DuckDuckGo, the upstart search engine that’s challenged its bigger competitors on privacy issues, has had a couple straight days of record-setting traffic. But the numbers show just how much the major search engines dominate the search space.
First, let’s recognize how cool it is that DuckDuckGo actually has a public web page that shows the search engine’s traffic and query activity. We learned about it via a DuckDuckGo tweet today; you can see for yourself at duckduckgo.com/traffic.html.
The chart is impressive and shows the monthly moving averages of direct queries on DuckDuckGo’s website. Down below the chart are the numbers that show the search engine had 731,472 direct queries on January 24th — a new record, breaking the record that had been set a day earlier. Those were the first two times that DuckDuckGo had reached 700,000+ queries in a day.
The growth is impressive and good for the search industry, but the latest search engine stats from comScore provide a reality check.
ComScore says there were 18.2 billion explicit core searches in the U.S. in December.
Some quick math indicates, then, that DuckDuckGo’s query volume is about 0.00004 of overall search activity — or about one in every 25,000 searches. Scratch that for inaccuracy (due to comparing a daily DuckDuckGo number to a monthly comScore figure). If the comScore number is converted to daily queries, as it should be, then DuckDuckGo’s query volume is actually about 0.1 percent of overall search activity, or about one of every 1,000 queries — much more than I originally suggested. (This is why I avoided math at all costs in college.)
So again, props to DuckDuckGo on the new records and for even showing query data to the public at all. (Wouldn’t it be great if Google and Bing did the same?) But wow … still such a long, long way to go.