Search engines have a long and interesting history going back to 1990. It was long before Google became the leader in online searching. The Archie Query Form is the first-ever search engine or index system. However, it could only search for FTP sites, creating an index of downloadable files. A series of similar index systems followed until Yahoo was launched in 1994.

By 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started working on BackRub, the humble beginnings of Google. It was the first search engine to use backlinks for the search. After the launch of MSN Search, Larry and Sergey perfected the backlinks model in 1998 and Google went live. In the following decades, the world would witness Google grow into a search engine giant claiming market monopoly.

Over the years, several search browsers have popped up on the World Wide Web radar. Some notable names are Bing, Yandex, StartPage, and Panda. Moreover, search-for-a-cause engines namely, Ecosia, Ekoru, and GiveWater have also become popular. But, no one has been able to beat Google. That said, there might be a rising star on the horizon. The DuckDuckGo search engine, with its unique privacy protection policy, has been getting lots of attention. Even online marketers are using it for search engine optimization.

What is DuckDuckGo Search Engine?

Gabriel Weinberg created and launched DuckDuckGo in 2008 as an alternative web search engine. It labels itself as a search engine that does not track, protecting user privacy.

The search engine delivers similar results against searches to every user. It is the opposite of the filter bubble effect. Other browsers use the latter to create search results after analyzing the search history. In an interview with Wired, Weinberg commented, “We safeguard your search history even from ourselves.” He claims of setting new standards of trust online. By doing so he aims to benefit the users by being in full control of their data. The search engine company has its headquarters in Paoli, Pennsylvania.

Is DuckDuckGo Better than other Search Engines?

The past decade saw multiple cases of major data breaches. There were reports of increased government surveillance. People alleged that corporates were going through people’s data for personal gains. All these developments made privacy a major concern among internet users. Under these global circumstances, DuckDuckGo started gaining attention around 2017, almost nine years after its launch.

Duck Duck Go

DuckDuckGo search engine operates in the same manner as the others. It combines data from several sources. Then it shows the most relevant ones using a web crawler. But there are areas in which it is better than the others, even Google.

No Search and IP Tracking

Search engines track user search activity and then sell it off to advertisers. This is why, why one sees so many search-related Google pop ads. Moreover, Google uses search data analysis to create ads that feel more personal to the users. Even in privacy mode, Google and the government can track one’s online steps. DuckDuckGo promises no user IP or search activity tracking.

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Minimum Advertisements

It is true that no one likes pop-up ads. However, they are also one of the main sources of revenue for search engines. Nevertheless, Google should not act the same as others, given its multiple revenue resources. DuckDuckGo has fewer non-tracking ads. Those are related to the real-time search activity of the user.

Control and Privacy of Personal Data

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo does not collect the personal information of the users. Their aim is to uphold the privacy and security of user’s data.

Fair Search Results

Google uses the filter bubble, which shows search results related to user-profile. It can hide certain results from people. It analyses their choices, even a political one, making the results heavily biased. DuckDuckGo does not track the search activity of its users by using the filter bubble.

However, there are a few downsides as well, such as:

  • Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo does not have related services like Gdrive, Gmail, and likewise. It also does not have platforms like YouTube. That keeps the range and variety of features to a low.
  • DuckDuckGo does not offer advanced customization like Google to the users.
  • Google might have slightly higher search results than DuckDuckGo. Nevertheless, it is because it owns 90% of the online search index.

Therefore, we can say that the DuckDuckGo search engine is David to Google’s Goliath.

Why should you care about DuckDuckGo SEO?

The choice between Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo, is all upon the user. If we judge the market stats, then DuckDuckGo has a lower market share of 1.75%. Nevertheless, when you compare it with older browsers, then that share stands out. Yahoo has 3.41% and MSN Search has a 0.11% market share. This makes DuckDuckGo SEO of equal importance to online marketers. The DDG search engine has been growing rapidly, with more than 56 million per day search rates. Using it for SEO can attract millions of quality SERPs.

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Is it worth doing SEO on an Alternative Search Engine like DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo search engine

Online marketing is all about building the website in a way so that it tops the search results. That makes the website more visible to the target customers. Hence search engines are important for digital marketers. It is essential for creating good marketing for more sales. Google with the largest market share and better reach is good for SEO. However, that does not mean that one should ignore the rest, especially DuckDuckGo.


With more users becoming aware of their data privacy, a major shift to DuckDuckGo is expected. In comparison to Google’s 3.5 billion searches per day, DDG has a lower share. However, it can still benefit smaller businesses by attracting the target audience.

The success of DuckDuckGo search engine optimization needs high-quality backlinks. Along with that, one needs to have knowledge about search activity. It may be an alternative, but important enough for online marketing.

Using a single platform can keep the business hidden from the target customers. SEO for alternative search engines increases attracts more site visitors.

How to do SEO for DuckDuckGo?

So, we have already established the importance of SEO for DuckDuckGo. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

Good User Experience

The user experience is very important at DuckDuckGo. The search engine prefers trustworthy well designed and easy-to-use websites. It should have high-quality links, backlinks, and content. SEO should focus on easy usage and web responsiveness. The website content should be free from grammatical errors. Easy-to-read content with headers and tables will show good SEO results.

Careful Keyword Research

Keyword crowding will not work with DuckDuckGo. The keywords should be related to the content and naturally placed. It should feel like a part of the content, and not forced into a line. Try to use the keywords for headings and sub-headings that get good ranks.

Include High-Quality Backlinks

Earning and addition of high-quality links and backlinks can help a website rank high on DuckDuckGo. This is not just for DDG, as Google and Bing prefer the same technique.

Add Location

The DuckDuckGo search engine does not track the location and IP of the user. That’s why the SEO must include location in the keywords to attract local consumers. For instance, instead of ‘restaurants near me’, DuckDuckGo will prefer ‘restaurants in Brooklyn’ more.

SEO is essential for online marketing. Hence, the choice of search engine plays a very important role in business development and attracting more customers. Its privacy protection and non-tracking features make DuckDuckGo SEO great for online marketing SEO.


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Nikita Sharma is Chief Strategy Centrik @ HIcentrik. She Strategizes, Optimizes & Revises digital activities to deliver optimum results & returns.
6 Years of Global Experience in Multi-tasking, i.e. Digital Advertising, Social Media, Ad Campaigns, Web Design & Development, Lead Generation, and Reporting.