Our Blog

Some Keys to Ranking for Alternative Search Engines

By Snap Agency September 23, 2016

What are the top alternative search engines?

  1. Microsoft – (Bing) -21.4%
  2. Yahoo Sites – (Bing) – 12.2%
  3. Ask Network – 1.5%
  4. AOL – 1%
  5. DuckDuckGo – 1%
  6. Blecko – Less than 1%
  7. Baidu – Less than 1%


Who’s winning the alternative search engine war?

Bing – by a long shot, because of it’s partnership with Yahoo. Bing is dominating 33%+ of the search market and that number is starting to grow because of how ingrained into Microsoft devices they are making their search.

Soon enough we might not be referring to Bing as an “alternative search engine,” but possibly one with more market share than Google – depending on if it’s upward trajectory continues or not.

How do you do SEO for Bing search?

Many of the same things that help you rank on Google, will help you rank on Bing (and Yahoo with Bing as it’s engine.) Some these keys include but are not limited to:

  • Backlinks from other high authority websites that indicate a web page is important and relevant for a particular term.
  • Page should include location specific terms to help the page rank for that location.
  • Pages should be optimized for particular terms within the meta-title and description. On page elements like H1’s, bolding and italics are taken into consideration.
  • Page speed is taken into consideration for placement on search results pages
  • Sitemap should be clean with unnecessary pages removed

Things to consider that are a bit more specific to Bing:

  • Domain age matters more in placement within results, even more preferential treatment for .gov and .edu websites.
  • You will need to submit your website to Big through it’s Bing Webmaster Tools site.
  • Title tags are apparently more important in ranking than they are for even Google’s algorithm.
  • Keywords in the anchor text for backlinks is more important as well.

Optimizing your website for alternative search engines - DuckDuckGo TrafficHow do you do SEO for DuckDuckGo?

Why are people using DuckDuckGo? DuckDuckGo is intended to be “less creepy” than Google and friends. People are becoming more aware of privacy issues, and some are taking it personally – if you care (you probably should at least a little bit) about where those people are searching, doing a bit of work optimizing your site for DuckDuckGo is a smart idea. Not as much as known about DuckDuckGo’s algorithm – but if we go to the source employees of DuckDuckGo have shared things that are cited as criteria for ranking on the alternative search engine:

  • Links from Wikipedia and other similar – super high ranking sites are extremely important.
  • Just like Bing and Google quality backlinks in general are incredibly important.
  • DuckDuckGo doesn’t track your actual location  – just the Geo-location for your IP address so local results will be a little less murky. To accommodate this, actually optimize with real descriptions of what’s nearby, your intersection and anything people would look for if they were nearby. Strangely enough, not having geo-location makes it even more important for your website to supply that information to people who want to find you.

How do you do SEO For the Ask Network, including Ask.com?

Ask.com uses technology purchased from a company called Teoma – which doesn’t index nearly the amount of things that a Google or a Bing might index. Utilizing linkage structure as well as utilizing Teoma’s patent for a technology called “DirectHit” they count clickthrough rates and implement that into the rankings as well over time.

  • Ask.com is not accepting submissions at this time
  • Determining the highest ranked sites in your “online community” or tribe and involving yourself in that community is one way to get ranked on the Ask network. Getting links on these sites will help you rank amongst them. This is clearly very similar to Google and Bing ranking factors although the method used to get this is a bit different for Ask.com.
  • Some might consider Ask one of the worst search engines on this list – perhaps because they’ve partly abandoned the updates to their platform.
  • If you are interested in ranking for Ask – it’s suggested you dive deep on how Teoma determines results, since Teoma became the real engine for Ask around 2010.

I might suggest that because many of the factors of ranking on Ask are similar to other search engines, and they don’t allow sitemap or site submissions that your time might be better spent on making sure things are tidied up and properly submitted for Bing and DuckDuckGo instead. I wish you the best of luck on your mission to optimize your website for alternative search engines!