Google is undeniably a search engine behemoth. The site processes more than 40,000 searches per second, which is over 3.5 billion per day. In 2019, Google claimed around 88% of the search engine market share ranking high on Google’s SERPs should be every marketer’s priority.
But what about the other search sites — sites like Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo and Ask. Is there any reason for you to strive to optimize for them?
Reasons to optimize elsewhere
Indeed, there are a few different reasons you might choose to optimize for other search engines either in addition to or instead of Google. Here are two major considerations for your SEO strategy:
Your brand and audience
Google is more than a search engine; it’s a company and a brand, and if your brand values don’t align with Google’s, it might be detrimental to associate yourself with them in any way. Ostensibly, Google’s motto is “Do No Evil,” but there are plenty of incredibly shady things that the search engine does, like participating in Wi-Fi sniffing in 2010 or illegally utilizing personal health information to teach an AI in 2015. Perhaps worst of all, Google is known to collect ungodly amounts of data on its users, and it often manipulates search results to effectively censor bad news about its companies.
While most users don’t think about these activities when using the internet, some are highly attuned to any potential breaches in privacy or security. If responsible data usage and customer privacy are some of your brand’s top priorities, it might be worthwhile to distance yourself from the search behemoth in favor of more secure options that focus on protecting data, like DuckDuckGo.
If you’re trying to rank for competitive keywords in a crowded industry, you’ll have to put forth significant effort to reach the first page of search results. Unfortunately, the more effort required to accomplish your SEO goals, the more money you’ll have to spend — regardless if you try to manage SEO in-house or if you decide to outsource. If you’re finding it all but impossible to rank on Google, it might be worthwhile to devote some resources toward ranking on other search engines, which will be less competitive and potentially provide more value.
How to optimize elsewhere
Google was so successful as a search engine so quickly because, unlike other search services at the time, it used backlinks to rank webpage importance. Thus, Google-based SEO is largely about building links from other websites to your webpages. The same isn’t necessarily true of other search engines, which have algorithms that weight different factors in different ways.
For example, Yahoo and Bing place much more importance on on-page factors, like keywords, meta-data, content length, optimized images and the like. Thus, if you choose to optimize for Yahoo or Bing, you gain much more control over how your pages rank because you can quickly and easily modify your own webpages to suit the search engine’s expectations.
Meanwhile, DuckDuckGo is highly user-focused, meaning it rewards webpages built for serving users. To rank on DuckDuckGo, you need to have exceedingly authoritative backlinks for your links to count, and you need to produce exceptional content with intuitive and functional website design. Once you win over your online audience, you win over this search engine.
Ultimately, you should research whether optimizing for other search engines will be right for your unique business and whether it will help you achieve your digital marketing goals. You might speak with a trustworthy SEO agency to gain more information about other search engines and understand the exact tactics for optimizing your webpages and ranking in their results pages.
Google is certainly the biggest search engine out there — but it isn’t the only one. The web is an increasingly democratic place, and if your audience is searching for search alternatives, you need to be able to meet them where they are.