Should You Advertise On DuckDuckGo In 2021?

DuckDuckGo has surpassed 100 million searches a day. Is now the time to start advertising on the privacy-oriented search engine? Find out if it’s right for your business.

Published On 22/01/2021
Updated On 15/05/2021

Category: Paid Advertising
Read Time: 4 Minutes

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that’s built around protecting the privacy of its users. There are around 100 million searches every day on DuckDuckGo and this figure is rising daily. Read on to find out more about this privacy-oriented search engine and why you should advertise on DuckDuckGo in 2021.

Why People Use DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo doesn’t store search history or personal data, which makes it quite unique. On the other hand, there are a number of privacy concerns regarding Google. DuckDuckGo was created to address these concerns and give users an alternative to Google Search. As Google has grown, so has their hunger for user data. In turn, public interest in data privacy has grown, which has helped DuckDuckGo to disturb the search engine market.

The privacy focused search engine makes up just 0.6% of the global search engine market, so it’s not going to topple Google any time soon. That said, DuckDuckGo picked up $10 million dollars of funding in 2018 and since then, its really started to take off.

duckduckgo google search trends 2021
DuckDuckGo worldwide search interest over the past five years

In correlation with this trend, there are indications that data privacy is starting to be taken more seriously. For instance, it’s projected that by 2023 65% of personal data will be covered under privacy regulations, up from around 10% in 2020. These regulations may force Google to loosen their grip on personal data, leaving a perfect niche for DuckDuckGo to slip into. In fact, data suggests that as DuckDuckGo increase in popularity, Google is trending in the opposite direction.

google search google trends graph 2021
Google Search worldwide search interest over the past five years

DuckDuckGo vs. Google Search

In terms of size, there’s no comparison between DuckDuckGo and Google. However, when comparing their functionality, they’re a lot more alike than you might think. DuckDuckGo gets its results from over 400 different sources. This is no where near the amount of sources that Google has access to, but it’s enough to provide a great search experience.

Apple Maps on DuckDuckGo

Users still get access to major Search Engine Results Page (SERP) features, such as knowledge panel and featured snippet equivalents. You can even use Google or Apple Maps for location based queries. As things stand, Google will always have the edge on DuckDuckGo. However, the tables may turn with growing privacy related pressures from consumers and regulators.

Pros & Cons of Advertising on DuckDuckGo

Whilst DuckDuckGo can’t compete with Google’s size, it can compete on advertising costs. The hoards of advertisers on Google mean that there’s a lot more competition. As a result, cost per click is much higher. On the other hand, DuckDuckGo has less competition, meaning a lower cost per click and a better return on ad spend.

DuckDuckGo is estimated to have over 80 million users. That’s a far cry shy of the 4 billion that use Google. If you operate a small business selling a few products and services, it might not be worth your time to set up DuckDuckGo ads. That said, DuckDuckGo is part of the Bing Syndicated Search Partner Network. This means you can advertise across multiple sites, like Ecosia and Bing, with the same campaigns. Giving you access to a much larger market.

There are also issues surrounding ad targeting. As DuckDuckGo doesn’t track users, it can be difficult to be specific with who you target. Features you may know from Google Ads, such as remarketing, are not longer viable on DuckDuckGo. Ethically, this is probably a good thing, as users get to keep their privacy. From a marketing point of view, it’s not so good.

Should My Business Advertise On DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo is leading the fight against Google, and their market share will continue to grow in 2021. Nevertheless, they’ve got a long way to go before they become a threatening competitor. Advertising on DuckDuckGo in 2021 would put you ahead of the curve, and it’s really simple to import your Google Ads campaigns into Microsoft Advertising.

My advice is to give it a go and see what results you get. You can sign up for Microsoft Advertising here and get $100 credit when you spend $25. If you need help getting set up, check out the ultimate guide to Ecosia ads. The process for setting up Ecosia ads is almost identical to setting up DuckDuckGo ads, so this should give you all the information you need to get started.