If Google's "streamlined" search engine tactics — hawking your search results to marketers and tracking your search habits — has you crying foul, perhaps a new fowl is in order. DuckDuckGo is a bird of a different feather and, as a recent Washington Post profile suggests, it's starting to spread its wings.
Created by Gabriel Weinberg, the website is an ad-free search engine that doesn't track users' interests to generate search results. It also doesn't monopolize search results to elbow out competitors' content, as Google has been accused of doing.
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"My thesis for the company was, what can we do that other search engines,
because they're big, can't do easily?" Weinberg told the Post. "Because what's
good for Google business is bad for Google users."
Though it's still considered small potatoes next search engine Goliaths like Google and Bing, in one year, DuckDuckGo searches have increased 350 percent, up from 10 million in October 2011 to 45 million last month. That kind of ascent has even attracted financial backing and support from Union Square Ventures, the venture capital firm behind Twitter.
To be fair, Google processes billions of searches each day, so it's unlikely DuckDuckGo will dethrone the world's most popular search engine anytime soon. However, Brad Burnham, managing partner of Union Square says a little healthy competition isn't such a bad thing.
"We think it's the right time and the right platform to take a crack at
this market," he told the Post. "At
what point does the breadth of Google's ambitions begin to diminish its
focus on its core asset and open up an opportunity for a competitor?
There will be an evolution in the marketplace that opens an opportunity
for others. I'm not ready to cede to Google the dominant position in
search until the end of time."