DuckDuckGo an Internet search engine founded in Philadelphia in 2008 plans to go up against the Google empire, boasting unpersonalised search results and user privacy. Back in 2008, everyone thought Gabriel Weinberg was crazy to even dream of competing with Google, Yahoo and Bing; DuckDuckGo is now hitting the ground running, and here’s why.

duckduckgo annual queries


It started off as self funded by the founder, now the search engine is supported through advertisements. Simply take a look at the chart and the growth is very evident, this data is retrieved from DuckDuckGo’s site. When did people care so much about privacy? Why not just stick with Google? When Edward Snowden disclosed the global surveillance program the number of queries on this search engine surged(Event C). The rest as they would say is history.

DuckDuckGo – 3 ideas in 1

The founder initially set out to build more of a question and answers site, that similar to Yahoo Answers and Quora while focussing on reducing spam and having structured data.

Weinberg then thought to himself, why not combine structured data, programmatic spam combatant and Q&A all together? The result was a search engine that offered answers, not just like that of traditional link after link search results.

But now you may say, Google can just implement instant answers such as this. This small Philadelphian startup stays adamant about their route as they have a trick up their sleeves.

User Privacy Above All

Working at a Mobile Advertising company, I know a thing or two about user tracking. Companies like us, track your unique device ID(SIN for your phone), any clicks or actions occurring in any app and your location. Everyday I work with millions of fore-mentioned data and analyse it.

With that said, DuckDuckGo’s search engine or any of its apps does not record any of that. No accounts, no IP logs, no device id, no search cookies – pure privacy.

Daily Operations

Majority of their team works remotely and this is becoming more and more common in tech startups. The team of 20 or so people prioritise around something they call a ‘critical path’. This is a list of focus points to keep them from diverting from their core mission they set out to complete.

If speaking from a tech side, they manage their code on GitHub and they program in Perl and Javascript majority of the time. Every push to any branch is first pushed through their HipChat so everyone is on the same page – something they boast is very efficient.

As always, I am open to discussions – feel free to shoot an email! 

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