SEO for Non-Google Search Engines: Worth the Effort?
By Practice Growth August 27, 2020
Whenever it comes to SEO, most people immediately think about Google. For a long time now, it has been the dominant search engine, and this is likely to stay the case in the future. Google currently owns around 86% of the global market share in searches, which includes its services like Maps, Images, and YouTube.
With all other search engines sharing only 14% of the market share, you might think that there’s no point in trying to rank high in them. But, is this really the case?
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Other Search Engines
Even though Google holds the vast majority of the market, recent trends show a decline. For instance, Statista’s tracking chart showed that Google had a market share of 91.7% in April 2012. That has declined to 86.02% as of April 2020.
Now, this might not seem anything dramatic, especially over an extended timeframe. However, it’s a trend that you ought to follow if you have a long-term SEO strategy for your business.
This is especially true if you take into account the performance of alternative search engines. In the same timeframe, Bing’s market share climbed from 3.5% to 6.25%. That is almost double and comes out to tens of millions of users. Many of them might be part of your audience.
Beyond the Numbers
It’s not just a decline in market share that makes it worthwhile to consider other search engines. You also have to consider the reasons.
In recent years, Google has been under public scrutiny for its privacy practices. Pretty much everyone is aware of Google’s data harvesting and ad targeting. In fact, many businesses leverage these practices to get themselves in front of their audience.
Recently, however, people have become more significantly concerned about their online privacy. A big part of the decline is because many of the concerned have stayed away from Google searches. Alternatively, platforms like DuckDuckGo have seen an increase in popularity, which can be credited to their promises of privacy protection.
With all of the above in mind, you might want to consider climbing the rankings of other search engines. Besides, the competition in Google SEO is fierce almost to the level of cutthroat, so you might find it easier to focus on SEO for alternative search engines.
In addition, there’s always going to be that anti-juggernaut consumer. The minute a player gets too big and powerful, the recoil and seek alternatives.
What Search Engines Should You Consider?
Companies and individuals turn to online marketing for the same reason – to reach their audience. This is why the first thing to ask about Google’s competitors is where can your audience be found. This depends on their demographics, interests, and search behaviors.
With that in mind, let’s go over the most common alternatives to Google that you might want to focus on.
Microsoft has released a number of great devices over the past few years. Unsurprisingly, all of them use Bing as the default search engine for Edge and Internet Explorer. The rising popularity of Microsoft’s devices is among the top reasons that the tech behemoth’s house search engine has seen such an increase in use.
While it’s still nowhere close to Google, Bing might be worth exploring. If you look at the usage data, you’ll see that the search engine is more prevalent in some countries than others, which can favor local searches.
For instance, Statcounter’s data shows that Bing holds 6.11% of the US market. In comparison, it’s 4.36% and 4.14% in the Canadian and UK markets. Depending on where your business is located, you might benefit more or less from Bing SEO.
Launched in 2008, DuckDuckGo uses the so-called DuckDuckBots to crawl and gather information from over 400 sources, including Bing, Yahoo, and Wikipedia.
In February 2019, the company announced that users conduct more than a billion searches on the platform every month. At the same time, the search engine’s market share in the US stood at only 1.5%. But this only serves to prove the point that a seemingly small share doesn’t mean that a search engine isn’t widely used.
The main category of users who prefer DuckDuckGo is those who care about privacy. Unlike Google and Bing, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track its users.
However, this also means that it’s not capable of delivering personalized search results based on browsing history. It still provides localized searches, though, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you decide to focus on the search engine.
Scratch Beneath the Surface
Are you saying you should ignore Google and focus entirely on its alternatives?
The answer is a hard “no.” The dominant search engine is the leader in online searches and by no small margin, so you should definitely focus most of your efforts on it.
That being said, it’d be wise to tap into the user base of other search engines as well. Bing is certainly one worth looking into, as its popularity has been consistently on the rise for a while. And if your potential patients are privacy-conscious, DuckDuckGo might be a good option.
In the end, you want to take a closer look at what these search engines have to offer from the traffic perspective. Do your research and see if your prospective patients use them. If so, don’t hesitate to work on your SEO and climb the search results.