Category Archives: Web Design

DuckDuckGo the Search Engine to Use for Privacy

This is one of the best ideas I have ever seen on the Internet. And it was the recent discovery that NSA either can or does know everything about you (so to speak) based on our digital life. The NSA scandal has ended up providing a surge of web surfers heading over to DuckDuckGo (DDG) to use their search services in place of Google, Bing and Yahoo!.

Founder, Gabriel Weinberg, began seeing traffic and usage of DDG building quickly soon after the government’s use of the Prism program was revealed. Enjoying 1.7 million searches a day,  after the Guardian report hit the news the searches increased to 3 million searches per day within two weeks.


Weinberg has taken a different approach to online privacy – one I have not seen anywhere else on the Internet: zero tracking. Zero. No tracking whatsoever. No cookies are set; no data related to the users’ IP address is stored; there are no user logins required anywhere; and the connection is encrypted by default. In other words, NSA has nothing to request/require from DDG because there is nothing to turn over about any user of their search service.

DuckDuckGo web searches

You can read the complete article The Guardian has posted on this entitled:  NSA scandal delivers record numbers of internet users to DuckDuckGo. But first, look at this graphic that shows how much privacy is on everyone’s mind.

Interestingly, prior to the NSA revelation, few people really knew about DDG – I didn’t. Fewer than 4 in 100 knew that this was a search site, let alone a safe, secure and private search site. Within days, the traffic had increased more than 50% because this is the only search site that offers zero tracking. I know I’m being redundant, but what an amazing online business model.

And – this is a good search engine. I have tried all my main keywords for my many sites and I am coming up as expected.

What does this mean for your web searches?

Instead of getting junk ads based on where you have searched before, your searches result in pure information, based on the search term, not where you are and what you have searched before. For me as an SEO specialist, Online Reputation Management expert and Web Designer, it is everything I have needed in order to do pure analysis related to my client’s needs. Because Google looks at your IP address and locale, my searches tend to come back focused on my city and not my client’s reputation or search engine results page position for their keywords.

Not only that, but every time you search for anything, your browser remembers where you were and serves up ads on sponsored sites related to your past searches. The reported for The Guardian DuckDuckGo article has some great examples and it is well worth the read.

And don’t forget the main reason the traffic has jumped on DuckDuckGo: the desire for privacy. How sweet it is.

DuckDuckGo is my new search engine of choice. Join me? Thank you Mr. Weinberg.




SEO your website – Christmas is on its way

Great article by Josh Hall on Simply Business on how important it is to search engine optimize your web pages for online Christmas shoppers.  Seasonal SEO is something that a lot of website owners do not consider, yet for many companies their business lives or dies by seasonal sales.

If your business is seasonal, then you know how competitive your market is. Getting the attention of your target audience will require concentration on your best keywords and linking those keywords on your website, blogs and social media to your money pages — the pages that convert your traffic to $$$$.

We have often talked about our strategy called Multiple Points of Presence and this is a perfect example of how using your Multiple Points of Presence to build your brand and expand your companies online awareness will bring you traffic and affect your bottom line.

Here are some important considerations:

  • Think in terms of keywords that will be used by your seeking audience and concentrate on long-tail keywords rather than overly general keywords identified by your industry
  • Focus your optimization on your webpages, not your website because there is no way your can build your site’s popularity and authority thinking only in general industry terms
  • Monitor the results of any activity you undertake — if your traffic is not converting to sales, rework your content and keyword focus
  • Now is the time to consider Pay-per-click either through Google AdWords or Facebook Ads – your popular season is when the seekers are out there, so wave your flag
  • Ramp up your social media activity — if you have not embraced the whole social media trend, your business will not be competitive and your chances of surviving as a viable player in your industry is unlikely

While the overall market may be down, you must be aware of the seasonal opportunities and attract as much traffic as you can by outsmarting your competition.  Getting the biggest share of a smaller market will guarantee that you can survive the down cycle and be on top when the cycle turns.