- Nov 10, 2017
Can a privacy-focused search engine survive on today's Internet? It appears that it can, as DuckDuckGo is looking to end the year 2021 with another record-breaking traffic increase.
I have followed the rise of DuckDuckGo since 2012, when I announced here on this site that it became my primary search engine. I had plenty of reasons for that, but privacy was the main one.
Then came PRISM, and DuckDuckGo's traffic started to rise a lot. Back in 2013, traffic rose to more than 2 million queries per day, a small number for search engine heavyweight Google Search, but an important milestone for the DuckDuckGo search engine.
In 2015, DuckDuckGo reported that it crossed the 10 million daily searches mark, and this year (2021), it managed to cross the 100 million searches mark for the first time.
If you look at the reported traffic figures for 2019 and 2020, you get about 15 billion queries in 2019 and 23.6 billion in 2020.
Here is the year-by-year listing from 2015 to 2020.
Now, in 2021, it looks as if the search engine will report another record year. It is mid-June right now, and traffic is already at 16.0 billion queries. With six months to go, it is very likely that the 30 billion mark will be crossed in the year, and that traffic will likely end between 32-34 billion queries in the year.
- 2015 -- 3.1 billion
- 2016 -- 4.0 billion
- 2017 -- 5.9 billion
- 2018 -- 9.2 billion
- 2019 -- 15.0 billion
- 2020 --23.6 billion
The search engine announced plans today to accelerate the growth further. The company plans to release its first desktop application, which it states can be used as a primary browser. DuckDuckGo did not reveal any details on its new browser project. It is likely that it will be based on Chromium, but there is also a chance that Firefox might be its base. If the former is true, it will be interesting to see how it fares against other privacy browsers such as Brave or Vivaldi. Brave, on the other hand, is testing its own search engine that is focused on privacy.
Additionally, it wants to add "new privacy protections" to its portfolio of features and tools, including a "cross-platform email privacy solution" and "app tracker blocking on Android devices" later this year to provide even more privacy services to its users (and new ones).
DuckDuckGo has been profitable since 2014, and generates a revenue of over $100 million US Dollars now.