DuckDuckGo’s Impact on the SEO Scenario

Private search engines that are secure and do not track users are gaining in importance as reports reveal security breaches in personal information preserved by search engine such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. One of the most popular of these search engines that guarantee user anonymity, DuckDuckGo’s popularity reached new heights when the news of NSA PRISM surveillance program hit headlines. Visitors to this private search engine reportedly more than doubled within weeks and months. Apple’s Safari even allows users to choose DuckDuckGo as their default search engine in iOS 8. With this site is becoming popular for desktop and mobile search, optimizing your website for this search engine could be important.


The most important feature of this search engine the anonymity it provides for users. Google and other major search engines track the IP address and other social connections about each visitor and preserve them for about 18 months on their servers. They may be frequently asked to reveal such information to government agencies and lawyers. Everybody knows that they are prone to surveillance by programs such as PRISM as well. On other hand, DuckDuckGo does not store IP addresses or any kind of user information, which keep data safe from third parties. This has made it appealing to users who don’t like being tracked when they are active online.

Two people making the same query on Google may be shown two different set of results based on what the search engine giant has stored as their preferences. This is what we call ‘personalized search results’. However, many Google users are seeking an alternative option as personalized search poses the following problems:

  • If the users want results specific to their queries, it can be very irritating to find filtered results based on their search, web history and location
  • They don’t like Google Plus influence over their search results
  • They don’t feel comfortable with Google’s dominance over their search activities

In contrast, DuckDuckGo gives unbiased search results without any personalized content. This search engine provides results from data collected by the duckduckgo bot and several other sources. Their long-term goal is to provide information from the best source in an instant answer form, which is quite useful for mobile search as mobile users don’t want to spend much time on search. However, personalized results are critical for localized queries and Google and other popular search engines are best at providing such results.

Overall, this private search engine allows users to browse ‘safely’ and access content that is specific to their queries. This implies more people may rely on this search engine in the future. So it is advisable to optimize your website for this search engine in addition to the major search engines. Here are some useful tips to help:

  • Make sure that your site published quality content and links to authority sites
  • Ensure that you utilize the best geo-targeted keywords
  • Since smartphones have started to use this search engine, enhance your site’s mobile readiness and use responsive design

As this search engine seeks to answer queries in an instant form, including FAQ pages and details on your products and services that would interest your visitors (for example, ‘how to’ guides) can help increase ranking. Team up with experienced SEO professionals to make the most of these new developments and implement strategies to effectively meet your business goals.