Duck Duck Go, was founded on a very simple idea, much like Google and other search engines, and the idea was to give results when the user searches for anything. And yes, it was started in a basement too (cliche). Founded in 2007, to deliver search related results to the users without tracking them. Yes! You heard it right, Duck Duck Go is one of the three search engines globally, that doesn’t track or target your IP address or search history, the other two search engines are BLEKKO and IXQUICK.

DuckDuckGo has been in existence for almost 8 years now. So why now it has been gaining so much popularity or why now it is being discussed? Well, there are two big reasons for that, the first one being:-

  • The NSA Prism program, that mentioned that they use Many search engines like Google and Bing to keep the track of users search history and IP address. This happened in 2013
  • In June 2014, Apple during the launch of its IOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, stated that they will add Duck Duck Go as an optional search engine for more private browsing.

It took Duck Duck Go more than 6 years to reach to 1,000,000 searches per day, but since NSA fiasco, it has been uphill for them. By August 2013, they were up to 4,000,000 searches per day and rising.

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Will it be able to compete with the giants?

  • It is too early to talk about the future of DDG (as we call it), but it surely has shown some promises. One of the recent survey carried out by 25 websites who use Google Analytics to determine traffic and search, stated that, only 5 searches came from DDG.
  • The searches 4 million/day is nothing compared to giant 1 billion on Google. So, it has shown some sparks, but still has a long way to go.

What might cause problems for Duck Duck Go?

    • The first and the foremost problems with DDG is the results generated by it. If the site you are searching for has 10,000 or more visits, only then they show on the SERP of DDG.
    • It might not cause problems for high traffic websites like the New York Times or BBC but for local business, DDG technically has zero market value.

For example – If I am looking for a local pizza place, then I would prefer Google or Bing as they not only generate results but they also give user ratings and map. As the local business won’t have traffic anywhere near 10,000 it won’t appear on DDG

  • However, DDG shows search results only if you refine your search and narrow it down to your targeted town or area. For that you have to manually select the town. While Google uses current location and determine the nearest located pizza place for you.

Would DDG affect any current SEO strategy?

  • The algorithms of DDG are not very clear, however, in an official statement issued, it is mentioned that “We focus on strategic link building and quality content. Websites with high quality content are more likely to rank with us”. (like we don’t know). No other algorithms or any SEO related updates have been announced by DDG.
  • In my point of view, as DDG tends to keep things private and no IP tracking or browser history is stored, SEO related spamming is the biggest concern. The good old days of black hat SEO might be seen on DDG.
  • To rank on DDG would be easier as one can do link building without worrying about the quality back links. More the submission and link building, higher the ranking.
  • DDG claims that they generate instant and quality answers from the best possible source. So, if your website has FAQ pages and other detailed information about the products and services, they can certainly get good ranking with DDG.
  • Use of 100’s of hybrid API’s from other websites,social media websites and detailed information will certainly help. So, if you rank well on other websites, you will rank well on DDG’S SERP.

Despite of low search volume, privacy based search engines might have more value in the future as their globally searched results are excellent and unbiased. The reason can be the mistrust the people have in Google and other search engines. But for now, as far as SEO strategies are concerned, businesses are advised to stick to organic SEO, Google Ad words and Social Media Marketing.

Keep an eye out for DDG and other privacy based search engines, they seem to have a bright future, but for now they are far from game changers.