When people search, we believe they're really looking for answers, as opposed to just links. For many categories of searches (restaurants, game of thrones, code documentation, etc.), there is usually a specialized search engine (e.g. Yelp), content site (e.g. MetroLyrics) or other source (e.g. StackOverflow) that does a better job at actually answering the searches than a general search engine does with just links. Our long-term goal is to get you Instant Answers from these best sources.
To do that, we've developed an open source Instant Answer platform called DuckDuckHack, which allows anyone to propose and develop Instant Answers for DuckDuckGo. On the backend, we have a classification and relevancy engine that selects the best sources for a particular search and displays answers to you in real time, be it for recipes, products, images, and hundreds of other categories.
In fact, DuckDuckGo gets its results from over four hundred sources. These include hundreds of vertical sources delivering niche Instant Answers, DuckDuckBot (our crawler) and crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, stored in our answer indexes). We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we also source from a variety of partners, including Oath (formerly Yahoo) and Bing.
We continue to partner with more and more sources to bring you the best Instant Answers from the best sources. Our focus is on synthesizing it all together into a superior search experience.