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Secure Search Engine Sees Significant Growth

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Foodie. Bruce Springsteen fan. Citizen of Red Sox Nation. Online reputation management strategist. Founder of Reputation Rhino. For more, follow us @reputationrhino

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While Google still reigns supreme on the search engine market, the gap is closing. Still a small company, search engine DuckDuckGo tripled its growth at the end of 2014, receiving approximately seven million direct search queries daily.

But what makes DuckDuckGo special? Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo promises not to track users – and it keeps that promise by not storing search histories, computer or location information. It also keeps users’ search queries from other websites. These are all things other search engines do to increase advertising.

According to DuckDuckGo’s daily usage statistics, the end of 2014 marked two full years of dramatic growth. While there was steady growth in the beginning of 2014, usage rose exponentially toward the end of the year. The first eight months of 2014 saw a steady monthly increase of 3.5%. Then, from September to December, monthly growth rose to 10.2% – almost triple the usage.

What caused the sudden growth spurt? In September, Apple added DuckDuckGo as a search option that users could select in the Safari browser, though Google remains the default option. Later, in November, DuckDuckGo was added to Mozilla’s Firefox browser as well. Unsurprisingly, there don’t seem to be any plans to add DuckDuckGo to Google Chrome in the foreseeable future.

“DuckDuckGo has significantly increased its user base from both integrations,” CEO Gabriel Weinberg told Quartz. “Though the exact amount is unclear since we don’t track people.”

While the Mozilla and Apple distribution certainly helped DuckDuckGo become more popular, the company’s largest growth to date followed revelations of mass government surveillance in June of 2013. Because DuckDuckGo does not collect any information that could be used to identify users or their search habits, many people felt that it was an obvious choice to make the switch from other search engines.

DuckDuckGo has a long way to go before it rivals Google, but if their usage continues to grow at this rate, eventually they will get there.