Founded by Gabriel Weinberg in 1998, DuckDuckGo.com becomes the “outsider” of Search engines today with more than 1 million searches a month. Is it a Google killer? Well, at least we can see that certain key features of the new search engine is going on that direction. See for yourself.
Search engines are always one of the most important tools we can use today. They are the door for all the knowledge we can find on the internet. And depending on how good the search engine is, you are going to be more or less happy with your search results. For the past 10 years, they become a huge challenge because people want to get the information requested right away and do not wish to get “dead-ends”.
When Google was launched in 1998, it changed radically the way search engines not only looked-like but on the way to search. Today we know that 90% of people looking for something online uses a search engine. 70% uses Google. So the internet looks like Google show to you. And it did not take long time until companies started finding some interests of having their website well ranked. So the era of SEO started but also the era of online advertising with the famous Google Adwords program. As Search engines know exactly what did you search for and where did you clicked, these informations are valuable for advertisers. They can use it to better improve their websites rankings and learn more about you.
Since then, the offer in terms of search engines became narrow and today, we can identify 3 big ones: Google, Yahoo and Bing. Of course there are many others but these are the reality of internet search today in the world. Many others tried to make their place in this highly competitive market. Some search engines went on the Green area. Engines like Gigablast or Ecosia supports ecology. they give money to support green projects and try to use green energy to run their servers. But you cannot skip Google from your live that easy.
Of course having a digital intense life has also a “dark” side. In deed each day we challenge our private life as we give a lot of private information to web companies. Sometimes we know it by summiting an online form, but most of the times we do not pay attention. And this happens especially with search engines.
That’s why DuckDuckGo.com becomes a real alternative. One of the main features is about Privacy. This search engine clearly says that they do not keep, share or track your searches so that they do not give this valuable information to the websites you visit. I think this point might be one of the most important ones for a wide audience. We live strange times. We are more and more into these digital lives and we get “sometimes” afraid of giving our private lives to the web. Do you remember Second Life? Why bother? Just use your First life. Simple and more valuable to internet companies.
At DuckDuckGo.com this does not happen. So the question is: What happen to SEO, Adwords or other search engine information based strategies tomorrow if this new Search engine becomes mainstream. Are we going to be “blind”? And another question is, why do we want to not give our search information to companies? Probably because we feel that they should not have that information right? Well the paradox is that we live in times in which the definition of private and public lives evolves a lot. When companies started using Facebook Connect, an amazing amount of people were and are happy to use this login method. For reminder, Facebook connect is the option to login to any website with your Facebook profile. This allows the company to have access to your personal profile and also the one of your Facebook friends. The goal is to propose targeted offers based on this information. It is one of the biggest penetration rate for technology in the past 2 years. This means people are happy to do so and I cannot imagine people are completely dumb and blind to not realize that.
So why does Privacy a big hit? Sometimes I have the feeling this is more a “professional tecky” or “geeky” subject, more than a “everyone” matter. At least statistics shows it in that way. Otherwise even the existence of Facebook would be revoked, right?
Anyway, let’s get back to our duckies :-). This search engine proposes a lot of settings for the web results.
- choice of type of results (commercial, non-commercial)
- Multiple platforms like Wikipedia but also the other search engines
- Adult content control, ambiguous terminology
In terms of Privacy settings, you can also choose for sharing your information or not.
So the real question now is: what is needed to get Google from the Throne? I think web professionals should focus less on technology for technology and think more about people’s aims and lifestyles.
Technology is nothing if it does not fits its purpose. Let’s not forget that these are only tools. And tools are great if we can use them for a greater purpose. Is DuckDuckGo going to stay? We do not know. At least the project is self-funded by its own founder and now they are gathering a community of people that tries to improve, repair and change the platform. It is an interesting model to follow.
Folow Mother Goose?
Info sourced at duckduclgo.com, wikipedia.com and other related websites. All images are copyrighted. No reproduction rights available.