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DuckDuckGo, the alternative search engine of the billion queries



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DuckDuckGo, the alternative search engine of the billion queries


The DuckDuckGo search engine, respectful to the maximum of user privacy, has reached 1 billion queries in 2013.

There are (other) search engines beyond Google. Although the giant’s market share is more than 90% in Europe – its dominance is not so overwhelming in the United States – brands like Bing or the ‘old’ Yahoo are well known. However, there are also other options apart from these direct rivals. One of the most successful alternatives is DuckDuckGo, which has exceeded 1 billion queries in 2013. With a model that privileges privacy above all else, this search engine has served as a pole of attraction for users concerned about this aspect.

Its progressive progress since 2006 has been accelerated in recent years. This trend has increased in part thanks to the scandal generated by the leaks about PRISM by Edward Snowden. The use of the search engine grew exponentially going from 1.5 to more than 4 million unique searches per day in just four months.

DuckDuckGo provides encryption by default to the user, something that Google did not do until September 2013. In this way, personal data derived from searches is not available to third parties. The searcher does not store any personal information, such as the IP address, which allows targeting by location.

Another advantage is that this search engine avoid the call “Filter bubble”, the personalized or segmented information that each user receives when carrying out any search. The personalized results offered by search engines such as Google have the advantage of offering each user information related to what they are interested in, but at the same time it has the perverse effect of preventing them from knowing different points of view. Anyone can see how the filter bubble works when doing the same search from two different users on Google.

The alternative search engine bases its differentiation with respect to Google and other tools on the care of privacy By not storing information about searches and clicks, DuckDuckGo offers results without going through the filter of customization, a veil that is more noticeable than it seems. Although it is not the only search engine that does not, Startpage and Ixquick claim to be just as discreet. At the moment the 1 billion searches in 2013 are few compared to the trillion per year that Google serves, but the Dutch firm’s commitment to privacy has already made a dent in the market.

Image: Parin S.