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DuckDuckGo, the alternative search engine with one billion queries



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DuckDuckGo, the alternative search engine with one billion queries


The DuckDuckGo search engine, respecting the user’s privacy to the maximum, has reached 1,000 million queries in 2013.

There are (other) search engines beyond Google. Despite the fact that 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 1,000 million 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 advance since 2006 has been accelerated in recent years. This trend has increased in part thanks to the scandal generated by 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 has not done until September 2013. In this way, the personal data derived from searches is not available to third parties. The searcher does not store any personal informationsuch as the IP address, which allows segmentation by location.

Another advantage is that this search engine avoid the call “filter bubble”, the personalized or segmented information that each user receives when performing any search. The personalized results offered by search engines such as Google have the advantage of offering each user information related to what interests them, 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 performing the same search from two different users on Google.

The alternative search engine bases its differentiation from Google and other tools on the care of privacy By not storing information about searches and clicks, DuckDuckGo offers results without going through the personalization filter, a veil that is more noticeable than it seems. Although it’s not the only search engine that doesn’t, Startpage and Ixquick claim to be just as discreet. At the moment, the 1,000 million searches in 2013 are few compared to the annual billion that Google serves, but the Dutch firm’s commitment to privacy has already made its way into the market.

Image: Parin S.