DuckDuckGo Challenges Search Engines on Key Issues (9:57)

Posted on by Abby Johnson |

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Search engine DuckDuckGo has been popping up in many conversations lately in association with the almost constant news surrounding spam and content farms. The search engine has only one full-time employee, but it is quickly gaining traction, which is, in part, due to the bold position it has taken on major issues.

Gabriel Weinberg is the only employee and is also the founder of the engine. As he explained to WebProNews, the search engine is a general engine just like Google or Bing but is different in three ways.

The first way it’s different is in its Zero-Click Info feature. This feature consists of a box at the top of the results page that provides instant answers to queries. As a result, users may find what they need without even clicking on a link.

The second area that sets DuckDuckGO apart is its stand on spam. Referring to it as “the way Google used to be,” Weinberg said DuckDuckGo does not tolerate spam, or “useless sites.” Last year, it actually removed all Demand Media‘s content and marked it as spam.

“There’s so much out on the Internet now that when you block something like eHow, users don’t even notice. All they notice is that you’ve got better results,” said Weinberg.

Although he believes this action needed, he also added that it is “much easier for a startup to do it, like us, than it is for Google.”

Thirdly, DuckDuckGo has a very strong privacy policy that is very different from the other search engines. In fact, this year, it launched an ad campaign with this slogan: “Google tracks you. We don’t.” Weinberg is quick to point out that he is not “anti-Google,” but he does believe that the search giant is doing some things that aren’t really necessary.

For instance, Google tracks a user’s search history. Also, when a user clicks on a link in Google, his search terms are set to the site he clicks on, which is information that is often aggregated by ad networks and sold to third parties. Google justifies its actions by saying that it returns more relevant and personalized results. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, doesn’t track this information but argues that its results are just as relevant as Google’s results.

“The proof is in the results,” said Weinberg.

He also told us that DuckDuckGo will continue to focus on these three areas, and that he hopes other search engines will take a similar stand on these issues.

Posted in: Gabriel Weinberg, Privacy, Search Engines, SPAM, Technology
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