DuckDuckGo hits 1bn annual searches: non-tracking search engine boosted by privacy fears
Concerns over internet surveillance in 2013 led to a bumper year for the search engine that does not track its users
‘Anonymous’ search engine DuckDuckGo announced yesterday
that 2013 was its biggest year to date, with over one billion searches made.
The increasing success of the search engine – which doesn’t track of users’ search queries in order to create a profile of the individual – is credited to the revelations of ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden regarding state surveillance in the US and UK.
“Needless to say, it was a great year for us,” said DuckDuckGo in a blogpost. “We're looking forward to similar greatness in 2014. We have a lot of big things planned for this year that we hope will address a lot of the excellent feedback you have been giving us for some time. So please stay tuned.”
In the months following the publication of Snowden’s files by newspapers on both side of the Atlantic visitor numbers more than doubled and on 7 January this year the site had its biggest single day, serving 4,452,957 queries in 24 hours.
DuckDuck's search traffic growth in 2013. Credit: DuckDuckGo.
Weinberg notes that when a search engine tracks users’ queries, the information not only created profiles to sell to advertisers but also shapes results to fit their own natural bias. This effect is known as the ‘filter bubble’.
For example, if a user searches for new stories regarding recent events they might consistently click on reports from sites with a particular political bias. A search engine would take note that these sites are more popular and stop offering other results.
“That is being trapped in a filter bubble and seeing only points of view that one agrees with, and less and less opposing viewpoints,” said Weinberg.
However, although DuckDuckGo’s growth is remarkable, it is still dwarfed by Google, who boast “more than a billion Google searches each day”.
Life & Style blogs
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take title from Conchita Wurst
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...