DuckDuckGo on CNBC: We've grown 600% since NSA surveillance news broke - Philly


Jun. 16, 2015 9:03 am

DuckDuckGo on CNBC: We’ve grown 600% since NSA surveillance news broke

The privacy-minded search engine is now doing three billion searches a year.

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg on CNBC, June 2015.


DuckDuckGo has exploded in popularity since the federal government’s surveillance program came to light two years ago. Remember the privacy-minded search engine’s best week ever?

The service has grown 600 percent since then, DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg said on CNBC.

“We’re doing about three billion searches a year,” Weinberg said, “so we’re already pretty mainstream.” (Tell ’em, Gabe.)

Browsers Firefox and Safari also made DuckDuckGo available last year.

Watch the CNBC clip below. The news anchor just can’t resist a little jab about DuckDuckGo’s location choice.

Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes became's associate editor after reporting on the Philadelphia tech scene for four years. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

  • Hill

    The results on DuckDuckGo still kinda suck but I use it daily. If I need something that it doesn’t show, I just move over to Google for that particular search.

    • Eric Sterling

      ditto. duckduckgo is my primary… when it fails I google.

    • Adi

      forget ddg… go to startpage …it has all the goodness of google and no nonsense of nsa.

      • produKtnz

        Obvious search-spy company employee IS obvious

        • blackdreamhunk

          I agree

        • Adi

          and what makes sure that you are not..?

      • blackdreamhunk

        thxs for the tip never knew about start page.

        • Harry Moreno

          duckduckgo `!sp foo` returns start page results

    • blackdreamhunk

      I use it sometimes the only problem with duck duck go is it does not have features that Google has.

      • yellowsir

        thats not true, first you can quickly google something on duckduck go with !g can you duckduck go something with google?…

        • blackdreamhunk

          thank you

    • yellowsir

      thats why duckduckgo hast shortcuts.. in 80% i find what i’m look at on duckduckgo but when not i add !g to my search and land on google or even add !gm for google maps and !yt for youtube or !gh for github. which makes soooo much more sence if i already know i’m looking for code or a video and and and..

      • Hill

        Awesome.. Thanks for the tip.

  • Adi

    I stay with its engine is google which I want but no tracking of user, which I prefer.

    • Harry Moreno

      in ddg `!sp foo` returns startpage results

      • Adi


        • pundurs

          If you add “!sp” to your search query in duckduckgo, it returns startpage results.

          • Adi

            oh yeah..just tried….

            why do they do so?

          • pundurs

            If you know you need a youtube video, wikipedia page or a stackoverflow question, you can get straight to that page without having to click on it on the search results.

          • Adi

            if you know the website you have to go…why to go any search page?

          • pundurs

            It’s easier for me to hit F6 , then type “rick astley never gonna give you up !yt” than going to youtube and searching for it.

          • yellowsir

            its called bang, and it is awsome


  • blackdreamhunk

    there is a sad fact that not even duck duck go can protect your nsa spying. In fact I am not surprised they use it. Because of the data mining software installed in nearly every website out there, even clearing a cache, or deleting cookies and surfing histories won’t stop tracking. Neither does using IP masking software

    • Adam Genell

      *cough* Move out of USA *cough*

  • Bouche Dag.

    Don’t forget DuckDuckGo’s Bangs.

    I use them ALL the time.

  • Lisa

    Headline: “We’ve grown 600% since NSA surveillance news broke”

    Buried in the article: “Browsers Firefox and Safari also made DuckDuckGo available last year.”

    Yes, the fact that 2 of the top 4 browsers in the world made it easy to select DDG as a default search engine had nothing to do with it…

    • Adam Genell

      I don’t know about Safari, but it’s not a default on Firefox. You have to manually add it through addons.

  • xyzpfl

    I use ddg all the time. Better results, less garbage, much better image search and browse. Google was and still is a product of SRI working for CIA and NSA funds. Just like that hide your IP free proxy that got so popular before the CIA decided it was no longer needed.

  • Sarah Lasair Berry

    I personally find Boolean and other advanced search syntax much more useful than the !bangs concept could be for me. It frustrates me that oftentimes among the two, only Google supports many advanced search queries. Some examples:

    Example 1: “site:”

    For searching a site directly from the search engine; better than !bangs because same root for every site, no need to memorise specific site abbreviations. You can also write only the domain name to search multiple websites like normal, but only .gov or .edu or .org sites or whatever other type of site you want.

    Example 2: Boolean operators, such as “AND”, “OR”, parentheses “( )”, and the hyphen “-”

    Can narrow down and/or expand search context as needed; flexible and powerful for getting exactly what you want.

    Example 3: “filetype:”

    Search only for specific file types, such as .jpeg, .pdf, .exe, etc.

    Example 4: Wildcard operator ( * )

    Expand your context to include certain unknowns (for example, the search query ” proto* ” would search all results that include any word that starts with “proto-“. Or, another example would be the search query ” m*lted ” will search for anything that fits that term, but with the asterisk (the wildcard) meaning any possible letter, so it could give results such as “molted”, “melted”, “malted”, “molt”, “molten”, and any number of other possibilities.

    Example 5: Quotation marks (” “)

    Typically (but not always) these mean an exact search. So searching for

    “The dog ran over the fence and ate the moon”

    should not result in search results that include the words but not necessarily in the same order, but it should tell the search engine to search exactly as shown.

    Example 6: metadata-specific operators (“inurl:”, “intitle:”, “inbody:”, etc.)

    Searches queries that are in specifically in the URL, or specifically in the the title or the body.

    Exampole 7: Number ranges ( .. )

    Searches queries between the two number values. This works for search within particular price ranges (eg, $25..$50) or even date ranges (eg, 1967..1971)

    So, for example, say if I wanted to search for

    » Individuals in the US Revolutionary War named Benjamin

    » But who were not named George Washington,

    » Yet I wanted only DIRECT links to PDF files from .edu sites

    » Whose titles included the phrase “continental army”

    » and was published between 2001 and 2009

    I could do the following search query:

    Benjamin AND “United States” AND “revolutionary war” -“Franklin” site:edu intitle:”continental army” filetype:pdf 2001..2009

    …Yeah, I love DuckDuckGo, and I would love to get back to using it, but seriously… Let’s see DDG do that.


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