I don't know what has happened to Google, but it has become more and more difficult to use as an actual search engine. Google and SEO has somehow driven the discoverability of small time content and communities into a ditch. (E.g. the Pinterest plague polluting every image search result.)
I have no special praise for DDG in particular. I am just using it to break the habit. If you're using Chrome, it's a three click task to change your default search engine:
Settings | Search Engine | DuckDuckGo
I hope you guys find this useful.