If you care about your privacy, I’m sure you must’ve heard of the search engine that takes care of your privacy seriously – DuckDuckGo. Unlike the Worlds most popular search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track it’s users, nor their searches, nothing. They offer a complete private searching experience and do not believe in personalized search results which are often a breach to a user’s privacy.
DuckDuckGo wasn’t very popular until sometime back when Edward Snowden revealed that search engine giants may be directly handing over your entire search history to NSA & other security agencies. After that incident, people started to take care of their online privacy seriously and DuckDuckGo came into spotlight and since then it has seen never looked back.
A couple of days back in an exclusive interview, the CEO of DuckDuckGo, Gabe Weinberg revealed that after what happened in 2013. DuckDuckGo has seen an increase of over 600% percent in traffic and it’s rising constantly. He also revealed that they’re handling at least 3 billion searches a year or over 9 million search queries every day. The number is of course less than what Yahoo or Google handle (FYI Google alone handles over 3 trillion search queries each year which continues to grow year after year), but 3 billion that DuckDuckGo handles is still a good number considering the fact that DuckDuckGo only received a few million hits until 2 years back!
DuckDuckGo fetches results from about 50 sources with Microsoft Bing being the primary one. All the searches made are purely anonymous and no data that can be used to track or identify a user is taken or passed.
So does that mean DuckDuckGo doesn’t make any money and is open source?
Yes, DuckDuckGo is open source but they do make money proving that you don’t really need to track a user’s location, his previous searches, what sites he browse and what not to show advertisements. But they’re open source? Well they are, but to handle 3 billion searches every year, you need some money; a lot of it to be frank. A majority of what they make from their site goes on their server costs and of course making a little profit is every entrepreneurs dream, ain’t it?!
Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track your location or any other personal data to show you ads. They just take your keyword as the input and show ads based on what advertisers they possess. That’s their simple advertising funda.
DuckDuckGo is a USA based company and that’s something that might concern you because NSA can still get what they want from them, but since DuckDuckGo doesn’t involve any creating of accounts or logging in (they don’t even provide an option), it makes practically impossible for NSA to track you down. If you’re worried, you can get a VPN which’ll give you that extra bit of security that you’d love to have!
DuckDuckGo shouldn’t bother Google, Microsoft & Yahoo as of now which together capture 90% of the search market, but it’s time they realize user privacy is important and it won’t take much for people to shift to a better alternative. Also DuckDuckGo needs to stop relying on other search engines and improve their internal algorithm to make the overall quality of search results better. The day that happens, it won’t take a lot of time for people to shift to them. DuckDuckGo along with normal search queries also handles news, images, audio, and video searches. They also offer a couple of themes that you can use for free should you not like the default one that’s applied to the site.