Simply put -- DuckDuckGo is a pro-privacy search engine alternative to Google.
Instead, it displays ads that are based directly on the keyword that is being searched for at the time of the search.
Using this approach means that the company has no need to harvest - or preserve - user data.
DuckDuckGo is pro-privacy on purpose, and prides itself on not collecting or sharing your personal information, not storing your search history, or even tracking you in or out of private browsing mode.
And the popularity of the search engine is growing -- “We’ve been growing by approximately 50% a year pretty consistently so at a macro level it isn’t too surprising, just the numbers are getting bigger! That said it has been even increased on top of that this year, especially in the past two months. We are growing everywhere though it is a bit more in the US in the past few months.” - founder Gabriel Weinberg tells TechCrunch.
Statistics like this are clear indicators that users are focusing more on keeping their personal information private. Given DuckDuckGo’s recent momentum, I would expect this trend to strengthen over time.
Should you optimize your content for DuckDuckGo?
At this stage, there’s no need to blow up your marketing plans and shift your focus to optimizing for DuckDuckGo.
Having said this, DuckDuckGo is growing rapidly in market share and it wouldn’t surprise me if more pro-privacy platforms began popping up in the next few years. As time moves forward, it’s going to be important to keep an eye on this platform (as well as others that may crop up) and identify ways that you can optimize for it - and for users that don't want to share their personal information.