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DuckDuckGo generates revenue in two ways, while upholding our privacy policy:

  1. Advertising
  2. Affiliate revenue


It is a myth that search engines need to track you to make money. We make our money from private ads on our search engine. On most other search engines, ads are based on profiles compiled from your personal information, such as search, browsing, and purchase history. Since we don’t collect that information, search ads on DuckDuckGo are based on the search results page you’re viewing instead of being based on you as a person. For example, if you search for cars, we’ll show you ads about cars. We’ve even created a way to show localized ads while still keeping you completely anonymous. See the Anonymous Localized Results help page for more information on how we do this technically.

Advertising on DuckDuckGo takes the form of sponsored links that appear adjacent to search results. Viewing ads is privacy protected by DuckDuckGo and most ad clicks are managed by Microsoft’s ad network, though even in that case, “Microsoft Advertising does not associate your ad-click behavior with a user profile. It also does not store or share that information other than for accounting purposes.” We have a similar arrangement with TripAdvisor.

This is generally how advertising appears on DuckDuckGo:

Screenshot showing ads in DuckDuckGo search results

If you think you see low-quality ads, for example, ads that seem irrelevant or suspicious, please use the ‘Report Ad’ link for the ad in question on the search results page and follow the prompts.

Visit Advertise on DuckDuckGo Search to learn more about why you should advertise on DuckDuckGo.

Visit Microsoft Advertising to start buying search advertising on DuckDuckGo.

Affiliate Revenue

DuckDuckGo is part of the eBay affiliate program. When you visit eBay through DuckDuckGo, and subsequently make a purchase, we receive a small commission. This mechanism operates anonymously and there is no personally identifiable information exchanged between us and eBay.

These eBay links are regular organic links (like any other link in our results) and their affiliate program does not influence our ranking or relevancy functions in any way. That is, they are not advertising like paid placements or paid inclusions, and we only generate revenue from them if you ultimately find them relevant enough to end up purchasing an item. For more details, check out our privacy policy.

Prior versions on GitHub.