"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 is manipulating users into abandoning rival products through misleading notifications and subtle design tweaks. According to Weinberg, this has primarily been used to discourage users from switching search engines or installing browser extensions from rivals.
Weinberg further alleges that immediately following one update in August 2020, DuckDuckGo experienced a 10% drop in new user retention on Chrome.
“For search engines like us that are trying to actively allow consumers to switch, [or] choose an alternative, they're making it unreasonably complicated to do so and confusing consumers,” said Weinberg. "It's one of the most direct pieces of evidence we have seen about how Google's practices have harmed our business."
DuckDuckGo is a Google Search competitor that emphasizes user privacy. In addition to not crawling content farms, it avoids filtering results based on a user's search history. It currently holds 2.52% of the US search market, 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," says Cane. "This gives it an inordinate degree of influence, and the thought of it leveraging that power to its own benefit is troubling. At the same time, we have no direct proof beyond allegations from the company's competition."
"It's ultimately impossible to know for certain if what Weinberg says is true," she continues. "However, I believe it goes without saying that a company should be able to stand on its own merits and not simply dominate because of a historical market lead. Either way, I suspect that we may begin to receive definitive answers in the coming year — along with the beginnings of a solution."
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