DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results.[4] DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by showing all users the same search results for a given search term,[6] and emphasizes returning the best results, rather than the most results, generating those results from over 400 individual sources, including crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia, and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex.[7][8] In April 2019, it had 36,827,098 daily direct searches on average.[9]

The company is based in Paoli, Pennsylvania, in Greater Philadelphia, and has 59 employees.[10] The company name is a reference to the children's game duck, duck, goose.[11][12]

Some of DuckDuckGo's source code is free software hosted at GitHub under the Apache 2.0 License,[13] but the core is proprietary. The company registered the domain name ddg.gg on February 22, 2011,[14] and acquired duck.com on December 12, 2018, which are used as shortened URL aliases that redirect to duckduckgo.com.

DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo logo
DDG screenshot 2015
Screenshot of DuckDuckGo home page as of 2018
Type of site
Web search engine
Available inMultilingual
Headquarters20 Paoli Pike
Paoli, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide
OwnerDuck Duck Go, Inc.[1]
Created byGabriel Weinberg
Websiteduckduckgo.com
Alexa rankIncrease172 (May 7, 2019)[2]
CommercialYes
RegistrationNone
LaunchedSeptember 25, 2008[3]
Current statusActive
Written inPerl,[4] JavaScript, Python[5]

Overview

DuckDuckGo's results are a compilation of "over 400" sources,[15] including Yahoo! Search BOSS; Wolfram Alpha; Bing; Yandex; its own Web crawler (the DuckDuckBot); and others.[4][15][16][17] It also uses data from crowdsourced sites, including Wikipedia, to populate knowledge panel boxes to the right of the results.[17]

DuckDuckGo positions itself as a search engine that puts privacy first and as such it does not store IP addresses, does not log user information, and uses cookies only when required. Gabriel Weinberg, creator of DuckDuckGo, states: "By default, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell." However, they do maintain logs of all search terms used.[18]

Weinberg has refined the quality of his search engine results by deleting search results for companies he believes are content mills, such as Demand Media's eHow, which publishes 4000 articles per day produced by paid freelance writers, which Weinberg says is "low-quality content designed specifically to rank highly in Google's search index". DuckDuckGo also filters pages with substantial advertising.[19]

Instant Answers

In addition to the indexed search results, DuckDuckGo displays relevant results, called Instant Answers, on top of the search page. These Instant Answers are collected from either 3rd party APIs or static data sources like text files. The Instant Answers are called zeroclickinfo because the intention behind these is to provide what the user is searching for on the search result page itself so that the user does not have to click any results to find what they are looking for. As of August 9, 2018, there are 1231 Instant Answers active.[20]

The Instant Answers are open source[21] and are maintained on GitHub, where anyone can build or work on them.

Tor onion service

In August 2010, DuckDuckGo introduced anonymous searching, including an exit enclave, for its search engine traffic using Tor network and enabling access through an onion service. This allows anonymity by routing traffic through a series of encrypted relays. Weinberg stated: "I believe this fits right in line with our privacy policy. Using Tor and DDG, you can now be end to end anonymous with your searching. And if you use our encrypted homepage, you can be end to end encrypted as well."[22]

Voice search

In 2011, DuckDuckGo introduced voice search for users of the Google Chrome voice search extension.[23]

Bangs

DuckDuckGo includes "!Bang" keywords, which give users the ability to search on specific third-party websites – using the site's own search engine if applicable. As of October 2018, 11,414 "bangs" for a diverse range of Internet sites are available.[24] In December 2018, around 2,000 "bangs" were deleted. Some of them were deleted due to being broken, while others, such as searches of pirated content sites, were deleted due to liability reasons.[25]

Business model

DuckDuckGo earns revenue by serving ads from the Yahoo–Bing search alliance network and through affiliate relationships with Amazon and eBay.[26]

History

DuckDuckGo was founded by Gabriel Weinberg on February 29, 2008, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.[10][27] Weinberg is an entrepreneur who previously launched Names Database, a now-defunct social network. Initially self-funded by Weinberg, DuckDuckGo is advertising-supported, but the user has the option to disable ads.[28] The search engine is written in Perl[29] and runs on nginx, FreeBSD, and Linux.[4][10][30] DuckDuckGo is built primarily upon search APIs from various vendors. Because of this, TechCrunch characterized the service as a "hybrid" search engine.[31][32] Weinberg explained the beginnings of the name with respect to the children's game duck, duck, goose. He said of the origin of the name: "Really it just popped in my head one day and I just liked it. It is certainly influenced/derived from duck duck goose, but other than that there is no relation, e.g., a metaphor."[33] DuckDuckGo was featured on TechCrunch's Elevator Pitch Friday in 2008,[31] and it was a finalist in the 2008 BOSS Mashable Challenge.[34]

In July 2010, Weinberg started a DuckDuckGo community website (duck.co) to allow the public to report problems, discuss means of spreading the use of the search engine, request features, and discuss open sourcing the code.[35]

DuckDuckGo was self-funded until Union Square Ventures and angel investors invested in DuckDuckGo in October 2011. Union Square partner Brad Burnham stated, "We invested in DuckDuckGo because we became convinced that it was not only possible to change the basis of competition in search, it was time to do it."[27][37] In addition, Trisquel, Linux Mint, and the Midori web browser switched to use DuckDuckGo as their default search engine.[38]

By May 2012, the search engine was attracting 1.5 million searches a day. Weinberg reported that it had earned US$115,000 in revenue in 2011 and had three employees, plus a small number of contractors.[39] Compete.com estimated 266,465 unique visitors to the site in February 2012.[40] On April 12, 2011, Alexa reported a 3-month growth rate of 51%.[41] DuckDuckGo's own traffic statistics show that in August 2012 there were 1,393,644 visits per day, up from an average of 39,406 visits per day in April 2010 (the earliest data available).[42] In a lengthy profile in November 2012, The Washington Post indicated that searches on DuckDuckGo numbered up to 45,000,000 per month in October 2012. The article concluded:

Weinberg's non-ambitious goals make him a particularly odd and dangerous competitor online. He can do almost everything that Google or Bing can't because it could damage their business models, and if users figure out that they like the DuckDuckGo way better, Weinberg could damage the big boys without even really trying. It's asymmetrical digital warfare, and his backers at Union Square Ventures say Google is vulnerable.[11]

GNOME released Web (web browser) 3.10 on September 26, 2013, and starting with this version, the default search engine is DuckDuckGo.[43][44]

At its keynote speech at WWDC 2014 on September 18, 2014, Apple announced that DuckDuckGo would be included as an option for search on both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite in its Safari browser.[45][46][47] On March 10, the Pale Moon web browser, starting with version 24.4.0, included DuckDuckGo as its default search engine, as well as listed it on the browser's homepage.[48] In May 2014, DuckDuckGo released a redesigned version to beta testers through DuckDuckHack.[49] On 21 May 2014, DuckDuckGo officially released the redesigned version that focused on smarter answers and a more refined look. The new version added many new features such as images, local search, auto-suggest, weather, recipes, and more.[50]

On November 10, 2014, Mozilla added DuckDuckGo as a search option to Firefox 33.1.[51] On May 30, 2016, The Tor Project, Inc made DuckDuckGo the default search engine for Tor Browser 6.0.[52][53][54]

In July 2016, DuckDuckGo officially announced the extension of its partnership with Yahoo! that brought new features to all users of the search engine, including date filtering of results and additional site links. It also partners with Bing, Yandex, and Wikipedia to produce results or make use of features offered. The company also confirmed that it does not share user information with partner companies, as has always been its policy.[55][56]

On January 23, 2018, DuckDuckGo revamped its browser extension and mobile app in an effort to keep internet users safe “beyond the search box”. The revamped extension and app include a tool for rating websites based on their use of encryption and ad-tracking networks as well as the ability to block ad-tracking networks. The extension also provides Terms of service summaries from Terms of Service; Didn't Read.[57]

In December 2018, it was reported that Google transferred ownership of the domain name Duck.com to DuckDuckGo. It is not known what price, if any, DuckDuckGo paid for the domain name.[58]

On January 15, 2019, DuckDuckGo announced that all map and address-related searches would be powered by Apple Maps, both on Desktop and Mobile devices.[59]

In March 2019, Google added DuckDuckGo to the default search engine list in Chrome 73.[60]

Reception

In a June 2011 article, Harry McCracken of Time magazine commended DuckDuckGo, comparing it to his favorite hamburger restaurant, In-N-Out Burger:

It feels a lot like early Google, with a stripped-down home page. Just as In-N-Out doesn't have lattes or Asian salads or sundaes or scrambled eggs, DDG doesn't try to do news or blogs or books or images. There's no auto-completion or instant results. It just offers core Web search—mostly the "ten blue links" approach that's still really useful, no matter what its critics say ... As for the quality, I'm not saying that Weinberg has figured out a way to return more relevant results than Google's mighty search team. But DuckDuckGo ... is really good at bringing back useful sites. It all feels meaty and straightforward and filler-free ...[61]

The barebones approach cited in his quote have since changed; DuckDuckGo now has auto-completion and instant results for example. McCracken included the site in Time's list of "50 Best Websites of 2011".[62]

Thom Holwerda, who reviewed the search engine for OSNews, praised its privacy features and shortcuts to site-specific searches as well as criticizing Google for "track[ing] pretty much everything you do", particularly because of the risk of such information being subject to a U.S. government subpoena.[63] In 2012, in response to accusations that it was a monopoly, Google identified DuckDuckGo as a competitor. Weinberg was reportedly "pleased and entertained" by that acknowledgment.[11]

Traffic

DuckDuckGo via Twitter
@DuckDuckGo

It took 1,445 days to get 1M searches,
483 days to get 2M searches,
and then just 8 days to pass 3M searches: https://duckduckgo.com/traffic/

18 June 2013[64][65][66]

In June 2013, DuckDuckGo indicated that it had seen a significant traffic increase; according to the website's Twitter account, on Monday, June 17, 2013, it had three million daily direct searches. On average during May 2013, it had 1.8 million daily direct searches. Some[67] relate this claim to the exposure of PRISM and to the fact that other programs operated by the National Security Agency (NSA) were leaked by Edward Snowden. Danny Sullivan wrote on Search Engine Land that despite the search engine's growth "it's not grown anywhere near the amount to reflect any substantial or even mildly notable switching by the searching public" for reasons due to privacy, and he concluded "No One Cares About "Private" Search".[68] In response, Caleb Garling of the San Francisco Chronicle argued: "I think this thesis suffers from a few key failures in logic" because a traffic increase had occurred and because there was a lack of widespread awareness of the existence of DuckDuckGo.[69]

Later in September 2013, the search engine hit 4 million searches per day[70][71][72] and in June 2015, it hit 10 million searches per day.[10] In November 2017, DuckDuckGo hit 20 million searches per day.[10]

As of April 2019, DuckDuckGo was receiving more than 36 million direct queries per day on average, and hit 1 billion searches per month in January 2019.[73][74]

As of April 2019, the daily direct search record for traffic was more than 39.3 million.[75]

See also

References

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External links

.gg

.gg is the country code top-level domain for the crown dependency of Guernsey, including the islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou and Lihou (plus several uninhabited islands and islets). The domain is administered by Island Networks, who also administer the .je domain for neighbouring territory Jersey.

In 2003, a Google Search website was made available for Guernsey, which used the .gg domain. The search engine DuckDuckGo uses the domain ddg.gg as a redirect to their main website, duckduckgo.com.

Ahmia

Ahmia is a clearnet search engine for Tor's hidden services created by Juha Nurmi. Together with VPN and Tor, this technology is crucial in exploring the dark web, which is reported to be about ten times bigger than normal web content.

Brave (web browser)

Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. The browser blocks ads and website trackers. In a future version of the browser, the company has proposed adopting a pay-to-surf business model. Giving users BAT (Basic Attention Tokens) for viewing advertisements that can be tipped to creators or converted into another crypto-currency.As of 2018, Brave supports Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The current version features 5 search engines by default, including their partner, DuckDuckGo.

Comparison of web search engines

Search engines are listed in tables below for comparison purposes. The first table lists the company behind the engine, volume and ad support and identifies the nature of the software being used as free software or proprietary. The second table lists privacy aspects along with other technical parameters, such as whether the engine provides personalization (alternatively viewed as a filter bubble).

Defunct or acquired search engines are not listed here.

DDG

DDG may refer to:

IATA code for Dandong Langtou Airport, China

DuckDuckGo, an internet search engine

Dried distillers' grain, a cereal byproduct of the distillation process

Hull classification symbol for U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers

Drop Dead, Gorgeous, a post-hardcore band

David De Gea, Spanish goalkeeper

DDG Hansa, Deutsche Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft Hansa, German Steamship Company Hansa

Death Delay Glitch, a defect in the video game Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee which makes the character Abe invincible/invisible to enemies. The glitch also appears in Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!

Diffbot

Diffbot is a developer of machine learning and computer vision algorithms and public APIs for extracting data from web pages / web scraping. The company was founded in 2008 at Stanford University and was the first company funded by StartX (then Stanford Student Enterprises), Stanford's on-campus venture capital fund.The company has gained interest from its application of computer vision technology to web pages, wherein it visually parses a web page for important elements and returns them in a structured format. In 2015 Diffbot announced it was working on its version of an automated "Knowledge Graph" by crawling the web and using its automatic web page extraction to build a large database of structured web data.The company's products allow software developers to analyze web home pages and article pages, and extract the "important information" while ignoring elements deemed not core to the primary content.In August 2012 the company released its Page Classifier API, which automatically categorizes web pages into specific "page types". As part of this, Diffbot analyzed 750,000 web pages shared on the social media service Twitter and revealed that photos, followed by articles and videos, are the predominant web media shared on the social network.The company raised $2 million in funding in May 2012 from investors including Andy Bechtolsheim and Sky Dayton.Diffbot's customers include Adobe, AOL, Cisco, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Instapaper, Microsoft, Onswipe and Springpad.

Info.com

Info.com is a metasearch engine, which provides results from search engines and directories, including Google, Yahoo!, Ask, Teoma, AlltheWeb, Inktomi, Yandex, Open Directory, Kanoodle, LookSmart and About.com. News search is powered by Topix.net and Info.com's shopping database is powered by Shopping.com. Info.com can also do White Page and Yellow Page searches. Info.com has search plugins for Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox.Info.com launched on October 18, 2004 with $8 million in backing, primarily from angel investors.In August 2016, the website had an estimated 13.5 million unique monthly visitors and was the tenth most popular search engine, ahead of DuckDuckGo, but behind InfoSpace and other more popular search engines such as Google.

Instant answer

An instant answer is an answer supplied by a search engine in response to a search query, without the user having to navigate away from the search results.

Instant answers have been used by many search engines, such as Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and AOL.

List of fictional ducks

This list of fictional ducks is subsidiary to the list of fictional birds. It is restricted to notable duck characters from the world of fiction.

List of free and open-source iOS applications

This is an incomplete list of notable applications (apps) that run on iOS which meet guidelines for free software and open-source software.

List of search engines

This is a list of search engines, including web search engines, selection-based search engines, metasearch engines, desktop search tools, and web portals and vertical market websites that have a search facility for online databases. For a list of search engine software, see List of enterprise search vendors.

Midori (web browser)

Midori (緑, Japanese for green) is a free and open-source light-weight web browser. It uses the WebKit rendering engine and the GTK+ 2 or GTK+ 3 interface. Midori is part of the Xfce desktop environment's Goodies component and was developed to follow the Xfce principle of "making the most out of available resources". It is the default browser in the SliTaz Linux distribution, Bodhi Linux, Trisquel Mini, old versions of Raspbian, and wattOS in its R5 release. It was the default browser in Elementary OS Freya.In 2019, the Midori project merged with the Astian Foundation.

MyAllSearch

MyAllSearch is a multi metasearch engine that provides search results from a number of different search engines. MyAllSearch offers standard web searches, image searches, video searches, news searches and blog searches. Results are available from major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing & DuckDuckGo.

Pale Moon (web browser)

Pale Moon is an open-source web browser with an emphasis on customizability; its motto is "Your browser, Your way". There are official releases for Microsoft Windows and Linux, an unofficial build for macOS, and contributed builds for various platforms.Pale Moon is a fork of Firefox with substantial divergence. The main differences are the user interface, add-on support, and running in single-process mode. Pale Moon retains the highly customizable user interface of the Firefox version 4–28 era. It also continues to support some types of add-ons that are no longer supported by Firefox.

Qutebrowser

qutebrowser (pronounced "cute browser") is a web browser for Linux, Windows, and macOS operating systems with vim-style key bindings and a minimal GUI. It is keyboard-driven and is inspired by similar software such as Vimperator and dwb. It uses DuckDuckGo as the default search engine. Qutebrowser is included in the native repositories of Linux distributions such as Fedora and Arch Linux.Qutebrowser is developed by Florian Bruhin, for which he received a CH Open Source award in 2016.

Robots exclusion standard

The robots exclusion standard, also known as the robots exclusion protocol or simply robots.txt, is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots. The standard specifies how to inform the web robot about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned. Robots are often used by search engines to categorize websites. Not all robots cooperate with the standard; email harvesters, spambots, malware and robots that scan for security vulnerabilities may even start with the portions of the website where they have been told to stay out. The standard can be used in conjunction with Sitemaps, a robot inclusion standard for websites.

Search Encrypt

Search Encrypt is an Internet search engine that prioritizes maintaining user privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. It offers general web search, image and video search capabilities. Search Encrypt recently added a news search functionality. Search Encrypt earns revenue from the advertisements that appear above the search results. In addition, the engine is often installed by users as a browser extension, and then redirects the browser's searches to Search Encrypt. It also changes settings, which the user grants permission for when installing the extension. The engine aims to differentiate itself from other search engines by using local encryption on searches and delayed history expiration. Search Encrypt emphasizes steps to anonymize user data, rather than building behavioral retargeting profiles on users.

Search Encrypt was created in 2016 by a group of developers. In November 2017, the site had 22.74 million visitors. Search Encrypt is also available as a browser extension for Google Chrome. It is currently listed in the Chrome Web Store.The company is based in Limassol, Cyprus. and has 10 employees. The name was derived from the products main features.

Search engine privacy

Search engine privacy is a subset of internet privacy that deals with user data being collected by search engines. Both types of privacy fall under the umbrella of information privacy. Privacy concerns regarding search engines can take many forms, such as search engines logging individual search queries, browsing history, IP addresses, and cookies of users and conducting user profiling in general. The collection of personally identifiable information of users by search engines is referred to as "tracking". This is controversial because search engines often claim to collect a user's data in order to tailor better results to that specific user and provide the user with a better searching experience. However, search engines can also abuse and compromise its users' privacy by selling their data to advertisers for profit. In the absence of regulations, users must decide what is more important to their search engine experience: relevance and speed of results or their privacy, and choose a search engine accordingly.The legal framework for protecting user privacy is not very solid. The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Baidu, collect personal information, but other search engines that are focused on privacy have cropped up recently, such as DuckDuckGo. There have been several well publicized breaches of search engine user privacy that occurred with companies like AOL and Yahoo. For individuals interested in preserving their privacy, there are options available to them, such as using software like Tor makes the user's location and personal information anonymous or using a privacy focused search engine.

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha (also styled WolframAlpha or Wolfram Alpha) is a computational knowledge engine or answer engine developed by Wolfram Alpha LLC, a subsidiary of Wolfram Research. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from externally sourced "curated data", rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might.Wolfram|Alpha, which was released on May 18, 2009, is based on Wolfram's earlier flagship product Wolfram Mathematica, a computational platform or toolkit that encompasses computer algebra, symbolic and numerical computation, visualization, and statistics capabilities. Additional data is gathered from both academic and commercial websites such as the CIA's The World Factbook, the United States Geological Survey, a Cornell University Library publication called All About Birds, Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Dow Jones, the Catalogue of Life, CrunchBase, Best Buy, the FAA and optionally a user's Facebook account.

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