DuckDuckGo traffic is exploding but can it replace Google?

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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You must be sick of advertising trackers that are constantly monitoring your each and every move over the internet. The latest security breaches have spooked most of the people to be concerned about their privacy more than ever before. If you are one of them, don’t worry DuckDuckGo is here to take care of your privacy.

What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that does not track its customers. The search engine assures its users that it is not going to follow them by using cookies. The search engine makes sure that it does not collect the personal information of its users.  The privacy is further ensured due to the fact that user IP addresses are also hidden.

How it differentiates itself from Bing & Google?

You might not be aware of the fact that the users’ search terms are shared with the website that they are visiting.  It is done as soon as users click on the links from Bing and Google.  The HTTP referrer header is used for that purpose even if the user is clicking the links from Bing and Google in private mode. Your IP address is also automatically shared by your computer. The information is then used by the website for identifying each user.

The process is termed as “search leakage” by DuckDuckGo. It prevents sending the search terms to other websites through redirection in a particular way. DuckDuckGo restricts the websites from identifying users based on their personal information, neither do they have information about your search terms.

Moreover, an encrypted version of DuckDuckGo is available as well. The links from various websites (Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Wikipedia) are changed automatically to offer encrypted versions for each of them.


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DuckDuckGo reaches 800 million monthly searches

DuckDuckGo has gained the trust of users in a short span of time. The privacy features of DuckDuckGo are compelling enough for the users to make a permanently ditch Google.

 Its popularity can be understood by the fact that 800 million monthly direct views have been recorded during September last year. 

Some of the users turned to Reddit to share their experiences about the search engine. 

I tried DDG for a few weeks since it seemed like a better option. The search results were different when I compared them to Google, but I wouldn’t say they were much better or worse.

Most of the users prefer DuckDuckGo because unlike Google their advertisements are not personalized or customized by your search history. Instead, the search engine uses keywords that are entered by the users to display ads. One of the users expressed his views about the same on Reddit:

“Yes. When you look up, for example, office desk prices on DDG, you’ll be served with ads for office desk on that search and that search alone, as opposed to Google which will still try to sell you office desks for the rest of eternity.”

It is worth mentioning that some of the users are still concerned about the fact that tthe founder of DuckDuckGo has sold user’s data in the past. He is being criticized for not apologizing for his unethical actions to the general public. DuckDuckGo needs to take care of the situation otherwise it can be a serious problem for the emerging search engine. 

While another user had to switch back to Google after using DuckDuckGo for almost 6 months. He was compelled to do so because the search results were not good in his native language. Even though he wanted to switch from Google due to privacy concerns, the search results made him stick to the world’s biggest search engine. 

Verdict

Finally, we cay say that DuckDuckGo is such as privacy-focused search engine that is definitely going to be a tough competition for Google Search. The search engine is named after a popular game for the kids. DuckDuckGo should consider improving its existing features if it wants to stay in the search engine space. DuckDuckGo has still a long way to go!

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