Business

Jun. 9, 2009 12:24 pm

Duck Duck Go launches shopping search filter to test advertising waters

Valley Forge-based Duck Duck Go has updated its snappy, no-frills search engine with the option to filter shopping results. By typing a query and choosing between shopping, information and normal- mode, you can decide whether you’re looking to buy, looking for info or something in between. “A top complaint about search engines is that you […]

Valley Forge-based Duck Duck Go has updated its snappy, no-frills search engine with the option to filter shopping results.

By typing a query and choosing between shopping, information and normal- mode, you can decide whether you’re looking to buy, looking for info or something in between.

“A top complaint about search engines is that you often have trouble finding real information about topics that have lots of shopping results,” Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg said in a statement. “We built this new feature to address that problem.”

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 38 percent of users say they are unaware that search results are a mix of search content and sponsored links.

Currently, Duck Duck Go displays no sponsored advertisements, but in an interview with Technically Philly last month, Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg said the company was planning to monetize the site with ads.

The company is treading carefully, though. Weinberg said that users occasionally find ads useful, but he expressed disinterest in risking confusion caused by sponsored links.

So, is this Weinberg’s attempt to gracefully separate quality search results from a way to pay the bills?

He says yes.

“Not that [there] wouldn’t be any on the other verticals, but shopping results seem like a natural place to put some ads,” Weinberg told Technically Philly in a telephone interview this morning.

“We’re in no absolute rush, but it’s definitely on the things to do list in the next few months. We want to see how people react [to the shopping results].”

A test search for the newly announced iPhone 3G S in Duck Duck Go’s shopping search mode brings up links to Apple and AT&T online retail Web sites where users can purchase the new smartphone.

By searching for the new phone in information mode, links to news sites, device specifications and YouTube videos appear. Normal mode offers a mix of both, in case you want quick access to purchasing Apple’s new toy alongside your infobites.

Weinberg said Duck Duck Go has been gearing up to the release of the shopping filter and said it is not currently implementing other monetization strategies.

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Brian James Kirk

Brian James Kirk is a cofounder of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Kirk handles business development, marketing and product development, forging new partnerships, building brand identity and coordinating events and projects. He's an avid biker and lives in the Callowhill neighborhood of Philadelphia.

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