DuckDuckGo is an excellent alternative to using Google. As well as providing good results, the use of many short cuts that are quick and easy to remember (such as !images for example) DuckDuckGo is very strong on privacy, and doesn't store your search results. They're currently attacking Google both on that front and also on the concept of filter bubbles. This is a term coined by Eli Pariser, who says that Google is able to identify what you're interested in and adjust the results you see accordingly. Consequently you see more of what you like, and less of what you don't, which in turn reinforces your world view, and excludes important stuff to further down the list of results.
DuckDuckGo has just launched a new video to explain this in more detail:
Now it could be argued that Google is doing that because it thinks that's what people want, and is actually nodding its collective head. However, the key issue is that search isn't search any longer. Your results are not my results, which for information professionals can be a big deal. There's more on this whole topic on the DDG site 'Don't bubble us'. If you're interested in the filter bubble concept and want to learn more, toddle over to SearchEngineLand, which has a good interview with Pariser.