No more wild goose chase: ‘Duck.com’ now leads to DuckDuckGo instead of Google

DuckDuckGo CEO photo
DDG Press Photo/DuckDuckGo

Current and prospective users of DuckDuckGo now have another way to access the famous non-tracking search engine.

It was confirmed on Monday, December 10, to NamePros that DuckDuckGo had acquired a new, shorter domain name for its search engine’s main page: duck.com. Duck.com now redirects users to DuckDuckGo.com.

According to the statement DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg (pictured above) issued to namePros, the domain name was acquired from Google. Until recently, the search giant’s ownership of the duck.com domain name resulted in users being redirected back to Google’s search engine page.

DuckDuckGo was founded in 2008. Google originally acquired the duck.com domain via its acquisition of On2 Technologies in 2010, as On2 had previously been known as the Duck Corporation.

A 2012 TNW interview with Weinberg indicates that Google’s recent transferal of its ownership of the duck.com domain didn’t come about easily. In fact, Weinberg had looked into purchasing the domain from Google all the way back in November 2009, just a year after his own privacy-focused search engine company was created. But Weinberg was essentially turned down as Google was not interested in selling the duck.com domain, opting instead to redirect users to its own search page.

And as TechCrunch notes, DuckDuckGo’s initial struggle to acquire a domain that was clearly better suited for its own brand rather than Google’s does have the appearance of an anti-competition move by Google against DuckDuckGo.

As Weinberg pointed out in that same TNW interview, Google also owned “lots of domains that don’t point anywhere, or not to their main search page,” which when contrasted with how the duck.com domain was initially handled by Google, may indicate a deliberate decision by Google to drive traffic away from its competitor, DuckDuckGo.

All things considered, it does seem reasonable to think that Google’s recent move to release the domain to DuckDuckGo may be a purposeful step back from what looks like anticompetition behavior, especially in light of recent antitrust investigations into Google’s perceived dominance in web searching and smartphone OS development.

DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results.

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