WEB & TECH / OCT. 02, 2014
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What is DuckDuckGo and Could it Change SEO Forever?

DuckDuckGo is probably something you’ve never heard of. Now is the time to start learning about it, though. It could become a crucial part of SEO and how you browse the Internet. It’s a reasonably new search engine, but it differs from what’s already on the market. It offers greater privacy and more accurate search results by cutting through the clutter.

Apple’s iOS 8 now allows users to choose DuckDuckGo as their default search engine, which is a significant step forward.

So where will DuckDuckGo go in its quest to change SEO as we know it?

A History Lesson

DuckDuckGo was initially born in 2008. The name was plucked from the classic children’s game ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’. It was the first search engine to really focus on quality of search result over quantity. The site has grown quickly and now boasts 1.5 million visits per year. Of course, this is nothing compared to the big names like Google and Bing.

The site was recently redesigned in 2014 and now boasts the just under 10% of the online search market. It does have a small audience, but it’s growing in popularity.

Optimising for this DuckDuckGo

Due to its relatively small reach, most people haven’t considered optimising for this search engine. The vast majority of businesses will concentrate on Google and nothing more. This doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering DuckDuckGo when planning your SEO strategy. Let’s take a look at some tips for optimising for it.

  • Always value quality. DuckDuckGo will not accept irrelevant or low-quality search results. You have to impress them before you get a hit.
  • Always link to Wikipedia. The search engine values crowd sourced sites above all others. Link to them on your site for better rankings.
  • Avoid blocking the bot DuckDuckGo uses to crawl websites.
  • Geo-targeted keywords are essential because the search engine will match you according to local search results.
  • Make sure your site is optimised for mobile. Your site is highly likely to be found by the iOS 8 operating system, so your site has to be usable from a mobile device.

How Will this Search Engine Effect Google Targeting?

In the short-term, the answer is not a lot. Google will process twice the amount of searches DuckDuckGo gets in year in the course of a single day. The gap is huge, so you don’t have to urgently consider changing your SEO strategy now. With support from Apple, though, it’s likely that it will begin to eat into Google’s traffic soon enough, and that’s when you need to start paying attention.

At the same time, you have to remember many of the actions you will take to improve your lot with Google will inadvertently put you in DuckDuckGo’s good books as well. Geo-targeted keywords and aiming for high-quality content will do just as much good with DuckDuckGo as it will with Google.

In the long-term DuckDuckGo holds a crucial advantage over Google. This is in the realm of privacy. Google raises serious concerns over their privacy arrangements. As the general public become more aware of this, they will either wait for Google to change or try search engines like DuckDuckGo.

In conclusion, DuckDuckGo does offer some long-term potential. There are no guarantees whether it will come to anything, but the recent developments with Apple prove it has confidence from the mainstream tech world. If things keep going as they are and Google doesn’t alter its stance on privacy, we could witness a serious shake-up of the SEO industry. At this moment, though, it’s too early to tell in which direction this is going to go.

 

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