Last week, we reported on privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo reaching the impressive milestone of 100 million daily searches. While that may be far less than Google, it’s important to remember that DuckDuckGo is a vastly different model, yet still manages to be the fourth-most-popular search engine behind Google, Bing and Yahoo – and that’s nothing to sneeze at.
It often feels like the concept of search engine optimization (SEO) as we know it relates only to Google, but with more and more people seeking an alternative to being tracked and targeted, we can expect search engines like DuckDuckGo to see an influx of new users. It’s already happening: In 2019, DuckDuckGo was averaging 40 million search queries per day, and that number has more than doubled in a year-and-a-half.
What do we know about optimizing for DuckDuckGo? Admittedly, not much – until now, that is. Search Engine Journal (SEJ) contributor Mindy Weinstein wrote a DuckDuckGo SEO guide to help web owners improve their performance and visibility on the search engine.
With relatively little understood about exactly how DuckDuckGo works, know this much – it never stores your personal information or search history, and it doesn’t know where searchers are located – anything that demystifies what could potentially be a major player in the future is worth a look.
Some sound advice for your DuckDuckGo SEO efforts?
- Optimize for Bing. Kill two birds with one stone! DuckDuckGo partners with several sources, Bing included (and Google excluded entirely). This means Bing best practices can benefit pages on DuckDuckGo, too.
- Attract high-quality links. DuckDuckGo itself said this would be the best way to get rankings across all search engines, itself included.
- Get in the mind of a DuckDuckGo user. DuckDuckGo search queries are bound to look different to Google queries because (among other things) DuckDuckGo cannot pinpoint a user’s location, and users may add a geo-qualifier when looking for a local result.
- Claim and update your Apple Maps listing. DuckDuckGo uses Apple Maps for its local search results, so be sure to claim your business listing.
These tips, though nothing particularly surprising or outlandish, should seriously be considered as DuckDuckGo continues its upward trajectory. For many search engine users, Google’s antitrust violations and data and privacy issues have not gone unnoticed, and we can expect more people to make a beeline for DuckDuckGo. It’s never a bad idea to get in on the game early!
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