DuckDuckGo Reached Million Daily Searches, Putting It To The Quality Test

DuckDuckGo LogoThree weeks ago i reported that the DuckDuckGo had a big jump in average daily search queries throughout all 2011 and to the beginning of 2012. Well, it looks like that so far 2012 is continuing with same growing momentum for the alternative private search engine.

Yesterday, DuckDuckGo Tweeted that they have passed the million direct searches for the first time at the day before (February 13th)! If you really want to know, the exact number is 1,067,006.

At the search engine’s transparent traffic page we can also see another amazing stat- At the first half of February (until February 13th), the search engine benefited from a 45% increase in average daily searches since January!

Putting DuckDuckGo To The (Quality) Test

To investigate furthermore this incredible growing phenomenon of a website that competes in the same arena of Google and Bing, i decided to conduct a little research to examine if the results from DuckDuckGo are quality enough in order to really compete with the top search engines.

I have taken nine different search queries (one-word to long-tail) and examined the quality of their top five position results. I know, not the most compelling study, but can still provide some basic insights.

Query 1 – Mortgage

  1. Wikipedia article
  2. Mortgage Calculator
  3. Mortgage Calculator
  4. Mortgage rates comparison
  5. Citigroup mortgage site

Overall: Variety of quality sites.

Query 2 – News

  1. CNN
  2. MSNBC
  3. Yahoo! News
  4. Fox News
  5. Google News

Overall: Again, variety of quality sites.

Query 3 – Insurance

  1. State Farm Car Insurance
  2. Allstate Car Insurance
  3. Nationwide Car Insurance
  4. Geico Car Insurance
  5. eHealthInsurance

Overall: Although all the top sites are quality, they aren’t varied.

Query 4 – Clean Energy

  1. Low quality site
  2. Wikipedia – Sustainable energy
  3. Montreux Energy’s CleanEnergy
  4. Clean Energy US Government site
  5. Clean Energy Australian Government site

Overall: Except for the low quality site at the first position (pretty disappointing), overall good results.

Query 5 – Chicago Restaurants

  1. Empty website
  2. Metromix Chicago restaurants
  3. OpenTable Chicago restaurants
  4. MenuPages Chicago restaurants
  5. 2008 restaurants index

Overall: Two out of the top five results are very poor sites.

Query 6 – eBooks Shopping

  1. Low quality ebooks site
  3. Low quality ebooks site
  4. Google ebooks
  5. Amazon ebooks

Overall: Two out of the top five results are low quality sites.

Query 7 – Transfer Website To New Host

  1. High quality article
  2. Medium quality article
  3. Spam site
  4. Medium quality article
  5. Low quality article

Overall: Except for the first result, all others are medium quality at most.

Query 8 – Best Football Players All Time

  1. Top 100 NFL players of 2011
  2. MadeMan high quality article
  3. BleacherReport high quality article
  4. Medium quality article
  5. Wikipedia’s greatest living footballers

Overall: Very good results!

Query 9 – How To Make Money On Youtube

  1. Great YouTube video
  2. Medium quality article
  3. Low quality Yahoo Answers
  4. Low quality article
  5. Affiliate site (looks spammy)

Overall: Besides the first result, all others are very poor.


It seems that DuckDuckGo search engine can handle with “easy” search terms pretty well, however as the query gets more complex (long-tail) the quality of the results declines. Unless DuckDuckGo plans a significant upgrade soon, it will be pretty difficult for this search engine to constitute as a real rival to Google and also to Bing.