer geeks.
What is !Bang Syntax Again?
You type an exclamation mark and the shortcode of the site you want to bang through to, followed by the query. As I mentioned above I inspired Google UK bang so if I wanted to search the local cinema in Google from DDG I would type [!guk local cinema] and I would be wisped away to G’s search results page. By the way if you just type ! then the query you will go straight to the first result in DDG’s index for that query. This is the same as clicking ‘I’m feeling Ducky’ which is a charming homage to G’s ‘I’m feeling Lucky’ button. I personally would prefer if the !bang feature was called an equally charming ‘Duck Off Then’ but it probably wouldn’t be well received. Anyway…
Wouldn’t I Just Go To That Site and Search?
No, the whole point is you have Duck Duck as your homepage and then save hours of time by banging through.
!acro or !acronyms
Takes you to acronymfinder.com listing all possibility of what those letters stand for. So [!acro NASA] told me that it means National Aeronautics & Space Administration. I didn’t know that. It also means a lot of other things, but the point is I found out in a really straight forward way with just one search from my homepage.
This doesn’t need explaining, you know what a synonym is. It is a prime example of the time saving purpose of banging.
!microsoft or !ms
Having trouble with a Windows operating system or other Microsoft product and need to search the problem, !bang through to the makers themselves. Example [!ms disable error reporting].
Get answers for any question you may have. !allexperts and a few other alternatives exist to provide the same sort of help. It depends on which you prefer. Usually a straight forward search would be just as useful but it takes you through to a full explanation and thus saving a click.
!jobs, !monster, !careerbuilder
Granted you may have to refine your search for something as specific as a job search but again, !bang saves you the navigation.
Search an entire encyclopedia straight with a !Bang. Useful for not having to cut through the crap of a search engine result page to get a full account of an event, person or other entity that won’t be in a dictionary.
Smart people share and download stuff using bit-torrents. You have to first find and download the torrent beforehand so banging through to a respected torrent source is largely helpful.
!ebay, !amazon, etc
Search for products at various online stores without having to load their annoying homepages first and having to cut through the featured products just to find the department and search boxes you really want.
You know the one line of a song that gets stuck in your head and you want to know who sung it. Or, you want to know what the hell they are singing about. Easy, !bang it.
!images or !video
Duck Duck doesn’t currently offer search within these fields. Except that it does, in bang form. There are plenty of various sites on offer from !istockphoto to !flickr.
Tabs are music notations for guitarist who can’t read music. Bang a song [!tabs stairway to heaven] then rock out instantly.
I will stop now because as I said before, there are many, many more !bangs available it is just a case of remembering which you are likely to use. Just writing this I have discovered a few more that are blindingly useful and as more and more get added all the time it only enhances the impression of Duck Duck Go I have.