A search engine with a silly name is becoming more and more popular. Don’t let the name put you off.

Duck Duck Go (duckduckgo.com) is not one of those websites whose name is going to become a verb, like, say, Google.

No-one will ever say: “Let’s duckduckgo that” or “I duckduckwent the hotel before I booked a room.” Doesn’t work.

But in all other respects, Duck Duck Go (let’s call it DDG from now on) wants to be the next Google. It wants to be your primary web search engine, and it has one very powerful and unique feature in its favour: a commitment to privacy.

Google and its ilk like to track what you’ve searched for and what stuff you click on. They use this data to target adverts at you. That makes the advertisers and the big websites happy.

The people behind DDG, most importantly founder Gabriel Weinberg, believe otherwise.

They believe in the value of an open web, a web that’s not constrained by the interests of big business.

Duck Duck Go makes no attempt to track you or your search patterns. It’s a small company (just 10 employees), and it aims to provide a service.

Not conquer the web.

The DDG team has just announced what they call Duck Duck Go 2, a new version of the site. New features include finding images, and automatically suggesting words and phrases you might want to search for based on the first few letters you type (known as auto-complete). You can see it in action at next.duckduckgo.com Silly name aside, DDG is a serious venture that’s being taken ever more seriously by the rest of the internet industry.

It’s growing fast, perhaps as a result of various privacy and security scares in recent years.

In February this year, it hit a new milestone of five million searches per day.

And best of all, DDG is good. If you care about privacy and the open web, you should try it.