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