DuckDuckGo search traffic will grow by almost half in 2021

The number of searches conducted with DuckDuckGo last year grew by no less than 46.4 per cent. Internet users performed an average of 100 million searches every day with the privacy-friendly search engine. The total number of searches in 2021 reached 34.6 billion.

This is evident from the figures that BleepingComputer has requested from DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine where privacy comes first. Google and other search engine providers try to collect as much information as possible about their users, such as which sites they visit, which search terms they enter and which applications they have installed on their smartphones. They create user profiles based on this data. They sell this information to advertisers, with the aim of serving targeted personal advertisements.

DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, does not process mountains of data from its users. On the contrary: DuckDuckGo shouldn’t know about that. Instead of collecting your search and browsing history, the web browser blocks such cross-site trackers. When you search for a product, the next time you’re online, you won’t see all kinds of ads because you’ve searched for them before. And thanks to the Fire button, you can delete your entire history with the push of a button. Due to these kinds of features, DuckDuckGo is also called the privacy-friendly counterpart of Google.

DuckDuckGo experienced significant growth in 2021. Last year, a total of 34.6 billion searches were performed using the search engine. That equates to an average of 100 million searches per day. In comparison, DuckDuckGo processed 23.6 billion searches a year earlier, with an average of 79 million jobs per day. This means that the search traffic of the privacy-friendly search engine grew by 46.4 per cent in one year.

Why search traffic has grown so explosively in the past year can be guessed. The corona pandemic may play a role in this. As a result, people have started to think more consciously about their privacy and what data they are willing to provide. In addition, the media are increasingly paying attention to data leaks, cyber-attacks and related digital threats, so that people are better aware of the privacy risks associated with handing over personal data.

Furthermore, DuckDuckGo launched all kinds of new privacy features over the past year, including Email Protection. This is a service that removes tracking pixels from newsletters and other (commercial) mailings and then forwards these messages to your private e-mail address. In November, DuckDuckGo introduced App Tracking Prevention. That prevents companies with ad networks from finding out which applications someone has installed on their smartphone or tablet.

The company is currently testing the desktop version of its Privacy Browser. It is expected to be available for all major operating systems early next year.

Despite the fantastic results of the past year, DuckDuckGo is and remains a small player. The worldwide market share of the privacy-friendly search engine is currently only 0.66 per cent, according to Statcounter. With a share of 91.4 per cent, Google is head and shoulders above the rest. DuckDuckGo still has a long way to go to become a serious competitor to Google and other search engine providers.

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