Privacy-centric search engine DuckDuckGo announced that it has expanded its local search capabilities with a dedicated maps tab, map re-querying and local autocomplete.
Powered by Apple Maps. Earlier this year, the search engine adopted Apple’s MapKit JS framework to power its map-related searches. In line with its focus on privacy, DuckDuckGo maintains that it does not send any personally identifiable information to Apple or any other third party, nor does it retain location information sent by browsers after a session ends.
More about the new features. Previously, users were only shown a maps tab for queries that DuckDuckGo assumed were map-related. Now, the maps tab is a permanent part of its UI, appearing alongside the images, videos and news tabs.
Map re-querying, which can be useful to limit generic searches like “vegan” to a desired area, allows users to refine local searches while staying in the expanded map view. Prior to this, each new map-related search required users to return to DuckDuckGo’s regular search page.
While users are in the expanded map view, the local autocomplete feature will display search suggestions specific to the region of the map that is in view.
DuckDuckGo has also extended dark mode support to its maps as well.
Why we should care. DuckDuckGo recently surpassed 43 million queries a day (nearly twice the volume from this time last year). These latest features are likely to improve its user experience, which may help it maintain growth momentum. Although its share of global search traffic is tiny, it’s worth looking at how referral traffic to your site from DuckDuckGo has been trending. DuckDuckGo is also an ad syndication partner of Microsoft Advertising.