Optimizing for DuckDuckGo?

If you haven’t yet heard of it, DuckDuckGO (DDG) is small company that runs a popular search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. Their popularity keeps soaring in response to the privacy concerns of the 21 century. Few people are comfortable with Google collecting data on everything you think or do.

Should we care about DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo currently has .2% of the search market for desktop/laptop compared to Yahoo at 5%. If things keep going in this direction then DDG will take over in about a year from now. Still DuckDuckGo is handling about 20 million searches a day compared to google at 5.5 billion searches per day. It is hard to know definitively but according to some experts Google’s search market share has been dropping in the past year or so.

How does DuckDuckGo SEO work differently?

  • There are no tools to help you understand how to optimize for specific users. Why? Simply because DDG doesn’t collect personal data. Tricks and spamming won’t really work with DDG because they try to focus exclusively on quality and user experience/demand.
  • They seem to be a little bit more pro open-source websites then google so try to get links from wikipedia and openstreetmap.
  • Aim to get into a local business category if you have under 10,000 visits a month.

Advertising and Affiliates

Advertising and affiliate programs are the only two ways DuckDuckGo generates revenue. Having said that they don’t have their own native advertising system as of yet. Advertising comes through Yahoo/Bing as part of the Yahoo-Microsoft search alliance, so if you advertise outside of google you might already be on DuckDuckGo. Their affiliate programs are only with large companies such as Amazon and eBay.


Optimizing for DuckDuckGo shouldn’t be much different from your current Google search optimisation strategy. If you have the chance it’s definitely worth keeping these few things in mind when building a new search optimization strategy
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Credit: Gabriel Weinberg

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