Google Quietly Adds DuckDuckGo to Chrome 73

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud with 9 Comments

The latest version of Google’s Chrome web browser now lets you select DuckDuckGo as the default search engine. Previously, doing so required you to install a browser extension.

“We’re glad that Google has recognized the importance of offering consumers a private search option,” DuckDuckGo founder Gabe Weinberg told TechCrunch.

I’ve not seen a Google announcement about this change, but the addition of  DuckDuckGo—and other pro-privacy search rivals—to Chrome is occurring thanks to a recent reassessment of which search engines are most popular in different locales.

“The default search engine (DSE) list is being refreshed from recently collected data,” a Google engineer noted on GitHub.  “This [change] is focusing first on countries for which a DSE list is already in place.  Existing engine registrations will be kept intact, and only new engines are being added.  The list of engine references for each country is being completely replaced based on new usage statistics, and unreferenced engine registrations are removed.”

TechCrunch, however, suggests that the change—which impacts Chrome in over 60 countries—may have more to do with the increased antitrust scrutiny of Google, especially in Europe.

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