Competitors of Google (Yahoo!, Bing, Ask.com, etc.) have never been able to rival the search volume of the tech giant. These big name companies have tried to imitate Google and have not met much success in winning over users from Google. But DuckDuckGo is trying something different – and already getting some impressive results.
DuckDuckGo offers something for its users that Google cannot – hardcore privacy.
Among other features of DuckDuckGo, its radical privacy is perhaps most appealing to users. The search engine does not log your IP address, doesn’t track you with cookies, and websites cannot even tell when search terms you used that brought you to their site. Weinberg’s start-up is banking the on the fact that Google’s lifeblood is it ability to sell user (albeit anonymized) information to marketers, and that users are not OK with that.
When the company started out in September of 2008, privacy wasn’t a key concern of search engine users. But since the Edward Snowden NSA Revelations of 2013, business for DuckDuckGo has skyrocketed.
Weinberg did not start DuckDuckGo with the intention of becoming a safe haven of search privacy. That came through Reddit and HackerNews user requests. Other features of the DuckDuckGo include:
- !bangs – this feature allows you to search for a specific site and be taken straight there.
- Instant recipes – A partnership with Yummly allows you to easily find any recipe without having to sort through endless confusing cooking blogs.
- Custom design – you can change the look and feel of the site for your own browser.
DuckDuckGo’s Humble Beginnings
Gabriel Weinberg first started DuckDuckGo with the idea of proving ‘instant answers’ instead of simply a list of different sites. Anyone who’s been on Google in the last year knows that Google is now using this idea as well. Fortunately DuckDuckGo had other legs to stand on.
Just Getting Started
Though DuckDuckGo’s searches increase 100-500% each year, the company is still only performing a teeny-tiny fraction of the queries Google completes each day, which is nearly 4 billion. Can DuckDuckGo be David to the Google Goliath? Only time will tell, but keep your eyes on the this post-Snowden era spectacle.