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Duck Duck Go.svg
DuckDuckGo Screenshot.png
Type of sitesearch engine
OwnerDuckDuckGo, Inc.
Created byGabriel Weinberg
LaunchedSeptember 25, 2008
Alexa ranknegative increase 3,158 (April 2013)[1]
Current statusActive
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Duck Duck Go.svg
DuckDuckGo Screenshot.png
Type of sitesearch engine
OwnerDuckDuckGo, Inc.
Created byGabriel Weinberg
LaunchedSeptember 25, 2008
Alexa ranknegative increase 3,158 (April 2013)[1]
Current statusActive

DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that uses information from crowdsourced websites such as Wikipedia to obtain its results. The search engine policy says that it protects privacy, and does not record user information.[2] Because users are not profiled, the "filter bubble" can be avoided, with all users being shown the same search results for a given search term.

Some of the code of DuckDuckGo is free software distributed at GitHub under the Perl 5 license.[3]

The company is based in Paoli, Pennsylvania, United States in Greater Philadelphia.[4]



DuckDuckGo was founded by Gabriel Weinberg, an entrepreneur whose last venture, The Names Database, was acquired by United Online in 2006 for $10 million.[5] Initially self-funded by Weinberg, DuckDuckGo is now occasionally advertising-supported.[6] The search engine is written in Perl and runs on nginx, FreeBSD and Linux.[2][7][8]

DuckDuckGo is built primarily upon search APIs from various vendors. Because of this, TechCrunch characterized the service as a "hybrid" search engine.[9][10] At the same time, it produces its own content pages, and thus is similar to Mahalo, Kosmix and SearchMe.[11]

The name of the search engine has been called "silly" by Frederic Lardinois of Read Write Web.[12] 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."[13]

DuckDuckGo has been featured on TechCrunch's Elevator Pitch Friday[9] and it was a finalist in the BOSS Mashable Challenge.[14]

We didn’t invest in it because we thought it would beat Google. We invested in it because there is a need for a private search engine. We did it for the Internet anarchists, people that hang out on Reddit and Hacker News.

Fred Wilson, 2012 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in New York[15]

In July 2010, Weinberg started a DuckDuckGo community website 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.[16]

In September 2011 DuckDuckGo hired its first employee, Caine Tighe.[17] The next month, Union Square Ventures invested in DDG. 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."[18] Linux Mint signed an exclusive deal with DuckDuckGo in November, and it became the default search engine for Linux Mint 12.[19] In addition, Trisquel and the Midori web browser use DuckDuckGo as their default search engine.[20]

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.[21] estimated 277,512 monthly visitors to the site in August 2012.[22] On April 12, 2011, Alexa reported a 3 month growth rate of 51%.[23] 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). [24]

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."[4]


DuckDuckGo's results are a compilation of "about 50" sources,[25] including Yahoo! Search BOSS, Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, Bing, its own Web crawler, the DuckDuckBot, and others.[2][25][26] It also uses data from crowd-sourced sites, including Wikipedia, to populate "Zero-click Info" boxes—grey boxes above the results that display topic summaries and related topics.[27] DuckDuckGo offers the ability to show mostly shopping sites or mostly info (non-shopping) websites via search buttons on its home page.

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 needed. Weinberg states "By default, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell."[28]

Weinberg has refined the quality of his search engine results by deleting search results for companies he believes are content mills, like 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.[29]

In August 2010 DuckDuckGo introduced anonymous searching, including an exit enclave, for its search engine traffic using Tor. 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."[30]

In 2011, DuckDuckGo introduced voice search for users of the Google Chrome "Voice Search" extension.[31]

DuckDuckGo includes so-call "!Bang" commands, which give users the ability to redirect a search to specific websites.[32]


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 Duck Duck really good at bringing back useful sites. It all feels meaty and straightforward and filler-free..."[33] McCracken also included the site in the Time list of "50 Best Websites of 2011".[34]

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. [35]

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.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  2. ^ a b c Buys, Jon (July 10, 2010). "DuckDuckGo: A New Search Engine Built from Open Source". GigaOM OStatic blog. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ "duckduckgo". GitHub Inc. March 16, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Rosenwald, Michael (November 9, 2012). "Ducking Google in search engines". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Acquisition of Expands Company's Classmates Online Social Networking Unit" (Press release). United Online, Inc. Investor Information (via March 20, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Duck Duck Go Startup Profile". 
  7. ^ Weinberg, Gabriel. "About Duck Duck Go". Retrieved February 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Architecture". January 28, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Kimerling, Dan (December 12, 2008). "Elevator Pitch Friday: Duck Duck Go, the Hybrid Search Engine". Techcrunch. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ Weinberg, Gabriel (as epi0Bauqu) (March 25, 2010). "Duck Duck Go is starting to get coverage (thread: see remarks by Weinberg)". YCombinator Hacker News. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Duck Duck Go Company Profile". [dubious ][not in citation given]
  12. ^ Lardnois, Frederic (April 30, 2009). "Duck Duck Go: Silly Name, Interesting Search Engine". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  13. ^ Weinberg, Gabriel (as epi0Bauqu) (June 11, 2009). "How Often our Anti-spam Search Toolbar Blocks Sites (thread)". YCombinator Hacker News. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  14. ^ Hirsch, Adam (October 7, 2008). "Voting Round for the BOSS Mashable Challenge". Mashable. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  15. ^ Ludwig, Sean (May 21, 2012). "Fred Wilson: We invested in DuckDuckGo for the Reddit, Hacker News anarchists". VentureBeat. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  16. ^ Weinberg, Gabriel (July 2010). " - The DuckDuckGo Community". Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  17. ^ Weinberg, Gabriel (September 30, 2011). "Inbound Hiring". blog. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  18. ^ Burnham, Brad (October 13, 2011). "Duck Duck Go". Union Square Ventures blog. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  19. ^ "DuckDuckGo Results No Better Than Bing, Becomes Default Search Engine Of Linux Mint". November 26, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  20. ^ Mithrandir (November 25, 2010). "DuckDuckGo in Web Browser". Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  21. ^ Farivar, Cyrus (May 16, 2012). "Private: some search engines make money by not tracking users". Ars Technica. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  22. ^ "DuckDuckGo Analytics Profile". [not in citation given]
  23. ^ "DuckDuckGo Analytics Profile". 
  24. ^ "DuckDuckGo Official traffic". 
  25. ^ a b "Sources". DuckDuckGo Support Center. January 8, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Wolfram/Alpha and DuckDuckGo Partner on API Binding and Search Integration". April 18, 2011. 
  27. ^ "About Duck Duck Go". 
  28. ^ "DDG Privacy".
  29. ^ Mims, Christopher (July 26, 2010). "The Search Engine Backlash Against 'Content Mills'". Technology Review. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  30. ^ Weinberg, Gabriel (August 13, 2010). "DuckDuckGo now operates a Tor exit enclave". blog. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  31. ^ "DuckDuckGo Tools".
  32. ^ "!Bang". undated. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  33. ^ McCracken, Harry (June 14, 2011). "Duck Duck Go, the In-N-Out Burger of Search Engines". Time. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  34. ^ McCracken, Harry (August 16, 2011). "DuckDuckGo - The 50 Best Websites of 2011". Time. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  35. ^ Holwerda, Thom (June 21, 2011). "DuckDuckGo: The Privacy-centric Alternative to Google". OSNews. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]