Should You Use DuckDuckGo?
By Nick Anderson 5 minutes
The internet is a vast space with millions of domains and more coming online every day. Thanks to search engines, looking up domains and exploring the internet’s vastness is as easy as typing a keyword. Search engines like Google tout its prowess through its search speed, which refers to how fast its search engine fetches web results for the given keyword.
But, privacy is an equally important aspect that gets neglected by the big tech.
Other search engines exist like DuckDuckGo exist that have taken a strong approach towards user privacy. It’s likely you have never even heard of DuckDuckGo, but about 50 million people use it to explore the web in privacy. In this blog, we’ll show you what DuckDuckGo is and whether you should use it.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Search engines seem almost like magic. With just a keyword, it can pull up thousands of web pages from across the web. Websites request to be indexed in search engines, which is basically a signal from the website that it wants to be visible in the search results. Search engines have bots that then crawl through new and existing web pages and index and update them accordingly.
Each search engine has its own algorithm that it uses to rank web pages in its search results. As a flower business, if your domain has a high authority for certain keywords like “best places to buy flowers” or “buy flowers online”, then it has better chances of appearing in search results for those keywords.
What is DuckDuckGo?
DuckDuckGo is a web search engine that is open to everyone. As a privacy-focused engine with a strong emphasis on anti-tracking, it holds popularity in the privacy and security space. The search engine proudly states that it never collects personal data for tracking.
Other search engines like Google exercise what’s calling profiling. As you use the search engine, it collects data like your geo-location, search history, IP address, and more. Google is not just Google Search, but a vast suite of other products like Google Ads. Advertisement is the business that generates the most revenue for Google. It uses the ad program to allow clients to target users for their respective products and services.
But, to effectively target the right audience, Google needs data. Google saves information about users on its search engine and works with other websites for cross-site tracking. Third-party cookies are one of the ways advertisers track you across the web. As you surf through the web, looking up products, a profile gets built that holds information like what interests you.
The ad platform will use this data to target the most relevant audience.
DuckDuckGo takes a very different approach where it does not use your history to serve you personalized results. Two users on Google Search, for example, will get different results for the same keyword because it’s also taking into account the search history of the users.
DuckDuckGo is more than just a search engine. It also built a web browser that has the same principles of privacy at its core. According to official statistics, DuckDuckGo web browser was downloaded more than 50 million times in 2020, making it the most downloaded browser on Android and the second-most on iOS.
How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money?
Any business needs profitably to keep operations afloat. According to the company, it has been profitable since 2014. But, with such practices not in place, DuckDuckGo is naturally missing out on potential revenue. So, how exactly does it make money? Through ads and affiliates. But, the approach is different from Google.
Instead of using your search history to show you ads, DuckDuckGo only shows you ads based on the keyword that you have entered. For example, if you wanted to buy a car, it would show you ads for car sellers. The ads are always in the context of the keyword that you input. DuckDuckGo does not track you across the web, so it cannot see what you look up on other websites.
DuckDuckGo also has what it calls “non-tracking affiliate partnerships” with Amazon and eBay. It receives a commission when a user reaches either of these sites through the search engine to make a purchase.
If you think DuckDuckGo is losing out on popularity against Google, just look at the latest $100M investment, it has received from investors.
Should You Use DuckDuckGo?
There is every reason to use a platform that cares deeply about privacy. As privacy advocates ourselves, we can enthusiastically stand behind a technology that enables users to take control of their privacy.
With much of the concerns growing large around privacy, the good news is that tools exist that can help you in that regard. A VPN is a perfect example of a tool that keeps your activity hidden against surveillance. It encrypts your data to prevent hackers from sniffing at your internet communication.
Turn on FastestVPN as you surf anonymously through privacy-focused search engines.