About DuckDuckGo Search Engine

DuckDuckGo entered the limelight this January as it touched a million searches per day. What's new about it, you ask?
For the first time ever after its creation, the search count per day touched such a high number.
So how did it happen?
We could say it started in 2019 when people started becoming more aware of how the giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., had been collecting the users' personal information.
It led people to search for alternatives, and DuckDuckGo was unearthed. We say unearthed because the search engine was founded in 2008. Yeah! It didn't make much of an impact until recent times.
The search engine looks like this now.
DuckDuckGo doesn’t just promise privacy. The company claims that it doesn’t store any of your personal information or track your activity on the internet or follow you through ads. The company took a dig at Google by calling out the giant for using users’ personal information in the name of providing better services.
With the platform gaining fame with each passing day, should a business owner start optimizing the search engine's website?
Well, you should start optimizing the website for DuckDuckGo. That’s where people are turning to these days. And guess what? It is easier to rank faster on DuckDuckGo. Let’s read more about DuckDuckGo in this post.

How to Optimize Your Website for DuckDuckGo Search Engine?

1. Invest in Modern SEO Practices

With DuckDuckGo grabbing eyeballs in recent times, many websites try to optimize their content for this search engine and get an edge over competitors. Since we already know that DuckDuckGo is very particular about users' privacy and doesn't collect information to provide customized search results, it becomes necessary to know precisely how you can optimize your website for DuckDuckGo.
The first step is to invest in modern SEO practices. Okay, so what are they?

  • The website loading time should be 3 seconds or less
  • Focus on fixing complex meta tags
  • Simplify the URL structure - let search engines and users understand the content in the URL.
  • Make sure the website content is error-free
  • Optimize the website for other search engines

2. Get High-Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are the common factor in both Google and DuckDuckGo search engines.
We are yet to know precisely how backlinks play a role. But the company mentioned that a website that has high-quality backlinks gets a better rank. Since the keyword here is high-quality, you will need to look for source sites with a higher Domain Authority (DA).
So, it’s suggested to have a blogger outreach professional (hyperlink your service page) to build high-quality organic links.
DA is measured on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the highest. Any website that has a DA of more than 70 is considered a high-quality source for backlinks. Even the placement of the backlinks is vital. The backlinks must come from a page with a higher rank than yours and naturally lead to your site.

Related : Legit Ways to Earn Backlinks to Your Site

3. Research for More Local Keywords

The need for deeper research is another aspect where DuckDuckGo is different from Google. DuckDuckGo doesn't use geolocation to deliver the exact search results to the users. That makes it rather hard to optimize the website for local search. You will need to put in extra effort to identify the right keywords and use them on the webpages.
The search results of DuckDuckGo are not as precise as Google’s because of this. However, you can reach your target audience by checking out the relevant keywords on sites like Answer the Public, Demographics Pro, etc.
Enter your focus keyword in these tools, and you’ll get several related keywords to target.
Start by finding out where your customers and target audiences are located and use the keywords with geo-qualifiers of that region.

4. Optimize the Website for Bing and Yahoo

This should be obvious when we know that DuckDuckGo pulls data from search engines like Yahoo and Bing. So, when you optimize the website for these two search engines, you will be optimizing it for DuckDuckGo as well. One area you need to concentrate on is the XML sitemap.
Review it again and ensure that there are no errors in it. Use any free tools to keep a check on it.
Then you need to submit the sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools.
Do you know that you can use the search console to track how your website is performing? You can check the site's health, crawlers, the number of pages that have been indexed, and much more.

5. Optimize the Website for Instant Answers

Similar to Google’s Knowledge Base, DuckDuckGo has a section called Instant Answers.
DuckDuckGo also uses featured snippets from websites to display them as search results for queries. If you want your website to appear in the search results, you can provide exact answers to the questions asked in this section.
Here’s an example of how it shows the instant answers.
The search engines use more than 100 sources to find answers to the questions you’ve asked. You can read the results without having to open the link. The Instant Answers are open source and can be fixed by developers by accessing the GitHub repository (according to the DuckDuckGo).
Developers can make use of the Instant Answers API to add and edit the data.

6. Give Importance to Structured Data

Does this sound similar again?
That’s because DuckDuckGo also prefers structured data as Google does. The process is also the same.
So, you don’t have to worry about creating structured data differently for DuckDuckgo.
That’s because it becomes easier for the search engines to identify and index the webpages without putting too much effort into understanding the content on the webpage.
Structured data is pretty much a standardized format of providing details about the website and its content. When you feed structured data to DuckDuckGo, it shares the data with the crawlers so that the pages can be indexed faster.
The shared data will also help provide accurate search results to users as the search engines know which indexed pages have the relevant information.

7. Allocate Adequate Resources

By resources, we mean time, money, and effort. You have to remember that DuckDuckGo is still growing. Google continues to be at the top. While it is necessary to invest in optimizing the platform's website, don't spend more than what you can afford.
At the same time, ignoring DuckDuckGo is also not suggested. If people become more aware of the lack of data privacy and consider it a serious problem, they will move to DuckDuckGo.
As you know, the marketing budget required for DuckDuckgo is lesser than Google; you try advertising here now and then.
It will do your website a lot of good if you are ready to compete with other businesses by then.
Plan your budget allocations a little more carefully to include DuckDuckGo in your digital marketing strategies.

8. Repurpose the Content on Different Platforms

We know that creating new content is not easy. And when your business has a specific niche, you will need to work within the limitations. But that doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose your existing content.
Since DuckDuckGo sends search requests to third-party sites to gather relevant information, being a part of these platforms and forums will bring you more visibility. For example, you can answer the questions posted on Reddit, Quora, Yahoo Answers, Stack Overflow, LinkedIn, and so on.
The answers with backlinks generate traffic, quality leads and improve the audience’s brand value.
Rewrite the content and post it as answers to relevant queries. So even if your website doesn’t directly show up on the SERPs, your answers definitely will. And that will bring users to your website.

9. Earn Backlinks from Sites-like Wikipedia

Does Wikipedia backlink provide backlinks?
Yes, it does. Wiki is a crowd-sourced website where the content is edited and managed by the people like us. You can create an account on Wikipedia and submit data, suggest corrections, add citations, etc.
Once it’s approved, the link to your site is added below in the references section.
It is one of the websites with a high domain ranking and a trusted Yahoo and Bing platform source. Since DuckDuckGo gets data from Yahoo, the search engine gives more importance to websites with citations, backlinks, and even no-follow links from Wikipedia.
Of course, you need to first create high-quality content on your website for you to get backlinks from Wikipedia. Good content will bring more traffic in many ways.

Related : How to Use Wikipedia for SEO Success?

10. Know Your Audience

Well, this is the primary step if you want to run a business. But we are talking about the audience on the internet. What works typically on Google will not work here. The best example is local search, and more specifically, searches like 'salon near me' or 'bakery near me.'
DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect users’ data. It doesn’t know where the user is. So how will the search engine be able to show them that your bakery is in the next street?
So, you will need to optimize the content based on how the user would phrase the search query. This search engine will require you to use more words like "how," "when," "what," "why," etc.

11. Submit to Other Search Engines

Submitting the website to other search engines is not something we recommend for Google SEO. But we recommend it to optimize the website for DuckDuckGo. The more your website appears on other search engines, the more your chances of gaining a higher rank on DuckDuckGo.
DuckDuckGo is a hybrid search engine that crawls your website and also fetches data from other sources.
If you want to make it to the top search results on DuckDuckGo, you will need to focus on more than just Google. Also, remember that this search engine gets location details from Apple Maps. Is your business showing up on Apple Maps?
Make sure it does.

12. Focus on Social Media Profiles

How does social media play a role in optimizing the website for DuckDuckGo?
That’s where this search engine gains brownie points over Google. Users can view the profile/ bio of a social media account directly on the SERPs. There is no need to open the link and enter a new webpage.
Be it Twitter or Gravatar, or any other platform, simply using the name of the site and the account handle will give the required search results.
If your social media profiles are not updated or have outdated information, you will likely lose potential customers on DuckDuckGo. (Of course, ignoring social media profiles is always a wrong move).

13. Make the Most of the Privacy Policy

DuckDuckGo is rather particular about users’ privacy. As a user yourself, you can use this in your favor. Your browser extensions and apps will be safe from being tracked for data collection.
So, you can have a number of extensions and still can't trace or record your data.
You can control which ads you want to watch and which you don’t.
Not only that, the hidden ad networks used by Facebook and Google are detected and blocked so that your privacy is not compromised.
Understanding how DuckDuckGo works to protect users' privacy will help you plan your search engine's marketing strategy. You also need to know that users concerned about their data privacy will not use Google Chrome as their browser.

14. Advertise Using PPC but in a Different Way

We just discussed the privacy issue in the previous point, right?
So, placing ads on DuckDuckGo will take a lot more research and planning than what you need to do for Google. So how does that work then?
Would it be a waste of money to run PPC campaigns on this search engine?
No. The ads you place on DuckDuckGo run on Yahoo and Bing. That means your target audiences are the people who prefer to use search engines other than Google.

Related : SEO Guide for Bing & Yahoo

Your ads will not be as customized as Google ads, though. You will need to be prepared for fewer hits when you advertise on this search engine.

15. Work on Bangs - Add Your Own

If there is no feature DuckDuckGo has, and Google doesn’t, that’s Bang. Sounds cool, isn’t it? So, what is it, and how does it help in optimizing the website?
Bang is a shortcut that lets the user search for required information within a website. DuckDuckGo already has a database of bangs (!g for Google, !a for Amazon, !w for Wikipedia, etc.). You can create custom bangs for your website and for specific keywords that belong to your niche.
This is an amazing feature that users will love and is a fast shortcut method to reach a site (this is because, remember, duckduckgo doesn’t store your information to autosuggest your interests).
Customization makes it easy for users to get the exact information they want without searching through your entire website. For example, users can search for '!bk fondant cakes' to get the details of fondant cakes available on your bakery's website.

DuckDuckGo SEO VS Google SEO

DuckDuckGo SEO Google SEO
Doesn’t track the IP addresses and search history of the users. Tracks IP addresses and search history of the users.
It doesn’t use geotargeting for location search. The keywords need to be chosen with extra care to reach the right target audience. Uses geotargeting for local search. It is easy to optimize the website for local SEO.
Bangs allow users to search for data within a specific site only. Website owners can create bangs exclusively for the site and add them to the master list. There is no such feature on Google. Website owners cannot create bangs.
Gets search results from other platforms like Yahoo and Bing. Optimizing DuckDuckGo means optimizing for the other two as well. Google relies on its crawling and indexing. Optimizing the website for Google will work only on the same platform.
It is easier to rank higher as there is less competition as yet. It can take a long time to rank higher due to the competition.
Some metadata descriptions don’t show up if you have blocked crawlers from other search engine sites to index your pages. Any page accessed by Google crawlers will be indexed, and the details will be displayed on the SERPs.
It uses Apple Maps as the default for business information. It uses Google Maps and Google My Business to collect business-related information for the users.
DuckDuckGo pulls data for search results from more than 400 sources. Google has its extensive database and superior algorithms to collect and provide data for searches.

DuckDuckGo SEO FAQs

1. How Can I Optimize My Website for DuckDuckGo?

You can optimize the website for DuckDuckGo by submitting the site to other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
Quality backlinks (even the no-follow ones from sites like Wikipedia) can bring good results.

Related : Legit Ways to Earn Backlinks to Your Site

Since DuckDuckGo sources its data from 400+ platforms, being visible and active on sites like Quora, LinkedIn, Amazon, etc., will make it easy to optimize your website. Don’t forget to work on structured data as you do for Google SEO.

2. How Is My Website Ranking Higher on DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Yahoo?

The main reason you can rank higher on DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Yahoo is less competition. Compared to Google, these search engines have lesser daily searches.
The primary focus of most website owners is to optimize the site for Google. So, focusing on DuckDuckGo will help you become more popular and visible in less time. However, the activity has increased on this search engine, and you will see more competition in the coming days.

3. Where Does DuckDuckGo Get Its Search Results From?

DuckDuckGo gets its search results from more than 400 sources like Yahoo, Bing, Yandex, Alpha, Search Boss, Wolfram, and of course, its web crawlers. The source of information for DuckDuckGo and Google is the internet.
The difference lies in how the platforms collect this data and deliver the search results to the users. While Google has built an ecosystem of massive data, DuckDuckGo relies on other platforms due to its privacy policy.

4. Why Don’t People Use DuckDuckGo Instead of Google?

Since DuckDuckGo doesn't collect and store the users' private information, it cannot customize the search results the way Google can. Also, Google has built a colossal database by gathering data through Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, YouTube, etc.
Because the search results' accuracy and the number of results is high in Google, people prefer it over DuckDuckGo. But things are changing due to the increased awareness about data collection and privacy settings.

5. Why Are Backlinks Important for DuckDuckGo SEO?

Though the algorithms of Google and DuckDuckGo are different, both search engines highlight the importance of having high-quality backlinks to the website.
Remember that the emphasis is on quality and not quantity. That’s one reason why many SEO experts advise website owners to try and get backlinks from reputed sites like Wikipedia.
The DuckDuckGo crawlers also depend on the connect profile information to rank a website.

6. Is Advertising on DuckDuckGo Effective and Worth the Investment?

Well, that depends on your marketing strategy. But yes, it is worth advertising on DuckDuckGo as you will have a better reach due to the lesser traffic volume. It will, however, only work if your target audiences prefer DuckDuckGo instead of Google.
The right way to decide is to research the target audiences and market trends before choosing any search engine for advertising.

7. Is DuckDuckGo Safe?

Yes, it is safer compared to search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. DuckDuckGo specified that it sends requests for data from its side while hiding the user's information. That enables the search engine to prevent other platforms from accessing your data.
The websites will know that you visited them but will not be able to trace your movements. However, it is suggested to use DuckDuckGo on browsers other than Chrome.
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