DuckDuckGo is the latest search engine to make a push for more traffic and use in 2012, as Google continues to dominate the market.

Crowdsourced search engine DuckDuckGo announced a new visual design recently, and the company believes the facelift and the desire for alternative search experiences will make 2012 a big year.

DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg has been aggressive in using the website’s forums to field feedback from users over the last month. Among the main new features of DuckDuckGo is a very clean design, aimed at avoiding excessive content that can distract from search results. Moreover, the company’s updated SERPs help users navigate the web more effectively, using company logos to show which results are homepages or social accounts, and which are general web results.

DuckDuckGo has also added topical navigation on its right sidebar to help users navigate the web faster.

The search engine is hardly a major player in the industry at the moment, but Weinberg hopes that the redesign and a focus on an improved user experience will convince searchers to give it a chance.

Other lesser-known search engines looking to make an impact in 2012 include WIREDoo and Blekko. In October, Brafton highlighted WIREDoo, which features MC Hammer as an investor and spokesperson. Blekko, meanwhile, announced a redesign and new algorithm in late December, which the company said will reduce spam and boost the position of high-quality results.

Considering Brafton’s recent report that AYTM Market Research found 45 percent of Americans do not want their social activity featured in their search results, the launch of Google’s Search plus Your World might give these underdog search engines a chance to shine.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.