Search Engine DuckDuckGo had another record year in 2021

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 27, 2021

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo had another record year in 2021, reaching more than 34,5 billion search queries in the year. In 2020, the search engine managed to gain more than 23 billion queries, which was a big jump from the 15 billion queries in 2019.

Google is the dominating search engine in the world, with Bing, Baidu, Yahoo and Yandex following on the places behind. Statcounter sees DuckDuckGo in the six position with a global market share of 0.66%. Google dominates with 91.4%, followed by Bing with 3.14%. Even Yahoo still has a share of 1.53% of the market.

DuckDuckGo's market share is rising year after year, and it is probably only a matter of time until it surpasses Yandex and Yahoo. Yandex and Baidu are limited to a few regions of the world, and Yahoo search has been neglected for a long time. It is possible that DuckDuckGo will reach the third place in the market in the coming years if growth continues.

In mid 2021, I estimated that 2021 would become another record breaking year for the search engine

Here are the year-by-year numbers of total search queries:

Here is the year-by-year listing from 2015 to 2020.

  • 2015 -- 3.1 billion
  • 2016 -- 4.0 billion
  • 2017 -- 5.9 billion
  • 2018 -- 9.2 billion
  • 2019 -- 15.0 billion
  • 2020 --23.6 billion
  • 2021 -- 34.6 billion (up to December 24, 2021)

DuckDuckGo could reach the 35 billion mark in 2021, considering that seven days are still missing to get the full 2021 search stats.

DuckDuckGo has expanded beyond its search offering already. It launched apps for mobile devices, extensions that aim to protect the privacy of users, an email protection service, and recently a tracker blocker in its application for Android.

The company plans to launch a web browser for Windows and Mac OS in the future, which will not be a fork but using APIs that the operating system provides. The browser will use website rendering APIs that Windows and Mac OS provide. DuckDuckgo has not revealed a timeline for the launch of the new desktop browser yet.

Closing Words

Cross-promotion could help the browser gain some traction in the saturated market. It will be interesting to see if DuckDuckgo's search traffic continues to rise in 2022 significantly.

Now You: what is your take on this? Do you use DuckDuckGo? (via Bleeping Computer)

Search Engine DuckDuckGo had another record year in 2021
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Search Engine DuckDuckGo had another record year in 2021
Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo had another record year in 2021, reaching more than 34,5 billion search queries in the year.
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  1. Tree said on January 3, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    My main concern is privacy. I surely don’t trust Gurgle or Alphabet. They want my info. None of their business

  2. Anonymous said on December 31, 2021 at 8:18 am

    It’s very easy to tell DDG is now better than Google. Type, “Masks don’t work” into both browsers. DDG shows articles from all sides. Lately more research has been done on Masks, especially cloth masks showing they don’t do much or even hurt people more than help. Google shows “Myth Buster” or “Snopes: ‘Mask’s don’t work’ articles are false”.

    Another good search to compare is, “COVID Vaccine not working”. It’s so obvious Google’s trying very hard to hide the bad things about the vaccine. The real numbers are starting to come out and even Google can’t hide it anymore. CDC is straight up lying on their website and has now been caught redefining ‘Vaccine’ a few times. FDA’s starting to backtrack saying the COVID vaccines have only been approved under EUA policies which means as soon as EUA policies are dropped these covid vaccines will no longer be FDA approved.

    Americans should be so pissed, especially people getting fired! They’ll get away with it though. This COVID stuff was started because Dems were so pissed Trump won in 2016! Dems had to make sure he wouldn’t get re-elected.

    The big problem now is that all these “Karens” can’t admit they made a wrong choice even when the data is starting to support the other side. Desperation attacks are hilarious because they actually start to cry towards the end of their rants, slightly realizing they messed up.

  3. quack_quack_G0g said on December 29, 2021 at 9:32 am

    To think this a rogue privacy driven search engine while the all-mighty-G is allowing it to use its engine via bangs is simply ludicrous. All search data pour into all-seeing-G…

  4. semce said on December 28, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve been using Qwant.

  5. Mav said on December 28, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    I am getting confused. I’ve been using DDG with !g option for quite a while. Do you guys recommend using Google or Bing instead?

  6. thebrowser said on December 28, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    People complaining about search results being bad or inaccurate, should learn how to properly use the tool that a search engine is. I’ve been using DDG almost exclusively for years now with very little issues. Sometimes I have to adjust my query a bit, and that got me into the habit of being specific about what it it that I’m searching.

    If you insist in using Google Search at least use Ecosia and do some good for the world, their results come straight from Google but use revenue to plant trees.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on December 31, 2021 at 10:37 am

      Ecosia’s results come from Bing, although they do include a shortcut to Google in their search result overview.

  7. Anonymous said on December 28, 2021 at 8:11 am

    The results in my country are not good and uncontrolled. There are lots of pirated movies, TV shows and games in the search results. When you search for a game, you expect the Steam or console digital store page first, right? There are direct pirate sites. Yes, it is shaped by searches and unfortunately, piracy is common in my country. But a firm that keeps control limited to the USA cannot grow.

    Users are not attracted to crying over what other companies are doing, and growth cannot be achieved only with lawsuits. 1-2 alternatives that offer privacy do not show such poor quality results in my country. So what DDG will be investing in are issues of control.

    1. Anonymous said on January 2, 2022 at 4:17 am

      File sharing has nothing to do with stealing shit on the high seas.

  8. Anonymous said on December 28, 2021 at 1:37 am

    Congrats! Google search has been pretty bad couple years now. Google censor so much now, that Bing results are actually better.

    1. Anonymous said on December 28, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      Is this a joke? Maybe you are from uk/usa/australia. For non english content Bing is pure junk.

      1. Anonymous said on December 29, 2021 at 8:48 am

        Not joking… Adult content, DMCA, certain words that go against Google’s woke nonsense, many other things Google censor isn’t as bad on Bing.

  9. Shawn said on December 27, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Why does a AD Hoc show up as microsoft?

    lookup… check all the options.. I feel we’re being had.

  10. VioletMoon said on December 27, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    Not much difference here on a short trial: Using Startpage [which is Google w/o the tracking] and Google, and DDG in three different windows, I found the results to be nearly identical.

    The only time I find significantly different results, and even then less often that would be preferred, is if I use a VPN.

    Even the use of Tor, doesn’t add results that are superior to other engines.

    Ecosia provides some different results.

    I find rephrasing the search term/phrase does wonders for achieving better results.

    The number of searches, nevertheless, is incredible. Billions and billions.

  11. JonSnow said on December 27, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    it never gives me the right search result…it’s why I am back with Google Search….nothing can beat G-Search.

    1. gerald brennan said on January 2, 2022 at 2:28 pm

      Unless you are using it search for queries related to politics, sociology, or even psychology. In that case, it is beyond stupid to use Google.

    2. ShintoPlasm said on December 27, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      At least use Startpage…

  12. Pet said on December 27, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    In almost 90% of my DDG searches, i have to go to google right after.
    Yeah its a nice SE, but lacks in results. At it lacks BIG.

  13. Anonymous said on December 27, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Looks like usage stabilised in last year: i.imgur .com /fBKeLGP .png

  14. ULBoom said on December 27, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    DDG’s our default with Startpage second. Results with both are variable, sometimes very good with many obscure results included; sometimes results are thin. DDG’s supposed to be “no Google,” Startpage is supposed to be Google through a proxy or something.

    Google Search has similar variability. Bing is so poor their ranking has to be due to it being owned by MS. If you’re big, you’ll get market share by doing nothing?

    1. ShintoPlasm said on December 27, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      How can Bing be any poorer than DDG? Both give you search results from precisely the same source.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 28, 2021 at 7:18 am

        DuckDuckGo uses other sources, but mainly Bing:

  15. John C. said on December 27, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    I like the privacy aspect of DuckDuckGo, but unfortunately (and like all other search engines) they have taken to ignoring boolean logic and as a result, the search results are very poor.

    1. Don Pels said on December 27, 2021 at 6:13 pm

      Yes. I use DDG as my search engine but need to use Google when doing complex searches.

    2. Xantax said on December 27, 2021 at 3:46 pm

      @John C.
      imagine believing DuckDuckGo ‘aspect of privacy’ when in 2006, Gabriel Weinberg, has a history of privacy abuse, starting with his founding of Names DB, a surveillance capitalist service designed to coerce naive users to submit sensitive information about their friends.

      Or they have been caught breaking their own supposed privacy terms multiple times, like when their android app would send to their servers and store all the URLs input by users.

      First privacy on the internet is pretty much as real as Santa Claus, and the description fits perfectly fine because still today in 2021 we see on the streets weird dudes that could be bad people wearing ‘Santa’ clothes because it is all marketing and for money, same as privacy, marketing and monkey, not a real thing.

      You go to DuckDuckGo and the first thing uBlock blocks a couple of “improving.duckduckgo” images, now make a search and you will see like 10 more, Brave doesn’t block because they are 1p, but they are whitelisted as “1p analytics” the thing is blocking 1p is pretty much useless because you are already giving your IP and other information to any domain you visit.
      But what information do you think those “analytics” want to grab from you?

      They use Microsoft Bing, so they are sharing your information with Microsoft and Microsoft is storing it longer than they do, do you think only because it doesn’t include your full IP you are now invisible to Microsoft knowing who you are? I mean, there are millions of ways to figure out who someone is, by the way you type, the way your sentences are made, your searches, etc etc.

      is this still a thing “Similarly, we may add an affiliate code to some eCommerce sites (e.g. Amazon & eBay) that results in small commissions being paid back to DuckDuckGo when you make purchases at those sites.”?

      I mean, you literally have someone injecting affiliate links but somehow you have to trust them your information is not being leaked or traceable back to you?

      I mean, do you really trust them? Do you really trust any company that uses Bing? Because duckduckgo is not even useful for much, since they censor content on top of Bing, so they are not helping the internet in that aspect either.
      But all of them share information with Microsoft, so you are giving your information to two companies… why not use Bing directly then? you would save yourself and just give it to one.

      Only because they say they “don’t collect any information” which has been shown it is a lie many times, it might be a myth just like every ‘aspect of privacy’ on the internet, because once you are connected to the network someone is getting your info.
      I mean it sounds the same scheme Microsoft says with their privacy policies and google and amazon and apple and everyone else, like a copy and paste document they don’t respect.

      They have weird partnerships with weird companies, like yahoo, do you trust Yahoo? or what about the fact they use(d) Microsoft email services? (like… they don’t seem really worried about the privacy of their company)

      They were accused of fingerprinting users using the Canvas DOMRect API on their search engine.

      I mean, Privacy by itself is just a business, they make money with your information but also to supposedly protect your information which is just a lie since they don’t protect much or anything at all.

      You might not use or care EpicBrowser but in their FAQ they pretty much say the reality of these companies that use Google or Bing APIs

      Why aren’t so-called private search engines DuckDuckGo or Startpage offered in Epic? Why are you unable to trust them?
      They wrote us often — until we asked them to tell us how they worked. Since then, they’ve refused to tell us what data they send to their partners Google/Bing to retrieve search ads. It’s misleading to say you don’t save any data if you’re still sending it to other partners who are. Clicking on their ads sends you and your data directly to Google or Bing which is not disclosed plainly to users by either search engine. It’s strange to call yourself a private search engine when your business model depends on sending your users’ personal data to Bing or Google. We’re thus unable to believe they offer any meaningful privacy benefit versus using Bing, Google or Yahoo directly.

      Do you still really think a company like DuckDuckGo has any aspect of privacy? is it reality or just more internet fantasy marketing scheme being thrown at users?
      Like an illusionist, distracting you with one hand to make a trick, because it is not ‘magic’ it is not real. Just like google and apple and Microsoft and other evil powerful technology companies that made internet their own little kingdom and all they need to do is the same thing anyone in power will say, what you want to hear, while they don’t care about it, and DuckDuckGo like any other companies have the same privacy documents saying what you want to hear.

      1. Xanax Taxi said on December 27, 2021 at 10:00 pm


        > it is not ‘magic’ it is not real

        How do you determine what is *really* real, do the voices in your head suggest?

        Are you sure the tech site is the right place to spam with your trust issues? Maybe try some free hotline

      2. Trey said on December 27, 2021 at 9:16 pm


        Even tho there are some ok points in your vent post, they are suffocated by hyperbolic rants. I’m surprised you are online posting at all.

  16. asd said on December 27, 2021 at 11:49 am

    That’s nice, but the last few months their search engine has gotten noticeably slower for me.

    1. Anonymous said on December 28, 2021 at 12:52 am

      So it’s not just me. Sometimes the page stuck on loading for me

    2. Anonymous said on December 27, 2021 at 1:44 pm

      Maybe Microsoft is throttling bing api lol. M$ is getting very aggressive about bing lately. But I blame DDG on that, instead of using their resources to actually try to make a search engine, they want to create a browser lol.

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