Explainer: What is DuckDuckGo?

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Explainer: What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo has almost doubled its popularity in the past year, giving it the title of 400th most popular website worldwide...

Let’s face it, Google probably knows everything about you.

Whether it’s through the search engine, internet browser, phone or emails, the service is learning new things about you each day. In fact, last year, Google launched an opt-in service known as “My Activity”, a page where you can see everything Google has learnt about you in one place. 

But if you want this to change, there is an alternative, and it’s growing in popularity. Describing itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”, DuckDuckGo promises not to collect any information about its users, including their IP address.

 

The search engine was launched in 2008 by founder Gabriel Weinberg, who funded it himself until it secured investment with Union Square Ventures in 2011. Since then, the company has moved from strength to strength.

According to figures from the website Alexa, DuckDuckGo has almost doubled its popularity in the past year, giving it the title of 400th most popular website worldwide. On Monday, the website almost reached 19 million direct searches, a figure that has shown a gradual increase throughout the year.

Unlike other search engines, when you click on a link through DuckDuckGo the site you are sent to knows nothing about the words you used to find it. “What you search for is your own business and we’d like to keep it that way,” the company says.

The search engine is also aimed at providing a quicker answer, requiring fewer clicks. It uses features called Instant Answers, which provide an answer without leaving the app, and !bangs, which take you straight to a particular website.

The website also offers a service that automatically changes the address of well-known websites to encrypted versions, if you click through its search engine.

It also offers fewer adverts. “Less clutter, less spam, fewer ads and an overall cleaner design,” the company says. “We can do this since we just focus on web search and therefore don't have to promote other services on our results pages.”

It advertises based on the keywords a user searches for, meaning it does not need to collect any other information to create lucrative advertising. 

So if you are worried about giving away personal information, give it a go. You can add an extension onto Google Chrome or Safari, or download the Android or iOS App.

Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing
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