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
Friday 10 January 2014
‘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
The Evil Within preview: a survival horror fan’s best worst nightmare
Porn film production likely to stop in Los Angeles after actor tests positive for HIV
The 3D-printed key that can unlock anything
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 It's not just the savagery of Isis that is shocking – its weaponry is too
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...
£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...