Don't Play Games with Privacy: What Is DuckDuckGo?
You may remember playing Duck, Duck, Goose on the playground when you were young. But have you heard of DuckDuckGo? Many haven't. So, we thought we'd share an introduction to this privacy-focused search engine.
You can use DuckDuckGo on their iOS or Android app or extension by adding a private Web search to your favorite browser or by searching directly at DuckDuckGo.com. The site's privacy browser extension blocks trackers and offers encryption for every device.
Why use DuckDuckGo?
Google is the obvious heavy hitter in search. The problem? The company keeps your search history forever. Plus, they are tracking everywhere you go online. Their trackers are on millions of websites.
Think about it: Ever looked at a new sweatshirt and decided against it only to find it following you in digital ads for days to come? That's because of tracking. DuckDuckGo promises there are no trackers on its search engine. It even blocks Google's and other company's trackers, as well.
You might think you are achieving anonymity in Incognito Mode. But this doesn't stop Google from saving your history. Companies, internet service providers, and governments can also continue to track you.
DuckDuckGo does not store IP addresses or other unique identifiers in its search logs. This means that they cannot create a search history or data profile on you or any other individual.
Does DuckDuckGo work?
The big question, of course, is how the private engine's search results compare to competitors. The company claims it provides "truly private search results without tradeoffs in result quality." DuckDuckGo says it offers "everything you've come to expect in your online search experience" including:
- weather forecasts;
- local search;
- Wikipedia references;
- currency conversions;
- flight information;
- sports scores;
- Q&A reference.
Can DuckDuckGo compete?
Since its founding in 2008, DuckDuckGo has steadily gained users. On January 13, 2022, the search engine announced it had surpassed 100 billion all-time searches.
According to public traffic statistics in the same week, the highest daily number of search queries DuckDuckGo had seen was 110,439,133. Just a year ago, on January 11, 2021, the company announced hitting over 100 million searches daily.
Those numbers are impressive, yet as Search Engine Land puts it, "DuckDuckGo remains a very niche competitor." Google has a huge market share (as much as 87.57 of searches). Bing, the next biggest competitor, accounted for 6.31%, Yahoo 3.25%, and DuckDuckGo 2.5%, according to statcounter.com.
Protecting your privacy online
DuckDuckGo is an attractive and useful option for people who want a higher level of online privacy.