Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of Paoli based DuckDuckGo, the search engine aimed at keeping a user’s privacy at all costs, was interviewed by Business Insider where he talked about his vocal criticism of Google, the importance of retaining privacy while surfing, and his personal story on starting the site.
Weinberg, who founded DuckDuckGo seven years ago, has become one of the most vocal critics of Google. He says the search giant is encroaching on users’ privacy without consent or any reason to do so.
“The issue with Google is they run four of the biggest ad networks in the world and only one is search related,” he noted. “The rest are on millions of sites and apps across the Internet and they use tracking to do better at ads on these third-party sites.” This is where Weinberg sees DuckDuckGo as vastly superior to Google as the company’s ads are provided on current individual searches, not on what a user might have searched for months ago.
Weinberg started DuckDuckGo with user’s privacy in mind long before is became an issue The increase in concern about privacy is best illustrated by the 600 percent jump in direct searches on the site since the NSA revelations, putting the search engine on track to 3 billion searches by the end of this year.
An additional boost for the company came by the way of partnerships with Apple and Mozilla, two companies which, as Weinberg stated, “are leading the charge on privacy and making it a priority for their users.”
When asked about the main concern about the search engine, Weinberg noted that it is the relative anonymity of the site. Most people have not yet heard of DuckDuckGo, and he is convinced that if they did, and realized they could get great search and great privacy, they would make an immediate switch.
Looking to the future, Weinberg is focusing on Instant Answers as the response to the way people use search engines these days. When you ask a question on DuckDuckGo, the answer is going to show up at the top of the page, without the need to click on another link to get it. However, the technology is far from perfect, and trying to find the ways to improve it is one of its main focuses.
With ever increasing traffic, the company now employs 35 people, and shows good potential for growth. Once a small startup, this underdog is shaping to become a real competitor to Google, while keeping your searches private.