Screenshot of DuckDuckGo home page as of 2018
Type of site
|Web search engine|
|Headquarters||20 Paoli Pike|
Paoli, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Owner||Duck Duck Go, Inc.|
|Created by||Gabriel Weinberg|
|Alexa rank||166 (January 2020[update])|
|Launched||September 25, 2008|
DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by showing all users the same search results for a given search term.
DuckDuckGo's results are a compilation of "over 400" sources, including Yahoo! Search BOSS, Wolfram Alpha, Bing, Yandex, its own Web crawler (the DuckDuckBot) and others. It also uses data from crowdsourced sites, including Wikipedia, to populate knowledge panel boxes to the right of the results.
Weinberg has refined the quality of his search engine results by deleting search results for companies he believes are content mills, such as Demand Media's eHow, which publishes 4000 articles per day produced by paid freelance writers, which Weinberg says is "low-quality content designed specifically to rank highly in Google's search index". DuckDuckGo also filters pages with substantial advertising.
In addition to the indexed search results, DuckDuckGo displays relevant results, called Instant Answers, on top of the search page. These Instant Answers are collected from either third party APIs or static data sources like text files. The Instant Answers are called zeroclickinfo because the intention behind these is to provide what the user is searching for on the search result page itself so that the user does not have to click any results to find what they are looking for. As of July 2019[update], there were 1236 Instant Answers active.
The Instant Answers are open source and are maintained on GitHub, where anyone can build or work on them.
DuckDuckGo includes "!Bang" keywords, which give users the ability to search on specific third-party websites – using the site's own search engine if applicable. As of July 2019, 12,547 "bangs" for a diverse range of Internet sites are available. In December 2018, around 2,000 "bangs" were deleted. Some of them were deleted due to being broken, while others, such as searches of pirated content sites, were deleted for liability reasons.
DuckDuckGo earns revenue by serving ads from the Yahoo-Bing search alliance network and through affiliate relationships with Amazon and eBay.
Some of DuckDuckGo's source code is free software hosted at GitHub under the Apache 2.0 License, but the core is proprietary. The company registered the domain name ddg.gg on February 22, 2011, and acquired duck.com on December 2018, which are used as shortened URL aliases that redirect to duckduckgo.com.
DuckDuckGo was founded by Gabriel Weinberg on February 29, 2008, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Weinberg is an entrepreneur who previously launched Names Database, a now-defunct social network. Initially self-funded by Weinberg, DuckDuckGo is advertising-supported, but the user has the option to disable ads. The search engine is written in Perl and runs on nginx, FreeBSD, and Linux. DuckDuckGo is built primarily upon search APIs from various vendors. Because of this, TechCrunch characterized the service as a "hybrid" search engine. Weinberg explained the beginnings of the name with respect to the children's game duck, duck, goose. He said of the origin of the name: "Really it just popped in my head one day and I just liked it. It is certainly influenced/derived from duck duck goose, but other than that there is no relation, e.g., a metaphor." DuckDuckGo was featured on TechCrunch's Elevator Pitch Friday in 2008, and it was a finalist in the 2008 BOSS Mashable Challenge.
In July 2010, Weinberg started a DuckDuckGo community website (duck.co) to allow the public to report problems, discuss means of spreading the use of the search engine, request features, and discuss open sourcing the code.
DuckDuckGo was self-funded until Union Square Ventures and angel investors invested in DuckDuckGo in October 2011. Union Square partner Brad Burnham stated, "We invested in DuckDuckGo because we became convinced that it was not only possible to change the basis of competition in search, it was time to do it." In addition, Trisquel, Linux Mint, and the Midori web browser switched to use DuckDuckGo as their default search engine.
By May 2012, the search engine was attracting 1.5 million searches a day. Weinberg reported that it had earned US$115,000 in revenue in 2011 and had three employees, plus a small number of contractors. Compete.com estimated 266,465 unique visitors to the site in February 2012. On April 12, 2011, Alexa reported a 3-month growth rate of 51%. DuckDuckGo's own traffic statistics show that in August 2012 there were 1,393,644 visits per day, up from an average of 39,406 visits per day in April 2010 (the earliest data available). In a lengthy profile in November 2012, The Washington Post indicated that searches on DuckDuckGo numbered up to 45,000,000 per month in October 2012. The article concluded:
Weinberg's non-ambitious goals make him a particularly odd and dangerous competitor online. He can do almost everything that Google or Bing can't because it could damage their business models, and if users figure out that they like the DuckDuckGo way better, Weinberg could damage the big boys without even really trying. It's asymmetrical digital warfare, and his backers at Union Square Ventures say Google is vulnerable.
At its keynote speech at WWDC 2014 on September 18, 2014, Apple announced that DuckDuckGo would be included as an option for search on both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite in its Safari browser. On March 10, the Pale Moon web browser, starting with version 24.4.0, included DuckDuckGo as its default search engine, as well as listed it on the browser's homepage. In May 2014, DuckDuckGo released a redesigned version to beta testers through DuckDuckHack. On May 21, 2014, DuckDuckGo officially released the redesigned version that focused on smarter answers and a more refined look. The new version added many new features such as images, local search, auto-suggest, weather, recipes, and more.
In July 2016, DuckDuckGo officially announced the extension of its partnership with Yahoo! that brought new features to all users of the search engine, including date filtering of results and additional site links. It also partners with Bing, Yandex, and Wikipedia to produce results or make use of features offered. The company also confirmed that it does not share user information with partner companies, as has always been its policy.
On January 23, 2018, DuckDuckGo revamped its browser extension and mobile app in an effort to keep internet users safe “beyond the search box”. The revamped extension and app include a tool for rating websites based on their use of encryption and ad-tracking networks as well as the ability to block ad-tracking networks. The extension also provides Terms of service summaries from Terms of Service; Didn't Read.
In December 2018, it was reported that Google transferred ownership of the domain name Duck.com to DuckDuckGo. It is not known what price, if any, DuckDuckGo paid for the domain name.
In March 2019, Google added DuckDuckGo to the default search engine list in Chrome 73.
It feels a lot like early Google, with a stripped-down home page. Just as In-N-Out doesn't have lattes or Asian salads or sundaes or scrambled eggs, DDG doesn't try to do news or blogs or books or images. There's no auto-completion or instant results. It just offers core Web search—mostly the "ten blue links" approach that's still really useful, no matter what its critics say ... As for the quality, I'm not saying that Weinberg has figured out a way to return more relevant results than Google's mighty search team. But DuckDuckGo ... is really good at bringing back useful sites. It all feels meaty and straightforward and filler-free ...
The barebones approach cited in his quote has since changed; DuckDuckGo now has auto-completion and instant results for example. McCracken included the site in Time's list of "50 Best Websites of 2011".
Thom Holwerda, who reviewed the search engine for OSNews, praised its privacy features and shortcuts to site-specific searches as well as criticizing Google for "track[ing] pretty much everything you do", particularly because of the risk of such information being subject to a U.S. government subpoena. In 2012, in response to accusations that it was a monopoly, Google identified DuckDuckGo as a competitor. Weinberg was reportedly "pleased and entertained" by that acknowledgment.
In June 2013, DuckDuckGo indicated that it had seen a significant traffic increase; according to the website's Twitter account, on Monday, June 17, 2013, it had three million daily direct searches. On average during May 2013, it had 1.8 million daily direct searches. Some relate this claim to the exposure of PRISM and to the fact that other programs operated by the National Security Agency (NSA) were leaked by Edward Snowden. Danny Sullivan wrote on Search Engine Land that despite the search engine's growth "it's not grown anywhere near the amount to reflect any substantial or even mildly notable switching by the searching public" for reasons due to privacy, and he concluded "No One Cares About "Private" Search". In response, Caleb Garling of the San Francisco Chronicle argued: "I think this thesis suffers from a few key failures in logic" because a traffic increase had occurred and because there was a lack of widespread awareness of the existence of DuckDuckGo.
Later in September 2013, the search engine hit 4 million searches per day and in June 2015, it hit 10 million searches per day. In November 2017, DuckDuckGo hit 20 million searches per day. In November 2019, DuckDuckGo hit 50 million searches per day and as of January 2020[update], was receiving 51,958,066 queries per day on average.
- "Duck Duck Go, Inc.: Private Company Information". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "Duckduckgo.com Traffic Statistics". Alexa Internet. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
- "About DuckDuckGo". DuckDuckGo. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Buys, Jon (July 10, 2010). "DuckDuckGo: A New Search Engine Built from Open Source". GigaOM OStatic blog. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- "Architecture". DuckDuckGo Community Platform. Archived from the original on April 22, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
- "dontbubble.us". Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- Rosenwald, Michael (November 9, 2012). "Ducking Google in search engines". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Arthur, Charles (July 10, 2013). "NSA scandal delivers record numbers of internet users to DuckDuckGo". The Guardian. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- "Sources | DuckDuckGo Help Pages". DuckDuckGo Support Center. July 22, 2018. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- "Wolfram Alpha and DuckDuckGo Partner on API Binding and Search Integration". Wolframalpha.com. April 18, 2011.
- Hollingsworth, Sam (April 12, 2019). "DuckDuckGo vs. Google: An In-Depth Search Engine Comparison". Search Engine Journal. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Sources". DuckDuckGo Help pages. DuckDuckGo. Archived from the original on January 24, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
- Reader, Ruth (June 11, 2014). "DuckDuckGo & Yummly team up so you can search food porn in private". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "DuckDuckGo Traffic". duckduckgo.com. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
- "DDG Privacy". Duckduckgo.com.
- Mims, Christopher (July 26, 2010). "The Search Engine Backlash Against 'Content Mills'". Technology Review. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- "DuckDuckGo Instant Answers". Retrieved July 7, 2019.
- "DuckDuckGo repositories on GitHub". github.com. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
- "DuckDuckGo now operates a Tor exit enclave". Gabriel Weinberg's Blog. August 13, 2010. Archived from the original on December 31, 2010.
- "DuckDuckGo Tools". October 12, 2011. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- "!Bang". Duckduckgo.com. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
- Van der Sar, Ernesto (December 3, 2018). "DuckDuckGo Removes 'Pirate' Site Bangs to Avoid Liability". TorrentFreak. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- "Advertising and Affiliates". DuckDuckGo Community Platform. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "duckduckgo". March 16, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012 – via GitHub.
- "Ddg.gg WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". whois.domaintools.com. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- "Confirmed: Duck.com Transfers to DuckDuckGo". NamePros.
- Porter, Jon (December 12, 2018). "Google relents and transfers Duck.com to DuckDuckGo". The Verge. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- "History". October 6, 2013. Archived from the original on October 6, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Chou, Jacky (January 29, 2015). "Duck Duck Go Startup Profile". Chouprojects.com. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- "DuckDuckGoPerl · duckduckgo/duckduckgo Wiki · GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "Architecture". DuckDuckGo.com. January 28, 2013. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Kimerling, Dan (December 12, 2008). "Elevator Pitch Friday: Duck Duck Go, the Hybrid Search Engine". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Weinberg, Gabriel (as epi0Bauqu) (March 25, 2010). "Duck Duck Go is starting to get coverage (thread: see remarks by Weinberg)". YCombinator Hacker News. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Weinberg, Gabriel (as epi0Bauqu) (June 11, 2009). "How Often our Anti-spam Search Toolbar Blocks Sites (thread)". YCombinator Hacker News. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Hirsch, Adam (October 7, 2008). "Voting Round for the BOSS Mashable Challenge". Mashable. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Weinberg, Gabriel (July 2010). "duck.co – The DuckDuckGo Community". Retrieved July 21, 2010.
- Ludwig, Sean (May 21, 2012). "Fred Wilson: We invested in DuckDuckGo for the Reddit, Hacker News anarchists". VentureBeat. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- Burnham, Brad (October 13, 2011). "Duck Duck Go". Union Square Ventures blog. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- Mithrandir (November 25, 2010). "DuckDuckGo in Web Browser". Trisquel.info. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Farivar, Cyrus (May 16, 2012). "Private: some search engines make money by not tracking users". Ars Technica. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
- "duckduckgo.com 266,465.0 UVs for February 2012 | Compete". March 24, 2012. Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- "DuckDuckGo Analytics Profile". Alexa.com.
- "DuckDuckGo Official traffic".
- "Claudio Saavedra's ChangeLog". August 27, 2013.
- Clasen, Matthias (September 26, 2013). "GNOME 3.10 Released". GNOME mailing list. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- Schwartz, Barry (June 2, 2014). "Big Win For DuckDuckGo: Apple Adding To Safari As Private Search Option". Search Engine Land. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- "Apple - OS X Yosemite - Apps". Archived from the original on September 26, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- Dickey, Megan Rose (June 3, 2014). "DuckDuckGo In Apple OS". BusinessInsider. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Pale Moon 24.4.0 Release Notes". Pale Moon. Moonchild Productions. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "DuckDuckGo". Next.duckduckgo.com. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
- "DuckDuckGo Reimagined & Redesigned". Archived from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
- "Firefox Notes". Mozilla.org. November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- Lomas, Natasha (May 31, 2016). "Tor switches to DuckDuckGo search results by default". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Southern, Matt (June 1, 2016). "DuckDuckGo Becomes Default Search Provider for Tor Browser". Search Engine Journal. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- "Tor Browser 6.0 is released". Tor Project Blog. May 30, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Brinkmann, Martin (July 1, 2016). "DuckDuckGo extends Yahoo partnership". gHacks.
- "DuckDuckGo is using yahoo for searches now".
- "Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo wants to keep you safe around the web". The Verge. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- "DuckDuckGo Taps Apple Maps to Power Private Search Results". DuckDuckGo Blog. January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
- Zhou, Marrian (March 14, 2019). "DuckDuckGo is now a default search engine option in Chrome". CNET. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- McCracken, Harry (June 14, 2011). "Duck Duck Go, the In-N-Out Burger of Search Engines". Time. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- McCracken, Harry (August 16, 2011). "DuckDuckGo – The 50 Best Websites of 2011". Time. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Holwerda, Thom (June 21, 2011). "DuckDuckGo: The Privacy-centric Alternative to Google". OSNews. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Krieger, Michael (July 10, 2013). "Search Engine "Duck Duck Go" Experiences Traffic Surge in Wake of NSA Scandal". Liberty Blitzkrieg. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
- Sullivan, Danny (June 22, 2013). "Duck Duck Go's Post-PRISM Growth Actually Proves No One Cares About "Private" Search". Search Engine Land. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- Garling, Caleb (June 24, 2013). "Huge traffic spike hits 'private' search engines after NSA leaks". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- Gross, Grant (October 10, 2013). "People flock to anonymizing services after NSA snooping reports". PCWorld Australia. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- Miller, Ron (September 16, 2013). "DuckDuckGo continues making huge audience gains". FierceContentManagement. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- Leonhard, Woody (September 13, 2013). "DuckDuckGo going straight up". InfoWorld. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- DuckDuckGo Traffic. Duckduckgo website, retrieved November 5, 2019.
- Southern, Matt (February 4, 2019). "DuckDuckGo Hits a Record 1 Billion Monthly Searches in January 2019". Search Engine Journal. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to DuckDuckGo.|