Google may not be the only engine in SEO forever – as of Monday 8th October, DuckDuckGo hit a record 30 million daily direct searches.
While this pales in comparison to the Google’s daily search figures, which are several billion strong, it’s still notable, and today we’re exploring why.
The Exponential Rise of DuckDuckGo
As one of the central tenets of DuckDuckGo’s design and business philosophy is transparency, we can see from their public data that their traffic roughly increases by 50% each year.
It was a long seven years before the engine reached 10 million daily searches, but doubling that figure to 20 million only took them another two years. Their 30 million milestone comes less than a year after reaching 20M. Even though Google’s traffic is over a hundred times that, the exponential growth of DuckDuckGo shouldn’t be underestimated, as they’re liable to keep growing faster and faster.
Privacy Concerns in the World of Search
Some have pointed out that DuckDuckGo’s 30 million milestone came mere days after the controversy surrounding Google’s announcement of Project Strobe. This project is aimed at addressing concerns regarding privacy and transparency in Google’s business practices – most notably the recent confirmation that Google had failed to disclose the security breach that led to the Google+ platform being scaled down.
Does this mean Google users with privacy concerns flocked to DuckDuckGo, an engine which has built it’s brand out of user-privacy and corporate-transparency since day one?
Potentially, but the numbers do show fluctuation. It’s not unusual to see traffic figures going up and down in waves, and there’s no sudden spike in the charts that DuckDuckGo has made public. This makes it more likely to be a coincidence, but an interesting one nonetheless.
What Does the Future Hold for DuckDuckGo?
We can expect to see more of the company as time goes on. Their unwavering dedication to their ethics has built them a strong brand over the last decade, and the concerns that they’ve built their company around are becoming more and more relevant to investors. Just this past summer, they received total funding over $10M toward funding global expansion.
Even though DuckDuckGo’s traffic barely holds up to the billions of searches made through Google every day, current events have been making DuckDuckGo’s business philosophy increasingly interesting to the average consumer. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and ongoing discourse around privacy regulation in the USA, the niche for privacy-conscious search seems to be continuing to grow.
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Sam Mannell has been a writer for the Pure SEO content team since August '18, and is now Lead Editor. He quickly found his place in the company as resident Dungeon Master and coffee expert. Sam holds a BA from University of Auckland, where he double-majored in Linguistics and English.
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