How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money?


The primary source of income for DuckDuckGo is its search engine. DuckDuckGo generates revenue from search ads that are relevant to the keywords that users enter into the search box. Moreover, DuckDuckGo also earns money from the affiliate revenues of Amazon or eBay. When someone purchases something from Amazon or eBay using the DuckDuckGo search results; DuckDuckGo yields affiliate revenues.

Key Takeaways

  • DuckDuckGo is a renowned internet search engine and it doesn’t store the personal information of its users like the other search engines
  • People now are more concerned about their personal data and privacy therefore, the popularity of DuckDuckGo is increasing rapidly
  • DuckDuckGo has two main revenue sources and they are search ads and Affiliate revenues
  • DuckDuckGo uses Microsft Advertising to show relevant ads on its search results page
  • DuckDuckGo has an affiliate partnership with the eCommerce websites like Amazon and eBay and they make profits from the affiliate commissions

What Is DuckDuckGo?

What Is DuckDuckGo

We already know that DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that displays ads without tracking. It means, DuckDuckGo never tracks the personal data of a user. Over the years internet users have become tired of being tracked so they were looking for something that respects the privacy of a user. This is why the popularity of DuckDuckGo increased rapidly. Let’s check some advantages of using DuckDuckGo – 

1. Other search engine tracks the user while DuckDuckGo does not

2. DuckDuckGo can block the Google trackers from lurking everywhere

3. DuckDuckGo provides unbiased results that are outside the Filter Bubble         

4. DuckDuckGo value every feedback from its users

5. Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo does not trap you in their “ecosystem”

6. DuckDuckGo has features like bang that allow a user to search other sites directly skipping the search engine

7. DuckDuckGo provides complete control of a user’s personal data

8. Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo’s search results aren’t loaded up with ads

Key Statistics Of DuckDuckGo

1. Over the years, search queries on DuckDuckGo have increased about 50%

2. DuckDuckGo has received a total of $13 million in funding

3. In 2021, the revenue generated was approximately $25 million and total searches were 24 million

4. AS of March 2021, 70% of DuckDuckGo’s organic searches come from mobile devices

5. The all-time highest searches were on February 1, 2021, and it was nearly 102.2 million searches

6. A recent study showed every day 30 million searches were made in the US

7. The estimated net worth of DuckDuckGo is $901 million

8. The total number of employees in DuckDuckGo is 124

9. DuckDuckGo is at 1.27% in the mobile search market in the US

How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money?  

How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money

DuckDuckGo has two main revenue sources and they are search ads and Affiliate revenues. Keep reading the article to know more about these two income sources.

Search Ads On DuckDuckGo

Many people think that search engines require personal data to show ads on the search results. But that’s not completely true. Search engines can show ads without the data of a user. For example, when a user searches something on a search engine, the search engine can show an ad just based on that search term. So, if a user search “car”, the search engine will show ads related to the car. So it’s clear that search engines can make money without collecting data from the users. Showing ads don’t involve tracking because it is based on the keyword and not the person. 

DuckDuckGo uses Microsft Advertising to show relevant ads on its search results page. Advertising on DuckDuckGo is like sponsored links and they appear above search results. You can check the ads on DuckDuckGo and you don’t have to worry about your personal data because viewing ads is privacy protected by DuckDuckGo and ad clicks are managed by Microsoft’s ad network. Moreover, if there is any low-quality or spammy ads on DuckDuckGo then you can report the ad which is very convenient.

Affiliate Revenue

DuckDuckGo always looks for privacy-focused ways of revenue-generating methods and their Affiliate revenue is one of them. DuckDuckGo has an affiliate partnership with the eCommerce websites like Amazon and eBay. When a user visits Amazon or eBay through DuckDuckGo and makes a purchase, DuckDuckGo receives a small commission. This process works anonymously and there is no personally identifiable information exchanged between DuckDuckGo and Amazon or eBay. The affiliate links are organic links these programs do not influence the ranking or relevancy functions of the DuckDuckGo. So it is not like any advertising or paid placements or paid inclusions and DuckDuckGo will only make money if a user ultimately finds what they were looking for and end up purchasing the item.

DuckDuckGo Business Model

The main business model of DuckDuckGo is always going to be its search engine. DuckDuckGo’s business model has some key elements that play a very vital role in generating revenue for DuckDuckGo. Let’s check them out!

User Base

DuckDuckGo has a huge user base of privacy enthusiasts. Though Google is the largest and number one search engine in the world users who value privacy and know about tracking mechanisms are choosing DuckDuckGo over Google.

Customer Relationship

DuckDuckGo always gives respect to customer feedback so they have a strong relationship with the customer. Moreover, DuckDuckGo allows its customer to report false, irrelevant, spammy ads on the search results. Moreover, they take action against these types of ads therefore there is a strong trust-building between DuckDuckGo and its users.

Key Resources

Some of the key resources of DuckDuckGo are – 

1. User evangelists for promotion

2. Social media marketing and events

3. Servers and mobile applications

4. Advertisers

5. Amazon and eBay for affiliate revenue

Value Proposition Of DuckDuckGo

The value proposition of DuckDuckGo is always “We don’t store your personal information, ever.” This is why the number of DuckDuckGo use is increasing rapidly and so does the revenue of this company.

Major Activities

Some of the major activities of DuckDuckGo are – 

1. Algorithm improvements

2. Server load management

3. Application development

4. Website development

Fixed And Variable Costs

The fixed and variable costs of DuckDuckGo are – 

1. Server maintenance costs

2. Employee salaries

3. Website development and maintenance

Revenue Sources

The revenue sources of DuckDuckGo are – 

1. Search Relevant Advertising

2. Affiliate Revenue from Amazon and eBay

How To Advertise On DuckDuckGo                

Anyone can advertise on DuckDuckGo. DuckDuckGo does its advertising through Microsoft Advertising. Therefore, if you want to advertise on DuckDuckGo then you have to visit Microsoft Advertising. So when you open a Microsoft Advertising account, all of your ads will automatically enter rotation into all of Microsoft Advertising’s distribution channels including DuckDuckGo. So if you are wondering how you can advertise on DuckDuckGo then follow the below steps – 

1. First, open a browser on your computer

2. Now Sign up on Bing Ads or, 

3. If you already have an account then log in to your account

4. When you are signed in, click on the Campaigns

5. Next, click on your campaign’s name and give it a name

6. Then, click on your ad group’s name and give it a name

7. After that, click the settings tab and change the settings according to your requirements

8. Now click on Ads Distribution and select where your ad should be shown

9. Finally, click on the Save button to complete the process

FAQs About How DuckDuckGo Makes Money

Why Use DuckDuckGo Instead Of Google?

Nowadays, many internet users are using DuckDuckGo instead of Google. This is because people now are more conscious about their personal data and privacy. Usually, Google tracks every piece of data to make their advertising ROI better. But DuckDuckGo does not do that therefore a user’s personal data is more secure with DuckDuckGo. So if you are worried about your privacy and personal data then you should use DuckDuckGo.

Does DuckDuckGo Give A Similar Search Experience As Google?

Yes, DuckDuckGo gives a similar search experience as Google despite the fact that DuckDuckGo does not track user data. The algorithm of DuckDuckGo understands the search query of the user and shows relevant results just like Google.

Is DuckDuckGo Owned By Google?

No, DuckDuckGo is not owned by Google. Gabriel Weinberg is the founder and owner of DuckDuckGo.

Is DuckDuckGo Profitable?

Yes, DuckDuckGo is a profitable company and they are making a profit since 2014. A recent study from Pitchbook showed DuckDuckGo had earned about $25 million in the year 2018 and it is expected to grow 30% by the next 5 years. So it is expected that DuckDuckGo’s revenue has exceeded $100 million in 2021.

Does DuckDuckGo Sell Data?       

No, DuckDuckGo does not sell data. DuckDuckGo claimed that they do not track the user data and they also don’t collect any user data. So it makes sense that DuckDuckGo does not sell data to 3rd parties.

Who Funds DuckDuckGo?

Initially, DuckDuckGo was financed by Gabriel Weinberg and over the years it has been funded by a total of 9 investors. They are – 

1. OMERS Ventures
2. Peter Hershberg
3. Jeff Miller
4. Scott Banister
5. Joshua Stylman
6. Kal Vepuri
7. Jim Young
8. Union Square Ventures
9. Joshua Schachter

What Are Some Of The Safest Search Engines In 2021?

There are many search engines available among them some of the safest search engines in 2021 are – 

1. DuckDuckGo
2. Searx
3. Disconnect Search
4. MetaGer
5. Qwant
6. Search Encrypt
7. Gibiru
8. Swisscows
9. Yippy
10. Oscobo
11. Ecosia


Last Updated on October 31, 2022 by Magalie D.

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