Most of us have had to accept the fact that Google is tracking basically everything we do, whether we like it or not. After all, the companies services are so ubiquitous that it’s all but impossible to spend more than a few minutes online without having to log in to your Google account, but as DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg explains, it doesn’t have to be this way.
In a recent AMA hosted on Y Combinator’s Hacker News, Weinberg dispelled the notion that search engines have to mine through user data in order to stay afloat:
“DuckDuckGo is actually profitable! It is a myth you need to track people to make money in Web search,” wrote Weinberg. “Most of the money is still made without tracking people by showing you ads based on your keyword, i.e. type in car and get a car ad.”
“These ads are lucrative because people have buying intent. All that tracking is for the rest of the Internet without this search intent, and that’s why you’re tracked across the Internet with those same ads.”
It sounds simple enough, right? You search for a Honda Accord, you get an ad for a Honda Accord. You search for news about the PlayStation 4 price drop, you get an ad for PS4. No tracking necessary.
As for the future of the anonymous search engine, here’s what Weinberg says he and the team are working on:
“Our long-term focus is really on the instant answers, and we hope to really build up the DuckDuckHack platform to a point where the majority of searches have instant answers on par or better than the links.”
In the meantime, Weinberg says that the only real issue the platform is facing is its relatively slow spread, so if you want to let your friends and family know about DuckDuckGo, head to this link: https://duckduckgo.com/spread.