Have you ever heard of the search engine DuckDuckGo.com?
If not, you aren’t alone. This very young site (about two years old) openly markets itself as the anti-Google. While there may be some simple logic to this approach – Google is the undisputed champion of the search engine world – their reasons have merit beyond purely commercial.
Some people are greatly concerned with privacy issues related to Google, since the company collects data about your searches and sends them to other companies mainly as an effective tool in servicing you ads that match your browsing habits.
So, if your competition (Google) has such an enormous advantage over you, it may be best to take an agressive no-holds-barred approach towards your growth strategy. One way DuckDuckGo.com is attacking its competition is through billboards, like the one in the Bay area in northern California, which advertises “Google tracks you. We don’t.”
But the most effective marketing tool for their version of web search is the illustration given at DontTrack.us, where the company gives a simple graphic presentation of how you may want to be scared of your lack of privacy by using Google.
Now, whether or not you are nervous about these issues is up to you. It depends on the level of risk you are willing to take. What are the chances you will be adversely affected by Google’s policies? Not very high. But stuff happens. Take the case of former Google engineer, David Barksdale, a 27-year-old employee who was fired after it was discovered that he was spying on four teens by accessing their Google accounts. It’s unclear whether or not his abuses were more widespread.
Again, most of us will never have a problem with Google employees or anyone else abusing our online privacy. But if it concerns you, you will be glad to know that complaints have led to the Federal Trade Commission calling for a “Do Not Track” mechanism that would allow you to opt out of this kind of online tracking.