SEO Tactics For DuckDuckGo

by Sarah Dixon, Inspiring Interns

There’s a new search engine on the block. Duckduckgo is rapidly increasing the number of searches it performs, doubling its usage to six billion searches in 2017. To put that in perspective, Google carries out 3.5 billion searches per day. While Duckduckgo is only serving a fraction of searches, it’s rapid growth means it is worth keeping it in mind when you are looking at your SEO strategy.

How Is Duckduckgo Different?

Internet privacy (or our lack of it) has been the biggest news of the year, due to the long-anticipated implementation of the GDPR and the revelation to the world of Facebook’s salacious relationship with Cambridge Analytica. Who has access to our data, and what they use it for, has become of increasing concern for internet users.

Duckduckgo, capitalising on this change in our relationship with the internet, promises to keep your activity on the web private. They market themselves by specifically highlighting this difference from the leaders in the search engine industry – Google, Bing, etc. The biggest search engine (Google if you were wondering or have been living under a rock for the last two decades) tracks your searches on the site, and uses the information it gather to create a profile of your activity that can be provided to third parties.

But this is not all it does. It can also be found in trackers that watch your activity on external or third-party websites and then use that to inform the selection and placement of the targeted ads that pop up all over the internet.

But because Duckduckgo doesn’t keep your search data, it can’t share it. This search anonymity gives users an added layer of protection from having their data released on request; Google currently gets data requests for all sorts of legal cases, including divorce.

What About SEO?

Although Duckduckgo is a completely different search engine, the suggestions for increasing in their rankings will be familiar. You need to consider things like:

  • Quality Content: All search engines are looking for the websites that genuinely provide the information that their users are looking for. Duckduckgo is no exception; the first step to search engine success is having a useful site.
  • Link Building: Getting your content linked to by high quality sites. Use the same strategies as you would for Google; create shareable content like infographics, write guest posts, and reach out to webmasters to get your content included.
  • Know your search terms: Why should visitors come to your site? What are they looking for? What search terms are they going to use to look for what you have to offer? Once you’ve identified those key terms, make sure that they are reflected in your content. Not crammed in keywords, but quality content in which those phrases occur naturally.

Think Local

Another area in which Google and Duckduckgo differ is in local searches. Because Google tracks your data, they know exactly where you are in the world whenever you search. This means that putting in, ‘Restaurant near me’, will bring up the closest restaurant to your precise location.

On the other hand, Duckduckgo use Geo:IP search which works out roughly where in the world you are using your IP address. They’ll probably get your rough location right, but they can’t pinpoint your exact location in the same way that Google can. So again, it’s important to think about the phrases that your visitors will use to search.

Try and include hyperlocal data in your site, include street address, major roads nearby, turnings and junction numbers, or neighbourhood names. Basically, anything that a user might put in to find their most local business.

Do You Need To Optimise For Duckduckgo?

Before you invest a lot of time in changing your site to respond to Duckduckgo, it’s worth looking at your analytics. Are people finding your site using the search engine in significant numbers? If 99 per cent of visitors come to you via Google or Bing, then it’s probably not worth the time just now.

But keep an eye on that, as this new search engine is growing in popularity fast. In the meantime, just continue to work on creating quality content that will perform well across all search engines and you should do just fine.


Sarah Dixon writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.