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What Is DuckDuckGo & Who Uses This Alternative Search Engine?

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What Is DuckDuckGo & Who Uses This Alternative Search Engine?


For many years, websites have collected user data to either sell to third-party sites or use for their targeted advertising.

The most well-known examples include Facebook and Google.

Serving an ad or showing relevant search results about the shoes you wanted seemed like a relatively harmless use of personal data that worked to (what seemed like) everyone’s benefit.

Then the data scandals started.

From the Microsoft Hotmail scandal to Cambridge Analytica to the Zoom scandal of 2020, online users have felt the sting of leaked data.

These scandals have made users more aware of how their data is being used on the web – and left many wondering how to have more online privacy.

Enter DuckDuckGo.

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What Is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo is a search engine created by Gabriel Weinberg in 2008. This search engine is dedicated to the online privacy of its users.

Their search features include:

  • Maps.
  • Weather.
  • Local business answers.
  • News.
  • Images.
  • Videos.
  • Products and shopping.
  • Definitions.
  • Wikipedia references.
  • Currency conversions.
  • Flight information.
  • Calculator.
  • Timer.
  • Sport scores.
  • Question and answer references.

DuckDuckGo also includes what they call bonus features:

  • Shortcut commands that take you directly to other websites from the search engine.
  • Language and region localization.
  • Customizable themes, including a dark theme.

DuckDuckGo also has apps and extensions for various operating systems and browsers.

So, you can still use Chrome, Safari, or any other favorite browser and avoid being tracked.

DuckDuckGo User Statistics

DuckDuckGo is the second most popular mobile search engine in the U.S.

DuckDuckGo users made over 8 billion search queries in Q1 of 2022.

DuckDuckGo holds 0.68% of the search engine market share worldwide.

However, in the U.S, DuckDuckGo holds 2.51% of the search engine market share.

The DuckDuckGo Chrome extension app has over six million users.

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Advertising on DuckDuckGo is 10 times cheaper than Google.

DuckDuckGo has raised $13 million in funds.

DuckDuckGo operates with a staff of 172 people.

How Is DuckDuckGo Different From Other Search Engines?

When you visit a website, that website takes note of your IP address through network routers, so they know where to send the information.

Typically, a website stores your IP address and the data.

However, DuckDuckGo promises to hide your IP address when using its search engine.

When you click on a search result, the link redirects the information request to prevent it from sending your search terms to the site.

Essentially, the sites know that you visited them, but they don’t know from where or with what keywords.

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Additionally, to provide a personalized search experience, Google, Yahoo, and Bing track your search history and personal data (even in incognito mode).

This practice helps these search engines deliver targeted ads and personalized search results.

DuckDuckGo takes the opposite approach from other search engines.

DuckDuckGo promises to avoid collecting that data so you can escape what they call the “filter bubble.”

DuckDuckGo’s search results are not customized based on personal preference, search history, or location.

No Stored Search History

Think about all the things you search for online: medical information, financial solutions, location-based queries, etc.

Some of those searches can be pretty personal.

Other major search engines sell that information to advertisers so they can serve you personalized ads.

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DuckDuckGo promises never to store your search history, ever.

Every time you use DuckDuckGo’s browser, you can expect a new search result.

So how do they make money?

By still serving you ads, of course.

However, the difference is that DuckDuckGo targets the keywords you search for instead of being based on you.

So, if you search for pens, it’ll show you ads for pens.

However, if you then search for stationery, it’ll show you ads for stationery.

No Third-Party Trackers

Did you know that Google tracks website visitors on 86% of the top 50,000 websites globally?

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That’s because many sites use Google Analytics to help track visitors. Additionally, Google runs three of the most extensive non-search ad networks most sites use: Adsense, Admob, and DoubleClick.

So it’s hard to get away from Google. Yahoo and Bing also track your internet usage to build profiles on you.

Facebook is another tech giant that tracks users behind the scenes.

However, their coverage is only 36% of the top websites.

DuckDuckGo’s browser and mobile app promise to block trackers from other search engines, Facebook, and other trackers.

So for those looking to stay anonymous when they venture off the search engines, DuckDuckGo could be your answer.

Unfiltered Results

Have you ever heard of the filter bubble?

The filter bubble occurs when users encounter information that reinforces their own beliefs.

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Considering that Google, Bing, and Yahoo are best known for providing personalized search results, you can imagine this happens frequently.

What does this mean for searchers?

If you have political leanings or other ideologies, the major search engines remember that and filter out content they think you’ll skip.

Therefore, you are more likely to be served results you already agree with.

DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, believes that search results should be unbiased.

Therefore, their search results page gives everyone the same results, regardless of their political preference, cultural bias, or other demographics.

What Crawler Does DuckDuckGo Use?

DuckDuckGo uses over 400 sources to provide results, including sources such as:

  • Bing.
  • Yahoo.
  • Apple Maps.
  • Wolfram Alpha.
  • Yandex.

They also use DuckDuckBot, their web crawler, and other crowd-sourced sites like Wikipedia to generate their equivalent of a snippet.

However, they explicitly confirm that they do not use any sources from Google.

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Additionally, as part of their strict privacy policy, they promise never to share any personal information with their partners.

This is reassuring to those who want their internet usage to stay private.

Pros And Cons Of DuckDuckGo

Though Google is still the big man on top, the number of DuckDuckGo’s users is climbing steadily.

They don’t track users, so it’s impossible to get an exact number.

But DuckDuckGo reported that 80 million people used their search engine as of November 2020.

While DuckDuckGo may seem like the perfect solution for those with privacy concerns, there are some pros and cons to this alternative search engine.

Pros of DuckDuckGo:

  • Absolute privacy when searching.
  • Bangs shortcuts to take you directly to a website.
  • Clean interface.
  • No targeted ads.
  • Unbiased search results.
  • One-page search results.
  • No social engineering based on your searches.

Cons of DuckDuckGo:

  • Not as many search engine perks as Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
  • The search algorithm is not as advanced.
  • Limited search results.
  • No protection from malware or viruses.
  • Weak ranking factors.
  • Mapping and image results are not as good.

If you value your online privacy and don’t mind taking a few extra minutes to search, then DuckDuckGo is a viable alternative.

However, if you like all the bells and whistles of other major search engines, remember that those luxuries come at a cost.

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Featured Image: Iconbunny11/Shutterstock





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LinkedIn Professionals Share Their Best Unusual LinkedIn Marketing Hack

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LinkedIn Professionals Share Their Best Unusual LinkedIn Marketing Hack

LinkedIn is a great place to grow your business.

In the last 12 months, 93% of B2B marketers have used the platform the most to distribute content organically. LinkedIn also topped the same survey for producing the best results.

The same study reveals content marketers are also spending more on paid content promotion. The top platform where they’re spending? Linkedin.

Businesses can also use the network for marketing to and reaching potential customers. In fact, there are more than 1 billion interactions on LinkedIn Pages every month.

With these figures, there’s no denying the power of this social media platform to drive engagement and boost brand awareness.

Are you ready to take your LinkedIn marketing game to the next level but unsure where to begin?

Here are clever LinkedIn tips from seven LinkedIn pros to boost your marketing efforts.

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Leverage LinkedIn Live

Thomas J. Armitage

Sales Executive, Site-Seeker

LinkedIn is the ultimate B2B playground. It’s like a professional conference that’s never-ending.

Live Streams, in particular, continue to be underutilized. That’s because people starve for valuable learning material.

With Live Streams, thought leaders can bypass the headaches typically involved in traditional webinar setups. No landing pages or sign-up forms are needed. You can easily promote the event through sharing and invitations, too.

Although you’ll need a third-party streaming software, most play nicely with LinkedIn.

And Live Streams are a great way to break the monotony of text posts and engage with your audience on a more personal level.

Make sure you identify a niche topic. Write a strong description that includes who the stream is for.

Invite users you know will find it worthwhile. And make sure to promote – both before the event, as well as after, since the full video will be available for playback.


Level Up Your Content Strategy

Adam Houlahan Adam Houlahan

LinkedIn Expert at Prominence Global, Author of “Influencer – The 9 Step Guide to Becoming Highly Influential in Any Industry”

The most effective strategy for LinkedIn lead generation that delivers consistent long-term results is Algorithmically Aligned Content.

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Only 1% of the 850+ million members of LinkedIn share content regularly (weekly). Less than 1% of that 1% truly understand and share content that LinkedIn sees as valuable to its membership and organically promotes for you.

Share content that creates conversations on the platform and shows you are the authority in your area of expertise without solving your audiences’ problems for them.

I call it “Know How,” with “No How” content.

Consistently implement this content strategy, and your ideal clients will gravitate to you to solve their problems.

Felipe Bazon Felipe Bazon

Chief SEO Officer, Hedgehog Digital

Back in 2017, I decided that the only social network that I would use professionally was going to be Linkedin.

Since then, I have been posting weekly (sometimes daily) posts related to SEO strategies, techniques, and insights.

This has helped build my network and reach decision makers who see my posts and get in contact through the platform or our website to fill in the contact form.

These leads that turned into clients have contributed to the exponential growth we have had since we opened up our office in Brazil.

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Being a well-known SEO down here, I’ve exploited these to our advantage; all leads came from my personal account, not the company’s.

We do have a business page for U.K. and Brazil and do some Linkedin ads to promote some stuff, but it is through the personal profile that the magic happens.

Since then, my posts are averaging:

  • 4,000 views
  • 100 interactions (likes and comments)
  • Five to seven organic leads per month

My tips are:

  • Consistency and frequency. Aim for at least a couple of posts each week.
  • Avoid sharing links on your posts; leave them in the comments. This increases the reach of your posts by at least 30%. For instance, if you want to share a new article from the blog, do a post talking about the subject and say, “We’ve written a complete guide about X, and you can find the link to it in the comments.
  • Don’t be shy in sharing insights, thoughts, and results. The community loves these types of posts. These tend to get loads of interactions.

Optimize Your Page

Virginie Cantin Virginie Cantin

LinkedIn Coach – VirginieCantin.com, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery”

My personal hack uses the experience section to highlight my services and activities. So instead of having a single job title such as “Founder,” I will have several job titles under my LinkedIn company page for each “hat” I’m wearing in my company.

I have a job title for my 1:1 coaching service, LinkedIn PEELING. Another job title is dedicated to my online course, LinkedIn BREAK-IN. Then, I use a separate job title to highlight that I’m a Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Last but not least, I have a fourth job title that aims at getting me found by people looking for speakers and podcast guests.

The beauty of having several job titles is that you can optimize every single one of them for the algorithm so that people looking for a specific service or author, or podcast guest can easily find you.

Andy Foote Andy Foote

Advanced LinkedIn Strategies Coach

LinkedIn makes it really difficult to know who your “Super Fans” and potential “Super Fans” are; it’s as if they don’t want you to build any kind of base.

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You can see this with how they treat followers; they’re not ‘following’ at all – because an algorithm inserts itself between you and folks who have voted to see your content.

Fortunately, there’s software on the market (peakAboo by Daniel Hall) that provides juicy data on everyone who has commented on your LinkedIn posts. This helps me to know who solidly supports me and, more importantly, people who commented only a few times.

It’s the latter category I want to target and figure out a way to convert them into persistent supporters, a.k.a. “Super Fans.”


Prioritize Human-Centric Approach

Sandra Long Sandra Long

LinkedIn Trainer & Speaker – Post Road Consulting, Author of “LinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide”

Activate your employee team. Make sure your team’s LinkedIn profiles are co-branded and focused on client problem-solving instead of recruiter oriented.

Encourage the team to search and connect with coworkers, clients, and prospects. Train your team to build relationships with thoughtful, helpful comments and personalized messages.

Say no to automation. Train them to engage, inspire, and motivate their professional networks with valuable comments, original posts, and shared or reposted company page content.

Develop a company hashtag and communicate how to use it on LinkedIn. Most importantly, build your team’s confidence and make it fun!

Josh Steimle Josh Steimle

Founder of the LinkedIn agency BlueMethod, Author of the WSJ & USA Today bestselling book “60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery”

LinkedIn helps me solve my biggest challenges as an entrepreneur, whether it’s sales, recruiting, or finding partners.

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LinkedIn has easily produced millions of dollars in value for me.

Even though I wrote a book on LinkedIn with 60 tips in it, everything I teach in my book can be summarized in two words: Be human. It’s the best LinkedIn hack.

Too many are trying to imitate robots on LinkedIn by sending out spam messages, posting content but never engaging with commenters, and avoiding the time-consuming, truly creative work of one-to-one communication. But that’s where LinkedIn performs best!

When you use LinkedIn to talk directly with others, like a normal human being, that’s the moment when LinkedIn becomes indispensable.

Takeaway

As the world’s largest online professional network, Linkedin makes a remarkable addition to your social media marketing strategy.

Remember to take advantage of LinkedIn features and be consistent – all while offering value and nurturing relationships.

Armed with these tips, you’re bound to thrive on the LinkedIn feed and reap the rewards.

More Resources:

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Featured Image: 1st footage/Shutterstock

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