Search engines besides Google shouldn’t be ignored, especially since a few simple SEO updates can help your website rank on search engines across the board. Almost any business would agree that customers using Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Yahoo are just as valuable as those who prefer Google, so why cut your SEO strategy short? Read on to learn how to optimize your website for the top alternative search engines to improve your reach and grow your business, beyond Google.
The Importance of Ranking on Alternative Search Engines
Ranking on alternative search engines can help any business reach a new audience and provide an additional traffic stream that might not find your brand otherwise. If you’ve ever performed identical queries on Google and Bing, then you already know search results can vary from one search engine to the next. That’s because each web crawler uses its own ranking factors to decide which pages get the top spots on Search Engine Results Page (SERP). A business that focuses on Google’s preferences alone is likely missing easy opportunities to rank well on Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo.
Searchers should be able to find your website to shop, read, or learn just as readily on any other engine as they can on Google. Successful brands don’t market through only one channel, nor should they limit themselves to a sole search engine. While you might assume everyone should use Google because it leads the pack, there are many valid reasons people choose alternative search engines:
- International Access
- Privacy Concerns
- Search Engine Features (e.g., search shortcuts, visual presentation)
- Search Style (voice-activated vs. typing)
Optimizing for Microsoft Bing
Taking the time and devoting resources to optimize your website for Bing are worthwhile because this search engine serves more audiences than you might realize. Not only is Bing the default search engine on most Microsoft browsers, but it also exclusively powers Yahoo, the third most popular search engine in the US, plus a myriad of other little-known web crawlers. Voice-activated searches on Amazon devices also use Bing to power the results, and this search volume shouldn’t be ignored.
If you’ve been diligent about optimizing for Google, you have a head start on Bing. Both search engines value engaging content prioritized for users over search engines and each boosts pages optimized for satisfactory technical performance and off-page metrics, like backlinks and citations.
But just because some of Bing’s SEO ranking factors are similar to Google's doesn’t mean your work is done. By making a few simple updates, you can optimize your site for Bing and its other search engine partners. The steps to improve your Bing search rankings include:
- Listing your business on Bing Places to strengthen rankings on location-based searches
- Submitting your XML Sitemap to Bing’s webmaster so your content is categorized and served for relevant queries
- Optimizing content with FAQs to boost voice searches powered by Bing
- Verifying that top ranking factors for Bing, like page titles, meta descriptions, and content, are optimized with keywords
Optimizing for Yahoo!
Yahoo is closer to a portal than a standalone search engine because it uses Bing to power its search results. But your website still can—and should—be optimized to improve its rankings on Yahoo to avoid missing out on a large audience. Yahoo holds its own as the third most-used search engine in the US. Once the default search engine for Firefox, Yahoo is still preferred by many users, and it’s also popular outside of the US.
Though optimizing for Bing can result in improved rankings for your web pages automatically, it’s also important to pay attention to Yahoo’s top ranking factors. The steps to optimize your site for this search engine include:
- Submitting a sitemap allowing Yahoo Search to index and categorize content
- Identifying and using strategic keywords throughout your site
- Optimizing images for search and accessibility
- Incorporating meaningful cross-links across the site and to related websites
- Using readable URLs void of symbols, numbers, or jargon
- Updating your business profile on Yahoo Local and The Real Yellow Pages
Optimizing for DuckDuckGo
The search engine DuckDuckGo (DDG) focuses on providing a simple, fast search experience with less tracking than Google. While DDG cannot definitively say how many people use it due to privacy policies, it estimates processing 100 million searches per day; this number is expected to climb as more people seek to control their online privacy.
While DuckDuckGo uses a custom algorithm for its search results, it also relies heavily on Bing. If you’ve optimized your website for Bing, you have a good start at ranking for DDG searches. But local SEO is one area you’ll need to address. Because this search engine can’t access users’ exact locations, queries that include the terms “near me” are challenging to rank for. Follow these tips to boost your local SEO and overall rankings on the search engine DuckDuckGo:
- Include your business address prominently on your website and consider building location information into long-tail keywords to help your rankings on location-based SERPs.
- Optimize your business’ information on Apple Maps, which is used to populate local SERPs.
- Submit your sitemap to several search engines to target all potential partners DDG uses for its sources.
- Optimize content with clear, concise FAQs to rank on DDG’s “Instant Answers.”
If improving your rankings on alternative search engines seems simple, you’re right. Improving your brand’s visibility doesn’t always take heavy lifting, but identifying missed opportunities like this requires digital marketing expertise and an eye for detail—contact us for an assessment today.