Facebook’s security policy has become big news of late, but its not the only website you visit online that stores personal information that can identify you.
In fact, every time you use a Search Engine to look for something on the web, that search is stored and can be traced back to you.
That is, unless you are using DuckDuckGo.
Searching on DuckDuckGo is private by default:
No Browser Cookies: Browser Cookies are pieces of information that sit on your computer and get sent to the search engine on each request. These unique identifiers link you as an individual to your searches online. At DuckDuckGo, no cookies are used by default.
No Search Leakage: When you do a search on most search engines, and click on a link, your search terms are available to the site you visited via their analyitics or webmaster tools accounts. This type of sharing of personal information is called “search leakage.” DuckDuckGo doesn’t store your search terms, so no data can be shared with other websites.
No Search Bubble: Other search engines use your search and “like” history to show you more of what you like. This can be good, but it can also create what is known as a “search bubble” where you aren’t shown opposing opinions. DuckDuckGo doesn’t store your search history so no results are filtered out.
As online security becomes a bigger issue for the general public, you’ll likely see more searches coming to your site via DuckDuckGo (you’ll see visits under Referrers in your Google Analytics account).
What This Means for Your Business:
Get Good Placement on DuckDuckGo: You can’t submit your site or sitemap to DuckDuckGo; they find your site by following links on the web, so make sure your site is well-linked to sites that are indexed often by using textual links that contain your targeted keywords.
Track Keywords Manually: DuckDuckGo does not store or track the keywords used by searchers to find your site, so determining what people use to find your site is going to be up to you. Enter your keywords into DuckDuckGo and see where your site places. If you don’t know what people currently use to find you, start with the data the other Search Engines provide you in your analytics or webmaster tools account. Make it a habit to check these results regularly so you can make changes as necessary to maintain your position.
With Google being such a big player in the world of search, it can be easy to ignore these smaller search engines, but that strategy puts all of your eggs in one basket. All it would take is one change at Google and all of your traffic could disappear overnight. Protect your business’ future by promoting your site on other, lesser-known search engines as well as Google.