Is there competition creeping in the shadow of Google? A new search engine competitor called DuckDuckGo is making waves, with an interesting approach. This search engine will not store any information that ties you to your searches, meaning there is no targeted advertising. The search results do not filter bubble you and are free of spam. We speak to the founder of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg about how this engine is not competing with Google, but instead providing an attractive alternative.
When did DuckDuckGo launch?
DuckDuckGo was founded by me in February 2008 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
It was self-funded until October 2011, and was then backed by Union Square Ventures and a handful of angel investors. After funding, the team has expanded to a few full-time people, many part-time contributors and a bunch of open-source contributors.
How has DuckDuckGo been received so far?
Very well. We have been compared to the Google of the old several times. Here are some of our traffic details for comparison -
In December 2010: 2,475,014 direct searches. In December 2011: 14,130,283 direct searches. And in December 2012: 48,049,943 direct searches.
What market is it looking to target?
Users come from a wide variety of communities including schools, libraries, technologists, mainstream users from the USA, Europe and Asia.
To address the question that many are thinking – Google is dominant in the search engine market. How do you see yourself going up against them?
My thesis for the company is, what can we do that other search engines, because they’re big, can’t do easily? Because what’s good for Google’s businesses, including non-search, is not always good for Google’s users.
‘We believe in better search’ – is displayed on the about page. Can you explain some of the characteristics of DuckDuckGo that make it better?
We also have very little spam or clutter. We don’t inundate our users with several ads. In addition, we try to provide answers instead of links for as many searches as possible. A selection of our benefits can be found here.
Are there any legalities or security issues around the no tracking policy?
Not right now.
Where do you hope to see DuckDuckGo in 5 years time?
We would like to get to and beyond one percent of the search market – about five times what we have now.