DuckDuckGo: What is it and how does it work?

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Increasing government surveillance, countless security breaches, and widespread concern about data disclosure have many of us wanting to protect our privacy more than ever.

The anonymous Search Engine DuckDuckGo, which has gone almost unnoticed for nine years, is finding its feet in this current climate. In January, it announced that it had surpassed the mark of ten billion searches, four billion of which were carried out in 2016.

What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo describes itself as "the Search Engine, which does not haunt you". She promises not to Cookies to track users, and says that it does not collect personal information about users. Even your IP address is hidden.

"We protect your search history, even from us," founder Gabriel Weinberg tells WIRED.

What makes DuckDuckGo special?

Privacy as a priority:
While many search engines hoard your data like a gold treasure and share it with advertisers, DuckDuckGo does just the opposite. They don't track you or store any personal information. Imagine walking into a store and no one is watching what you buy, instead of cameras following you everywhere.

No "filter bubble" effect:
Other search engines use your search history to personalize the results. That means if you and I search for the same term, we might get different results. With DuckDuckGo, everyone gets the same results, regardless of previous searches. It's like you and your friend listening to the same radio program at the same time, no matter where you are.

Clean and simple user interface:
DuckDuckGo comes without all the bells and whistles and ads that dominate other search engines. It's a bit like walking into a minimally decorated room where everything has its place and doesn't feel cluttered.

These are shortcuts that you can type before your search queries to search directly on specific websites. For example, you can put "!w" in front of a search query to search directly in Wikipedia. It's like having a remote control with shortcut buttons for your favorite channels.

Standalone Search Engine with aggregation:
While DuckDuckGo uses some of their own web crawlers, they also pull results from over 400 different sources, including Bing, Yahoo, and Wikipedia. Think of it like a blender, throwing different fruits (information) into it to create a unique smoothie (search results).

No user tracking for ads:
Yes, DuckDuckGo also has ads. But they're simply based on what you're searching for, not your search history or personal information. It's like asking for a burger at a restaurant and getting ads for fries, but not for a random product because you talked about it last week.

In summary:
DuckDuckGo is like that small, independent coffee shop in your town that isn't as big and well-known as the giant coffee chains, but where you go when you value quality and privacy without being watched all the time. It's a place where you feel safe and respected as you surf the vast sea of the Internet.

What is the difference with Google?

PrivacyTracks and stores user dataNo tracking, emphasizes privacy
Personalized resultsYes, based on search history & profileNo, everyone gets the same results
AdvertisingPersonalized adsAds based on current search only
Search historyIs stored and usedNo search history saved
User interfaceVersatile with services (maps, news, etc.)Plain, focused on search
Sources of resultsMainly own IndexMixture of own and 400+ other sources
"Filter Bubble" effectYes, through personalized resultsNo, all get the same results
Special functionsGoogle Assistant, Knowledge Graph, etc.Bangs! (Shortcuts for quick search)

While Google is very focused on personalizing results based on user behavior and data collected, DuckDuckGo focuses on privacy and providing unbiased, non-personalized search results. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, depending on what you prefer as a user.

When you click on links from Google and Bing, even in private mode, the search terms in the HTTP referrer header are sent to the visited website. When you visit this site, your computer automatically shares information such as your IP address. This information can be used to identify you.

DuckDuckGo calls this "search leakage" and prevents it by default in its search results. Instead, when you click on a link on the website, the query is redirected so that it doesn't pass your search terms to other websites. The websites know that you visited them, but they don't know what search terms you entered beforehand, and they can't use any personal information to identify you.

DuckDuckGo also offers an encrypted version that automatically changes links from a number of major websites to point to the encrypted versions, including Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.

DuckDuckGo and its development compared

1. market shares: Honestly, in direct comparison with Google, DuckDuckGo is like the small store around the corner, while Google is the huge shopping mall. Google has dominated the market for years and has a global market share of over 90%. DuckDuckGo? Well, the latest numbers I have through 2021 show that they have around 2% market share globally. But hey, 2% of billions of searches daily? That's still a lot!

2nd growth: Even though DuckDuckGo seems small compared to Google, they have experienced steady growth in recent years. Their focus on privacy has garnered attention at a time when more and more people are concerned about their online privacy. Think of them like an indie band that is slowly but surely gaining popularity, while Google is the famous pop band that has topped the charts for years.

3. public perception and publicity: While Google often makes headlines for its data practices and scandals, DuckDuckGo has made positive headlines for its privacy promises. It's like choosing between a big, commercial brand and an eco-friendly, ethical one - both have their followers, but for different reasons.

4. features and differentiation: Google scores with its integrated services like Maps, Drive, and Gmail. DuckDuckGo doesn't have this broad offering, but it does have unique features like "bangs" that users like. It's like the difference between a Swiss Army knife with many features and a specialized tool that does exactly one thing, but does it really well.

Conclusion: Yes, Google is still the king of search engines and will probably remain so for a while. But DuckDuckGo? They're the underdogs, growing steadily on the strength of their privacy promises. They're like the cozy indie record store that stands up to the big music companies. Who knows, maybe in a few years we'll see an even bigger shift in market share. But until then: Keep an eye on the underdog! 😉


Duck Duck Go is a Search Enginewhich is known for its privacy-oriented policies. It does not store usage data and does not track the user while the user is browsing the Internet. Thus, the user can have an anonymous and controlled experience. Moreover, Duck Duck Go has a very intuitive user interface that is easy to use. It also offers a built-in ad blocker that helps users block unwanted advertisements.

Here are some advantages of DuckDuckGo compared to Google:

  1. Privacy: A great advantage of DuckDuckGo is that it protects users' privacy. Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo does not collect information about its users, making it impossible for user searches to be used for personalized advertising or other purposes.
  2. No personalized search: When you search on Google, the results are personalized based on information Google has collected about you, such as your preferences and your previous searches. With DuckDuckGo, the results are displayed the same for all users, which means that you won't be influenced by personalized results.
  3. Simplified search results: DuckDuckGo tries to make the search results as simple as possible by removing unnecessary links and advertisements. This can help you find what you are looking for faster.
  4. Alternative search sources: DuckDuckGo also uses other search sources, such as Wikipedia and Bing, to deliver its results, which means that you might get different results than if you search on Google.


However, there are some disadvantages to using Duck Duck Go.

  1. Less comprehensive results: Since DuckDuckGo does not collect information about its users, it may have less data to draw on to improve its search results. This means that the results may be less comprehensive than Google's.
  2. Possibly less relevant results: Since DuckDuckGo does not provide personalized search results, the results might be less relevant to you than Google's, since they are not customized to your interests.
  3. Possibly less accurate results: DuckDuckGo also uses other search sources, such as Wikipedia and Bing, to provide its results. This can contribute to the results being less accurate than Google's, since they are not supported by the same amount of data.
  4. Fewer functions: Google offers many additional features, such as Google Maps and Google Translate, that may not be available on DuckDuckGo.

Use cases

However, Duck Duck Go can be useful in many different situations. For example, when you are worried about your privacy or when you need a simple Search Engine needs that is easy to use. Duck Duck Go is also useful when looking for information that should not be personalized.


An example of using Duck Duck Go is when searching for a specific product. Since Duck Duck Go does not store user data, the results are not affected if you search for the product more often.

There are some use cases where DuckDuckGo might be more advantageous over Google:

  1. Privacy: If you want to protect your privacy and do not want your search queries to be Search Engine collected and used for personalized advertising or other purposes, DuckDuckGo might be a better choice.
  2. No personalized search: If you don't like Google's personalized search results, or if you want a more objective search that isn't influenced by your preferences or previous searches, DuckDuckGo might be a better choice.
  3. Simplified search results: If you prefer to see search results that remove unnecessary links and ads, DuckDuckGo might be a better choice.
  4. Alternative search sources: If you like to use other search sources, like Wikipedia and Bing, to get your results, DuckDuckGo might be a better choice.

10 DuckDuckGo user experiences:

Here are ten user experiences that people have had in connection with using DuckDuckGo:

  1. Improved data protection: Many users appreciate the fact that DuckDuckGo respects their privacy, does not store personal data and does not track them.
  2. Simple user interface: Users like DuckDuckGo's simple and straightforward user interface, which makes the search experience pleasant.
  3. Fast loading times: Some users have noticed that DuckDuckGo's loading times are faster compared to other search engines, resulting in a more efficient search experience.
  4. Less advertising: DuckDuckGo users appreciate that search results are less dominated by advertising than other search engines, which makes it easier to find relevant information.
  5. Fair Ranking: Some users have noticed that DuckDuckGo displays a wider variety of websites in search results that are not influenced by commercial interests or personalization.
  6. !Bangs: Many DuckDuckGo users love the !Bangs feature, which allows them to quickly access specific websites and search right there.
  7. Learning curve: Some users have reported that it takes some time to get used to DuckDuckGo search, especially if they have used Google before.
  8. Instant Answers: DuckDuckGo users enjoy the Instant Answers feature, which provides quick answers to their search queries without having to click on more links.
  9. Adaptability: Users appreciate the ability to customize the appearance of DuckDuckGo, including color schemes, fonts, and arrangement of search results.
  10. Not always the best results: Some users have reported that DuckDuckGo does not provide the most relevant or comprehensive search results in some cases, especially for very specific or localized queries. In such cases, they may have to resort to other search engines.


Overall, Duck Duck Go is a very useful Search Engine. It offers an intuitive interface, a built-in ad blocker, and protects the user's privacy. However, since it does not provide personalized results, it might not be the best choice for users who are looking for relevant results. Nevertheless, it is a very useful Search Engine for users who are concerned about their privacy.

If your online privacy is important to you and you don't want to constantly feel like someone is looking over your shoulder, then DuckDuckGo is definitely worth a look. It may not have the fame and Range from Google, but it offers a solid, privacy-friendly alternative. Like the small bookstore on the corner, which may not have the huge selection of the big chain, but offers a personal, authentic experience.

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What is DuckDuckGo? arrow icon in accordion
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that stands out for its focus on privacy. Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo does not collect users' personal data or track their search activities. Instead, it offers a privacy-protecting alternative to other search engines that often collect and use user data to serve personalized advertisements.
Is DuckDuckGo part of Google? arrow icon in accordion
DuckDuckGo is not owned by Google, Bing or any other search company.
Can you be tracked with DuckDuckGo? arrow icon in accordion
DuckDuckGo doesn't force you to navigate to another version of its app, but never tracks your search history. Searches through DuckDuckGo also automatically connect you to encrypted versions of websites wherever possible, making it harder for others to see what you're looking at online.
Why should I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google? arrow icon in accordion
The crucial difference: DuckDuckGo does not store IP addresses or user data. DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn't track you, processes around 1.5 billion search queries every month. Google, on the other hand, processes about 3.5 billion search queries every day. It's hardly a fair fight, but DuckDuckGo is growing.
What is the disadvantage of DuckDuckGo? arrow icon in accordion
DuckDuckGo doesn't offer as many services as Google and other search engines. DuckDuckGo doesn't have the same market share as Google, so you can't synchronize many of your accounts and services with it.
How does DuckDuckGo work? arrow icon in accordion
DuckDuckGo works similarly to other search engines. Users enter a search term in the search box and then receive a list of results that come from the search engine's Internet index. DuckDuckGo also uses information from other sources such as Wikipedia and other reference works to provide users with additional information.
Why should I use DuckDuckGo? arrow icon in accordion
One reason why users should use DuckDuckGo is to protect their privacy. Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo does not collect personal data or track users' search activities. This means that users don't have to worry about their data being collected and used for personalized advertising.
Does DuckDuckGo collect any data at all? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, DuckDuckGo collects some data to improve and optimize its services. However, this data does not include personally identifiable information and cannot be used to identify users or track their activities. DuckDuckGo also does not collect data from third parties and does not sell user data to third parties.
Can I use DuckDuckGo on my cell phone? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, DuckDuckGo is optimized for use on mobile devices and offers apps for iOS and Android. The apps can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play Store.
Is Duck Duck Go safe? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, Duck Duck Go is a very secure search engine. It doesn't store or track personal information about its users.

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