SEO for DuckDuckGo: everything you need to know

2 September 2019

Private search engine DuckDuckGo is constantly growing in popularity, and is gradually taking market share from top dog, Google. But what makes it different and how can you optimise your website for it? Here, we’ll explore everything you need to know about SEO for DuckDuckGo. 

What is DuckDuckGo?

The USP of DuckDuckGo is that it’s a private search engine. That means it doesn’t collect or store any of your personal data or search history, doesn’t use cookies and blocks all advertising trackers. Its philosophy is simple: ‘no tracking, no ad targeting, just searching’ and, amid widespread data privacy concerns, its use is now growing exponentially after flying largely under the radar for the last decade or so.  

DuckDuckGo gets its results from over 400 sources, including its own crawler, DuckDuckBot, and other search engines including Bing and Yahoo. It also has an instant answer facility on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) similar to the Google Answer Box. 

People pointing at laptop screen

SEO for DuckDuckGo

As with all search engines, link building is an integral part of SEO for DuckDuckGo. As you’d expect, you should focus on high quality links when optimising for the DuckDuckGo browser, just as you would for any other search engine, and the tools we utilise such as SEMrush can help identify these link opportunities. 

Due to its focus on privacy, DuckDuckGo doesn’t know exactly where the user is located, though it does use a GeoIP lookup which is fairly accurate in approximating the searcher’s location. This is, however, likely to affect how a user might search for something, eg. to find us they might enter ‘digital marketing agency st albans’ instead of ‘digital marketing agency near me’ – which means that thorough keyword research is more crucial than ever. The inclusion of local terms such as main thoroughfares, neighbourhoods and nearby landmarks on your website will also help get the best results from DuckDuckGo. 

The best advice is to optimise for Yahoo and Bing, since we know that DuckDuckGo pulls in results from these two giants. Bing Webmaster Tools can help you identify potential optimisation improvements and its SEO Analyzer is another useful tool for ensuring you are following best practices. It’s also a good idea to review your XML sitemaps and submit them to Bing Webmaster Tools. 

Above all, quality content on your website is key. Unique, engaging and informative content that matches the searcher’s intent rather than keyword stuffed pages will rank well with Duck. This has been Google’s focus for the last couple of years too so it’s something you should already be concentrating on, but it’s worth restating nonetheless. We have lots more advice on SEO Copywriting and can also provide copywriting services for you should you need some assistance.  

To sum it up

Essentially, what’s good for the major search engines will also stand you in good stead with Duck, with the added focus on local SEO mentioned above. Wagada are experts in both traditional and digital PR, so get in touch if you’d like some help or need further advice.