Duck Duck Go Seems to Love Exact Match Domain Names

During the last week, I’ve read a few articles that mentioned Duck Duck Go, a “private” search engine, and I spent a bit of time check out its search results. It’s called “private,” because as Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures said on his blog, “if a National Security Letter shows up at DuckDuckGo, there won’t be anything to hand over to the Feds because DuckDuckGo does not save search behavior on its users.”

One thing I noticed right away is that Duck Duck Go seems to love exact match domain names (EMD) in its results, much more so than Google and even Bing. I want to share the results of my informal keyword searching, where I know the .com EMD is a developed website. Some of the websites on EMDs are owned by my company.

EMD results – Duck Duck Go vs. Google vs. Bing (NR = not in top 10):

  • Cheesecake – 4 – NR – 5
  • Real Estate – 2 – NR – 3
  • Houses – 1 – NR – 1
  • Candy – 1 – NR – 1
  • Bobbleheads – 1 – 1 – 1
  • Palm Springs – 4 – 4 – 6
  • Domain Names – 2 – 5 – 3
  • SEO – 2 – 7  – 2
  • Tickets – 2 – 1 – 3
  • Dog – 2 – NR – 2
  • Hotels – 1 – 1 – 1
  • Soccer –  1 – 1 – 1
  • Chocolate – 2 – NR – 2
  • Fantasy Football – – 9 – NR – 8
  • Dog Walker – 1 – 1 – 1Lowell – 7 – 9 – NR
  • Dog Groomers – 1 – 5 – 1

One reason the results appear similar to those of Bing’s is because it apparently uses Bing among its information sources. Based on my informal research, it appears that Duck Duck Go is more generous to EMDs than Google and even Bing.

Instead of advertising on Duck Duck Go, it appears that there is a “meanings of” box at the top of the results with general information about the topic. There are links to other searches in this box as well as to trusted sites like Wikipedia.

What does this mean for domain investors? I don’t really know, but should Duck Duck Go become popular, it would certainly be a good thing considering the weight the search engine appears to give exact match domain names.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. The more people realize that Google tracks and records your searches and that the NSA has access to all this information its only a matter of time until other “anonymous” style search engines will appear and take away market share from Google. Could this be the beginning of the end for Google?

  2. duck duck go is bundled with linux mint and is the default search engine for that operating system. It’s a fine search engine and i usuallly get the results i need.

  3. With all the “data trawling” going on I decided to try the DuckDuckGo search engine for the week. So far I’m loving it much cleaner than the muddled up results that “G” has been producing. the biggest complaint I hear about “G” is that its not delivering the results that people are looking for…. to much of their own advertising above the fold.

  4. Duck Duck Go are also the authors of a Mozilla/Firefox plugin that was announced in 2009.

    It queried a database of 42 million domains identified as “parked” and “useless”, filtering out any access to them from the browser.

    It’s a good thing this duck is lame and the plugin was discontinued; imagine having millions of missing domains from your access by default, just because someone doesn’t like the idea, concept or business acumen behind domain parking.

  5. I’m seeing a noticeable surge in DuckDuckGo showing up in my website stats since the whole NSA-PRISM scandal broke. And that’s a good thing considering what Google punishments have done to my web empire’s traffic.

    I love DuckDuckGo if for no other reason than to see my content dominating page one of results like they _used to_ at Google. DDGo seems to respect both exact match domains and on-page content relevance and optimizations, simple as that. And from my observations, DDGo delivers quite decent results — far better than some of the gobbledygook Bing serves up.

  6. Thanks Elliot, I too tried it and got results based on EMD’s. It will be good if this engine gains traffic but the new gTLDs may put an impact on EMDs results.

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