Paoli-based search engine company reaches 100 billion searches

Paoli-based+search+engine+company+reaches+100+billion+searches

By Aashita Singh, Staff Reporter

The privacy-focused search engine company DuckDuckGo reached 100 billion searches on Jan. 13. The achievement marks a major milestone for the Paoli-based company, which has a 1% share of the global search engine market.

DuckDuckGo was founded by MIT alum Gabriel Weinberg in Valley Forge, PA. The company, started in 2008, provides searchers with unbiased sources without stealing their private identity. Unlike competitors, the search engine does not record IP addresses and user information. These perks appeal to many of DuckDuckGo’s roughly 80 million global users. Freshman Hannah Gupta uses the engine daily, citing its focus on safety as her main reason.

“I think that the fact that DuckDuckGo protects your information and privacy is one of the reasons why they got many searches,” Gupta said. “Many search engines, like Google, don’t prioritize it as much as DuckDuckGo does.”

As the company reaches larger demographics, it may have a higher potential for growth in the future. DuckDuckGo does not only travel on good privacy; some students believe that the sources displayed by competing search engines are more biased and disagree with their views.

“I usually get different answers than when I search (the same thing) up on Google,” Gupta said. “Many of my searches (from DuckDuckGo) are a lot less biased than when I searched up something on Google, just because of the way (Google) has tracked my searches before.” 

Although it does not track users’ information, the company finds alternative ways to make profits and stay relevant. Rather than gathering data to target users with pertinent advertisements, users only see ads for whatever they are searching for at the moment. However, the desktop app and website are less appealing to many audiences when compared to its competition.

“Marketing is a huge thing, and it has a lot to do with the number of users that you’re going to get on a platform. The fact that (DuckDuckGo’s) interface is not as appealing as Google’s might be making them loose track from their success,” freshman Zion Brown said.

Additionally, some students complain about the limited number of results returned when looking up a specific query. The search engine does not have a search index for the individual user, making many students depend on other sources like Google and Yahoo to help them find what they need. This sets a limit on the amount of people who use DuckDuckGo, especially those in high school. If the company is able to address these issues, DuckDuckGo may be able to speak to a broader high school audience.


Aashita can be reached at [email protected]