Peering over my sister-in-law’s shoulder during the Thanksgiving Day holiday, I noticed that her quest to search for a recipe didn’t include Google or Bing, but rather DuckDuckGo, which touts itself on allowing people to privately search the internet for information.
On Thursday, the company revealed in a Twitter tweet that its search engine served more than 9 billion searches in 2018 and is on pace to “shatter” that record in 2019.
“Despite our traffic growth, though, the number of personal profiles we store remains unchanged,” per a Twitter tweet. “It's still zero.”
DuckDuckGo, founded in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg, reported 4 billion queries for 2016, but by October 2018, the search engine processed 30 million queries per day.
The company has been pushing ahead in popularity and on January 2, 2019 reported the most queries in one day -- 34,406,841.
The privacy engine has made progress. In December 2018 it finally got its hands on the website Duck.com, a domain at the time owned by Google. Ubergizmo reported that many people thought visiting Duck.com would take them to DuckDuckGo, but the URL redirected them to Google’s search engine instead.
Google did transfer ownership of Duck.com to DuckDuckGo.
“Google did try to do its bit to mitigate confusion for those who landed on its search engine through that domain,” per the report. “It added a DuckDuckGo link to the page which allowed people to click through to that search engine.”
Nonetheless, DuckDuckGo’s popularity continues to grow. It’s important to note that the engine does block advertising trackers.