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 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.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.