DuckDuckGo Traffic Still Climbing Like Crazy

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 9, 2012
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Internet, Search

I have been using the DuckDuckGo search engine for some time now and have to say that I'm more than happy with the results it provides. For the majority of searches, it provides me with the information I need. And if it does not come up with a valuable result, I add !g to the search phrase to redirect the search to Google (see How To Improve Your DuckDuckGo Search Experience for additional tips and shortcuts).

I also noticed that the search engine was really starting to take off traffic wise, reaching one million direct searches per day regularly in February. And while that is nothing compared to Bing's or Google's search volume, it is still impressive.

DuckDuckGo in many regards is what Google was when the service started to offer its search engine to the public. Back when Google launched, it was all about improving search quality and improving search accessibility. With DuckDuckGo, it is about that, but also about privacy and simplicity. Google in recent years has added so much noise to the search engine, that it sometimes difficulty to spot the organic search results among the ads and Google products.

Privacy is not the only difference though, as the company behind the search engine has added other useful features to their search engine that improves the users search experience for many queries (like the information bar at the top).

When you look at DuckDuckGo's traffic in March, you will notice that it has made another big jump since the end of February 2012. Direct search traffic has nearly doubled in a month's time (from around 900k per month at the beginning of February to 1.6 million in March). If everything goes as planned, the site will see a 50% jump in direct search traffic in March, reaching 46.5 million direct search requests in that month.

duckduckgo traffic march

That's more than a double-up when compared to January's 20 million direct search requests, and still impressive when compared to February's 30 million requests.

If you have not tried out DuckDuckGo yet, I suggest you give it a try. While it is unlikely that it will ever be as popular as Google, it has the potential to snag away market share percentages from the search engine giant.


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  1. anon said on June 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Moved completely over to duckduckgo for searching. Kiss my ass Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and anyone else is working with the Federal government.

  2. anon said on March 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

    the reason duckduckgo took off recently is because scroogle shut down. I doubt the will see the growth rate remain the same in the coming months

  3. Gizmobhai said on March 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Coouldnt help myself typing duckduckgo myself on the address bar!!!
    i must say the clean interface is really impressive..

    though in the same breadth i must say why try something else when google meets all ur requirement

    alrenatively, if google is not able to, then be rest assured no one else in the business of search can be of any more help than that !!!

  4. Patrick said on March 11, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I have been using the search engine STARTPAGE for the past month. It is incredible. check it out.

  5. don rees said on March 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    i would like to make DDG my default engine but i do not know how to do this, any advice would be appreciated,
    win 7 . firefox is default but also use IE8

    thanks don

    1. GiddyUpGo said on March 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      UMPIO, in above post has an excellent setup for Firefox that will reset everything for Firefox from the default google search engine.

      For Internet Explorer v9, tab tools\manage addons. Here you will find the page to change your browser here.

  6. EuroScept1C said on March 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Tell them to use a prettier, “smoother” UI like Google’s.

  7. jasray said on March 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Yes, great engine. Maybe Martin can contact the M86 filter folks who have it blocked for my students as a proxy/anonymizer site.

  8. umpio said on March 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Today I learned that I can dumb google from my firefox completely!

    Only google search service that I used was the “try your luck” search for the awesome bar search engine. It’s so much faster to type one word to go straight to the web site with it. I just read that I can do this with DDG also! And it’s also possible to change the firefox context menu search engine to DDG!

    “The above plugins add DuckDuckGo to the browser search box. Here is how to add DDG to the address bar:

    Type about:config into the address bar.
    Search for “keyword.url”
    Change it to
    If you want “instant search”, change it instead to!+

    To update the search engine used when you select text and right click:

    Type about:config into the address bar.
    Search for
    Change it to the name of the plugin you used, e.g. DuckDuckGo (SSL)”

  9. DanTe said on March 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I’m lazy. So I haven’t used DuckDuckGo as it’s not convenient to go to a separate webpage instead of just highlighting the search word, right click and search.

    But now, DuckDuckGo has a Firefox addon :)

    1. DanTe said on March 10, 2012 at 1:37 am
    2. Martin Brinkmann said on March 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Nice find ;)

  10. GiddyUpGo said on March 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks to you I and many of my friends have been using DuckDuckGo. That is one reason of its growth. Another I am sure is because of people, like me, have left Google because of their new privacy policy. Google is history for me!

  11. Daniel said on March 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    It’s good to see a pretty decent alternative to Google search.
    I remember when Google first started. It was a hit from day one.
    Privacy issues with Google may be the element to give DDG that extra thrust that keeps users coming back for more.

  12. Thomas said on March 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Yeah, also switched over to DDG and sometimes Startpage.

    Martin, you are responsible for the growth.

    I’ve started to add some || to adblock.

  13. qdsqdsd said on March 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Could you do a graph with vertical logarithmic scale?
    It’s much better for these types of fast growing things.

  14. MartinJB said on March 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you for point me to DuckDuckGo. I’ve been using it for a week now and really enjoy the clean interface and options. Keep up the good work providing us with great information via your RSS feed.

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