The Demographics Behind DuckDuckGo

Research from Compete sets out to discover the demographics behind DuckDuckGo. Some of it might surprise marketers, given recent events and adoption by some prestigious organizations.

Most people who are knowledgeable about open-source software are somewhat familiar with GNOME. Wikipedia describes it as a desktop environment and graphical user interface that runs on a computer operating system built with free and open-source software. Volunteers and paid contributors, with the largest corporate contributor Red Hat, help to develop it. Apparently, project organizers nixed Google for DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo, an Internet search engine that aggregates content from many sources to serve up in search results, came to fame for not tracking searcher's queries. It also offers shortcuts for searches. Type in search keywords, an exclamation point and the site you want to search -- for example, "holiday weekend events !facebook." The exclamation point identifies a search on a specific site.

GNOME switched to DuckDuckGo as the default search engine for the project. Project organizer Claudio Saavedra provides a list of reasons for the switch, including the search engine's stance on privacy, and cooperation between the two organizations seems to work well.

Meanwhile, Compete released research about DuckDuckGo's user demographic that might surprise many marketers. Most search engine users are actually in older demographics -- the 55- to 64 and 65-plus demographic for DuckDuckGo is 6.6% and 7.2% higher than the U.S. population.

Men make up the majority of users on DuckDuckGo -- about 68.6%. Other search engines studied -- Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask -- vary between 50% and nearly 53%.

The site also carries the largest number of users generating an annual income of $100,000 or higher, followed by Bing with 19%, Google at 18.8%, Yahoo with 18.7%, and Ask at 18.2%, according to Compete.

I'm not going to analyze why the DuckDuckGo search engine appeals more to older, richer men. I'll leave that up to you.

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