Should my dealership be on DuckDuckGo?

What the DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo — a privacy focused search engine — has been receiving headlines recently for eclipsing 100M searches per day for the first time. Dealers might start wondering if they should be advertising on the growing search engine.

Let’s take a look at the data and potential of the emerging search engine.

Share of searches:

  • DuckDuckGo has 2.6% share of searches in the US. Compared to 88% for Google and 6.3% for Bing (source). This aligns to the incoming search traffic seen on automotive websites. While DuckDuckGo has recently passed 100M searches per day, Google alone sees a few billion searches per day and hundreds of millions of automotive searches per day.

Limitations for DuckDuckGo from a privacy approach:

  • Location – DuckDuckGo admits they might not have the best location data for mobile. This can be important with over half of automotive searches taking place on mobile including searches like ‘dealers near me’.
  • Search Audiences – Audience-based approaches such as smart bidding optimizations for max clicks/conversion are not possible since they do not factor in any information on the searcher.

Foundation Direct’s Take:

  • Our technology creates very relevant ads that is hyper-focused on lower-funnel keywords searched — campaigns strategies created by the Googlers who wrote the Dealer Guidebook now at Foundation Direct. Our best-in-class strategies align well with DuckDuckGo’s keyword focused approach, but DuckDuckGo is still relatively small — Bing and Yahoo have a larger search user base.
  • We suggest dealers to first review their current paid search strategy to make sure you are maximizing the demand they capture in their local market on Google and Bing. You can do this by looking at your impression share and monitoring performance for any diminishing returns.
  • For now we at Foundation Direct are taking a wait-and-see approach as we see most dealers still have opportunities to invest within their own current Google and Bing search ad accounts, but we will be monitoring DuckDuckGo’s growth.

Can you tell we are super passionate about search? Our expertise plus our tech makes our search strategy one of the best in the market and we have the proof to show it. Contact us to learn more.


Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Ashley Lepczyk, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation Direct

Ashley Lepczyk
Chief Operating Officer

A Surge of Vehicle Launches Is Coming

A record 210 vehicle launches will occur in the next three model years, from 2022-2024.¹ This is a 78% increase vs. the previous three years (2019-2021).² COVID delayed several model year launches last year, inflating the estimated 2022 model year launches to a record 77 vehicles.¹



Three Reasons Car Dealers Should Keep a Pulse on Vehicle Launches:


  1. Increase in OEM Marketing
    Automotive brands increase spend as much as 10x — upwards of $100M — during the 3- to 6-month launch window for a model launch, such as for upcoming all-new entries (e.g., Jeep Wagoneer, Cadillac Lyriq) and next-gen redesigns (e.g., 2022 Honda Civic, 2022 BMW X1).
  2. Increase in Consumer Interest
    The increase in marketing spend drives awareness and consideration, which can cause as high as 2x increase in search interest as people look to explore and purchase the launching vehicle, like when the Ford Bronco Sport launched.³
  3. Competitive Cross-Shopping
    When a vehicle launches, competitor models can also see an increase as auto shoppers cross-shop vehicles, such as when competitor models rode the wave of the 2021 Nissan Rogue launch in Q4 2020.

The Four Stages of a Launch Dealers Can Activate On:



  • Reveal — When a new entry or redesigned vehicle is revealed, usually at a major event like an auto show, or most recently at virtual events like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV reveal with Disney.
    • Work with your website provider to create a model-specific page generating excitement for the launch, accepting reservations (if available) and communicating why shoppers should buy with YOU.
    • Send the page to your Foundation Direct rep so we can begin building a remarketing list off of people who visit it.
  • Pre-Launch — The period between the Reveal and when the vehicle actually is available for purchase. Pre-Launch generally has low marketing spend and is supported with media reviews and press announcements. Dealer websites featuring content about the new model may see an uptick in traffic as people seek pricing, availability, and options to reserve. 
  • Launch — The timeframe the vehicle is actually available to purchase on dealership lots and the OEM increases marketing spend to promote the new model for awareness and consideration. 
    • This is the time for dealers to CAPTURE DEMAND from the elevated search interest caused by the increase in OEM marketing spend. Add the launching model to your Paid Search campaign to drive shoppers to relevant VDPs — this is done automatically for you with Foundation Direct as soon as the model hits your inventory feed.
  • Sustain — 3-6 months post-launch when OEM launch spend decreases to normal levels.
    • This is the time for dealers to CREATE DEMAND on YouTube and Facebook — Foundation Direct has the levers in place to activate this quickly for you. More on sustainment below.

Examples of recently launched vehicle trends


Vehicle launches stir a lot of interest in the market and provide an opportunity for dealerships to activate as early as the vehicle Reveal to engage future auto purchasers and ride the launch wave to capture auto shoppers looking to purchase.

Like the way we think about the automotive industry at Foundation Direct? Contact us to learn more.


Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Ashley Lepczyk, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation Direct

Ashley Lepczyk
Chief Operating Officer

Peter Leto, Foundation Direct CEO

Peter Leto
Chief Executive Officer

Sources: ‘Car Wars’ study says launches speeding up through 2024

2Bank of America Merrill Lynch “The US Automotive Product Pipeline Car Wars 2020-2023”

3Google Trends Data US, 2021 – Topics “Ford Bronco Sport”, “Jeep Renegade”, “Jeep Compass”, “Kia Seltos”, “Subaru Forester”

4Google Trends Data US, 2021 – Topics “Nissan Rogue”, “Toyota RAV4”, “Honda CR-V, “Ford Escape”, “Kia Sorento”