back to article DuckDuckGrow: Privacy search soars 600% after Snowden dumps

Privacy-first search aggregator DuckDuckDuckGo has grown a whopping 600 percent since NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden began revealing the extent of the US spying apparatus. The search engine uses sites including Wikipedia, Yandex, Yahoo!, Bing and Yummly and offers users bare-bones search results without the personalisation …

  1. dan1980

    "Privacy-first search aggregator DuckDuckDuckGo has grown a whopping 600 percent . . ."

    Seems their company name has grown by 40% to go with it : )

    (Sorry Darren.)

    1. VinceH

      I was wondering if that was a deliberate joke in the article, but then it should probably have been DuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuck-DuckDuckDuckDuckGo (if I've counted correctly*)

      * The hyphen shouldn't be counted - I've added it to allow formatting to El Reg's width.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        You two have gone completely quackers!

        1. TitterYeNot

          "You two have gone completely quackers!"

          Thats a fowl joke! I may have a dabble though...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Thats a fowl joke! I may have a dabble though...

            Be careful where you dabble however, or you'll have to face the beak.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Yep. I especially like the 'official site' result when searching for an organisation. Extracts from wikipedia and various dev sites is great.

      Then there's !BANG syntax - pure genius. I use for IMDB searches.

      Never did get the Wolfram Alpha stuff, but I guess somebody uses it.

      1. Riku

        Yup, Randall Munroe over at XKCD does.

        Wolfram is a computational engine, more than search, it lets you find answers rather than URL's.

        Wolfram is very useful for really hard problems like:

        Try this one: If you had to ingest 5000 8kB files per second all day and store them for 24 months as well as ingest 10,000 32kB files per second all day and store them for 12 months, then how many IOPs and how much bandwidth do you need, how big will the namespace (number of files) get and how much capacity will you need?

        That's the sort of thing Wolfram can help you figure out.

    2. wdmot

      Too bad they still suck at searching for what I type and not some morph of it, just like Google et al. And can't filter results by date :-\ The !Bang syntax could be useful for searching specific sites without having to load those sites with all their overhead, but usually I don't know what site would have the info I'm looking for (generally technical info).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other privacy-friendly search sites are available.

    It's worth a look at and Motherpipe.

    Disclaimer: I have no idea if they are what they claim but that's true for all search engines today.

    1. Sealand

      Re: Other privacy-friendly search sites are available. and also claim to be privacy-friendly. They're basically the same with startpage being the brand name in the US.

      Whether or not their privacy claim is legit I can't say.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's really a myth that you need to track people to make money in search

    Doesn't the particular business model of DuckDuckGo rely on passing on the anonymised search queries to Google and Bing? Which means they are essentially piggybacking on the work of others?

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Yes, I wondered about this too.. Piggybacking Google et al will be fine until Google closes the tap....

      Duck Duck are not a search engine, they are more of a search engine federator/filterer which is definitely not the same thing...

      Everyone actually benefits from Google, Business and Users, the price to pay is your "habits"... If someone came up with an ad-free search engine that you have to pay but were guaranteed privacy for then I presume that no one would pay.

    2. auburnman

      "Which means they are essentially piggybacking on the work of others?"

      If they are (making no judgement here) Google will have a hard time doing anything about it. They can't make Google search harder to access without shooting the golden goose that's made them billions over all these years, and I don't think they want to open the can of worms that any sort of lawsuit around profiting off the work of others would bring (people in glass houses and all that.)

      1. Pat 11

        Google had no difficulty shutting down Scroogle.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Google had no difficulty shutting down Scroogle.

          They shut down Windows Mobile pretty well too… guess what? Both came from the same place.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which means they are essentially piggybacking on the work of others?

      Care to name anyone in the IT business that doesn't? Not many companies out there that build their own computers from discrete components and write software in machine code today.

      The concept behind DuckDuckGo is not new… I remember one back in 1997 called DogPile that did something similar: aggregating search results from other search engines. (This was back in the days when search engines had multiple text fields for individual keywords or phrases, and either drop-down lists or radio buttons to select "AND" and "OR" operations.)

      1. theModge


        It was indeed dogpile, and until google came along it was my prefence of search engine as well.

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    90% of my searches are done through DuckDuckGo, which has grown since 2008 as DDG have improved the system.

    I can also say that it returns better search results for porn. A friend told me, obviously.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Your "friend" actually needs to search for porn, what kind of porn would that be then ? Obviously not the usual BBW, MILF, LGBT, BDSM, Hetero, Gonzo, Bukakke stuff that everyone else knows the websites by heart kind of porn...

      1. DropBear

        Wait - you mean there's some way to go to a webpage directly, without passing through Google? But isn't Google what we call the Internet?!? </sarcasm> Seriously, the tiny bit of faith in humanity I have left dies a little more every time I see yet another person who doesn't seem to have the faintest idea what that long text field at the top of the browser window might be for...

        1. cmannett85

          "what that long text field at the top of the browser window might be for"

          Its for doing Google searches.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            My personal pet peeve is when they type into the search bar and then click the link to go to googles home page. Cringe, hateful cringe of all Darwinian evolutions....

            1. wolfetone Silver badge

              You must really hate people who type in to Bing then...

              1. Riku

                No, but Microsoft probably does.

  6. Alister Silver badge

    Although Snowden's revelations will have obviously played their part, I also think it likely that the various governments' attempts to stamp out TPB may have encouraged people to carry out more private searches.

  7. PirateKing

    Duck Duck Duck Duck GOOSE!

    So they only way they will make money is by allowing sites and companies to PAY for search relevance positions? IE they pay to make sure their page appears in your search even if it is not relevant. Sounds bias to me as some companies can pay MORE than smaller ones

  8. Reallydo Wannaknow


    I know folks who are proud of their "Google-fu" ... I prefer "Duck-Fu"!

    1. CaptainBanjax

      Re: Duck-Fu!

      With this joke you dishonour yourself, your family and the shao-avian-temple!

      Dont downvote me for this. For you see focusing on one comment is like pointing a finger at the moon. Focus on one comment and you miss all the other commentard heavenly glory.

  9. James O'Shea

    I've been using DDG for a long time

    Years, even. I use it as my primary search engine on every single device I use, including Apple devices, and have been since way before last year, whether it was officially available or not.

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