DuckDuckGo Organic Search Grew 64% – Only Google Competitor to Gain Search Share

According to the Q2 2019 Digital Marketing Report from Merkle, DuckDuckGo was the only major US search engine to deliver site visit growth in Q2 2019, with a 64% spike on mobile devices. As this occurred, Merkle saw that for the remainder search engines, organic search visits fell 6% overall with phone organic search producing its weakest rate of growth since mid-2016 overall.

Across all devices, the report found that organic search visits for DuckDuckGo were up 49% year-on-year while the privacy-focused search engine saw its share of total US organic search rise from 0.4% in Q2 2018 to 0.6% in Q2 2019. In terms of search engines bringing organic traffic to brand sites, the mobile organic search share for DuckDuckGo doubled between Q2 2019 and Q2 2018, while Google’s share fell a tenth of a point over the same period.

“DuckDuckGo runs search ads provided mainly by Microsoft Advertising, so the more traffic volume they produce, the more ad revenue they can generate,” said Mark Ballard, Vice President of Research at Merkle.


“From a pure UX perspective, most users probably don’t find the experience on DuckDuckGo to be that different from Google. DuckDuckGo is going to have fewer ads than Google for most searches, but they are there, along with other familiar aspects of the search results page. DuckDuckGo positioning itself as the more privacy-friendly search engine has likely been the bigger driver of its recent growth.”

As the only major US mobile search engine to post positive growth in organic search visits in Q2 2019, DuckDuckGo delivering 49% more visits overall year-on-year and 64% more visits on phones and tablets. Organic search visits for Google, Yahoo, and Bing fell by 8%, 11%, and 26% respectively. The three market leaders in search saw smaller declines in phones and tablets.

While 63% of organic search visits from phones and tablets to brand sites came from Google in Q2 2019, 62% of the results were produced by DuckDuckGo in that same period. The latest DuckDuckGo traffic report showed the search engine attracted nearly 3.5 billion search queries in Q2 2019, with over a billion search queries in April, May, and June.



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