DuckDuckGo SEO

DuckDuckGo SEO: The Ultimate Guide

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By seoshouter

About DuckDuckGo Search Engine

Launched in September 2008, DuckDuckGo is an internet search engine that brings raw and unfiltered search results above board. The search engine leads with a mission to make search more privacy-protected. 

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track users’ browsing history or browsing fingerprints. 

While Google uses this data for personalized advertising and personalized search, DuckDuckGo emphasizes on searcher’s privacy. 

Moreover, DuckDuckGo yields different searchers the same results for the same search term. It doesn’t track any kind of user data and doesn’t create a personalized filter bubble.

DuckDuckGo sources result from APIs of several sites and with the help of its proprietary crawler. Moreover, the search engine leverages Bing for traditional links. 

It powers over 3Billion monthly searches and is gaining popularity among US searchers. 

You can add DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser and desktop extension for a private browsing experience. It also blocks Google and Facebook trackers as you browse.

How to Optimize Your Website for DuckDuckGo Search Engine?

1. High Authority Backlinks are Always Important

Backlinks have been a crucial ranking factor even for Google’s SEO, representing the authority and the source of your content. 

Now when it comes to DuckDuckGo, backlinks also hold a premier position in SEO. Content that is backed by quality backlinks has higher authority and SEO value. 

Here is what DuckDuckGo’s Help Pages say:

“Ranking is a bit opaque and difficult to discern/communicate on an individual query basis because of all the factors involved (and which change frequently).

Nevertheless, the best way to get good rankings (in almost all search engines) is to get links from high-quality sites.”

So, if you have already optimized your content for high-authority backlinks, DuckDuckGo will appreciate your efforts. 

Some quick tips to attract quality backlinks to your content pages include:

  • Using the Skyscraper technique 
  • Using tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs separately to check backlink opportunities from competitors.
  • Guest blogging and outreach practices also help you earn quality backlinks. 

2. Get Your Site Indexed on Other Search Engines

DuckDuckGo employs APIs of other sites and its crawler for sourcing quick search results. The search engine depends on more than 400 sources to deliver valuable results. 

Optimizing and indexing your site on these sources will make you more visible to DuckDuckGo’s crawlers. 

DuckDuckGo mentions that some of these sources are Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex. 

DuckDuckGo’s Help Page mentions that it leverages Bing for traditional search result data. 

Here is a snippet:

Duckduckgo Help Page

So, before you plan to submit your site on these search engines, you must check your sitemap. 

Optimize and update your sitemap for any latest page updates. And submit it to Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex webmaster tools. 

Once your site is indexed here, your site is most likely to appear in DuckDuckGo search results. 

3. Consider Submitting Your Bang!

DuckDuckGo search engine utilizes the ‘Bang!’ feature to land directly on a page or category. 

So, for example, if you type “!w duckduckgo,” you will directly land on DuckDuckGo’s Wikipedia page. There are over 13,000 shortcut pages (bangs) as of now. 

A smart move is to submit your site for this feature on the DuckDuckGo search engine. This will allow you to attract traffic to your site via your branded keywords. 

DuckDuckGo can help you add a Bang! or shortcut to your site with a small request procedure. 

You can visit the DuckDuckGo’ New Bang’ page to submit your bang addition request. 

Here is the Page, and below is a screenshot of the form: 

Duckduckgo Form

Hopefully, DuckDuckGo will approve your request, and you can utilize the ‘! Bang’ feature. 

4. Build an Engaging User Experience for Your Site Visitors

DuckDuckGo currently holds just 1.75% of the search engine market share. And it is actively optimizing its user experience to offer tracking-free and valuable search results. 

The search engine is leaving no stone unturned to earn more popularity and loyal users. That said, it emphasizes the user experience factor for better SEO rankings. 

You need to ensure you give visitors an uncluttered and impressive page experience. 

Metrics like page load, response time, and mobile compatibility will be crucial for DuckDuckGo SEO. 

Moreover, poor user metrics like high bounce rate, short page sessions, etc., will affect your SEO power. 

Some other crucial factors to consider are:

  • Develop a clutter-free navigational path, define the right internal linking structure
  • User headers and subheaders to create impressive content readability
  • Avoid or eliminate intrusive pop-ups and flash elements on your site
  • Grow page load speed and optimize for the mobile platform
  • Optimize for appreciable content quality

5. Intent-based Keywords Will Source Relevant Traffic

DuckDuckGo search engine does not track your browsing fingerprints or your search behavior. Moreover, it is constantly evolving in terms of its search algorithm. 

So, the keywords you use will resemble your content’s relevancy for a search query. And these keywords must also comply with the intent of the search. 

While Google employs advanced AI algorithms for sorting intent, DuckDuckGo is still evolving. And so, your intent-based keywords will grow your content’s relevancy to specific search terms. 

For DuckDuckGo SEO, your long-tail and LSI keywords will be as crucial as your focus. 

“Sprinkle your keywords in H1, introduction, meta tags, and body content. And include your long-tail keywords in the subheadings”, says Waylon Foster, the director of Marketing of

6. Repurpose Your Content and Submit it Over Several Platforms

DuckDuckGo weaves its index out of results from over 400 sources. It then adds its intelligence layer to these source results and shows us the final search results. 

That said, if your content is visible on these sources, your content is likely to rank on DuckDuckGo. 

These crucial sources include Goodreads, Wikipedia, Quora, Amazon, LinkedIn, etc. And the important social communities will include Reddit, Hacker News, and Tumblr. 

You can repurpose your content via these sites to improve your DuckDuckGo SEO value. While DuckDuckGo still doesn’t reveal its definite ranking factors, this can be a profitable SEO approach. 

7. Ensure You Have Specified Your Location in Your Content

DuckDuckGo search engine is highly particular about a searcher’s privacy. And it doesn’t even track your location while you do local searches.

So, it tries to locate the approximate location from your device’s IP address to deliver fairly relevant results. 

However, these results might not be as accurate as Google has its eyes on you. 

So, you must map location-specific keywords in your site content. This will help you rank for local search queries on the DuckDuckGo search engine. 

Moreover, a majority of users switch to DuckDuckGo for better privacy. And so, they usually add location-based keywords to their search query for local searches.

For instance, searchers will likely replace their “near me” queries with the area’s name or locality. 

Here, your localized content will score high in relevancy and show up on the first page of DuckDuckGo. 

You can add your content’s locality name, neighborhood, landscape, and area code.

8. Create or Optimize Your Apple Maps Listing

Analogous to Google Maps, DuckDuckGo utilizes Apple Maps to serve location-specific queries. 

And so, if you are willing to optimize for local searches on DuckDuckGo, create your Apple Maps listing. 

DuckDuckGo SEO: The Ultimate Guide 1

Akin to Google My Business, you need to claim your business and verify its location here. 

Add your business details and category; maintain NAP (Name, Address, and Phone No.) consistency; and link your site and social profiles. 

Once you list your business here, you have better chances to appear for location-specific queries in DuckDuckGo.

9. Add Structured Data to Rank in DuckDuckGo Search Results

DuckDuckGo search engine strives to deliver quick and intuitive results to searchers. And so, DuckDuckGo crawlers must intuitively understand your page’s content. 

Here, Structured Data comes into the picture. 

Structured data explains the context of the content on a page to DuckDuckBots. And these standardized data formats classify the content on the page for bots to comprehend easily. 

For example, 

You are displaying the information about your furniture product on a page. The structured data will now classify the content and help bots understand the data. It can include the furniture’s dimensions, color, type, and material. 

That said, adding relevant structured data to your content makes sense, and this technique works equally well for both Google and DuckDuckGo SEO. 

10. Optimize Your Content for Quick Answers 

Akin to Google, content quality is one absolute fundamental for DuckDuckGo SEO. 

You must create original, readable, and authentic content, exuding expertise and authority and not deceiving a searcher. 

As you add relevant keywords to your content, you must also make it intuitive. 

DuckDuckGo doesn’t create its index and relies on its sources for quick search results. 

And so, if you optimize your content for quick answers, you are likely to rank for relevant queries.

Some other on-page content optimization tips include: 

  • Create the right content structure using header tags to allow viewers to skim through it. 
  • Make your content highly readable for the mobile audience
  • Create FAQs section to rank for quick queries 

Add optimized images and other media to your content for a valuable user experience. 

DuckDuckGo SEO VS Google SEO

DuckDuckGo SEOGoogle SEO
It aims at delivering a tracking-free and intuitive search experience to users.

It doesn’t track or capture your browsing history or browsing fingerprints.
Google tracks each of your search activities on its platform.

Advertisers use this data for behavioral advertising.
DuckDuckGo doesn’t create any ‘filter bubble’ based on the user profile.

Instead, it delivers unbiased and common search results to each user.
Google creates a ‘filter bubble’ of a personalized search for each user.

These results are biased and are impacted by a user’s browsing habits.
It displays a minimal number of ads, and these ads aren’t manipulated.Google dedicates a surplus space for ads. And the ads are also manipulated as per your browsing history.
DuckDuckGo falls short in terms of features. It functions as an internet search engine.Google offers free features like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Maps.

It also owns YouTube. So, you cannot abandon Google completely.
DuckDuckGo is still evolving and makes up just 1.75% of the total searches.Google powers 90% of the total searches and uses advanced search capabilities.

It better captures search intent using AI and delivers intuitive results.
DuckDuckGo uses Apple Maps to show location-specific search results.

Since it doesn’t track exact user location, the location-specific results aren’t as specific as Google’s.
Google has Google Maps for location-specific search results and navigation.

Google tracks the exact user location. And it maintains pixel-to-distance accuracy while delivering location-specific results.
DuckDuckGo ensures the searcher’s privacy.

For instance, if you search for a medical condition, you can be assured that your search is not tracked.
Google tracks your search.

For instance, if you search for any medical condition, you might start seeing ads related to it on Google.
It solely functions as an internet search engine.

Therefore, it shows unbiased search results.
Google serves as an ecosystem. Along with search engine services, Google offers Google Places, Maps, Google Products, etc.

Google will likely show its services and products superior to its competitors in the search.

DuckDuckGo SEO FAQs

Q1. Is it Worth Relying on DuckDuckGo Search Engine? 

Ans. The DuckDuckGo search engine has been active for over a decade and is actively gaining prominence. It drives over 3 billion monthly searches and is witnessing significant YoY growth. 

DuckDuckGo is reliable because it doesn’t track browsing history or fingerprints.

Moreover, it sources results from over 400+ reliable sources. But then it leverages its intelligence layer to re-rank and optimizes these results. 

Q2. Why do Some Searchers Prefer DuckDuckGo over Google? 

Ans. One of the main reasons why some searchers utilize the DuckDuckGo search engine is superior privacy. 

Unlike Google, DuckDuckGo ensures that your search remains private and untracked, and it doesn’t track or capture even a single unit of search history or browsing memory. 

And so, the results are also unbiased and common irrespective of a user’s search history. 

On the other end, Google tracks each unit of your search activity and then uses this data to create the personalized ‘filter bubble’ for behavioral advertising. 

People mainly prefer DuckDuckGo for a tracking-free search experience. 

Q3. How Can I Optimize for DuckDuckGo Search Engine? 

Ans. Some definite ways to optimize for DuckDuckGo rankings include:

  • Continue building quality backlinks and establishing a strong link profile
  • Submit a sitemap and index your site on DuckDuckGo’s sources like Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. 
  • Request DuckDuckGo to accept your site’s Bang! to grow direct traffic to your site. 
  • Optimize your site’s user experience regarding load speed, mobile-friendliness, internal linking, etc. 
  • Repurpose your content via sites like Quora, Wikipedia, Amazon, etc. 
  • Add structured data to your site’s content to make it more understandable
  • Use location-specific and intent-based keywords along with focus keywords. 
  • List and update local businesses on Apple Maps
  • Bet on quality content and add FAQs and well-structured content format

Q4. Why Isn’t DuckDuckGo A Direct Competitor to Google? 

Ans. DuckDuckGo represents “The search engine that doesn’t track you.” While Google represents itself as “The best search engine in the world.” 

Moreover, Google upholds over 86% of the search engine market share, and DuckDuckGo isn’t anywhere close to it in terms of popularity. 

That said, DuckDuckGo still has a battle uphill before it becomes a Google competitor. 

What’s more, is that Google isn’t just a search engine but an ecosystem. It offers free services like Google Maps, GMB platform, Gmail, and even Google Products. 

It owns YouTube, has a huge Display Network, and offers an influential advertising space. 

Meanwhile, DuckDuckGo is a rising internet search engine. 

Q5. Do I Draw Any Value by Optimizing for DuckDuckGo SEO? 

Ans. As a search marketer, most of your efforts go into driving qualified traffic to your site.

And DuckDuckGo can be just another significant traffic source for your site. 

While Google is highly competitive, you might have better chances to rank in DuckDuckGo. 

Another important consideration is the frequent algorithm updates. Your Google rankings will likely fluctuate if your site isn’t compatible with the latest algorithm update. This can

have a significant impact on your rankings as well. 

In the above case, if you are also ranking on DuckDuckGo, you can expect consistent traffic from there. 

And so, it lowers your organic traffic dependency on Google. When your rankings drop in Google, you will continue gaining organic leads from DuckDuckGo.