How DuckDuckGo Are Redefining Search Security

We live in an age where increasingly advanced technology means that we never know just how secure our online activities are. In order to give people a bit more security, and stop them anxiously looking over their digital shoulder every five minutes, DuckDuckGo have designed a search engine which protects its users’ privacy. DuckDuckGo is beginning to make headway in the search engine market, and since the site was redesigned in May 2014,  it’s been added to Safari and Firefox browsers as an alternative search option.

I used SimilarWeb to see how DuckDuckGo has performed since it’s redesign and the effect this has had on its rivals.


DuckDuckGo Takes Flight

It’s natural for people to fear change as it challenges our comfort zone, so it was always a risk for DuckDuckGo to redesign their platform. Especially when (as you can see with SimilarWeb PRO) in April 2014, DuckDuckGo received a respectable 24.5 million desktop visits.

What would happen when DuckDuckGo’s redesign was launched a month later?

According to our stats DuckDuckGo almost doubled their traffic with 42.8 million visits! July 2014 saw a peak of 60.8 million visits before activity levelled out to around 54.3 million visits in October 2014.

The internet embraced DuckDuckGo’s new look and gave it two thumbs up!


Traffic to DuckDuckGo between November 2013 – October 2014 by SimilarWeb PRO

Taking on Its Data Obsessed Rivals

Of course, DuckDuckGo isn’t necessarily the first choice of search engine in the world. Google and Bing receive a heck of a lot more traffic as SimilarWeb PRO shows.

But if you take a closer look at the figures you’ll notice that DuckDuckGo has bucked the trend for the past 6 months. Where Google’s monthly visits have dropped by 2% and Bing’s by 21% , DuckDuckGo’s monthly visits have risen by nearly 27%.

This indicates that the public are really buying into DuckDuckGo’s privacy policy rather than the data hungry approach of Google and Bing.

Visits to Google between May 2014 to October 2014 by SimilarWeb PRO

Visits to Google between May 2014 to October 2014 by SimilarWeb PRO



Visits to Bing between May 2014 to October 2014 by SimilarWeb PRO

How on Earth Are DuckDuckGo Going to Make Money?!

Seeing as DuckDuckGo doesn’t track its users you might be wondering how they monetize their site. After all, Google and Bing bring in huge revenues from advertising, but this involves tracking.

DuckDuckGo are first and foremost a business and not just a bunch of helpful folks willing to solve all your search needs with a friendly point in the right direction. They believe in advertising.

But there’s no demographic scanning or cookie mining going on here.

Instead, contextual ads are served up according to your current search. If you search for ‘designer jeans’ you’ll get ads for designer jeans. You won’t, however, get an ad related to something you searched for last week. Nothing is stored.

This isn’t as lucrative as data-tracked advertising, but if DuckDuckGo continue to see their visits skyrocket, then profits will increase regardless.

A New, Secure Future of Search?

With the paranoia of government intrusion into our online privacy it’s no surprise that the public is seeking an alternative to data-crunching browsers. DuckDuckGo has seen its privacy philosophy solidified by substantial growth while Bing and Google have struggled to grow in recent months.

It’s a shot across the bows for Google and Bing, and it’s time they took a leaf out of DuckDuckGo’s book and respected their user’s privacy. In terms of traffic, the reward could be very significant.

About the Author -

Natalie Halimi is the Head of Marketing Communications & Education at SimilarWeb. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Natalie has promoted services and products in the B2C and B2B arenas, in various industries.

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