There’s been a lot of talk lately about a semi-new search engine called DuckDuckGo. What is it and why might you be interested in using it? Here’s a closer look at why DuckDuckGo has seen a 600% rise in traffic recently.
The DuckDuckGo Concept
DuckDuckGo was founded by Gabriel Weinberg back in 2008, but just recently gained a lot of press due to the Edward Snowden news stories that happened just two years ago. Now the site enjoys more than three billion searches per year. That number is nowhere near the number of searches that Google reports, but it’s not a bad number for a search engine that was largely unheard of not too long ago.
Weinberg founded DuckDuckGo as a sort of anti-Google, and so far his public notifications that Google tracks and records user information has started to sink in (with the tech savvy, at least). In addition to getting a helping hand from Snowden, DuckDuckGo has also seen a boost in users thanks to Apple and Firefox. Both companies now allow users to select DuckDuckGo as a search engine option, and Apple now makes it possible to switch to DuckDuckGo instead of using Safari when it comes to mobile.
DuckDuckGo does not track user data (as Weinberg claims that Google does). So, how does the site make money? Weinberg has told press that advertisers can purchase search engine ranking spots. For example, if you type in ‘best car ever’ you may see an ad for Land Rover at the top of the search engine responses. This is the only way that the company makes money through the site, and so far it’s working.
If DuckDuckGo only makes money through search engine advertising, how does a site like Google make money? Some claim that Google sells user information to advertisers, and that’s why Google users see ads pop up on random websites that are oddly familiar to the product or service that was just searched. Google might have some other money making ideas up its sleeve as well, but that information isn’t public.
How to Use DuckDuckGo
You can’t access DuckDuckGo through Chrome, but you can find the site by using either Safari or Firefox. As mentioned above, you can also make DuckDuckGo your default browser if you are using an iOS mobile device. How does the search engine stack up to Google? Well, it’s a much younger option, so the results that you get may not be as thorough as what Google is putting out. Then again, Google has been the dominant search engine force for a long time now, so it’s going to take some effort for DuckDuckGo to catch up.
There are some conspiracy theories out there (as there will be no matter what story I’m writing about!) focused on how DuckDuckGo is a front for the NSA - but you may not want to put too much stock in those ideas. If you want to check out what the Internet is currently humming about, go to Firefox or Safari and take a look at what DuckDuckGo has to offer. It’s just a search engine, but it’s one that claims not to track your every move online.