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10 DuckDuckGo Facts For Digital Marketers & SEO Pros

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How often do you use DuckDuckGo?

If you answered “never,” you might want to read this article.

Over the years, DuckDuckGo has redesigned itself and evolved to better meet searchers’ needs and protect their privacy.

In addition to its excellent search capabilities, DDG (DuckDuckGo) has many helpful features that can help you improve your search strategy while cutting the time it takes to complete research.

I’ve researched DDG and its value for digital marketers and SEO professionals.

Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about DDG, why marketers should consider using it, and some interesting facts about the search engine.

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What Is DuckDuckGo?

DDGo is a search engine that doesn’t track users, meaning it doesn’t store any information about what websites you visit.

This means that when you use DDG, no one knows who you are, where you live, what you like to search, or which sites you’ve visited – creating a private search history.

Gabriel Weinberg founded the company and has progressed his idea since 2008.

He started using Google for searching, but after seeing how much data Google collects, he decided to create a new, private search engine.

Marketers and SEO pros can use DDG on Safari, Chrome, and Firefox with a built-in extension.

In addition, the search engine is now available as an app for iOS devices, Android phones, and Windows 8 tablets.

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Now, let’s get into why you should consider using DDG.

Why Use DuckDuckGo?

With its unique search algorithms, DDG has become one of the most popular alternative search engines.

And while many people are familiar with the name, few understand what makes it stand out from the crowd.

DDG has been designed from the ground up to be fast, private, and secure.

The search engine uses only what it needs to deliver results, which means no tracking cookies or other unnecessary data collection.

This makes DDG one of the best privacy-focused search engines available today.

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It lets you search anonymously while blocking trackers on websites you use.

DDG uses HTTPS encryption for all searches and doesn’t store IP addresses.

While there are similarities that make DDG comparable as a search engine to Google, the main difference is that DDG doesn’t track you as Google does.

So, no matter how often you search, you won’t see ads based on your previous searches. Instead, you’ll see sponsored links relevant to the current topic.

This isn’t just good news for privacy advocates – it’s great news for anyone looking for quality information online.

If you want to find something specific without being tracked, DDG is a great option.

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Also, if you’re trying to figure out how to incorporate SEO for DDG, you can check out this Search Engine Journal resource.

DDG allows you to block certain types of cookies, which means you can control whether third parties can track your browsing history across the Internet.

Access to this information can provide significant advantages, especially regarding marketing campaigns.

For example, you can target specific keywords based on the pages users visit, which means marketers can reach potential customers faster than ever before.

So now, let’s dive into the helpful features DDG offers.

Helpful DuckDuckGo Search Features

DDG has numerous features such as image searches, location-based searches, and voice searches.

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As I mentioned, the main difference between Google and DDG is that DDG does not track users through cookies or other methods.

It also does not sell any data to third parties.

DDG aims to protect the people using its service.

The company has built several features enabling it to identify potential threats without invading user privacy.

It also has instructions to evaluate your add-ons to help you safely remove any unofficial and potentially harmful add-ons.

In addition, DDG has integrated with Apple Maps, allowing users to search for locations privately.

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Some features include Safe Search, Instant Answers, and private searches. These help DDG protect its users from malicious websites, scams, and malware.

With Instant Answers, DDG uses over 100 different sources to provide answers to your queries without making you click on different websites for results.

The !Bang Syntax

One very cool feature on DDG is the !Bang Syntax function, which lets you directly search on a site from DDG without having to go to that site first.

For example, suppose you want to search for butter chicken recipes on Pinterest.

You can use DDG’s Pinterest shortcut by entering [!p butter chicken recipes] into the search bar, and it will transport you straight to the Pinterest results on that platform.

DDG has many other shortcuts to websites such as Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Wikipedia.

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To see all the shortcuts, type in the exclamation mark in the search bar, and they will pop up.

Don’t worry – it is easy to use and very helpful for quick searches.

It takes the time out of navigating to a website to complete a search.

If you use DDG’s browser extension or have it as your browser’s default search engine, the !bang commands also work in the address bar.

DDG has many other interesting features you should check out, such as category pages, keyboard shortcuts, and Autosuggest.

If you’re not sold on the search engine yet, check out these ten DDG facts that might help to change your mind.

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10 DuckDuckGo Facts

1. DDG Turned 14 In 2022

Google has become synonymous with Internet searches. Even though DDG is a relatively new search engine, the company has existed for over a decade and is still growing at an incredible rate.

2. DDG Hits 100 Million Searches Per Day

It is now one of the top 10 search engines worldwide.

In addition, the search engine hit the milestone of 100 million daily searches in 2021.

3. Over 100 Billion Searches Have Been Performed On DDG

In 2019, it broke one billion searches in a month – and in 2020, it broke 50 billion searches.

Due to its efficient and streamlined search capabilities, over 100 billion searches have been performed on DDG.

4. DDG Has A 11.43% Bounce Rate

While Google still ranks as the number one search engine in the U.S., DDG has worked its way up to the second leading search engine.

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And DDG has a bounce rate of 11.43% compared to Google’s 28.46%.

5. DDG Employees Have Grown To 180

From its humble beginnings with founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg running DDG by himself until 2011, the company now employs 180 people.

Additionally, the business is now profitable.

It’s a great example of how you can start small and grow into something bigger.

6. Average Of 6 Million Monthly Downloads On DDG

With more people looking to protect their data, there are an average of six million monthly downloads of DDG for both mobile and desktop use.

Since 2020 it is also the default search engine on Android throughout the EU.

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7. Average Of 3 Billion Monthly Searches Performed On DDG

More people are benefiting from the DDG, and now there is an average of three billion monthly searches.

This is because more people rely on the site for everyday searches.

8. DDG Holds 2.42% Of The Search Market In The US

In 2019, the DDG market share began to grow, starting at 1.25%, and has nearly doubled today.

DDG holds 2.42% of the search engine market shares in the US.

9. The Cost Per Click On DDG Can Be 10x Cheaper Than Google

DDG runs pay-per-click advertising like Google and Bing.

But, some marketers have found DDG significantly cheaper than the cost per click of ads on Google, thus lowering the cost of their average conversion rate.

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With the right strategy, DDG can be a valuable marketing opportunity for marketers and brands to increase conversion rates.

10. DDG Has An Average Rating Of 4.5 Stars

One of the best ways to determine if a platform is legitimate and worth your time is to look at its reviews.

DDG has an average rating of 4.5 stars, meaning people like using it.

With quick load times and ease for mobile users, it’s an effective search engine.

Key Takeaways

DDG is fast becoming one of the world’s most trusted and popular search engines due to its excellent privacy policy.

It is one of the top search engines for digital marketers and SEO pros because it offers a unique combination of features that help our users stay safe online.

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As you can see, DDG provides a wide range of tools and features that can help you optimize your digital marketing strategy, create more opportunities for organic traffic, and increase your online presence.

But don’t let these benefits fool you: DDG is an entirely free service, requiring minimal investment on your part.

So it’s time to try DDG and take your online search strategy to the next level.


Featured Image: sdecoret/Shutterstock

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Google Limits News Links In California Over Proposed ‘Link Tax’ Law

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A brown cardboard price tag with a twine string and a black dollar sign symbol, influenced by the Link Tax Law, set against a dark gray background.

Google announced that it plans to reduce access to California news websites for a portion of users in the state.

The decision comes as Google prepares for the potential passage of the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), a bill requiring online platforms like Google to pay news publishers for linking to their content.

What Is The California Journalism Preservation Act?

The CJPA, introduced in the California State Legislature, aims to support local journalism by creating what Google refers to as a “link tax.”

If passed, the Act would force companies like Google to pay media outlets when sending readers to news articles.

However, Google believes this approach needs to be revised and could harm rather than help the news industry.

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Jaffer Zaidi, Google’s VP of Global News Partnerships, stated in a blog post:

“It would favor media conglomerates and hedge funds—who’ve been lobbying for this bill—and could use funds from CJPA to continue to buy up local California newspapers, strip them of journalists, and create more ghost papers that operate with a skeleton crew to produce only low-cost, and often low-quality, content.”

Google’s Response

To assess the potential impact of the CJPA on its services, Google is running a test with a percentage of California users.

During this test, Google will remove links to California news websites that the proposed legislation could cover.

Zaidi states:

“To prepare for possible CJPA implications, we are beginning a short-term test for a small percentage of California users. The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, potentially covered by CJPA, to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience.”

Google Claims Only 2% of Search Queries Are News-Related

Zaidi highlighted peoples’ changing news consumption habits and its effect on Google search queries (emphasis mine):

“It’s well known that people are getting news from sources like short-form videos, topical newsletters, social media, and curated podcasts, and many are avoiding the news entirely. In line with those trends, just 2% of queries on Google Search are news-related.”

Despite the low percentage of news queries, Google wants to continue helping news publishers gain visibility on its platforms.

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However, the “CJPA as currently constructed would end these investments,” Zaidi says.

A Call For A Different Approach

In its current form, Google maintains that the CJPA undermines news in California and could leave all parties worse off.

The company urges lawmakers to consider alternative approaches supporting the news industry without harming smaller local outlets.

Google argues that, over the past two decades, it’s done plenty to help news publishers innovate:

“We’ve rolled out Google News Showcase, which operates in 26 countries, including the U.S., and has more than 2,500 participating publications. Through the Google News Initiative we’ve partnered with more than 7,000 news publishers around the world, including 200 news organizations and 6,000 journalists in California alone.”

Zaidi suggested that a healthy news industry in California requires support from the state government and a broad base of private companies.

As the legislative process continues, Google is willing to cooperate with California publishers and lawmakers to explore alternative paths that would allow it to continue linking to news.

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The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

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The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

Every week, we share hot SEO news, interesting reads, and new posts in our newsletter, Ahrefs’ Digest.

If you’re not one of our 280,000 subscribers, you’ve missed out on some great reads!

Here’s a quick summary of my personal favorites from the last month:

Best of March 2024

How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

tl;dr

Glen’s research reveals that just 16 companies representing 588 brands get 3.5 billion (yes, billion!) monthly clicks from Google.

My takeaway

Glen pointed out some really actionable ideas in this report, such as the fact that many of the brands dominating search are adding mini-author bios.

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Example of mini-author bios on The VergeExample of mini-author bios on The Verge

This idea makes so much sense in terms of both UX and E-E-A-T. I’ve already pitched it to the team and we’re going to implement it on our blog.

How Google is Killing Independent Sites Like Ours

Authors: Gisele Navarro, Danny Ashton

tl;dr

Big publications have gotten into the affiliate game, publishing “best of” lists about everything under the sun. And despite often not testing products thoroughly, they’re dominating Google rankings. The result, Gisele and Danny argue, is that genuine review sites suffer and Google is fast losing content diversity.

My takeaway

I have a lot of sympathy for independent sites. Some of them are trying their best, but unfortunately, they’re lumped in with thousands of others who are more than happy to spam.

Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updatesEstimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updates
Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele’s site fell off a cliff after Google’s March updates 🙁 

I know it’s hard to hear, but the truth is Google benefits more from having big sites in the SERPs than from having diversity. That’s because results from big brands are likely what users actually want. By and large, people would rather shop at Walmart or ALDI than at a local store or farmer’s market.

That said, I agree with most people that Forbes (with its dubious contributor model contributing to scams and poor journalism) should not be rewarded so handsomely.

The Discussion Forums Dominating 10,000 Product Review Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

Tl;dr

Glen analyzed 10,000 “product review” keywords and found that:

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My takeaway

After Google’s heavy promotion of Reddit from last year’s Core Update, to no one’s surprise, unscrupulous SEOs and marketers have already started spamming Reddit. And as you may know, Reddit’s moderation is done by volunteers, and obviously, they can’t keep up.

I’m not sure how this second-order effect completely escaped the smart minds at Google, but from the outside, it feels like Google has capitulated to some extent.

John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...

I’m not one to make predictions and I have no idea what will happen next, but I agree with Glen: Google’s results are the worst I’ve seen them. We can only hope Google sorts itself out.

Who Sends Traffic on the Web and How Much? New Research from Datos & SparkToro

Author: Rand Fishkin

tl;dr

63.41% of all U.S. web traffic referrals from the top 170 sites are initiated on Google.com.

Data from SparktoroData from Sparktoro

My takeaway

Despite all of our complaints, Google is still the main platform to acquire traffic from. That’s why we all want Google to sort itself out and do well.

But it would also be a mistake to look at this post and think Google is the only channel you should drive traffic from. As Rand’s later blog post clarifies, “be careful not to ascribe attribution or credit to Google when other investments drove the real value.”

I think many affiliate marketers learned this lesson well from the past few Core Updates: Relying on one single channel to drive all of your traffic is not a good idea. You should be using other platforms to build brand awareness, interest, and demand.

Want more?

Each week, our team handpicks the best SEO and marketing content from around the web for our newsletter. Sign up to get them directly in your inbox.

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Google Unplugs “Notes on Search” Experiment

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Google unplugs Notes On Search Experiment

Google is shutting down it’s Google Notes Search Labs experiment that allowed users to see and leave notes on Google’s search results and many in the search community aren’t too surprised.

Google Search Notes

Availability of the feature was limited to Android and Apple devices and there was never a clearly defined practical purpose or usefulness of the Notes experiment. Search marketers reaction throughout has consistently been that would become a spam-magnet.

The Search Labs page for the experiment touts it as mode of self-expression, to help other users and as a way for users to collect their own notes within their Google profiles.

The official Notes page in Search Labs has a simple notice:

Notes on Search Ends May 2024

That’s it.

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Screenshot Of Notice

Reaction From Search Community

Kevin Indig tweeted his thoughts that anything Google makes with a user generated content aspect was doomed to attract spam.

He tweeted:

“I’m gonna assume Google retires notes because of spam.

It’s crazy how spammy the web has become. Google can’t launch anything UGC without being bombarded.”

Cindy Krum (@Suzzicks) tweeted that it was author Purna Virji (LinkedIn profile) who predicted that it would be shut down once Google received enough data.

She shared:

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“It was actually @purnavirji who predicted it when we were at @BarbadosSeo – while I was talking. Everyone agreed that it would be spammed, but she said it would just be a test to collect a certain type of information until they got what they needed, and then it would be retired.”

Purna herself responded with a tweet:

“My personal (non-employer) opinion is that everyone wants all the UGC to train the AI models. Eg Reddit deal also could potentially help with that.”

Google’s Notes for Search seemed destined to never take off, it was met with skepticism and a shrug when it came out and nobody’s really mourning that it’s on the way out, either.

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Jamesbin



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