Apple’s default search engine: Is DuckDuckGo next in line?

“While Google and Apple’s search engine contract is about to expire, other players stand in line like available bachelorettes, desperate to become Apple’s next choice for Safari’s default search tool,” Mark Reschke writes for T-GAAP.

“During Yahoo!’s latest earnings call, CEO, Marissa Mayer, showed her resolve to court Apple, stating, ‘The Safari platform is basically one of the premier search deals in the world, if not the premier search deal in the world,'” Reschke writes. “Google may have poll [sic] position, but the Yahoo! and Microsoft marriage may hold a significant sway for Apple in this round of negotiations… [or] Apple could use this opportunity to turn the search engine game upside down, selecting little known DuckDuckGo as their default search engine of choice.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (photo by Brigitte Lacombe)
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (photo by Brigitte Lacombe)
“Whether Cook is meeting heads of state, or randomly dropping in on Apple stores worldwide, a constant message has been coming forth; Apple security and your privacy matters,” Reschke writes. “DuckDuckgo also does not track or sell search data. It is among the last, if not the only remaining search engine, to keep your search information private. Apple’s core philsophy and DuckDuckGo’s are stunningly well aligned.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is DuckDuckGo really ready to be Apple’s default search engine? Yahoo/Bing is probably better suited, but, regardless, Google’s either going to part with a hefty chunk of change to retain the premium position on the world’s premium platforms or let the rueing begin!

Google’s going to rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.MacDailyNews, March 9, 2010

Related articles:
Analyst: Google faces ‘significant’ blow if Apple dumps them from Safari – February 5, 2015
Yahoo gains further US search share; Google falls below 75% for first time – February 3, 2015
Microsoft, Yahoo vie to become Apple Safari’s default search option – November 26, 2014
Firefox dumps Google for default U.S. search, switches to Yahoo/Bing – November 20, 2014


    1. I REALLY hope it’s not the new default. I tried using DDG for awhile [a couple of months] and the search results in general were very poor. I would retry the same search with google and the results always seemed more relevant [compared to DDG, not always what I wanted].

    1. I tried DDG because I can’t stand Google’s ethics or business practices. I did not like the search results I got with Duck Duck Go at all even though I really wanted to use them. I am also not a Yahoo and never will be one either.

      1. You really should give DDG another chance. I’ve been using it exclusively for about a year now. You have to get used to not being fed irrelevant results from paid placements, and denied information pertaining to or promoting Google’s competitors.

  1. DuckDuckGo isn’t the perfect search engine. The key issue I find is that you cannot filter search results by time periods.

    However, that has not prevented me from putting DDG on all my machines, even my work PC, as the default browser. When I need a little more horsepower, I just go the the Google search engine.

  2. I always start with DuckDuckGo. Most of the time, I find what I want. But sometimes I still have to resort to Yahoo! or Google for a more obscure search. However, it is my impression that DDG is getting better and better and their interface is much cleaner and easier to read.

    Can anyone tell me how DDG makes any money? Just curious.

    1. DDG makes money by selling advertising, traditional advertising.

      The difference is they do not collect your personal information and search/surf habits to sell to advertisers who can then focus ads at you, among who knows what other uses they may make of your personal info.

  3. I have used DDG as my default search engine ever since it was possible to set it as the default. There are many things that I like about DDG, but one thing that irritates me is that it’s far too US-centric. If I do a search for a UK business, DDG will list American businesses before the UK ones that I would have thought better fit the search term. Even adding the suffix ‘UK’ to a search only partially addresses the problem.

    Google on the other hand does a much better job of providing results that are more local without needing any suffix, but then spoils it with their paid-for links.

    If DDG could make itself more international and less American, it would be much easier to recommend it to people outside of the US.

    1. Alan,
      Have a look at
      I believe they send an anonymous request to Google’s search engine on your behalf and return the result to your browser.
      Ps I have no connection to them, I’m just fed up with Google and I’d love people to work around them. There is no need to ask Google directly. If DuckDuckGo does not get the results you want, use as an intermediary.

  4. I too use DDG as default but find I am frustrated about 35% of the time personally and 65% professionally and have to turn to Google. DDG is simply not as good coming up with contextual matches of deeper content, such as answers deep in a forum.

  5. I highly doubt this is a possibility. Besides needing to be able to scale up to meet the traffic levels of being the default, we’re talking about a position that’s worth up to $7.8 Billion (less depending on how many switch from the default).

    Google isn’t just going to let that slip, and neither would Yahoo or Microsoft.

    Yes, privacy is a growing added value of Apple’s platforms, but I don’t see Apple swapping out the default from what most people consider the #1 search provider by far, and skipping #2, and #3 all while giving up billions in rev share to go with a 20 person company that may have significant challenges scaling up to meet demand as well as being able to continue to maintain results when their sources for data come in part from other companies that would like to be in the default position.

    At best, I could see Apple buying DuckDuckGo and then taking some time before implementing them as the default.

    None of this is to bash DuckDuckGo. They’re great for search, if absolute privacy is a priority, but for a lot of people, getting things like news results and other sources that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have built up over the many years result in DuckDuckGo having a ways to go to catch up in other features that people seem to prioritize over absolute privacy.

    Also, if Apple was all about the privacy above anything else, they could still use Google by allowing (or defaulting as the option) the ability to have all searches go through a cookie-less proxy so that Google would have no user data or information for any performed search. This would still result in absolute privacy for users while still providing value to Google resulting in billions in rev share for Apple.

    1. “they could still use Google by allowing (…) the ability to have all searches go through a cookie-less proxy so that Google would have no user data or information”
      You can do this now with

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