DuckDuckGo's traffic surges after PRISM news

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 13, 2013
Updated • Jun 13, 2013
Internet, Search

Up until three days ago traffic to the DuckDuckGo search engine website remained relatively stable at about 1.7 million to 1.8 million direct queries per day. This changed on Monday when a new record high of 2.2 million direct queries was recorded, only to be surpassed on Wednesday by 2.3 million direct queries.

The reason? According to DuckDuckGo's traffic page a Bloomberg TV Interview on June 10 in the wake of PRISM. While that certainly played a role, it is more likely that the service has benefited from the fact that major tech companies such as Google or Microsoft have been associated with PRISM, and that at least some Internet users are looking for third party solutions that are not.

A rise by about 500,000 direct queries is big for a search engine like DuckDuckGo, and the past has shown that it can usually retain the traffic level once it has reached it. While it is certainly too early to tell if this will be the case this time as well, it is definitely possible.

As it the possibility that the rise has not stopped yet. The coming days will show if the rise continues, plateaus or even drops again.

2.3 million direct queries may be a new high for the search engine, but it is not that much compared to Google's average searches per day which have been recorded as over 4.7 Billion in 2011.

An increase could give DuckDuckGo more traction and mouth to mouth propaganda, something that it direly needs to increase its exposure on the market as an alternative to Google or Bing.

The search engine respects user privacy and self-determination in a number of ways. It does not record user IP addresses, does not track its users, does not use personalized search results to put users in filter bubbles, and does not clutter the search results with dozens of its own services and advertisement.

I have published some of the things that I like about DuckDuckGo last year and another one that explained why I decided to move to it back then.

I suggest you give it a try, as you do not have anything to lose but a lot to win. While it may not provide you with the best results all of the time, it is easy enough to redirect your search to Google or Bing by adding !g or !b to your query.

You can find out more about DuckDuckGo by visiting the service's website.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Waqar said on June 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    And what do you think all this big fuss of “Cloud Storage” was about? They wanted people to store all their personal things on their servers. Facebook has been the most successful in this effort. People have poured over their whole lives on Facebook servers. I really pity them. Many times I find myself debating with people that in our digital lives there is another set of IQ which I call INTERNET IQ. And this may not necessarily be on the same level as their original IQ. It has not been officially recognized yet though.

  2. Swapnil said on June 14, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Well changing the search engine hardly matters. Think about mail, most of us use, Gmail or Yahoo Mail. Not so many alternatives regarding mail. What about other services? I may still get past being tracked by a search engine by using a proxy and add-ons to block trackers. In case of mail, the data still resides on their servers.

    1. kalmly said on June 15, 2013 at 8:56 am

      I don’t have a G-mail account or a Yahoo account, nor do I use Outlook. I have a little pop3 account and all my email comes to my desktop. But – you are absolutely right, most folks use the web for more and more and more and more.

      I use Ixquick and DDG because I get better results, not because I hate the tracking – though I truly do hate the tracking.

  3. beemeup2 said on June 14, 2013 at 3:22 am

    I think StartPage is called IxQuick in Europe:

    Same site?

    1. ilev said on June 14, 2013 at 4:49 am

      Yes, StartPage is run by .ixquick

  4. JohnP said on June 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I tried to live with DDG for a few months, but have to quit because it not very good with natural random query. DDG also doesn’t seem to give me relevant results about programming queries.

    I went back to Google, but through proxy and I think it’s the best solution so far. Until DDG get a lot more bot crawlers, I’ll stick with Startpage.

    1. Curby said on June 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Ya I prefer StartPage over DuckDuckGo too. I have even signed on to be a beta tester for their new private email service ( ).

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.