False Marketing.

Screenshot of the DuckDuckGo browser.

As one might conclude from my previous posts on this blog, I’m a bit of a ‘self-dubbed’ analytics nerd. I like tracking movements that people make online (tracking habits), and, with respect to my blog, I like tracking what brings people to my blog and what keeps them on my blog.

Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of people have been finding me from the search engine ‘DuckDuckGo’. I’ve never used DuckDuckGo before. I’ve pretty much solely used Google Chrome and Safari for about ten years now, so seeing such a high refer rate from DuckDuckGo had me interested.

I must be ranking highly on the search engine, right?

I went to DuckDuckGo to see how I am ranking and the first thing I read is “DuckDuckGo – The search engine that doesn’t track you.”


DuckDuckGo doesn’t track you. It just tells me what state you live in, what time and date you found my blog and what you searched online that allowed you to find my blog.

That doesn’t sound like tacking at all…

This is what I would suggest is very false marketing.

While my posts seem to rank really highly on DuckDuckGo (and that’s pretty cool), I’d like to remind anyone reading this, if you’re someone that uses that browser, it’s being tracked… regardless of what the front page of the browser might advertise. I’m pretty sure we’re always being tracked online. Unless you’re a seriously articulate A+ level, 1 in a million underworld hacker, your movements online are being tracked.

36 thoughts on “False Marketing.

  1. I kinda don’t understand the whole privacy and tracking security stuff anymore, I have given up on it a long time ago lol. Like you said, I’m pretty sure the Internet already knows everything about every single one of us, so there is really no point in trying to hide from trackers anymore 😂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I mean, if you’re still being tracked, is your privacy really any better than using google? The only thing that DuckDuckGo seems to really be doing is not giving you ads based on searches. Which… can be a bonus if that’s what you’re looking for. But if you’re really looking for more privacy, how much more of it are you getting from DuckDuckGo? I haven’t found any reports today (since I fell down this wormhole this morning) that suggest your searches are any more private.

      Also, I’ve never heard of the Brave browser. Is it any good?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. When you put it like that, I see where you’re coming from. And actually I *miss* targeted advertising. I’m fed up with being shown dating and hookup sites!

        Maybe it’s not so bad if Google and Chrome know I’m married. Maybe it’s time I gave up on any hopes of Internet privacy.

        Soon Amazon’s AI will be sending me products I didn’t even know I wanted, without me even going to their site! 😀

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I use AdBlocker on Chrome so I haven’t seen an ad I don’t want in several years. lol.

        Creepy thoughts about Amazon’s AI, but probably very realistic.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Oh and Brave is basically Chrome but with lots of privacy and security features like tracker blockers. But actually it breaks some website functionality and is becoming a bit of a pain in the ass for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I had heard of DuckDuckGo, but never bothered to use it. I am a Google Chrome girl. On my seriously old blog, I helped the publisher with the release of Divergent. I, for whatever reason, posted different girls and guys pics so my followers could vote on who Four should be, Peter, Tris… One of my book friends happened to be looking at one of their Google Image pages and there was my scary face right in the middle of this seriously hot guy’s Google Images. Good times. We’re being tracked.

    Wonderful article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHA That’s really funny!

      You’re right. We’re being tracked. We’re all being tracked. It’s something we subject ourselves to when we opt to use the internet.


    1. I mean… if you’re not doing anything wrong on the internet than you shouldn’t really have a ton to worry about. Right?

      If they’re suggesting ads to you that you don’t want, chrome has this wonderful feature called ‘ADBLOCKER’ that makes those ads disappear. It’s all in how you look at it. lol

      Then again, if you’re getting refers from DuckDuckGo, your posts are probably ranking pretty high on there too! You should go have a look and see!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not internet savvy as you are. I think them tracking anything and collecting it is wrong!
        Oh I doubt I rank high on duckduckgo.

        Firstly I thought what is this doggy web thing. Reading your post today made think oh may be it is legitimate 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Is it wrong?

        I mean if you’re doing anything nefarious then is it really all that different from you walking into a grocery store and being caught on 35 different cameras as you wander the aisles? As long as you’re not stealing anything from the grocery store, you don’t care about the cameras.

        I guess I just look at it like… this is the world we’re living in in 2019. Web tracking is like an extension of security camera tracking. Security cameras help prevent shoplifting. Yes, but also, can tell store managers about things like which products or aisles are more popular in their store based on how many people view those products on their CCV each day. And, odds are you walk past 100 or more security cameras in a day. It’s become so normal to walk past cameras we don’t even really acknowledge them anymore.

        Who’s to say the store owner isn’t tracking how many people a day pick up a certain type of product in their store? Who’s to say they use that as ‘data’ to stop carrying a competitor item because people only want that one product? Is that wrong?

        I think it’s just business in 2019. And if you’re not doing anything nefarious, then what do you have to worry about?

        Sorry for rambling on and on about my opinions you really didn’t ask for. lol

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Not a problem, I don’t mind. I learn a lot from you. I am not millennial and so don’t get it from that angel, and it nice to learn from you and your world view. Nothing wrong with a Frank discussion.

        I guess you are right it is just an extension of CCTV.

        I guess what I don’t like is online banking, online shopping and how that is tracked. Online everything is convenient but it scary if it is all tracked!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. If you walk into a bank, though, does that bank not track when you visit? Perhaps you live in a city that has multiple branches of that bank, does that Bank say “Okay, they went to location A – 23 times and Location B only 3 times and Location C 17 times” to track where you choose to do your banking? I reckon they probably do…?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. So, I’ll try and explain it, hopefully this makes sense.

        In your stats, you have ‘Referrers’. These Referrers are how people found your blog. IE, You nailed it when you said you have referrers from DUCKDUCKGO, that means someone searched somethign on DuckDuckGo and your blog came up. This likely happened within the first three pages. If you’re lucky, you might even have made the top 10.

        In your stats you have a section called “Search Terms”. Go to your stats page and look bottom left. Anything that someone has looked up on a search engine that has lead them to your blog, should be here. Sometimes, it says “Unknown Search Term” but sometimes, it’ll actually say a specific search term. For me, I have a lot of referrers from DuckDuckGo recently, and in my “Search Terms” section, I have a lot of searches for ‘Natalia Grace’. A while back I made a post about the Natalia Grace Story. Since these two items seemed to align – same referrers as search terms, I took a hunch and went to DuckDuckGo and searched ‘Natalia Grace’. Sure enough, my post about Natalie Grace is showing up as #9 on the list. This makes sense as to how people are finding me.

        So, look at your Referrers, and then match those referrers with search terms. If they appear to line up, go to DuckDuckGo, and search said Item to see how high a post from you might appear.

        Hopefully this makes sense. If it doesn’t, let me know and I can try to re-explain.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I have more unknown searches than search terms. I used to think the few search terms that are NOT classified as unknown, are ones coming from wordpress’s own search. This was extremely helpful. I appreciate your time in explaining this it is invaluable and you really are a guru of the internet for me. Thank you


  3. 🙂 Privacy on the internet is an illusion.

    Companies like Facebook can track you everywhere that you go online (And that is just a drop in the bucket).

    Now, I highly doubt that using Duckduckgo on Google Chrome is going to help anonymize one’s search history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wholeheartedly agree. When you use the internet, you give up the right to a lot of privacy. GoogleChrome is absolutely tracking everything you do and DuckDuckGo is likely tracking just as much, just claiming they aren’t. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you have a public-facing profile anywhere or if you’re connected to someone who does, anyone can find you.

    There have been more than a few times where someone has asked me to find someone using social media profiles, public posts, or even news articles. It’s actually frighteningly easy to track someone down.

    My advice? Button up your social media accounts and don’t accept friend requests from anyone you don’t know!


    1. Oh, I completely agree .Once it’s online, it’s online forever. If you google me, things come up that I did online when I was like 15 years old… lol

      It’s all being tracked.

      Button up your social media is really good advice. Some people are so… free and open with their’s and I’m like ‘I hope your boss never finds that’!


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