• Faiz Ahmed Faiz

    no offence danny, I keep reading you as I belong to the SEO industry, but this one sounded like a paid article by Google.
    Even arithmetically, it should take DDG 11 months to overtake Google, provided google stands still and DDG doubles every month. This isnt realistic I know, looking at the Google ecosystem. But even if DDG manages to reach half of Google in next two years, Page n Brin has a lot to worry about.

    What if the Ubuntu phone which is coming up makes a huge impression and DDG strikes a deal with Cannonical?

    Talking of possibilities I know, but then you can never be too sure,

  • bobsponge42

    I agree with much of what Faiz says. The problem though is how Google crushes the competition: superior reach/tech along with advertising money that comes in bunches. Not impossible to challenge but it’s going to be tough to leave out one of those areas, which it seems to me would be the advertising money in the case of Duck Duck Go. Of course, maybe they’ll come up with a more privacy friendly way to make money. If they do that, then that’s what puts them over the top in the end. Just as AdWords put Google over the top oh so long ago. Prior to that Google slowly but surely provided a better search experience but had no way to monetize.

  • http://www.igorware.com/ Igor

    I think DDG indexes web, they have their own crawler bot (DuckDuckBot).

  • atomicfire

    I will bet you all the money on Earth, now and in the future, that DDG will never come close to Google. They won’t grow geometrically forever, and they have no institutional advantage– such as Chrome or Android or YouTube, that ensures practically ever new internet access device has a reliance on Google. And Google and it’s outrageous amount of free cash, won’t stand still while a competitor gnaws at its heels, if that were ever even going to happen.

  • http://mattamyers.tumblr.com/ Matt A. Myers

    I’d argue that’s not a bad start. Clearly that shows there’s a desire from some for privacy – assuming they don’t just like the name DuckDuckGo, aren’t a hipster, and not because they prefer the results or other non-search-related functionality it has.

  • http://esarcasm.com dantynan

    well if “no one” literally cared about private search duck duck go’s traffic would be zero. instead it grew 6x over the course of a week. so an alternate and more accurate title for this post would be “more people care about private search than ever — just not enough to affect google.”

    that has more to do with the tech industry’s tendency to reward monopolies than attitudes toward privacy, which is a generally misunderstood term.

  • Matt Wells

    DDG is only providing a false sense of security. It is simplistic for the NSA to pair an IP accessing DDG up with the unencrypted query received by Bing from DDG at about the same time. Do a second similar query to your first query on DDG, and the pairing becomes very accurate. more detail here at http://www.gigablast.com/privacy.html

  • Ronnie’s Mustache

    Danny sums it all up here-

    “Maybe Duck Duck Go and Startpage will be seen as somehow “safer” options by the masses, even though that also means people have to trust that the NSA isn’t somehow breaking the encryption that Duck Duck Go and Startpage use — something that Google also uses.”

    IMO- Search branded as “private” will likely remain on the fringe and not gain any mainstream traction. Especially in the US of A.

  • Jim Magary

    I don’t think it’s fair to do this analysis this early… most we searchers have still never HEARD of DuckDuckGo, not to mention Blekko and others, so there is still headroom in their growth numbers. Also, let’s also assume that people DO want privacy, but their priority is to get good search results, something that Google is still known for doing. I like DDG for their privacy controls but not for their interface.

  • andrekibbe

    So Google users’ Stockholm Syndrome is proof that they don’t care about privacy? I personally don’t know a single person IRL besides myself who even knows what Duck Duck Go is. It’s not like WaPo or The Guardian are mentioning search engine alternatives in their NSA scoops, so why should anyone expect DDG to suddenly get traffic at Google’s order of magnitude?

    By the same logic, you could argue that employees who use English-word passwords, and keep written copies of them in their drawer (or on Post-Its) is proof that employees don’t care about security.

  • andrekibbe

    “Publishers who have seen the rise of “Dark Google” and “not provided” in their analytics knows that Google’s encryption has kept much data from flowing out.”

    I’m sure AdWords customers who’ve been sold on remarketing would agree. /s

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    If DDG doubled its searches each month, which is extremely unlikely, it would match Google’s current searches in the US in about eight months. If it continued on for 11 months, it would be doing 92 billion searches per month, which would be nearly five times ALL the searches that happen in the United States now, with all search engines.

    Both aren’t really likely. You’re also misinterpreting the article, which isn’t some paid thing by Google. The article is about the fact that despite what people say about search privacy when surveyed, how they act isn’t to seek out such options. There’s been no mass movement to any service that’s offered such things before; what’s happening with DDG only seem significant when you compare against DDG’s own traffic. Across the general search public, it’s not really registering.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    It’s like saying that because there were now six drops of oil in the ocean rather than one drop, the ocean is more polluted than ever. The title was chosen deliberately because at this scale, it really is no one. That’s the point of those two bar charts above. Keep in mind that if those charts used Google’s worldwide traffic (rather than US traffic) against Duck Duck Go, or if they used worldwide traffic for all search engines against Duck Duck Go, it would be even more insignificant.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Given that DDG itself is doing this type of analysis now on its press pages, where it says, “Latest news: we’re breaking traffic records as people seek out privacy-aware alternatives,” this is precisely the time to do this type of analysis. It help people have the right perspective against all search traffic to make their own assessment if they feel a mass movement is happening or not. And if the growth continues, those who might doubt it now are in a better position to say “now it’s real.”

  • andrekibbe

    None of the institutional advantages you mention existed before 2005, by which time G was already the pillar of search. The open source Chromium codebase could easily be forked into a DDG-powered browser.

    I’m not arguing that DDG will overtake Google, only that their paradigm is disruptive to Google’s business model, like Snapchat is to Facebook. When an incumbent faces disruption, it’s institutional incapable of competing on the same turf. Google can offer privacy as an feature (like Facebook does with Poke), but not as a product. They need user data to maximize their value to their customers—advertisers.

    Any competition between G and DDG is asymmetric. For DDG, offering privacy by default is their core value proposition, and they’ll only grow their user base over time by maximizing this value. For G, their current revenues primarily depend on the demographics and keyword data they get from logged-in users. They can afford to offer an Incognito Mode in Chrome, but they still need to get the vast majority of their users into the Matrix (G+) to curry favor with shareholders and advertisers; they would have too much to lose otherwise.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Andre, when DDG says “Latest news: we’re breaking traffic records as people seek out privacy-aware alternatives,” it apparently believes people are figuring this out and making the connection. And if that growth that DDG is citing is its proof that people are seeking it out for privacy protection, then again, that’s a sign that most people are not, and that most people probably aren’t concerned.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Well, I almost got into the entire issue of how for the advertisers, Google’s happy enough to keep delivering that info despite the compromise on privacy. But that’s covered in the linked article I had, and there was enough going on with this one.

  • andrekibbe

    I fail to see the inaccuracy of their statement. There’s a huge difference between “people” that multiply DDG’s traffic and “people” that constitute Google’s order of magnitude.

    Remember in 1998, when “people” were discovering this Yahoo alternative called Google? 15 years ago, Google only had a cult following. When the technorati were all declaring that rich portals were the future, a few forward-looking users cared more about speed. I thinks its entirely possible we’re seeing a similar disruption in search between the value of privacy and the value of a social graph.

  • Adeel Sami

    I don’t Really care for privacy thing as a searcher. And I definitely believe Google is not going to hit with anything in the near and far future.

    And Faiz Ahmed Faiz: If you search for the articles not just in SEO industry but outside of it, you will come across with hundreds of articles solely based on ‘analysis’ and ‘v/s’ and ‘personal thoughts’ and not all of them are paid ones.

    I read Danny from long ago and his articles are full of analysis and beneficial, his experience speaks.

    Oh and please don’t get the idea that Danny paid me to write this comment. :)

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    I remember it well, because I was reporting on it day-by-day. The portals stopped developing search; Google focused on that and had better results. That’s what attracted the audience. Duck Duck Go sometimes has excellent results. That’s what’s driven its growth more than anything, but Google’s results are also excellent. Unless Google has major stumbles in its quality, there’s not the opportunity for Duck Duck Go (much less big players like Bing) to pull away audience from Google).

  • Jim Magary

    Fair point… yes, the analysis is timely and useful, but I meant that it’s too early to draw a conclusion about whether people don’t care that much about privacy. It’s a fluid situation in that regard, and the growth situation of engines like DDG are one of the factors influencing. It could go either way… I recall all the concerns about Facebook privacy, which kept so many people off of FB for so many years… those folks are so fewer now, because the product was so compelling.

  • andrekibbe

    I’m suggesting that the tail might one day wag the dog. If privacy becomes a mainstream currency (which is, admittedly, not the case right now), we’ll see a shift in user priorities that obviates the marginal utility of Google’s search prowess. When a disruptive product or service enters the scene, there comes a point where the disruptor’s “good enough” is sufficient to trump the incumbent’s feature-specific superiority (e.g. iPads vs. laptops, GDocs vs. Word).

    I’m not tin foil hat enough to use DDG exclusively. For complex queries, I still use Google, but DDG is my default search engine; it’s good enough for general-purpose search. But unlike Bing, DDG is competing on a different rulebook than Google.

  • http://www.kitgarrett.com/ Kit Garrett

    The big problem with this is Google is, arguably, the best at what they do. Why would the consumer choose to jump from a tried and tested, reliable and familiar product to one with fewer features, a worse UX, poorer integration with other services etc for the sake of a few hundred days less log time? It’s just a non-issue until a major competitor to G emerges, which it categorically has not yet.

  • Adeel Sami

    Exactly, agree with this, Kit.

  • Miguel Silva Rodrigues

    Great article, keep it up Danny. We need more broad thinking like this. Otherwise journalism is turning people into dogs chasing bones, one at a time.

  • 209670938609387

    Duck Duck Go has the word of mouth problem: their advertising is non-existent when compared to Google’s frequent television ads and product placement in movies.

    It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again: want privacy? Stop using the internet. (Good luck with that as time goes on and more and more daily needs are serviced online instead of in person.)

  • http://www.michaelhorowitz.com Michael Horowitz

    Despite the fact the Duck Duck Go and Startpage brag about end user privacy, neither has chosen to employ “Perfect Forward Secrecy” on their web servers. Its a little known server option that goes a long way to improving the security of HTTPS which needs all the help it can get. See blog below for more on PFS

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/encryption/22366/can-nsa-see-through-encrypted-web-pages-maybe-so

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Jim, they do care about privacy. As the story explains, if you ask them, they say they do. But they don’t care enough about it to switch to a search engine that bills itself as “private.” The reason is that, I suspect, they generally feel enough trust with the ones they already do use.

  • Adeel Sami

    Funny infographic ad. to let Google down, published from DDG :D

    http://donttrack.us/

    They used the hacking attempt at Google back in 2010 in their figure #16. To make it clear, it can and it really can happen with anyone, any corporation and any big or small website.

  • Faiz Ahmed Faiz

    ok, lets say eight months. (I actually forgot how I calculated while posting).
    If you see my comment again Danny, you would see, I myself was doubting the fact that DDG can overcome Google in near future.

    Our main difference is coming from the point that you are looking at this data as an addition while I am looking at it as a multiplication(my interpretation). For you DDG has added 30 mn search queiries, for me they made it 1.5 times.

    If they keep on adding 30 mn per month, good luck in catching Google, just like you said.
    But if they multiply by 1.5 per month, well, they can become a mini google in a couple of years.

    And please, I am a fan of yours, do not take it seriously when I said it ‘sounded’ like a paid-by-Google article. it just sounded that way, I am sure you expressed your sincere and honest opinion only. :)
    cheers!!

  • http://codesleepshred.com/ r109

    I use duckduckgo for search for Android modding / homebrew / hack. It’s actually a thousand times more resourceful than Googles results, which is cluttered with garbage.

    I am usually on the look for firmware like custom roms, boot loaders, modems, root types of apps, DDG gives me great results… From tutorials, to source code I could compile on my own to test nightlies.. Googles Android results is shit compared to DDG

  • John_PopeXIII

    Come on, Danny.

    The only thing that DDG’s post-Prism lack of substantial growth – as you’ve comprehensively, yet unconvincingly laid out – may or may not prove has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with whether or not “no one cares about “private” search”, merely that the switching costs for hundreds of millions of people aren’t instantly affected by Google’s tenuous association with the NSA/PRISM story.

    If you really think that this is empirical evidence that “no one cares about private search” – then it’s clear why you became a journalist, and not a scientist – journalism is about opinions, science is about facts. ‘Proof’ is based on science, speculating is based on ego, subjectivity and a hunch.

    I’d be willing to bet my life that there are many millions of people who do care about “Private” search, who are still using Google – that only means they don’t think it’s worth switching to another search engine, after perhaps doing their own informal cost-benefit analysis. Or, maybe they don’t know enough about other alternatives – you know, “the devil you know…” theory.

    There are literally millions of different variables why people change their consumer behavior – the “Tipping Point” for the why they change their search behavior, will be affected by several thousand reasons, at least – not a single event.

    Let’s face it, Danny. Your article, and its pseudo-scientific analysis, doesn’t prove ANYTHING, one way or another. Other than perhaps, that you enjoy a provocative headline, every now and again.

  • http://boomient.com/ Jim Magary

    Agree totally. I’m not surprised at the stats on privacy preferences. I think the factor that slows change the most is that, unlike us web-centric folks, the average user is hard-pressed to try new things, and often confused as to how to do it. So their habitual use of the web (not to mention default browser settings that most people don’t know how to change) keep them using Google, and it’s a high threshold to change. And it’s not only the movement away from the distrust of Google/Bing, it’s also gotta be a movement towards an engine they can truly trust, and there’s little reason for the average person to believe that all these (relatively new) engines with funny names aren’t exactly the same in that regard. Who can take seriously an engine called DuckDuckGo (boy, do they ever need a brand makeover!).

  • Abba Zaba

    As someone that has worked on search engine privacy products I can tell you that advertising is a big obstacle to search privacy. Let’s take DDG. Even if DDG did everything it could to not remember your searches they still use Bing for ads which requires that they pass information about you to them via the ad request. Don’t be fooled. There is no privacy on the interwebs.

  • uniquename72

    “People don’t do what I say so they don’t care about security!!” Really?

    There’s little point in switching to Duck Duck Go (even if you believe it’s any more secure, which I don’t) when your browsing history is easily accessible from your ISP.

    Using Google is fine — just do it though a good proxy.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    I think it more likely that people would simply search less (if they are concerned about privacy) rather than change search engines. Reduced searching might only be encountered in queries related to illegal activities (or activities where people feel some sort of private shame).

    Given how tame the public reaction has been to the NSA allegations, I doubt many people have reduced their searching behavior but it will be interesting to see what the Page View Reports show for Google’s advertising business.

  • Faiz Ahmed Faiz

    your point well received mate.

  • Sharon M. Mullins

    what Lisa answered I am stunned that any body able to profit $7909 in one month on the computer. have you seen this w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • http://wp.me/Igbc Prattle On, Boyo

    People don’t seek out private search engines because nine out of ten of them have no clue what it even means. Most just want to treat using the web exactly in the same manner the average person uses a motor vehicle -obtain the most fundamental skill set how to use it, put gas in and then go. They don’t want to learn anything above or beyond what is necessary and so privacy isn’t on their radar unless they have privacy/security/tech concerned friends to educate them otherwise. Further, the corporately consolidated media does an excellent job of keeping the American public completely in the dark about pretty much anything in their collective best interests. Forty some odd years of dumbing down America has worked stupendously in favor of the plutocracy.

  • http://wp.me/Igbc Prattle On, Boyo

    So because you, Andre, personally are unaware of anyone else who knows what DDG is, therefore, the spike in usage couldn’t possibly be related to privacy conscious searchers? So you know all six point something billion ppl on the planet, eh?

  • http://wp.me/Igbc Prattle On, Boyo

    I don’t think “trust” is a word I would use with regard to the average searcher’s reason for using Google. Ignorance of the reality of how Google violates their privacy is a much more accurate statement.

  • M Prewitt

    The biggest problem is that, while people do care a great deal about privacy (if they are confronted with the options), they do not realize all the ways they are being tracked, nor by whom, nor do they know what alternatives are available. Although it seems stupid to the young and tech savvy, there are many people who think Google is the Internet.

  • andrekibbe

    If you had bothered to read just one sentence further into my post, you would have realized that I was comparing the “lack” of privacy conscious searchers to Google’s user base: “It’s not like WaPo or The Guardian are mentioning search engine alternatives in their NSA scoops, so why should anyone expect DDG to suddenly get traffic at Google’s order of magnitude?”

    Let me spell it out for you:

    1. Danny argues, “No one cares about private search,” using a loaded bar graph comparing DDG’s extrapolated before/after monthly traffic to Google’s *average* monthly traffic (note the lack of before/after stats on G).
    2. I disagree, arguing that his comparison is invalid on the grounds that “no one” has heard of DDG—at least if you accept Danny’s premise that the traffic spike is statistically insignificant enough, compared to Google’s traffic, to conclude that “no one cares”. He can’t have it both ways: if Google’s disproportionate traffic matters, it’s disproportionate brand recognition must be a factor.
    3. You, Prattle On, glance at a couple of sentences in my post, assume I was agreeing with Danny, and hastily hit Reply.
    4. I waste valuable keystrokes clarify a post that was clear to begin with.

    Gotta love the internet.

  • Fact_Feed

    I came to this article & website by happenstance – from a link in an NBC News story. I will leave my comment and then I will never return.

    This article is a Google Ad NOT an objective information piece. I use “Duck Duck Go” because privacy is important and many people like me are sick and tired of hearing egotistical flim-flam hucksters holding themselves out as in-the-know ‘experts’ matter-of-factly pontificating the edict that “no one cares about search privacy” or any other Internet privacy.

    There’s a humongous difference between “not caring” and “not knowing what to do” about privacy invasion. Sullivan is clueless about this pivotal distinction, and he’s also egotistically, callously indifferent no doubt.

    The probem with Google is that it has a ‘conflict of interest’ that motivates it to skew and butcher its search results. It sells search-page ad space and sends me tons of ad solicitation snail-mail shake-down letters monthly, warning me my websites “WILL NEVER BE FOUND” in a Google search if I don’t buy ad space.

    NOT the rosy picture Sullivan paints of Google. They’re so obnoxiously arrogant, they refuse to provide a search link for the Firefox “Search Engine Listing and Search Window” which allows users to select from a variety of search engine options. Bing does the same and they both get the boot they richly deserve. Competition is good – lack of it is ALWAYS very bad. Spread your search choices across the many options and help improve service for EVERYONE.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Thanks. I’ll share what I also sent in response to your email you sent me, which was the same as above.

    People do care about privacy, as the article explains, with stats that back that up from survey’s that have been done.

    What people don’t do, in general, is act on those concerns. Not in any significant numbers, as the article explains, with actual statistics from Duck Duck Go and rating services that prove this as objectively as anyone could hope to show.

    We can argue the semantics if not acting also means not caring. I think, for the point my article was making, is that it’s a fair equating.

    The rosy picture of DDG’s growth has been “wow, after PRISM, people are so worried, and care so much, about privacy that they are flocking over.”

    The reality is that people are not doing that, not in any significant numbers when you look at the overall number of people who search. The growth DDG has had, while substantial for that service, is literally nothing compared to Google. It has had no significant impact on Google’s traffic.

    That’s important to know, I feel. I’m sorry that, as a DDG fan, you might have taken that as some slight against the service. But people clearly do not care enough about the PRISM allegations that they are leaving Google. It hasn’t happened. They don’t care to leave.

    Why they don’t care to leave is uncertain. Many of them actually probably trust Google. Many of them may count relevancy and the range of services Google provides as outweighing concerns they may have. I don’t know. You don’t know. But what we do know, from looking at the actual numbers of usage, is that they haven’t abandoned Google over PRISM.

    Google, by the way, doesn’t control what Firefox lists. Firefox does that, and it tends to list the services that are paying to be listed. Google does control Chrome, and I don’t believe it lists DDG as primary choice there.

    It does, if I recall, list Yahoo and Bing. I find it odd to call a company that lists its chief competitors as arrogant. It could add DDG, I suppose, to show it’s being even nicer to include a tiny service. There’s an excellent change that if it did. however, DDG in its current state couldn’t handle all the traffic.

    Finally, Google’s not sending you those letters. I’d love to see an example of one, where you believe Google is doing this. Those type of letters are almost certainly from third-party companies making claims that aren’t true.

  • Fact_Feed

    Every time we see your gushing “Google Bias” it traces back to an erroneous assertion.

    Yes, DDG consistently “has excellent results” – BUT Google does not and that is why I use DDG.

    If you google the terms for a criminal defense lawyer in L.A. the first 5 pages will be junk — mostly third-party profiteering listing sites and other search engines. If I am looking for an LA crim defense lawyer – I want lawyer and lawfirm websites, NOT pointless, unnecessary third-party leeches, scavengers and blood-suckers who only list their “paying customers.”

    I want to “cut to the chase” and get to the lawyer websites and DDG does that infinitely better than Google. Google has skewed and trashed its search engine due to a “conflict of interest” – in that it sells search page ad space. If the search engine worked as it should, they’d never be able to sell their ads. Google will some day fall on its own sword.

  • Fact_Feed

    I second the motion, except for the tin-foil-hat remark. Even the old wishbone “Dowsing” rod works better than Google or the tin-foil-hat.

    Bing will never ever gain much on Google because it embraces the same dark anti-user polices and mindset.

    I used to swear by Google. Then I noticed constant webpage loading delays and stagnation while surfing – and they always traced back to Google tracking. The same happened with Facebook. Once I dumped and purged Google and its toolbar, I regained lightening web speed. Got another acceleration boost when I dumped and purged all Facebook remnants.

    DDG cuts-out the garbage irrelevancies that Google cherishes so slavishly (and profits from so handsomely). From time-to-time, when I need a reality check, I always have all the other search options as secondary fall-back strategies.

  • Fact_Feed

    Anand is absolutely correct here. I spent many hours selecting search engines for my Firefox search list and search window, before I stumbled into the DDG engine by accident.

    If you didn’t have such a shameless, gushing Google bias, you would have realized that for a totally unknown DDG to have experienced a 600% increase in a single week – a week when “Internet security” was on center stage – with DDG being one of the only search engines devoted to privacy protection — GIVEN ALL THESE FACTS — DDG’s significant bounce shows people DO CARE ABOUT search privacy.

    By your tortured reckoning, Tesla’s pioneering work with electricity was an exercise in futility, because oil lamps and wood stoves owned the marketplace and would continue to do so a decade later. It was a very long time after Tesla’s work that the lightbulb went on and electricity eventually decimated the competition.

    Once DDG gets hit with the big public spotlight, it will take-off like wildfire. Then we’ll see all the “privacy protection” copy-cat search engines scrambling to cut into DDG’s shares.

  • Fact_Feed

    Impressively rapid reply.

    Several fatal ‘kinks’ in your above reply christen my arguments with validity. In citing the “semantics” of the issue, you concede that the stats can not tell us whether “not acting also means not caring.” And to your credit, you explicitly concede that we cannot tell from the cited data “WHY people did not act” (by leaving Google).

    Both your above concessions are true and for precisely those reasons, it is irresponsible for anyone to even wildly conjecture that “people do NOT care about search security.” It’s just that simple.

    Many exceptional comments here have articulately shared my view that because DDG is such a complete (or nearly complete) unknown, the most reasonable and logical assumption to be drawn from the data is that the vast majority of Google users had no earthly idea that such a “privacy protection” DDG option even existed. Lots of contributors here realized this glaring fact, but you don’t seem to get it.

    There’s an obstinacy in your perceptions that carries over to your Google comment, where you state with iron-fisted certainty, that “Google’s not sending [me] those letters” (Re: “ad solicitation snail-mail shake-down letters monthly, warning me my websites “WILL NEVER BE FOUND” in a Google search if I don’t buy ad space”).

    I absolutely, positively guarantee you these are official Google Ad solicitations from Google. Google is ferociously, militantly aggressive in selling ad space for their search engine pages, where the ads will appear on page one, before the search results, according to specified search terms. It is astonishing that you do not know this. Will be happy to scan & send copies if you email me an email address. I’ve been buried with these Google junk-mail extortion letters, that go out to all Google-registered website webmasters.

    In conclusion, you seem to be in command of a wide range of information regarding ‘search engines’ but hopefully you will be more cautious about the task of ‘interpreting’ statistical data, by resisting the temptation to overstate or misstate the “reasonable” inferences to be drawn from them. You have a commanding pro-Google bias that stunts your openness to other possibilities.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    My article came off of many headlines that suggested that so many people
    cared about the PRISM allegations that they were seeking an alternative
    with Duck Duck Go. There’s no question, Duck Duck Go has seen a rise,
    and some of that may be because of the PRISM and greater privacy
    concerns. But that rise is insignificant compared to the number of
    people who clearly are not concerned, nor care enough, to shift from
    Google.

    I’ve explained my point on this both in the article and in my response
    to you. I can’t really explain it any better, nor do I feel anything
    further I say on that issue will convince you. So, we’ll have to
    disagree.

    I’m stating that Google’s not sending you those letters because they are
    not. If such letters were actually going out from Google, believe me,
    I’d have heard about them. So would the many search marketing readers on
    our site here.

    Moreover, Google couldn’t even provide the service you are describing.
    It doesn’t guarantee ad placement for anything. That is the result of a
    constant and ongoing auction system, which takes into account both the
    quality score of an account as well as the price an advertiser is
    willing to pay plus the price others are willing to pay.

    I’d absolutely welcome you sending me one or more of these letters. The
    fact that you’re talking about scanning them suggests you’re getting
    them via regular mail, which is even further unlike how Google operates
    and very much like how third-party firms that try to scam businesses
    suggesting a Google-connection operate. I think you’re being taken in by
    that.