26 June 2015 | Team Tamar

3 SEO tips for DuckDuckGo

How often have you asked someone a question about something you don’t know, and their response is “why don’t you Google it?”. There’s even a site called Let Me Google That For You where you can create a searches for people in a very addictive and mocking way. We all know that Google is poised for world domination, but there are in fact a number of search engines that are given Google a run for its money. We’ve spoken before about different international search engines, like Baidu and Yandex, but there’s another player that you may have seen popping up in news stories.

It was announced  this week that DuckDuckGo has officially surpassed 10 million search queries. The attraction of the site is that it claims to not store your search data, meaning you can browse away without having your every move tracked and recorded. With online privacy being a top priority to a large chunk of the population, it’s likely that the popularity of the tracking-free search engine will keep on growing.

DuckDuckGo Usage

With that in mind, it’s important for marketers to understand the site and how to incorporate it into their digital strategy. Here are 3 tips to get you started:

1. Links links links

As any online marketer should know, gaining links to your site will probably always play a role in your rankings. Despite the constant fearmongering from Google that you’ll instantly be given a penalty. High quality, relevant links (not spammy ones!) to your website are still one of the best ways for search engines to know how relevant your site is for certain queries. Every search engine will have its own algorithm to determine ranking order, but given that DuckDuckGo doesn’t have any user data stored, the backlink profile probably plays an even bigger role.

2. Hyperlocal

DuckDuckGo isn’t tracking your behaviour so it can’t tell exactly where you live; obviously your IP address will give general locations but nowhere near the level of detail that Google has.  For businesses that have physical locations, local SEO visibility can be make or break for them. This is where understanding how people search comes into play. By analysing how people search for local services and businesses, you will be able to adapt your website content for them.

It’s not enough merely to have your location on your website, but add contextual information and details of the area and where you are for the search engine to get an accurate level of relevancy to users. Unfortunately, this will always be tricky for marketers, as it relies on the user to tell the search engine exactly where they are.

3. Focus on the user

With Google’s ever-changing algorithm, marketers are constantly trying to manipulate the system and understand the biggest influences to rankings. DuckDuckGo is known for its lack of tracking and storing data, showing they put the user first. Instead of trying to optimise your site for Google’s algorithm, you should be optimising your site for the user. You’d think this is a given, but it’s something to consider when assessing your search strategy. In truth, this will likely give you a benefit across a number of search engines, including Google. As you start to focus more on what the user will want from your site, you’ll be providing higher quality content that will naturally attract more visitors.

As of October 2014, only 5% of people had actually tried DuckDuckGo, with Google unsurprisingly destroying the competition. However, as said earlier, online privacy is becoming so important it might be enough to sway users away from the search giant. If and when that happens, you’ll now be ready.

Team Tamar