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Lucky Duck: Why Things Are Going Swimmingly for DuckDuckGo

jessica-lee
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DuckDuckGo continues to delight users with new, novel features on top of the foundations the search engine is known for, and why many people choose DuckDuckGo over giants like Google: DuckDuckGo does not track users, and it does not "filter" search results.

DuckDuckGo search

The newest feature is the addition of a region selector, which appears as a globe icon on search results pages. DuckDuckGo now lets searchers switch between countries for more location-specific results. 

Back in 2013, Search Engine Watch reported that DuckDuckGo was breaking its own search volume records shortly after the NSA PRISM surveillance program story broke. This was due to DuckDuckGo's attractive "anonymous" search functionality.

On its site, DuckDuckGo explains what Web tracking consists of, and gives handy tips on how to help minimize tracking across popular browsers like Google Chrome. "Do not track really means do not target," DuckDuckGo states on its website. "So you're still being tracked all over the net, you're just not seeing targeted ads some of the time."

Since the spike in popularity from the NSA PRISM scandal, DuckDuckGo continues to draw searchers in with more familiar search features, like when it recently redesigned the results to include places, images and autosuggest, but also novel features, like the ability to check your Bitcoin wallet balance.

In January of this year, DuckDuckGo celebrated 1 billion searches, and that's no surprise to investors who took a chance on DuckDuckGo, says this Forbes author and investor, who said the search engine had a slam-dunk Series A funding round.

DuckDuckGo has made such a splash to date, that Apple announced in June it would support DuckDuckGo as a pre-set search engine in the new OS X Yosemite, coming this fall.

Perhaps one of it's more attractive features (aside from anonymous search) is the ability to escape one's "filter bubble," as DuckDuckGo calls it. While Google calls this filter "relevancy" (showing search results based on prior searching history), DuckDuckGo says it's a limitation.

"Since you often click on things you agree with, you keep getting more and more of what you already agree with," DuckDuckGo says on its website. "This raises the question: What are you missing?"

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DuckDuckGo has come a long way since its launch in 2008, and with exciting new integrations on the horizon, and no doubt, more innovations, it will be fun to see how the search engine grows over the next couple years.


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