What DuckDuckGo means for business

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More people are flocking to anti-Google search engine

In a time when security breaches seem to be in the news on a daily basis, the main draw for DuckDuckGo is privacy. Currently running 30 million private searches a day, the “anti-Google” search engine also has other benefits for users and businesses. If you don’t know about or aren’t using DuckDuckGo yet, let this be a helpful introduction.

What is DuckDuckGo exactly?

Yes, it’s fun to say. No, it’s not a child’s game. Ok, it’s a silly name, but so is Bing, Yahoo and Google if you think about it. Founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Gabriel Weinberg, the company isn’t in Silicon Valley but instead based in Paoli, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia.

This search engine emphasizes protecting user privacy and allows for a more anonymous way to search the Internet. It doesn’t:

  •      collect, store or share any personal information
  •      use cookies
  •      look at a user’s IP address
  •      store search history
  •      track users across the Internet

In short, a user’s search secrets are safe with DuckDuckGo.

What DuckDuckGo can do

Because it doesn’t collect or store information, there’s no auto-complete feature and there’s not a “Search History” option like Google offers. There are, however, a number of other very useful features such as:

Shorten or expand links. If you want to find the websites behind URLs that have been shorted by bitly, tinyurl or other URL shortener, simply open DuckDuckGo and type “expand” before the URL. For example: expand https://bit.ly/2yxLtTw. The opposite is also available without having to go to another site. Just type in “shorten” to immediately get a shorter URL for something such as: https://blog.talentevolution.com/what-is-inbound-marketing-and-how-does-it-work

Social media bios. Easily locate social media profiles of people without leaving DuckDuckGo. Typing in a Twitter handle such as @TalentEvolution immediately provides the bio. Additionally, if you want to search for someone's LinkedIn profile, there’s no need to leave DuckDuckGo, just type "!linkedin" followed by the person's name to get results.

Website check. Ever get to a website and it’s not responding? Type the URL of the website into DuckDuckGo to get information on whether it’s down or simply running slow.

Bangs: Want to quickly find search results on other sites? Type in “!” before a search. For example, if you want results for “baseball teams” on Wikipedia, use DuckDuckGo and type “!w baseball teams” to get results. This “bang” shortcut eliminates having to open another browser tab, typing the Wikipedia URL and searching “baseball teams.”

Other quick and useful features let users:

  •      find flight information
  •      do calculations
  •      convert currency
  •      find apps (and their prices)
  •      generate passwords
  •      run a stopwatch
  •      change text from upper to lower case (or vice versa)
  •      search a calendar
  •      use a loan calculator
  •      instantly find words that rhyme with other words (“orange” might still be a tricky one)

Why DuckDuckGo is beneficial for businesses

“Bangs” boils down to bucks: The “bangs” shortcuts get users to results faster. When you can find what you’re looking for more quickly, you save time. Time equals money in the business world.

Find what’s really out there: DuckDuckGo also provides a truer search. With other search engines, results vary per user. Why? Because they look at location, search history and past click behavior.  Internet activist Eli Pariser refers to it as a “filter bubble”: results that come when the algorithm guesses what a user would like to see based on past information. DuckDuckGo doesn’t have a “filter bubble” and doesn’t isolate or deter users from seeing the entire picture.  

Ads don’t follow you: While DuckDuckGo makes a profit by selling ads, it doesn’t follow users around the site with targeted ads. This provides a clutter-free and cleaner interface. For example: Say you search Monday for a restaurant for an upcoming client meeting on Thursday. On other search engines, when you search again later in the week, you’re going to get targeted ads for specific restaurants similar to what you searched before. Additional searches that deliver similar results really only benefit the monetary strategy of the search engine and not necessarily the needs of the user.

Consumers are DuckDuckGo-ing: Ok, so it doesn’t roll off the tongue like “Googling.” However, the general public is now becoming much more aware of DuckDuckGo and discovering the many benefits outlined above. In early 2017, the search engine hit 10 billion searches. It jumped to 16 billion by the start of 2018. That’s a huge user metric. As consumers become more informed about online privacy, their search engine preference may shift.

Moving forward, businesses of all kinds need to think about how their brand approaches SEO. If consumers aren’t going to use search engines that rely on paid searches and ads that place you on the first page of results, why invest there?

Further, it will be ever more important to be found organically. For best SEO results, relevant keywords and terms will be vital within content. Reviewing your business’ website, mobile design and social media account will be necessary to make sure everything pops up as desired for your target audience. It will also mean keeping consistent with updates for blogs and social media posts to keep organic interest alive.

At Talent Evolution, our team has expertise in SEO, SEM and social media. Just give us a call; we can see where your business falls in the DuckDuckGo SERP and help you with your strategy to get your brand found.

 

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About the Author:

John Walker

John Walker, Co-founder of Talent Evolution and Chief Solutions Officer, has more than 20 years of online marketing expertise in social media, mobile, video and viral campaigns. He has a strong background in digital capabilities including Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC).