Should DDG be more fault-tolerant?

Joe.Koenig Joe.Koenig
Created: 4 years and 6 months ago • Updated: 4 years and 6 months ago
I recently used following search string:

here-word here-string OR here-doc

on DDG as well as on Google. The results can be viewed in a screenshot compilation below
(heredoc.jpg 1167x5310 986KB backup:

Google shows almost exclusively "relevant" results, whereas DDG tries to resolve the "here-word" portion of my search string. "here-word" is, of course, bollocks. It's my mistake, but Google resolved it anyway. DDG didn't. I tried it in several variants (e.g. quotes instead of hyphens) but the results were roughly the same.

So I was wondering whether a search engine should be able to deal with such lapses? Two out of three parts of my search string were very specific technical terms. They appear as titles on many webpages, whereas "here-word" is a meaningless neologism.

BTW: with Google, the hyphen seems to work as a slightly weaker variant of the quote. How is it meant to work with DDG?

Thanks for your attention
Attached Files: 1
heredoc.jpg - Full

This forum has been archived

Thank you all for the many comments, questions and suggestions. Particular thanks go to user x.15a2 for constantly monitoring, replying and helping so many users here. To continue these discussions, please head over to the DuckDuckGo subreddit.

Thanks for the example. I'm not exactly sure what's causing the irrelevancy but I'm currently looking into some bugs on that end and your example will help.

hyphens should be respected exactly as you type them, so not as quotes but as actual hyphens. That might be the cause of this irrelevancy but I don't know which result you were looking for. The syntax you might be looking for is:

you can find them here:

---Google lists this thread as the #2 result for me when doing you're search :)
posted by zac Staff4 years and 6 months ago Link
This comment has been removed for violation of our forum rules.
posted by <hidden> • 4 years and 6 months ago
No worries! I think I misunderstood your question originally. To the title of your post, we've always been as strict as possible, attempting to search exactly as you typed but there are some source limitations in that they don't all support such strictness, so can send things askew.

On your example, there's a bug somewhere in the way the syntax is being handled, which is likely coming from upstream. Either way, I'll report and/or try to find a workaround. There's supposed an implied AND between every word, which might take dominance over the OR if parentheses aren't specific, in the example w/ quotes.
posted by zac Staff4 years and 6 months ago Link
Thanks again. As for
"we've always been as strict as possible, attempting to search exactly as you typed" (

I have two more examples which might show that you still could/should work on that. Both search terms are regarding knives/machetes.

The first search term is
which is kind of an unique Amazon ID number (ASIN). Results show both Google and DDG.

The second one is

which is also a quite unique name for a knife project.

I guess we can agree, that Google delivers far better results. Of course, no settings/cookies or special URL parameters were used in both cases. Just plain search terms.

Have a nice one!

BTW: I just realize I might have deleted your last comment, because it says "This comment has been deleted" above it. That was unintentional. Please undo it if possible.
posted by Joe.Koenig 4 years and 6 months ago Link