DuckDuckGo Sets New Traffic Record, But Stats Show How Dominant Google, Others Are

duckduckgo-logoDuckDuckGo, 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


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.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | DuckDuckGo | Stats: Popularity | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Gabriel Weinberg

    Matt, thanks :). Your numbers are a bit off though.*100 ~ it’s about .1% :).

    However, I think the 18B is circumspect myself. Notice in our numbers we take out API requests and Bot requests. I’ve written a bit more of that here:

  • Chas

    I prefer Gigablast~ if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

  • Matt McGee

    Oh gosh, Gabriel — I compared your number at the daily level against the comScore monthly total. Yeesh. How embarrassing! You’re correct. Even using the 18 billion number, when that’s broken down to a daily number, DDG has about 0.1% as you suggest. I’ll update the post. And then remove the egg from my face….

  • Gabriel Weinberg

    Thanks Matt. It’s still small but only an order of magnitude away from probably being on the big board! We’ve come so many orders of magnitude all ready it doesn’t actually feel that far away :)

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