Search the Web Without Being Tracked
The amount of knowledge that search engines have compiled about individual users, and the way they use that knowledge to advertise, feels like a privacy violation to many. In 2008, the search engine DuckDuckGo was founded in response to growing online data privacy concerns. In 2018, the advent of a mobile web browser helped DuckDuckGo continue to grow and stay accessible for privacy-oriented internet users.
What is DuckDuckGo?
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that keeps users from being tracked, especially by advertisers. It is a private search engine that does not store users’ personal information, IP address, or internet behavior. At this time, you can browse the internet with it three separate ways. There is the private search engine, a private browser extension for Google Chrome, and a private mobile browsing app for Apple and Android.
How Does it Work?
DuckDuckGo reroutes user clicks so that sites can’t tell the keywords that brought a user to a page. This prevents users from seeing targeted ads. Websites and Google are unable to track users thanks to the tracker blocker. Online behavior and search queries are encrypted. It not only keeps your searches private, it prevents websites from using your behavior to create targeted advertising.
DuckDuckGo may be added to Google Chrome so that you do not need to go to duckduckgo.com. With the Chrome extension, users browse the internet without being traced by ad-tracking software. This extension is ideal for users who find DuckDuckGo’s results to be limited, and users whose main concern with other search engines is a lack of privacy. Some users prefer using the private search engine website over the Chrome extension because Google manipulates results as part of its algorithm.
DuckDuckGo eliminates the need for private browsing or incognito mode with full encryption. Many users do not realize that incognito mode doesn’t keep Google from saving your searches and using that information for advertising. The websites you visit, internet service providers, and governments are still able to track you in incognito mode. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/enable-private-browsing/
Of course, the drawback to DuckDuckGo is that the search results may not be as pertinent to the user as they are used to, and there may be less results in general.
How Does it Make Money if My Activity Isn’t Tracked?
DuckDuckGo gets ad revenue by showing ads that are related to the search terms used, and nothing more. A user who searches “plumber in Dallas,” will be shown ads for plumbers in Dallas with their search results. They will not receive ads about plumbers again or anywhere else. Unlike targeted ads that are personalized based on user behavior, DuckDuckGo’s ads are related to the keywords used. This presents an advertising opportunity that feels more ethical and less invasive. Keyword research aids marketing efforts through any search engine.
The other way this search engine makes money is through non-tracked affiliate partnerships with companies such as Amazon and eBay. When users make a purchase on affiliate sites, DuckDuckGo receives an anonymous commission. Affiliates do not get better search rankings.
This search engine is worth checking out, whether you are a privacy-focused user, or just interested in seeing search results that aren’t driven by personal data mining. In addition, if you are a company whose target customers care deeply about their privacy, you may be missing out on customers who exclusively use DuckDuckGo. Search engine marketers should not neglect this less invasive advertising opportunity. Read our blog for more digital marketing tips.
About Sheri Holshouser: Sheri Holshouser is a marketing manager based in Dallas, Texas. In her free time, she likes to read science fiction novels and play with her pug Chloe. Learn more about her professional qualifications on LinkedIn.