“Using the internet doesn’t have to feel like you’re being watched, listened to, and monitored”
This month 10 years ago, internet search engine DuckDuckGo had been operating for nearly half a year and was receiving on average 80,000 queries a day.
Last Monday it reached a new daily record high of 30,602,556 searches.
The number represents an impressive 50 percent increase on its previous record in 2017, when it recorded nearly 20 million daily searches, and comes after a spate of data leaks and an increased interest in privacy among consumers.
Duck Duck Go is a privacy-focussed search engine which does not track its users as they use the platform to search for answers to their questions or shop for new items.
According to Net Marketshare statistics DuckDuckGo currently has 0.18 percent of the search traffic on the internet. Google remains the dominant player with 77 percent, Baidu is in second place with 15 percent, while Bing has fallen to 3.6 percent.
DuckDuckGo fun fact: it took us seven years to reach 10 million private searches in one day, then another two years to hit 20 million, and now less than a year later we're at 30 million! Thank you all 😃 #ComeToTheDuckSidehttps://t.co/qlSaz4j9ZH
— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) October 11, 2018
Commenting in a blog post Gabriel Weinberg Founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo stated that: “DuckDuckGo has been a profitable company since 2014 without storing or sharing any personal information on people using our search engine. As we like to say, what you search on DuckDuckGo is private, even from us!”
The way the website makes its revenue is through keyword-based advertising. For example, if you type and search the word laptop the advertising banner will display paid for laptop advertisements.
This is not unique and in fact this is how most search engines decide what advertising to display on their results pages. However, search engines such as Google continue to track you as you move across web pages using their platform, scooping up data from places you visited or links you clicked.
“When you search on DuckDuckGo, we can show you an ad based on the keywords you type in. That’s it. Using the internet doesn’t have to feel like you’re being watched, listened to, and monitored,” CEO Weinberg commented.
Private Search Engine Competition
DuckDuckGo does have a second stream of revenue through its non-tracking partnership with Amazon and eBay. For every user who searches via DuckDuckGo and continues on to purchase an item on Amazon or eBay, the platform receives a small commission from this purchase.
Weinberg states that: “This mechanism operates anonymously and there is no personally identifiable information exchanged between us and Amazon or eBay. These partnerships also don’t affect the ranking of search results. The reason we can do this in an anonymous way with Amazon and eBay, though not with other retailers, is because Amazon and eBay run their own affiliate networks.”
DuckDuckGo is not the only -focused search engine available, but its growing market share shows it is the more commonly usedalternative platform.
Other search engines exist such as Search Encrypt which combines AES-256 encryption with Secure Sockets Layer encryption to make your searches’ completely private. The search terms have an expiry date which once pasted ensures that even someone with access to your device will not be able to view them.
StartPage uses a proxy service to deliver its users results from Google’s search engine without having to be involved with inherent tracking on that platform. The company does not store any information belonging to its users, such as IP address which can be used to identify more of the customer’s search history.