Digital-Age Privacy: Try A Safer Search Engine
In light of recent Facebook scandals, some consumers have sought out additional means of online security. In a world that runs on Big Data, though, that privacy is difficult to come by. It seems like someone is watching every facet of your online activity.
How about your search engine privacy?
It’s natural, then, that you’d want to seek out a platform that doesn’t actively access your personal information. While that same information helps marketers direct products and services towards your feed, it’s nice to escape the eye of Big Brother now and again.
DuckDuckGo, a direct competitor to Google and its lesser-known cousin, offers some consumers a safer harbor in which they can rest their online activity. The platform saw six billion searches in 2017 alone—coming in under Google by a significant margin, but still making a statement.
What’s the Appeal?
On one hand, this privacy is a boon in an era where data sales are at an all-time high. On the other hand, the lack of data tracking through DuckDuckGo makes the platform more difficult on which to market content.
Search Engine Privacy: DuckDuckGo vs. Google
Let’s get the fistfight out of the way early. How do DuckDuckGo and Google compare as search engines?
DuckDuckGo utilizes an interface that’s similar to that of Google. The platform lists 10 organic search results per page along with a few ads bookending the listings. Where Google pulls search results from billions of resources, DuckDuckGo is more selective with its reach. This platform utilizes its crawler, called DuckDuckBot, to comb through a mere 400 sources to arrange its SERPs.
For comparison, Google’s searches are going to be more expansive than those of DuckDuckGo simply due to the size difference between the two platforms.
However, because DuckDuckGo utilizes sources that are primarily open-source, it could be argued that the platform escapes some of the source bias that Google sees.
For a little more specificity, consider some of the platforms that DuckDuckGo pulls its information from:
Open-source sources rely upon highly monitored communities to provide accurate information regarding one topic or another. Comparatively, sources can pay Google or manipulate the platform’s crawlers to make some opinions heard over others.
(This process, of course, can be reversed. If an open-source source wants to push an agenda, no manner of monitoring will keep it from doing so. That’s why DuckDuckGo’s primary contributors are well-known in their own right and reputable to boot, no matter what your high school teachers said about Wikipedia.)
DuckDuckGo’s features also include:
- Category pages
- Unending SERP pages
- Instant answers
How Can You Optimize Your Content for DuckDuckGo?
Without the benefit of personal data, how can you market your content on a platform that prioritizes privacy at its core?
- Build a strong link network: Links are as powerful on DuckDuckGo’s platform as they are anywhere else. Build an authoritative link network that prioritizes statistics and distinct URLs (.edu, .gov, .org). You may also want to seek out open-source platforms. When you do, DuckDuckBot will boost your content.
- Do your keyword search: Know what your consumers are looking for when they search for your content. If you carefully integrate niche keywords into your work, you’ll draw consumers in.
- Build and review your XML sitemaps: DuckDuckBot has many of the same priorities as Bing’s crawlers. By eliminating any structural errors from your XML sitemaps, you’ll be letting both platforms know that your site is safe for consumers to visit.
- Use Bing Webmaster Tools: In this same vein, you can use Bing Webmaster Tools as DuckDuckGo’s personal Google Analytics. Test for site speed, image compression, and mobile compatibility alongside other factors that may impact your SERP ranking.
While DuckDuckGo is a long way from overtaking Google, the site’s popularity is on the rise. As consumers continue to call for privacy, marketers will have to find new ways to ensure that content reaches its audience, and optimizing content for a privacy-oriented platform is a start.
Image attribution: faithie – stock.adobe.com