What is DuckDuckGo? Meet Google's alternative to Privacy
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that focuses on protecting your privacy and does not track you like Google did. It is an alternative to Google, Bing and Yahoo and is growing very fast.
What is DuckDuckGo?
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that focuses on privacy. To use it, just head to duckduckgo.com instead of google.com or bing.com. Then search as you normally would. DuckDuckGo promises to protect your privacy and keep an eye on you.
You can also make DuckDuckGo the default search engine in browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge. Each time you search the browser's search bar or new tab page, you will be taken to DuckDuckGo instead of Google. DuckDuckGo is integrated into modern web browsers as one of the default options and switching requires only a few clicks.
DuckDuckGo is very similar to Google. It can search websites, images, videos, news articles and shopping websites. It has built-in navigation maps powered by Apple Maps.
Of course, DuckDuckGo does not offer exactly the same search results as Google does. DuckDuckGo results will be different.
How does DuckDuckGo protect your privacy?
Google has an account system and a history of your searches stored by Google Activity by default. Google also uses your activity to customize search results, trying to display more personalized and relevant search results. Even if you are not logged in, Google remembers your search history and links it to a browser cookie.
Of course, Google also monitors you on other sites through Google Analytics, monitors the YouTube videos you watch, knows your movements through Google Maps, and so on. Google tracks a lot of data to customize your experience and show you personalized ads. Much of this data feeds Google AdSense, which shows you personalized ads on multiple sites you visit.
DuckDuckGo does not record your search history. According to the company it does not even record the IP address associated with a search in its server logs. There is no DuckDuckGo account, so the search history is not linked to a personalized cookie.
Because it does not track information about you, DuckDuckGo also does not provide you with customized search results based on your browsing.
How does DuckDuckGo work?
According to DuckDuckGo help pages, the company receives its results from more than 400 sources. For example, some results come from Wikipedia.
As the DuckDuckGo documentation puts it:
"Of course we also have more traditional links in search results, which we also get from many partners, usually Bing (and none from Google)."
How does DuckDuckGo make money?
DuckDuckGo is free. So how do you make money? Simple, through advertising.
These ads are not personalized at all. They are simply linked to individual searches. So when you search for PS5 purchase, you will see ads purely for PS5 in the search results. Then, when you search for a dishwasher, you will see ads for dishwashers.
You will no longer see ads for PS5. You will not wake up the next day and see PS5 ads and dishwashers. DuckDuckGo will not even remember exactly what you were looking for.
And for many results, DuckDuckGo has even fewer ads than Google itself.
Who owns DuckDuckGo and is it safe?
DuckDuckGo is owned by a company called Duck Duck Go, Inc. The company is headquartered in Paoli, Pennsylvania and has 124 employees worldwide since January 2021.
The search engine was released in 2008. Since then, DuckDuckGo traffic has continued to grow rapidly. As of January 19, 2021, more than 102 million searches are performed on DuckDuckGo every day.
Is DuckDuckGo good compared to Google?
DuckDuckGo is not identical to Google, as its description points out, and many of its results come from Bing.
Whether DuckDuckGo is a good alternative to Google depends on what you are looking for and where you live. If you are interested in making a change, there is only one way to find out: Try using DuckDuckGo and see how it goes. Change the default search engine to DuckDuckGo and see if you are happy with the results.
Please note that the results will not be personalized based on your history. Google offers personalization based on your previous activity and you may need to be a little more specific in your DuckDuckGo searches to find exactly what you are looking for.
But since the beginning of 2021, the results of DuckDuckGo are better than ever. If you want to keep your searches private, move away from services owned by tech giants, and avoid super-personalized ads, DuckDuckGo is the search engine you should try.