It's likely that you've never considered using a search engine that isn't Google. It's a brand that is so ingrained into our minds that you probably can't recall the last time you heard the words "search for it" - instead we just "google it." Today I want to talk about DuckDuckGo, a company taking on the giant task of competing with Google search, and why you might want to consider using it.
Google is the search engine that we've all known and loved.
Despite the majority of Google products being largely free to use, the company is now worth over a trillion dollars, making it one of only four companies to have reached this value. Every year, the majority of their revenue comes from their targeted advertising. It's in their best interest to know as much about you as possible - what you're searching for (Search), what you watch (YouTube), what you're talking about (Gmail), where you go (Google Maps), what you do overall online (Chrome) - in order to present us with the advertisements they see fit. The danger, among others, is that all of this information can skew your search results, and potentially put you into your own filter bubble.
In essence, we have become the product.
Enter The Duck
I have been using DuckDuckGo instead of Google search for over four years. I was drawn to it because it is a search engine that does not track you, ever. This means that every time you search for something, you're starting with a blank slate. Their mission is to preserve the quality search engine experience, offering local results, maps, weather, news, shopping, and more - all the while protecting your privacy.
Any ads you see on DuckDuckGo are contextual ads, meaning if I search for shoes I might see an ad for shoes (imagine that), but it's not influenced by my search history or personal data profile - because there isn't one.
They are now serving over 65 million search results per day and growing, and the search experience continues to get better as more people use it regularly.
I don't believe that Google is an inherently evil company. In fact, "Don't be evil" was even their original motto. There's a reason their products tend to dominate the market. They're high quality and accessible, but ultimately, money talks. The company is being driven by a dangerous business model disguised as being good for consumers, because it brings in billions of dollars a year.
In other words, Google has no incentive to change their ways. I think we can change that - by supporting competition and encouraging a healthier business model. Companies like DuckDuckGo are proving that you can still be profitable without making the users the product.
Oh, and not to mention, they have a dark mode.
Looking for alternatives to the Google services you use? Look no further. If you enjoyed this issue, share this newsletter with a friend. Also, you can support my work by buying me a coffee. Keep an eye out for a new issue within the next week.