At first glance, DuckDuckGo appears to be one of the most unlikely contenders to ascend to Google’s position as the world’s top search engine, but in reality, it may actually stand a pretty good chance in due time. The small, privately-held company based outside of Philadelphia in Paoli, PA has grown rapidly and garnered substantial attention from the public and press without a multi-billion dollar ad campaign, but instead by simply offering an interesting alternative to the competition.
DuckDuckGo’s business model emphasizes “better search”; which its developers have attempted to achieve by utilizing data obtained from Wikipedia and other crowdsourced sites to supplement results, eliminating user tracking and “personalized results” and even open sourcing parts of their code. DuckDuckGo’s radical departure from its competitors has also intrigued SEOs, with many wondering what fundamental differences and similarities exist between DuckDuckGo and Google from an SEO perspective. After conducting a few searches of my own, here’s what I learned about DDG’s algorithm:
Starting With the SERPs
When entered into both DuckDuckGo and Google, the term “WebiMax” yielded relevant (albeit, drastically different) results.
Perhaps the most curious omission from the above-the-fold results on DuckDuckGo is the WebiMax.com homepage. Interestingly enough, DuckDuckGo recognizes our Careers page and the Website Analyzer tool subdomain as being of greater relevancy. However, when the term “webimax” is entered into DuckDuckGo in all lowercase letters, WebiMax.com is the first result and the SERP looks significantly different. The emphasis on case-sensitivity within DuckDuckGo is important to note and clearly impacts rankings.
As I already mentioned, both search engines returned relevant results. Commonalities such as social media profiles, news articles and review sites were noticeable, indicating that like Google, DuckDuckGo also finds these to be highly relevant and authoritative sites.
Rich Content Within Universal Results
Unlike Google, DDG does not feature image or video packs on the SERP. This will be crucial for rich content producers and video SEO practitioners to consider when attempting to gain visibility within DuckDuckGo’s results.
The Bottom Line
DuckDuckGo is very similar to an early Google in its sheer simplicity and SEOs will need to take that into account when designing campaigns. I’m interested to see how DDG’s continuing evolution will affect its algorithm, but for now, there are discernible contrasts between both search engines and optimizers should definitely monitor their rankings closely on the up-and-coming Google challenger.
The internet has not only become a tool for people to conveniently search for products or services online, but a dominant source to learn about businesses. With the various online review sites available, customers can read reviews about businesses as well as provide their own review. And ‘word on the internet’ spreads like wildfire. But, does everyone really trust online reviews?
According to results from the Local Consumer Review Survey (2012), roughly 72% of the consumers surveyed trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Of those who read online reviews, 65% of consumers read 2-10 reviews. Of course reputation management is essential in operating a business, in which 58% of consumers stated that they trust a business with positive online reviews.
It’s no doubt that positive reviews about a business will turn a visitor into a consumer. If a business has a negative review, how likely is it that you would trust them?
Also, more people are utilizing the internet to obtain information about a business because of the convenience. Whether from a laptop or cell phone, people can quickly search online for reviews about a business. And because so many people are turning to online reviews, they are becoming more valuable.
Let’s also not forget that online reviews make their way into the social media world. Whenever I receive excellent service from a business, my positive experience with that business makes its way onto my Facebook page for my friends to read and I send a tweet as well for my followers. Positive reviews are especially beneficial for businesses involved in social media as they help a business gain more online attention.
Nothing means success to a business like a positive review from a customer.
At any time of the day, buyers and critics can be reviewing your products and brand. They can be discussing their buying experience, offering feedback, or profiling your products on consumer report websites. Since this can be taking place at any time, it is extremely critical to manage reviews to ensure that the best things are being said, and if they’re not, how to address them appropriately.
This is the one area where webmasters need to pay close attention. It’s not so much responding to the positive comments as it is having a reaction plan in place to respond to the negatives. People will judge your company on your ability to address the negative reviews and how you accommodate them. People will often-times see your company in a brighter light if you effectively assist them and resolve the negative issue causing their remarks.
Once you have a proper monitoring tool in place and you know where people are posting remarks, your main concern should be the response. There are 3 main ideas that should be considered for responding.
• Emphasis on the customer experience
• Focusing on building a long-term customer relationship
• Reinforcing your brand reputation
Think about it, the last time you were dissatisfied and fuming over a purchase or buying experience, didn’t it make you feel better when the company responded in a favorable way?
Response is the keyword here.