It hasn’t taken long for DuckDuckGo to grab the attention of media outlets everywhere, and subsequently, it’s slowly but surely peaking the interests of consumers, and you know what that means—time for businesses to pay attention.

For those who are unfamiliar, DuckDuckGo is said to be a completely secure and private search engine. This means that the search engine doesn’t track you or collect any IP addresses, which means there is no filtering and everyone sees the same results all the time for any give search query. There are also a few other notable features to the search engine along with some other interesting facts:

  • DuckDuckGo was founded in 2008 and has added several features since then to make it feel just like the search engines we’re all so used to using. This includes auto-suggested searches, maps and local search, image search, instant answers, and more.
  • Their direct search traffic is now regularly above five million queries per day. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s up 40 percent since January of this year.
  • The search engine gets its results from a variety of sources such as Wikipedia, Yahoo, Yelp, and Bing.

Along with some of the positives to DuckDuckGo, however, you also have a few points that prove the contrary and say that this search engine will never overtake Google:

  • DuckDuckGo saw a 50 percent traffic increase just 8 days after the PRISM program scandal, which showed that NSA was regularly tracking searches on major search engines like Google. However, Search Engine Land reminds us here that this huge jump isn’t so huge when you think about a jump to 4 million searches per day while Google was seeing more than 1 billion.

As discussed above, DuckDuckGo isn’t even close to being as big as Google, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get there in the future. As millennials start to get older this could change, so it’s tough to say. Nonetheless, putting this search engine on your radar is a good idea for all businesses trying to prepare for what consumers may want in the future.

Apple’s Decision to Offer DuckDuckGo as a Secure Alternative to Google

Apple just announced that they will now make DuckDuckGo a part of Safari in the upcoming versions of Mac OS X (called Yosemite) and the iOS 8, both coming out this fall. Users will then have the option to choose to use this search engine when using Safari, so it’s safe to say that this search engine has an excellent chance of succeeding and growing in the future. Apple wanted to offer this option to users as a part of their effort to keep searchers secure. For most, anything backed by Apple is something to watch.

Google will still be the default search engine, however, so people will have to go out of their way to make the switch. Nonetheless, offering DuckDuckGo as an alternative is the next best thing (well, not for Google, but for everyone else).

So What Does this Mean for SEO?

Naturally, any company with a good handle on online marketing and search is thinking about what this means for the future of SEO. Because SEO takes so long to build up and see results, the sooner you can jump on something where you see potential—in this case DuckDuckGo—the better.

Understanding SEO for this search engine means understanding how and where it gets its results and information as well as their long-term goals. As discussed above, DuckDuckGo pulls information from several major sources like Wikipedia, Yahoo, and Bing, but it does claim to get its information from over one hundred sources. Earlier this year they released a statement that says:

“Our long-term goal is to get you information from that best source, ideally in instant answer form […]. We have an intelligence layer on top that attempts to improve upon results provided by external sources. Not only do we try to pick the best source and use it in the best manner, but we also do other things like remove spam, re-rank, provide instant answers and add official sites on top.”

With this knowledge, it’s clear that we don’t know much about their algorithm other than the fact that they are working to get instant answers, likely from some top sites (particularly Wikipedia). For now, all you can do in the way of SEO is make sure that you are a part of these conversations in your industry that answer basic questions as well as position yourself as a leader on major sites like Yahoo and Bing. In the end, focusing on SEO for DuckDuckGo shouldn’t take much effort simply because we don’t yet have much information. Still, it’s something to keep in mind!

What do you think about DuckDuckGo? Is private search important to you or something you think will become more important in the future? Let us know your thoughts, both from a business perspective and a consumer perspective, in the comment section below.