Why Your SEO Strategy Must Include Alternative Search Engines

Why Your SEO Strategy Must Include Alternative Search Engines

Updated on: 24 March 2023

Why Your SEO Strategy Must Include Alternative Search Engines

Everyone knows Google remains the leading search engine to date with its over 80% market share, but the top alternatives like DuckDuckGo, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and so on still see billions in searches monthly despite their lower popularity. Therefore, limiting yourself to the Google algorithm and ignoring them means potentially losing out on relevant traffic. As such, brands should now consider diversifying their SEO strategy by trying to rank other popular search engines relevant to their target audience.

As of last December 2022, Statcounter shows that the leading alternative search engines by global desktop market share in order are:

1. Bing (8.95%)

2. Yahoo (2.59%)

3. YANDEX (1.51%)

4. DuckDuckGo (0.83%)

5. Baidu (0.67%)

These are the search engines brands should focus on should they wish for international expansion. And as expected, they each use proprietary algorithms that are just as developed and complex as Google’s.

If you are curious why your audience would choose alternative search engines, the common reasons mainly center around privacy concerns and geopolitical reasons. For brands, geographic segmentation is the biggest reason optimizing for other search engines matters.

For instance, all Google services like Google Ads services are banned in China. Thus, if you wish to penetrate the Chinese market, you will have to rank on their preferred search engine Baidu, which nearly 86% of the country’s internet users access daily. On the other hand, if you are interested in reaching American audiences using voice search, Bing is your best bet.

The unique user types of each search engine make them worth considering when it comes to SEO, no matter how small their market share may be at a worldwide scale. As long as they have regional search volume from the brand’s target audiences, they are worth optimizing for.

Yahoo and Bing

These two search engines make up over 10% of the worldwide desktop market share. Bing is the default search engine in browsers like Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Edge Legacy, making Bing Search the convenient choice for those that use Microsoft products. Meanwhile, Yahoo, which runs on Bing Search, adds numerous impressions to the search results of the former. When trying to rank on these alternative search engines, it is vital to prioritize these steps:

1. Use Bing Places

Essentially Bing’s equivalent of Google My Business, making it the quickest way for your brand to rank locally. Bing Places is even considered to favor smaller businesses as Bing prioritizes showing their information details at the top.

2. Upload your website’s sitemap via Bing’s Webmaster Tools

Despite the ongoing debate on whether sitemaps matter in Google SEO, this is less vague when it comes to Bing. By uploading an XML Sitemap on its Webmaster Tools, its algorithm can better manage and categorize your content so it becomes more relevant and visible to your audience.

3. Match keywords in key places on your pages

Ensure that exact keyword matches are found in the titles and content of your pages. It is well-known that in the context of ranking factors, on-page tactics have a greater impact on Bing compared to Google.

4. Update your social media

Bing considers a business’s social media considerably more than other search engines. The Webmaster Guidelines say Bing’s algorithm includes third-party social signals when ranking content. Therefore, it can extract bits of information from your social media pages and even your Bing Places profile.

5. Use high-resolution images

Bing has a more advanced image search than Google, so to rank your home page, it is vital to use high-quality assets showcasing your product offerings. On the other hand, when ranking your blog page, include TL;DR infographics that summarize your main points.

Baidu

Baidu is essentially the Google equivalent in China and sees over 3 billion searches a day. And while it is available worldwide, the site mainly uses simplified Chinese so it is important to work on localizing your site beforehand. Below are a few tips on how to best rank your content on Baidu:

1. Get certified and a verification level

Brands can get a verification level by paying a small registration fee to improve their rankings and domain authority on Baidu. But if you are determined to secure the top ratings, it is recommended to get certified and secure an ICP license, which is harder than getting verification.

2. Position relevant content and keywords at the top of your pages

When optimizing content for Baidu, the sooner you get to the point, the better your odds of ranking will be. Since the search engine favors the opposite layout to the Westernized ones, try to position your keywords and relevant content already at the top of the page as early as possible.

3. Localize keywords and content correctly

As with all multilingual SEO, it is essential to have a native language expert help with your keyword localization and content optimization. One thing to note about Baidu is that it will immediately tank your site’s rankings if it experiences high bounce rates, hence why it is crucial not to cut corners on localization.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is committed to making the search experience as simple as possible without worrying about behind-the-scenes tracking for personalized search results. It instead leverages semantic search to determine a user’s search intent from hundreds of sources. Thus, the search engine attracts many tech-savvy users with a lower bounce rate who stay once they commit to a search. A few tips for optimizing for DuckDuckGo include:

1. Improve your UX

UX still has an impact on SEO, particularly in DuckDuckGo. As such, ensure that users can easily scan your content and steer clear of intrusive pop-up ads that prevent ease of navigation and degrade the user experience.

2. Include quality backlinks

As you may already know, quality backlinks contribute greatly to search engine rankings. You should be good to go if you already have a robust backlink profile from your SEO strategies for other search engines. Otherwise, consider working with a reputable SEO agency in the Malaysia to improve this aspect of your Google strategy and for other search engines.

3. Optimize your local SEO

Because of the lack of location tracking in DuckDuckGo queries, location-specific searches will not work. That said, if you still wish to rank for these types of queries, you must rethink your optimization for local SEO. For instance, you could include specific locations in your keywords.

Conclusion

While it is unlikely for any alternative search engine to remotely come close to Google anytime soon, it is still worth branching out to them and extending your brand’s reach. Determine and analyze your target audience’s preferences and optimize for those that make the most sense. Most search engines with a heavy focus on privacy generally require little optimization since they get their results from other sources, so learning what you need to do to rank on each one should be a simple task.