DuckDuckGo is a Privacy Search Engine

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that focuses on protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo tries to distinguish itself from other search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, by not profiling its users and by deliberately showing all users the same search results for a given search term.

The company is based in Pennsylvania and has 21 employees.

DuckDuckGo earns revenue in two ways:

1. Serving ads from the Yahoo–Bing search alliance network

2. Affiliate relationships with several companies

Privacy has been in the news a lot lately. From hacked private emails that may have turned an election, to private photos getting hacked that ruin people’s lives, and the government wanting access to your smartphone when crossing borders; privacy is one of the most significant issues facing our governments and how we decide to handle this will have implications for generations to come.

Generally, people are accepting of the arrangement most internet companies operate under; if the service is free, you give up a bit of your privacy so a company can make money off of the data it collects about you. Google and Facebook for example, are both free services but use the data they collect about its users to sell highly-targeted advertising.

DuckDuckGo on the other hand, knows almost nothing about its users. It doesn’t store your search queries, doesn’t give you personal results (aside from country results), and won’t follow you around the web with ads. No tracking, no ad targeting, just searching.

I’m a big fan of DuckDuckGo and even though it’s not always the best search engine, it is more than good enough for my needs. The satisfaction I get out of supporting an underdog is also pretty great, but for the most part I just find it to be a good experience for searching.

DuckDuckGo has been growing quite a bit these last few years and doesn’t shy away from showing its growth. You can go here to see how many search queries they handle each day, week, month and year. As of June 2017, they are currently up to about 15 million searches per day.

There are few reasons for this growth. For one, they made some key partner agreements, specifically with Apple to get DuckDuckGo as a search engine option in Safari, and the same with FireFox.

If you’d like to add DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS, just follow the steps below.

Our Own Data

In our series on search engine market share in Canadian cities, we determined that DuckDuckGo represents less than a single percentage of our clients search traffic. But it does seem to be growing and has approached 1% of search traffic on various months. 1% might not seem like much, but keep in mind that Bing only has 5% of search market share for our clients overall, and they have billions in investment from their parent company Microsoft.

We also looked at the browser share for DuckDuckGo traffic across our portfolio of managed websites and it was no surprise to see just how important Safari and Firefox are to user growth.

Google may be the biggest and best search engine by virtue of having so much user data to work off of, but DuckDuckGo is good enough in many cases. If privacy is a concern to you, or if you just want to have another option other than Google, give DuckDuckGo a try. It’s really quite good.

Posted on: 06/29/2017
Posted by: Craig Hauptman – President & Founder

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