DuckDuckGo Search Traffic Skyrockets Following NSA, Prism Scandal
Is there anyone who hasn’t been taken aback by the ongoing Prism scandal? Who really wants the federal government watching their every online move? Apparently millions, according to the spike in DuckDuckGo’s traffic. The private search engine, which was launched in 2008 and doesn’t track visitors, is currently having its best-ever traffic week. It took the upstart nearly four years to reach a million daily searches last February. On June 10 DuckDuckGo reached two million daily direct searches for the first time. According to the site’s traffic page, it retrieved 2,211,203 direct searches—400,000 more than the day before. Likewise, more than 16 million bot searches were conducted form the site the same day.
Two million searches may be a drop in the bucket for giants such as Google and Yahoo, but for a small company it’s a big deal. And the site stands to gain significantly more traffic as more people learn about Prism and look for alternatives to avoid it. DuckDuckGo may be just what the public is seeking since it doesn’t retain cookies or collect data on its user base. It doesn’t even post ads based on users’ key words. No data collection means no information that can later be seized by the government.
“We offer that in web search, and there are others that offer it in other verticals. As people find out about these alternatives, they make that choice,” DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg told Venture Beat via email. “I believe the surveillance story is paramount right now, and people are talking about it. DuckDuckGo users are telling their friends and family about the private alternatives.”