Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo made a major breakthrough this week in its 12-year history when for the first time ever it crossed the barrier of 100 million daily searches.
This achievement comes after a period of continuous growth that the company has witnessed over the past two years, especially since August 2020, when the search engine began seeing more than two billion search queries per month on a regular basis.
For comparison, DuckDuckGo averaged 52 million daily searches in January 2020, meaning that this month’s numbers represent an increase of 73 percent year-on-year.
The numbers are small compared to the 5 billion searches per day from Google, but it is a positive sign that users are looking for alternatives.
DuckDuckGo’s popularity comes after it expanded the search engine beyond its own site, as it now offers mobile apps for Android and iOS, along with a dedicated extension to the Google Chrome browser.
The company said in a tweet in September 2020: More than 4 million users have installed these applications and the extension.
But the search engine’s growing popularity is also due to its stated goal of not collecting user data and providing the same search results to all users.
As explained last year, this lack of accurate data sometimes makes it difficult for a company to even estimate the size of its user base.
But this dedication to privacy has also helped the company gain a following among the privacy-conscious public.
DuckDuckGo is designated as the default search engine in Tor Browser and is often the default search engine in the private browsing modes of many other browsers.
DuckDuckGo’s main selling point over other search engines is its privacy features, as users can perform searches without collecting their personal information and selling it to advertisers.
DuckDuckGo’s historic breakthrough comes within a week when Signal and Telegram, two other privacy-focused apps, announced significant growth periods.
Telegram announced that it had reached 500 million registered users, while Signal’s servers were disrupted after millions of new users registered in a sudden influx, which the company said had exceeded even its most optimistic expectations.