DuckDuckGo is a search engine which distinguishes itself by not tracking its users or generating results based on its usersâ€™ previous behavior. The DuckDuckGo Instant Answer API provides free programmatic access to many of the search engineâ€™s instant answers, pulled from over 100 independent sources. Answers include things like topic summaries, categories, disambiguation, redirects, and definitions. Potential uses include defining people, places, things, words, and concepts, providing direct links to other services, listing related topics, and linking to official sites. The API uses RESTful protocol and responses are formatted in JSON.
The number of available web search APIs has been reduced in recent months; Google and Yahoo have shut down a number of their web search APIs. This is the first part of a two-part article covering the state of web search APIs. The second part highlights search APIs provided by Google and Microsoft.
This past Valentine's Day, DuckDuckGo announced via Twitter that their search engine had "received over 1,000,000 direct searches yesterday for the first time ever!" A major accomplishment for a search engine that is essentially unknown. And this search engine has an API.