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DuckDuckGo Receives $10m Funding To Expand Global Footprint

Duck-duck-go… If you haven’t heard of it yet, you may think that it’s some sort of weird variation of the duck-duck-goose game, but it’s not. DuckDuckGo is a search engine – and the company has just received US$10 million to expand its global footprint.

What is DuckDuckGo?

Before we go ahead to talk about the funding, let’s cover the basics of DuckDuckGo. While it may still be under the radar compared to the giants of the search engine world, it’s gained some popularity in use due to its one big advantage: privacy.

“The search engine that doesn’t track you” – this is DuckDuckGo’s company and website slogan. They don’t store your personal information or show you targeted ads while you’re browsing on other sites, nor do they track your searches even when you’re “incognito” or in “private mode.”

And while this could make the company a massive contender against Google or Bing, DuckDuckGo still has a long way to go.

What can’t it do?

DuckDuckGo can be great when you’re doing search that you don’t want search engines to track, but doing so also means you forego a host of other built-in technology only provided by the biggest search engines out there.

This includes Google Maps, a list of local businesses, useful advertisements, search suggestions, news, and so much more. Without saving your information, you lose out on personalised search results, which for some people can be great but frustrating for most. Much of the time we use search for personal matters, not just generic searches.

Not only that, DuckDuckGo in New Zealand needs a lot more work.

Let’s talk about the $10 million funding

According to Search Engine Land, DuckDuckGo received this investment in partnership with OMERS Ventures (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), one of Canada’s largest pension funds.

The two companies share this interest in user privacy, and insist that the public is becoming more away of privacy protections.

“[DuckDuckGo] is the leading company that’s figured out a different business model. It’s proving that, in search, it’s possible to both make money and respect privacy and data sovereignty.” – John Ruffalo, Chief Executive of OMERS Ventures

On the business side of things, DuckDuckGo makes money by running ads based on the keywords you type, and they also have affiliate revenue with Amazon and eBay. However, this number still isn’t anywhere near the multi-billion dollar company, Google.

So what does this mean for SEO?

While it’s yet to be seen what the global impact of the funding is – especially in New Zealand – DuckDuckGo is certainly not backing down from challenging Google and other big players in the industry.

From now on, it’s best to keep an eye out for DuckDuckGo in your Google Analytics feed and, if there’s a growing rate of DDG searches, then you may want to consider optimising your site to suit this new customer attribute as well.

This includes the usual search engine optimisation best practices, such as  getting high-quality links, geo-tags and optimising for Bing and Yahoo (since DDG is pulling information from these two engines).

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For a free consultation on how we can expand your online presence, contact the Pure SEO team today at 0800 SEARCH!

24 August 2018


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