The other day I noticed something familiar out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving a coffee shop. After looking a little closer the familiar duck logos confirmed that my favorite privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo (DDG) made it to the front page of the Washington Post Business section. Most of the article discusses its history and business model as well as its effect on Google. We covered DuckDuckGo in the past, pointing out some of it’s privacy features (e.g., no tracking or filter bubbling) and techie features (e.g., vi-based keyboard shortcuts), so it was nice to see the small guy getting some great press.
PAOLI, Pa. — Not far from Valley Forge, around the corner from Bravo Pizza, up the road from Paoli Auto Body, there is an odd-looking office building that resembles a stone castle. An eye doctor is on the first floor. On the second floor is a search engine.
The proprietor of the search engine is Gabriel Weinberg, who is 33. A few years ago, when Weinberg told his wife about his new business idea — pitting him against more established outfits such as Google and Bing — he admits that she briefly thought he was nuts.
“She was like, ‘What are you doing?’?” Weinberg said. “She thought the idea was crazy.”
Her theory was hard to dispute. A start-up taking on Google in search is much like a raft taking on a cruise ship as a vacation option. But Weinberg is not delusional. With money lining his pockets from selling a start-up for $10 million, Weinberg bet there was a place in the market for a product capitalizing on users’ emerging annoyances with Google — its search results gamed by marketers; its pages cluttered with ads; every query tracked, logged and personalized to the point of creepiness.
He called his little search engine project DuckDuckGo, after the children’s game Duck, Duck, Goose. (Instead of “Just Google it,” think “Just Duck it.”)
Do you use DDG on a daily basis? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below. Today’s post pic is from DuckDuckGo.com. See ya!