The Growth of Duck Duck Go and What That Means for Search Engines

In the current landscape of internet search engines, Google is far and away the leader in total inquiries.  With over 1 trillion searches, Google certainly controls the market share for internet searches. In comparison, Duck Duck Go assisted users with 9 billion searches, which while still significant, is certainly far fewer than Google.  However, Duck Duck Go has a claim to fame that has contributed to it’s increasing popularity. Their motto is “the search engine that doesn’t track you,” which has attracted a large user base. However, the question remains; Will Duck Duck Go continue to grow, making it a true competitor to the top search engines, or will it remain a niche engine used by a subpopulation of users with privacy concerns.  To answer that question, we must first examine who Duck Duck Go is and what their appeal is:

Duck Duck Go & Commitment To Privacy

Duck Duck Go has been surging in popularity recently, but they have been around for a long time.  First founded back in 2008, they have often been on the cutting edge of search engine technology, including introducing voice search to Chrome extension users back in 2011.  They also implemented a feature called Instant Answers, which offers no-click information on search queries which Google has been offering more of lately. They have also shown their willingness to share search inquiry data with users which allows anyone to see their traffic.  Duck Duck Go has already received over 2 billion search inquiries since the start of 2019, which means they are on pace for roughly 10 billion searches this year, and potentially far more if the trend continues.

However, the real appeal of Duck Duck Go for users is that they don’t track users, follow them with ads, or store their information. After Facebook’s security breach last year, internet users became far more concerned with protecting their privacy and what information was being shared with advertisers. In fact, over 50% of Facebook’s users adjusted their privacy settings after the breach. Duck Duck Go also experienced a sharp increase in inquiries after the breach, although their growth was already trending in that direction.

Why Duck Duck Go Matters

While it’s not set to overtake Google, or even Bing, in total searches any time soon, Duck Duck Go’s continually exponential growth indicates that user privacy is a common, valid concern among consumers. Duck Duck Go has also partnered with Apple Maps, who also share a genuine concern for user privacy, and they will function as the sole provider of maps for Duck Duck Go.  With a focus on user privacy setting them apart from the competition, Duck Duck Go should continue to experience consistent growth, especially as users continue to become more interested in protecting their data and privacy.

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