The CEO and founder of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, says that his company is already profitable, despite the fact that his search engine doesn’t store private information of its users.
In an ask-me-anything session Oct. 7 on YCombinator’s Hacker News site, Weinberg said: “DuckDuckGo is actually profitable,” and that “It is a myth you need to track people to make money in Web search.”
Other search engines, such as Google (GOOG), save a user’s search history, sharing that information with advertisers and other companies who use it to serve ads elsewhere on the internet. Says Weinberg:
Most of the money is still made without tracking people by showing you ads based on your keyword, i.e. type in car and get a car ad. These ads are lucrative because people have buying intent. All that tracking is for the rest of the Internet without this search intent, and that’s why you’re tracked across the Internet with those same ads.