Google continues to dominate the market for search engines. Google Accounts for 86.36% of all desktop, table and console activity in the UK, but for SEOs eager to seek out more visibility and traffic from content, there are a variety of other avenues that can also be explored.
While Google is the top dog in the UK, Bing comes in second with a very respectable 9.72% share of searches, and it is classed as one of the two main ‘search giants’. The Microsoft-owned and operated engine carries a number of features similar to Google, such as rich snippets and knowledge graphs, but it does differentiate itself in some areas.
Bing provides a more visual-focused experience on its homepage compared to Google, with image thumbnails served up alongside each search result. It also makes use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to offer predictions for major sporting and political events such as World Cup games and general elections. AI is also used in its image search function.
How exactly is Bing different from Google? SEO expert Neil Patel says that the former generally has a lower bounce rate, higher pages per session, and a higher average session duration compared to its main rival. To improve visibility in Bing, Patel recommends making use of more organic links from trusted websites, optimising title tags, and publishing high-quality content on a regular basis.
Yahoo! used to be a major player in search, but its market share has steadily declined and it now accounts for just 2.19% of searches in the UK. However, that still makes it the third largest overall, so it could still offer some value to your business. Data shows that Yahoo! performs particularly well for certain topics and niches. People looking for breaking news still gravitate to the search engine, as do those looking for sports articles and updates from the financial world.
If you are managing a news feed, it may pay dividends to take a closer look at this search engine. SEOs optimising for Yahoo! should focus their efforts on target keywords, page titles and tags. Content that brings something new to the table will be deemed more valuable to readers and will have a higher chance of being featured prominently. Like Google and Bing, engaging, high authority content will also perform well.
DuckDuckGo is the most popular privacy-first search engine. Privacy is something that many people have been taking more seriously in recent years, and DuckDuckGo has made this a core part of its service with private searches, site encryption and tracker blocking. It also uses the tagline, “Tired of being tracked online? We can help.”
DuckDuckGo is more than just a niche search engine now though and is actually the fourth most popular search engine overall in the UK, albeit with a competitively small 0.77% market share, which is dwarfed by Google. This share is likely to increase though due to the rise in data privacy concerns. DuckDuckGo does not collect any data or personal information from searches.
For SEO purposes, DuckDuckGo actually recommends getting links from high-quality sites such as Wikipedia and other relevant sources. This is the “best way to get good rankings”, but other general SEO tactics will also work. Experts recommend optimising with Bing and Yahoo! in mind as DuckDuckGo actually pulls information from those search engines.
Video platform YouTube is the most popular format-specific search engine by some margin, and in fact it would trump Bing and Yahoo! in the market share stakes if it was actually a fully fledged search platform. Data shows that over 3bn searches are entered into YouTube every month, and more than 100 hours of video are uploaded every 60 seconds.
If your content marketing campaigns are rooted in video, YouTube can play a major role in amplifying reach and driving clicks and views. People can find videos on YouTube via Google, but many opt to cut out the middleman and navigate directly to the main hub to find what they need.
Another privacy-focused platform, Swisscows is a European search engine built around three core objectives: not storing data, promoting family-friendly content, and crafting a more innovative and unique experience for users. This platform is ideal for parents who may be concerned about explicit content that can often be served up on other search engines.
Optimising SEO for Swisscows is not likely to be a priority due to it being a very small niche, but again keywords and relevant information are the most important as the platform promises laser-focused accuracy for the results that are generated from search queries. Swisscows uses AI to better understand the context of queries.
Twitter is another format-specific search platform and a very popular one at that. The real-time search capabilities dovetail particularly well with breaking news stories and trending developments in a range of industries. Twitter may even have Google’s algorithm beat for minute-by-minute updates to stories, so this is definitely a site that you want to make a part of your social media strategies. Twitter continues to be a goldmine of information for people on the platform.
One of the most interesting alternative search engines is giveWater, a charity-based platform that works quite differently from the others listed here. Paid search ads on the search engine generate income for the charity, which is distributed to charitable partners and then donated to provide clean water and sanitation in regions around the world. Two other charity search engines, Ekoru and Ecosia, have a similar mission for cleaning oceans and planting trees, respectively.
General advice for alternative search engines
While most of your time will be devoted to improving rankings on Google, it is always a good idea to keep in mind the benefits of alternative platforms. SEO on other search engines generally requires small tweaks and changes and not a complete overhaul. Understanding how each search engine works will enable you to optimise accordingly and enjoy the rewards of higher amounts of visibility and traffic.