Today I learned: Duck.com redirects to Google, much to Duck…


rubber-duck-eva-rinaldi-flickr-cc-by-sa-20

Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck, photo by Eva Rinaldi.


Eva Rinaldi (Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be Google, right? 

Until today, if you typed duck.com into your browser right now and smacked the enter key, you’d see google.com appear. 

Weird, huh? Particularly considering that there is a search engine known for ducks, and it’s not Google at all — but rather, its privacy-first rival DuckDuckGo, which you’ll find at duckduckgo.com

Only on Friday afternoon, Google decided to relent, giving DuckDuckGo a shoutout. Here’s our new post about that — our original story follows.

To tell you the truth, Google has actually been redirecting duck.com to google.com for at least six years now. Here’s an article about it from 2012. But I bet you didn’t know, or forgot until now. And it seems a little petty, no?

It’s also newly interesting now that the European Union has fined Google a record 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion) for anticompetitive practices (including search) on Android — which is why we’re learning about the duck.com redirect again right now.

Here’s some more of DuckDuckGo’s Twitter thread:

It’s pretty self-serving for DuckDuckGo to side with the EU against Google, of course. You might think what Google is doing is totally fair, and besides, how many people are really going to type “duck.com” into a search bar if they’re looking for DuckDuckGo?

But either way, it’s not a great look for Google. Seems like either Google’s trying to fool DuckDuckGo’s customers, or Google’s just doing it to annoy its rival. 

It’s not like other Google-owned domain names, like abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com, all redirect to Google.

Google didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Thanks to The Independent for spotting this story.


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Update, 5:45p.m. PT: Added link to new story: Google has decided to relent.

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