Since revelations emerged last year about the NSA PRISM spying scandal, public mistrust in Google has been increasing and as a result web surfers started voting with their feet and began finding alternative search engines.
The DuckDuckGo search engine, which encrypts each search by default and does not profile its users, has experienced a dramatic increase in site traffic – almost doubling since details of the spying scandal were revealed.
In a blog post the company said:
“In 2013, over one billion searches were made on DuckDuckGo. Needless to say, it was a great year for us.
“We’re looking forward to similar greatness in 2014. We have a lot of big things planned for this year that we hope will address a lot of the excellent feedback you have been giving us for some time. So please stay tuned.”
With search founder Gabriel Weinberg saying to media:
“We always knew people didn’t want to be tracked, but what hadn’t happened was reporting on the private alternatives, and so it’s no surprise that people are making a choice to switch to things that that will give them great results and also have real privacy.
And ITPortal notes that other privacy centric services have done well:
Other secure searching services have had a strong year, too. StartPage, which offers Google results through a proxy that allows for anonymous searching, and Ixquick, produced by the same company but offering results from multiple search engines, have boasted 4 million direct private searches a day.