Was established in 2008, DuckDuckGo is famous for its search engine. This means that it has always been defined as a challenger to Google. It does not shy away from comparison. In 2011, Weinberg, then the only employee of the company, placed an ad on a billboard in San Francisco that read: “Google will track you. we do not have.Since then, this brand—Google, but privately owned—has been serving the company.
“The only way to compete with Google is not to try to compete on search results,” said Brad Burnham, a partner at Union Square Ventures, which provided DuckDuckGo with the first and only Series A financing. funds year 2011. When the upstart launched, Google already controlled 90% of the market and spent billions of dollars to collect data from billions of users to make its products better. However, DuckDuckGo “provides what Google can’t provide,” Burnham said: “They proposed not to track you. Obviously, Google’s entire business model is built on the ability to do so, so Google can’t respond by saying,’Okay. Well, we won’t follow you either.'”
Neither DuckDuckGo nor anyone else came close to preventing Google from dominating the search. Today, Google’s market share is still hovering around 90%.But the pie is too big-advertisers spend According to eMarketer’s data, US$60 billion was spent on search advertising in the United States last year alone-even a small part of it has a considerable amount of money. DuckDuckGo already profitable Since 2014.
Like Google search, DuckDuckGo makes money by selling ads at the top of people’s search results. The difference is that while the ads you see when you search on Google are usually partly based on your past searches and Google’s broader understanding of your behavior, DuckDuckGo’s ads are purely “contextual”—that is, they are only Based on the search term. That’s because DuckDuckGo doesn’t know anything about you. It will not assign you an identifier or track your search history to personalize your results.
However, this non-creepy method will only protect you when you use DuckDuckGo. “You are anonymous on search engines, but once you click Close, you will now go to other sites with less anonymity,” Weinberg said. “How can we protect you there?”
DuckDuckGo’s first answer to this question was launched in 2018. It launched a desktop browser extension and a mobile browser. By default, third-party trackers will be blocked no matter where the user is online. This is a good time: 2018 is a landmark year for raising privacy awareness.Facebook Cambridge Analysis That spring, the scandal broke out.This GDPR Effective in Europe, it makes people realize how little regulation of data collection is in the United States.That summer, the Associated Press disclose Even if you explicitly opt out, many Google services will store your location data. Data collection and privacy play an important role in national discussions. since then, Congressional Inquire, Antitrust litigation, Netflix Documentary, with Growing hatred The relationship between Apple and Facebook has remained there.
“The interesting thing about DuckDuckGo is that our best marketing method ever is the gaffe of Google and Facebook over the years,” Burnham said. “For example, Cambridge Analytica is a huge driving force for DuckDuckGo’s adoption. People are becoming more aware of how this business model works and what it means-not only in terms of the privacy of our own data and the loss of agency rights, but also What does it mean for the vitality and success of the open market.”
Consciousness is one thing, action is another. DuckDuckGo is able to take advantage of rising scandals because it is known for building effective products.For example, in 2019, it Add to A feature of its extension and browser can direct users to an encrypted version of the website, thereby preventing potential hackers or ISPs from peeking over your shoulder when you enter a password on a web page.Other encryption tools work by manually creating lists of tens of thousands of websites that need to be upgraded, while DuckDuckGo crawls the Internet to automatically fill lists of more than 12 million website.Electronic Frontier Foundation recently Announce It will incorporate DuckDuckGo’s data set for its own HTTPS Everywhere extension.Similarly, Apple uses DuckDuckGo’s Tracking radar The data set-a continuously updated list of publicly available trackers, assembled with open source code-used for tracking prevention in Safari.
Weinberg is particularly proud of DuckDuckGo’s tracker prevention. Monitoring functions are built into the network infrastructure. If you block all cookies, many sites will stop functioning. Take Google Analytics as an example. It can be found on most websites. “If you block Google Analytics directly, you will destroy the site,” Weinberg said. Therefore, mainstream browsers with tracking prevention features, such as Safari and Firefox, allow trackers to be loaded and then try to limit the data they can collect.