How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money ?

DuckDuckGo is an online platform used for searching purposes. Making money is the priority of all search engines. You will comprehend after reading this article how all the search engines make money, how DuckDuckGo’s method of making money is different from others, and what DuckDuckGo’s differentiating factor is from other factors search engines. How does DuckDuckGo makes money ? Let us know in this article.

How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money ?

DuckDuckGo’s differentiating factor from other search engines is that it does not track its users, nor does it collect or store data about them. Its tracker radar tool generates money via keyword advertising, affiliate commissions, and license fees. It has non-tracking affiliate partnerships with Amazon and eBay. 

What Is DuckDuckGo?

It is a search engine whose priority is the user’s privacy. This platform is not interested in keeping track of its users’ browser history, location, purchases, searches, or other activities. It was founded by an American, Gabriel Weinberg, in 2008. Its headquarters are in Paoli, Pennsylvania, United States. 

This engine’s name is derived from Duck, Duck, Goose. Currently, almost 3 billion searches are executed on its platform every day. DuckDuckGo is among the most widely used search engines on the planet.

What are the features of DuckDuckGo?

•It gives the user total privacy when using the world wide web.

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• Using the internet is not like being tracked, listened to, or monitored. 

• It allows the user to maintain his privacy even from DuckDuckGo. 

• It means that when you use DuckDuckGo, even DuckDuckGo does not know what you are exploring or searching for. 

• Whenever you open it, you have never been there before, like you are using it for the first time. 

• You can access DuckDuckGo on major browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox and DuckDuckGo app is available on both iOS and Android.

The History of DuckduckGo

Nearly two decades ago, Google had more than 90% market share among search engines. Even though Google was the most dominating search engine, why did Weinberg even bother to build an alternative search engine? 

He didn’t launch it from a business perspective but to see if people like it. People began moving to DuckDuckGo after his continual effort improved it so much in 2010. 

It started getting around 59,692 searches per day. At that time, he aimed that privacy would be the differentiating factor of DuckDuckGo from Google. Weinberg spent $7000 to put on a billboard for four weeks in San-Francisco’s tech-heavy SOMA district that read, “Google Tracks You. We Don’t”. This act resulted in a vast increase in DuckDuckGo’s traffic.

What is DuckDuckGo’s revenue model?

The following are how it generates money:

• Search term advertising 

• Internet marketing 

• Tracking system (Radar Tool) licensing costs

How these methods are used to make money is discussed below in detail:

Keyword Advertising

Keyword Advertising is such that ads are displayed according to the words typed on the search bar. DuckDuckGo places related ads in a subsequent position in the form of a list. In other tracking search engines, ads are presented concerning the individual using it, but DuckDuckGo offers advertisements related to the keyword typed. 

Due to this reason, Google shows ads that are more relevant to the person while DuckDuckGo displays adverts that are more pertinent to the search term. The CEO of DuckDuckGo says it is a myth that you have to track users to advertise, which is falsified by the successful journey of DuckDuckGo.

Affiliate Marketing

DuckDuckGo (a non-tracking search engine) is continuously looking for new methods to generate money without relying on advertising. Affiliate marketing is one of these ways. Amazon and eBay have non-tracking marketing arrangements with DuckDuckGo. It earns money every time a user clicks on a product and buys it. 

It makes money whenever a consumer clicks on a product and purchases it. Amazon, eBay, and other partners collaborate with DuckDuckGo to advertise items on their behalf. If a visitor searches for a particular thing, a pick area appears from which he may pick and purchase items from these partners.

The condition for DuckDuckGo to earn money is that the product bought should be within the so-called attribution window. If a person clicks on an advertisement and later purchases a different brand, DuckDuckGo will gain money in certain partnerships.

DuckDuckGo gets a specific percentage of the overall order volume when a user buys something. This percentage varies from product to product like it is more for fashion products than for electrical appliances.

Licensing Fee

Tracker Radar is a set of continuously updated data. It detects and gathers information about the hidden trackers which companies like Google and Facebook employ. 

According to the Princeton Web Transparency & Accountability Project, it has been found that Google has hidden trackers on about 76 % of websites across the web to monitor the user’s activity, and Facebook deploys hidden trackers on about 25 % of the websites. 

The tracker radar of DuckDuckGo collects information about such trackers and then gives an overview of the most commonly used tracker and their tracking method. This information is available to the general public and may be viewed for free.

If someone wants to use this information from another source, he has to pay the licensing fee to DuckDuckGo. This method is another method of how DuckDuckGo earns money.

DuckDuckGo VS Google

DuckDuckGo and Google are distinguished by the fact that DuckDuckGo sometimes doesn’t monitor its users, but Googling does. The chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, said, “Google’s 

On a number of these issues, the policy is to go right up to the creepy line, but not cross it.” But for many people, that line was crossed by Google and Facebook long ago.

• Google tracks its user. That’s why it has a piece of complete information about the individual’s age, gender, interests, hobbies, and ethnicity. DuckDuckGo, on either hand, seems to have no data about the user.

• According to a survey in Oct 2021, DuckDuckGo has a 0.61% market share, which pales compared to the 92.04% market share of Google. As a result, Google is the most used search engine.

• According to the Oct 2021 survey, DuckDuckGo has 97 million searches per day, while 5.6 billion searches are done on Google daily. Most people don’t even know about DuckDuckGo because they don’t know that Google is an advertising company, not a search engine. 

• DuckDuckGo earns $100 million yearly, while Google’s yearly revenue is $183 billion, much more than that of DuckDuckGo’s. While Alphabet, its parent company, is valued at around $1.35 trillion.

• Google has its ad-buying platform named ‘Google Ads’ while DuckDuckGo has no such outlet. Google earns through hyper-targeted ads, while DuckDuckGo gives ads only relevant to the keywords of the search. 

• DuckDuckGo is working on increased user privacy while Google is working to make more money through the tracking method.

• Google tracks users’ location, giving ads relevant to the site, while DuckDuckGo gives ads irrelevant to the user’s location.

The Privacy Debate

DuckDuckGo offers privacy, but the point is that can we change Google and Facebook’s earning methods? Can we stop them from tracking us? This is obvious that we can’t change their earning method. We can’t stop them from following us. Then what should we do? We just quit using an item and replace it with another if we don’t like that then.

Can we do the same with Google and Facebook? So a reporter decided to implement this theory on Google and Facebook to find these questions. When she blocked Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple for six weeks with the help of a custom build VPN, she discovered that living without these technology giants is impossible. 

The reporter wrote that critics of major tech corporations are frequently warned if you don’t like the firm, don’t use its goods. She ran this experiment to see if it was feasible and discovered that it isn’t, except for Apple.


So we can conclude that DuckDuckGo is undoubtedly not very prominent or famous. It has only a tiny market share, but users anxious for their privacy can still switch to DuckDuckGo. However, they still need to use Google and other giant techs sometimes as life would be impossible without them, just like it is impossible without oxygen or water. Search engines such as google make money in their own manner. Besides, DuckDuckGo’s earning method resembles Google, but its extricating factor is its non-tracking behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that you may have a few unanswered queries. The solutions to a few of them are listed here.

1. Is DuckDuckGo a reliable search tool? 

Yes, it is a good search engine that gives you good results without tracking you.

2. How safe is DuckDuckGo?

This search engine is so safe that even DuckDuckGo doesn’t know what you have searched for when you search on it. Therefore, you can rely on this and don’t need any incognito functionality.

3. Why should I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google?

If you have a privacy issue, you should switch to DuckDuckGo as it doesn’t store data about the user.

How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money ?

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