20 September 2017

DuckDuckGo I love DuckDuckGo. Its "Bang" syntax is superb, it had inline answers long before Google and also has a Tor hidden service for those that prefer to use it.

Here's a great post about Gabriel Weinberg and the DuckDuckGo search engine, detailing how he managed to aqcuire users and find a unique growth strategy for the site using the "Bullseye Method".

The bullseye framework follows three simple steps, with the aim of hitting one target: traction!

The first layer is about what’s possible. In other words, this is a brainstorming phase in which the team starts to gather at least a strategy per channel that may be used to start “moving the needle of growth.”

The second layer is about what’s probable. In short, this is the phase where you start experimenting and testing the strategies that were brainstormed in the first step. Here it is crucial to start with cheap tests. That is not the phase where you have to go all in. Look at it as a tasting phase. Where you start tasting the market to see what works and what does not.

The inner ring is the bullseye. That is where you identified the channel or channels that are fueling the growth. Therefore, focusing on them at least until they will bootstrap your startup to the next growth phase. Eventually, you’ll restart the process to identify which channel or channels will work for the next growth stage (to dive more into it go to Medium).

The whole post is a good insight into how DuckDuckgo got to where it is today, and it's business model.

DuckDuckGo makes money in two simple ways:

Advertising: show an ad based on the keyword you typed into the search box

Affiliate revenue: through Amazon and eBay affiliate programs. When a user buys after getting there through DuckDuckGo the company gets a small commission

The advertising side is pretty simple. As we saw it is a myth that you have to track users to advertise. In fact, one a person enters a keyword into the search box, if that keyword could be related to a product then the search engine may return an ad within the results. For instance, if I’m searching for “car insurance” then the search engine will return an ad related to that. As simple as that!

It's a great reminder that the business model of the web doesn't have to be surveillance and relentless tracking of users. If you care about your privacy switch your search engine to DuckDuckGo. If you occasionally don't get the results you're looking for you can always add !g to your search terms to search Google directly.

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