“When you think of search engine optimization, search engine marketing, or advertising, Google is inevitably the company that comes to mind… This gives it an inordinate degree of influence.”
ORLANDO, Fla. (PRWEB) January 21, 2022
On January 5, 2022, DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg expressed his belief to the Washington Post that Google manipulates users into abandoning competing products through misleading notifications and subtle design changes. According to Weinberg, this was mainly used to discourage users from switching search engines or installing browser extensions from competitors.
Weinberg further alleges that immediately after an August 2020 update, DuckDuckGo experienced a 10% drop in new user retention on Chrome.
“For search engines like us that are actively trying to empower consumers to change, [or] choose an alternative, they unreasonably complicate the task and confuse consumers,” Weinberg said. “This is some of the most direct evidence we’ve seen of how Google’s practices have harmed our business.”
DuckDuckGo is a Google Search competitor that focuses on user privacy. In addition to not crawling content farms, this avoids filtering results based on a user’s search history. It currently holds 2.52% of the search market in the United States, and 0.63% of the global search market.
“When you think of search engine optimization, search engine marketing, or advertising, Google is inevitably the company that comes to mind,” Cane says. “It gives him an inordinate degree of influence, and the idea that he is leveraging that power to his own advantage is troubling. At the same time, we have no direct evidence beyond the claims of competition from the company.”
“It’s ultimately impossible to know for sure if what Weinberg says is true,” she continues. “However, I think it goes without saying that a company should be able to defend itself on its own merits and not simply dominate due to a historical lead in the market. Either way, I suspect we could begin to receive definitive answers over the coming year – as well as the beginnings of a solution.”
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