The search engine that doesn't track you.

DuckDuckGo started in 2008 as a metasearch with a focus on privacy and avoiding the filter bubble. The content is combined with leading search engines like Bing or Yandex with dictionaries like Wikipedia or Merriam-Webster.

Language Multilingual

Launched September 25, 2008
Closed No

Developer Weinberg, Gabriel

Country of Origin US America

2008 - [...] DuckDuckGo, Inc.

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Meta search engine
Search Interface / Search API
Anonymous / private searching

Used SeEn Bing

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

»DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by deliberately showing all users the same search results for a given search term. DuckDuckGo emphasizes getting information from the best sources rather than the most sources, generating its search results from key crowdsourced sites such as Wikipedia and from partnerships with other search engines like Yandex, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yummly.

The company is based in Paoli, Pennsylvania, United States, in Greater Philadelphia, and has 20 employees. The company name originates from the children's game duck, duck, goose.

Some of DuckDuckGo's code is free software hosted at GitHub under the Apache 2.0 License, but the core is proprietary. On 21 May 2014, DuckDuckGo launched a redesigned version that focused on smarter answers and a more refined look. The new version added often requested features such as images, local search, auto-suggest and more.

On 18 September 2014, Apple included DuckDuckGo in its Safari browser as an optional search engine. On 10 November 2014, Mozilla added DuckDuckGo as a search option to Firefox 33.1. DuckDuckGo was founded by Gabriel Weinberg, an entrepreneur whose last venture, The Names Database, was acquired by United Online in 2006 for $10 million. Initially self-funded by Weinberg, DuckDuckGo is now advertising-supported. The search engine is written in Perl and runs on nginx, FreeBSD and Linux.

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

The name of the search engine has been called "silly" by Frederic Lardinois of Read Write Web. 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." DuckDuckGo has been featured on TechCrunch's Elevator Pitch Friday and it was a finalist in the BOSS Mashable Challenge.

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. In September 2011 DuckDuckGo hired its first employee, Caine Tighe. 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." In addition, Trisquel and the Midori web browser switched to use DuckDuckGo as their default search engine.

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

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."

GNOME replaced Google Search with DuckDuckGo as the default search engine in Web, the default GNOME web browser, starting with version 3.10, which was released on September 26, 2013. At its keynote at WWDC 2014, Apple announced that DuckDuckGo would be included as an option for search on both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

On March 10, 2014 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. In May 2014, DuckDuckGo released a redesigned version to beta testers through DuckDuckHack. 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.« Source

»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 really good at bringing back useful sites. It all feels meaty and straightforward and filler-free...

McCracken also included the site in the Time list of "50 Best Websites of 2011".

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. 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.« Source

»It took 1445 days to get 1M searches, 483 days to get 2M searches, and then just 8 days to pass 3M searches,« Source

ELI WOLNERMAN (2013):»DuckDuckGo gives zero-click answers to people at the top of every search that might give people what they need without having to further delve into the search. DuckDuckGo also isn’t covered with spam on the search results. And, arguably, the very most important components to DuckDuckGo is the fact that it doesn’t track its users.

DuckDuckGo offers people real privacy, which is something that very few other search engines can do. Also, DuckDuckGo has no next page. What this means is that, in order to look through more results, all you have to do is continue scrolling down and the results will load. This is a really useful feature because it will constantly load results as you continue down the page. DuckDuckGo prides itself on being highly customizable. All of the things DuckDuckGo really thrives at are meant to make the experience easy for the user.« Source

Amy Gesenhues (September 18, 2015): »Today, privacy search engine DuckDuckGo announced it is the default search engine in Adblock Browser for iOS and Android devices.

In addition to being the default for the Adblock Browser, DuckDuckGo says it is working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on a new “Do Not Track” standard, and also has agreed to sign the “Acceptable Ads Manifesto” – an effort to promote non-intrusive ads – along with Reddit, Stack Exchange and Adblock Plus.

All three of these initiatives are in effort to reduce tracking across the Internet, which will reduce the ads following you around and more questionable issues like charging different prices to different people based on profiling.

DuckDuckGo Blog While ad-blocking has been available on Android phones for some time now, the issue has taken center stage with the release of Apple’s iOS 9 and its new content-blocking capabilities that make it easier to block cookies, images, resources and pop-ups on mobile devices.« Source

DuckDuckGo Help: »In fact, DuckDuckGo gets its results from over four hundred sources. These include hundreds of vertical sources delivering niche Instant Answers, DuckDuckBot (our crawler) and crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, stored in our answer indexes). We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we primarily source from Yahoo!, and in some regions and scenarios, Yandex and Bing.« Source


»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."« Source

Critical points

Features & Functionality

»DuckDuckGo's results are a compilation of "about 50" sources, including Yahoo! Search BOSS; Wikipedia; Wolfram Alpha; Bing; its own Web crawler, the DuckDuckBot; and others. It also uses data from crowdsourced sites, including Wikipedia, to populate "Zero-click Info" boxes – grey boxes above the results that display topic summaries and related topics.

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." However, they do maintain logs of all search terms used.

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.« Source


Example results page for "sand": Source

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Duck Duck Go: Silly Name, Interesting Search Engine URL:
Big Win For DuckDuckGo: Apple Adding To Safari As Private Search Option URL:
DuckDuckGo Blog URL:
Amy Gesenhues (September 18, 2015): DuckDuckGo Is The Default Search Engine In New Adblock Browser URL:
DuckDuckGo Direct queries per day (1y avg) URL:
SINGEL, BRYAN (2011): DuckDuckGo Challenges Google on Privacy (With a Billboard). In: Wired 2011(1) URL:
McGee, Matt (June 14, 2013): Spurred By PRISM Scandal, StartPage & Ixquick Surpass 3 Million Daily Searches URL:
Bradley, Phil (March 31, 2014): Some fun DuckDuckGo search operators URL:
Komando, Kim (2015): Three search sites that don't track like Google. In: USA Today URL:
Frommer, Dan (December 16, 2015): DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn’t track its users, grew more than 70% this year URL:
Barry Schwartz (June 2, 2016): DuckDuckGo adds date filters & sitelinks to search features URL:
ARIANNA GAEL (MAR 31, 2017): Privacy Search Engines And VPN Use On The Rise URL:
BURT HELM (2019): How the founder of DuckDuckGo created the ultimate privacy-oriented search engine URL:

Created: 2013-01-15