(they were acquired in 2009, ddg was started late 2008)
Whereas duck.com, a commonly interesting domain name for their competitor (which DDG claims confuses a lot of their users), gets redirected to Google's search engine with no other note whatsoever. Shouldn't duck.com have a similar page to on2.com?
IE what they did here.
There are a few cases i can think of where the domain no longer exists, it depended on a lot of things.
But basically all "plans" i read was to do the above.
At one point early in my google career, i believe pretty much all domains google owned but was not using redirected to google.com.
I don't believe this is done any longer in general because people were using it to guess at what Google was doing :)
I believe most of Google's acquisitions redirect to the search engine (unless there's a more appropriate destination).
I'm not discounting the possibility that it's innocuous, but it's strange that even among the same acquisition, one domain goes to google.com and one goes to a landing page explaining the acquisition.
EDIT note: DannyBee's opinion here was posted around the same time as this comment, and suggests a specific corporate strategy: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17570412
After mining a bit of HN history, DDG was already up and running and seeing some use by then (ex. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1334720).
The issue of the duck.com domain came up back in 2012:
> He also said his company had tried to buy the duck.com domain from its previous owner, On2 Technologies, but was rejected. Google eventually acquired the domain when it bought the entire company, and redirects duck.com traffic to Google.com.
> "It only started redirecting after we inquired about (buying the domain name)," said Weinberg. "It causes confusion."
(with some wonderfully vitriolic best-of-HN comments at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4817466 -- including a reply from ~yegg explaining his position about this.)
edit: Neat, I was able to find DDG's debut on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=315142
That was on September 25, 2008. Google's offer to On2 was in August of 2009 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On2_Technologies#Acquisition_b...) (the actual acquisition came later, after Google increased its offer). To be clear, I'm not convinced Google bought On2 just to screw with DDG. But the timeline is not as cut-and-dried as some people are making it out to be.
The sequence of events literally described here is:
1. DDG inquires to On2 about buying duck.com (Google was almost certainly in talks about the acquisition at this point, FWIW)
2. Google acquires On2
Then he says Google redirected it after "only after" they tried to buy it.
Yes, they did, because you tried to buy it before google acquired the company.
However he deliberately tries to imply it's somehow related, without any data.
If you want to compete with a market leader, whose domain is 2.5 syllables long, and you pick a confusing, 3 word megadomain for a brand, you don't get to cry foul over Duck.com !
The main issue I have is with duck.com. A lot of people remember that we are a search engine "duck something" and so naturally try duck.com. As a result, there is a lot of confusion, e.g.:
"I was telling someone about DuckDuckGo and they thought it was Duck.com and they went to Google. Is Google using this to find people who make the mistake to Duck.com instead of DuckDuckGo?"
"Can't you do something about this? I keep going to Duck.com when meaning to visit DuckDuckGo.com They are using the DuckDuckGo name to get people to search Google."
And anyway, it's also irrelevant here. The question was over whether Google is using their position to deliberately redirect users to their own search engine. I don't know if they are or not, I was just correcting the timeline that some people were getting wrong and adding background info.
If you're picking an awfully long name to compete against what is already a 2.5 syllable verb (Google), who's to blame?
Then there's the whole, "But our users only remember Duck" straw-man. Whose fault is that? Google's? Did they lawyer up and force a 3 word, 5+ syllable megaword as a brand/domain on you, when it defies common sense to pick LONG names for a service/domain you expect users to use a hundred times a day.