Does DuckDuckGo pay Microsoft for access to Bing results?

As I understand things (I could be very wrong), DDG is a metasearch engine, which I understand to mean a search engine that uses other search engines. DDG does some web crawling on its own, and its ultimate results are a mix of other engines’ results along with its own. So it’s kind of a hybrid original-and-meta search engine, in that way. Correct me if I am wrong. (Source: Sources | DuckDuckGo Help Pages)

What I am really curious about is if DDG pays all the other engines it uses, most notably Bing, for access to their results. Startpage pays Google to use Google results. (“You can’t beat Google when it comes to online search. So we’re paying them to use their brilliant search results in order to remove all trackers and logs.” via: - The world's most private search engine)

Does DDG pay Microsoft?
Does it pay Wolfram-Alpha and all its “partners”?

Short Answer: Yes they paid Microsoft.

That seemed pretty likely. Can we find verification for that? Thanks.

Microsoft charges for their Bing API to access its search results. Duckduckgo has purchased a commercial license for the same from Microsoft. So yes they do pay MS. Why would MS give away their search indexes for free to another company? Of course they are going to charge it…

I believe you are correct. I’d still like if we could find it explicitly. :slight_smile: Like how I linked to sources in my original post. I was able to convince a friend that Startpage pays Google by citing a source. I would like to be able to do the same for DDG.

DDG uses a web crawler which indexes 400 sites as they state in their sources page.

To do that, DuckDuckGo gets its results from over four hundred sources. These include hundreds of vertical sources delivering niche Instant Answers, DuckDuckBot (our crawler) and crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, stored in our answer indexes). We also of course have more traditional links in the search results, which we also source from multiple partners, though most commonly from Bing (and none from Google).

And to index those results from Bing, DDG has to pay Microsoft.

Just a sidepoint (but related).
DDG search does not provide the privacy that most expect from it out of the box. To get the privacy benefits most are looking for you must set DDG as your default search engine AND add the Duck Duck Go Privacy Essentials extension.
Below is a clear demonstration of what happens if you do not implement BOTH steps.

(I am not saying DDG is useless, just that many are not using it correctly)

You really do not need their own extension. You just need AN extension that blocks scripts. There are tons of extensions for this, with the most recommended being uBlock Origin. He’s conflating a search engine, to script tracking. He’s embedded Google Analytics in his website. A search engine would not protect you against this, as you’re no longer on the search engine page. This is where a script blocker would come in, blocking harmful/invasive scripts across the web.

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Oh, interesting.
I thought that demo was pretty convincing but I guess I didn’t understand exactly what was happening. I’ve always had uBlock running, so I guess DDG Privacy Essentials is not needed, right?

Exactly, you do not need both. uBlock will do everything DDG Privacy Essentials does, and more. Don’t get me wrong, DDG Privacy Essentials is not bad (eg: I’d recommend it over something like Ghostery), but it’s not needed.

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