DuckDuckGo is a search engine. Something similar to Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. You enter a query and you get the most relevant results. Except they take their users privacy a little more seriously. DuckDuckGo doesn’t track you after your searches, they don’t collect users information and will show you unbiased information.
Now you might not have heard about it, because comparing to google or bing it’s very small. But if we’re looking at this search engine growth. They are getting somewhere. People care about their Privacy more and more and we’re getting tired that our every single move online is being tracked so we start to look for alternatives. At the beginning of 2019, DuckDuckGo received on average 31+ million search queries daily.
DuckDuckGo market share in the United States of America is -1.01% in 2018. Worldwide it’s 0.38%. That’s including countries like Russia, China, etc. Countries where English isn’t the dominating language. If you would like to know what’s the market share in your country – go here.
Lately, I’m often seeing huge headlines like – Google is the biggest surveillance software, Google is spying, etc. These huge headlines are getting a huge amount of traffic. These are major sources. These kinds of headlines will make people think. More and more will choose different search engines. People don’t like that companies think of them as products, we care about our privacy like never before, this is why I think DuckDuckGo will grow even more in 2019.
So even though DuckDuckGo has only a small slice of the pie worldwide. It still has a significant share amount of certain specific audiences. Tech-savvy people and individual people who are precocious about their privacy.
Sure, we can go in depth why it’s more secure and why it’s better than Google & Bing, etc. But that’s not what we’re doing here. Since it’s growing and growing fast we have to take advantage of that. After all, we are marketers here. Where people go – we follow.
How to advertise on DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo uses PPC advertising model. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Just as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and all the other search engines. You pick specific search queries or keywords and as soon as someone searches for that – boom, your ad pops up.
One thing we should keep in mind – DuckDuckGo runs their ads through the Bing Ads Search Network. You will have certain limitations on how you’re available to edit and customize your ads on DuckDuckGo.
Before we get into the technical things on how to set up the campaign, there are a couple of things we should consider and talk about.
If you’ve ever advertised on Reddit & Facebook you know there’s a huge difference between these audiences. Let me give you some example. Some bazaar headline “Trump & Obama gets into a fist fight” After posting this on Facebook you will get huge engagement, likes, loves, shares, etc. People will comment on it, tag their friends, click on the link and read the full post and of course, there are going to be some people that are going to call bulls*it on that, but it won’t stop the engagement & traffic. On the other hand on Reddit, it will go completely the other way, you will be downvoted to the oblivion, you will be banned from the subreddit, a lot of comments calling out your bulls*it, etc. The post/ad won’t spread it will just die without seeing any real light.
Point being – Reddit audience is tech-savvy people, rational people, they won’t upvote it or share it without even reading it. It’s not like they hate ads or anything, but you can’t create a clickbait title and expect it to go well. You have to keep that in mind. Create informative and straightforward ads.
TLDR: DuckDuckGo & Reddit is not really for those who believe in the flat earth theory.
The same is with DuckDuckGo. These are people that moved away from Google, Bing, etc. because of their bulls*it, tracking, un-relevant ads, intrusive ads, privacy intrusion, etc. Be straightforward, don’t try to be clever or trick them, just show them what you got.
How to set up a DuckDuckGo Ad Campaign
Like I mentioned above DuckDuckGo runs through Bing Ads Search Network.
The first step – Create a Bing Ads Account
Second Step – Get $100 Promo Code
After you spend $25 you will get $100 for free to spend on your ads. You’re Welcome! I’m not affiliated in any way with Bing or DuckDuckGo. Just FYI.
Create your Campaign
If you’re targeting some specific country, please change the settings.
In the next step, you will have to create an ad group, enter your website, keywords, create an ad text add UTM parameters if needed. You know the drill.
Now, when you have done that and launched your ad it’s time to edit it, so it only shows in DuckDuckGo and exclude Bing & Yahoo and all the other search networks.
You can only change this under Ad Group Setting.
Turn on Bing Syndicated Search Partners Only
Campaign > Ad Group > Setting > Advanced Ad Group Settings
When you turn on “Bing, AOL, and Yahoo syndicated search partners only” this means that there are going to be other search partners of Bing under this selection, so you will have to exclude them manually just to show up on DuckDuckGo, it’s a bit of hassle, but that’s, for now, is the only way.
Exclude Other Search Partners
And it’s still not 100% that it will show only on DuckDuckGo search engine, these aren’t all the search partners of Bing. That’s the catch. You will have to update these websites all the time and keep the list clean. It’s not critical of course, these search partners don’t have huge traffic, but nevertheless, you will have to monitor this every once in a while.
If someone has a list of all bings search partners, leave a comment below I’ll update this.
How to find search partners to exclude
There are two ways to do it. Click on Campaign>Dimensions>Show: Publishers Website
here you will get all the search networks that showed your ad. Copy/Paste them into excluded websites. There aren’t that many search partners, it’s probably not that easy to become bings search partner, there’s some certain amount of traffic that’s required.
Second option: Reports>Website URL (publisher)>Run Report
You will get all the partners that showed your ad. Copy/Paste all of them, remove DuckDuckGo from that list and add them to your exclusion website list.
That’s it. That’s currently to the only way you can advertise on DuckDuckGo.
It’s crazy if you think about it. DuckDuckGo had 9 billion search queries in 2018. It’s a huge amount of traffic and they don’t have their own platform and you have to go through this hassle to advertise on their network.
It seems that they will not stop growing. I believe somewhere soon in a year or two we will see a new advertising platform just for DuckDuckGo.
Now I don’t have much of experience myself with DuckDuckGo, so I can’t really share my results, but I just launched my campaign, so as soon as I’ll have something for review, I’ll definitely post it here. I’m not expecting huge traffic, I’m expecting a very targeted audience with very low CPC since the competition is very low.
Leave a comment below and share your experience with DuckDuckGO or hit me up via Twitter or other social media channels. I’ll make sure to respond to your comment/message.