Duckduckgo.com / referral to organic traffic Google Analytics
DuckDuckgo.com is a very unique and not widely known search engine; some people mistake it by referral spam when they see it on Google Analytics due to its uncommon name when in fact it is a good source.
The only problem is that it shows as referral instead of organic traffic. I will show you some of its characteristics and most importantly how to move it from referral to organic in Google Analytics.
What is Duckduckgo.com?
Duckduckgo.com is a search engine that emphasizes user privacy. The search engine with the curious name has been gaining lots adepts over the last few years driven its first principle "search without tracking". Some people like to go around the Internet without being followed by targeted ads; that's where duckduckgo.com specializes.
I personally don't mind to have ads personalized to me. What I like duckduckgo instead is the good-looking interface they provide.
On December of 2016, the search engine reached the milestone of 10 billion searches, far away from famous search engines like Google, but still a decent amount, especially considering that those numbers keep growing.
How to make duckduckgo.com find your website?
As for now (January 2017), there is no option to send a sitemap directly to duckduckgo.com, as explained on their forum:
DuckDuckGo gets its results from over one hundred sources, including DuckDuckBot (our own crawler), crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, which are stored in our own index), Yahoo! (through BOSS), Yandex, Yelp, and Bing. Once your web site has been indexed byour sources it will appear in DuckDuckGo searches.
DuckDuckGo.com get its results from multiple sources, including DuckDuckBot, and crowdsourcing from Wikipedia, Yandex, Yelp, and Bing.
Duckduckgo in Google Analytics
Despite being a search engine duckduckgo will show as a referral in Google Analytics, in one of this forms:
- duckduckgo.com / referral
- r.duckduckgo.com / referral
What is r.duckduckgo.com?
r.duckduckgo.com is an internal redirection to prevent the browser to pass user information, is a measure applied by the search engine to protect the privacy of the user by removing the search term of the query.
When this measure is applied, you will see r.duckduckgo.com / referral in your reports.
Apart from that is exactly the same as the source without the letter "r". The problem is that both should be listed as organic traffic instead of a referral.
Moving Duckduckgo.com and r.duckduckgo.com to Organic Traffic
To put duckduckgo in the right place you will need to create a filter:
- Go to your Google Analytics Admin tab and select Filters
- Click on +Add Filter and enter an appropriate name for the filter like "Google Android"
- Configure the filter:
- Filter Type: Custom > Advanced
- Field A > Extract A (copy the expression below)
- Field B > Extract B: referral
- Output To > Constructor: organic
- Once everything is set, save your filter
Extra: Duckduckgo.com features
As I mentioned before duckduckgo is an original search engine. These are some of its features:
- Instant Answers for many things like time and weather. For example, If you type weather in the search bar you will get information about today's weather and the next days of your region without needing to go to another page.
Or one of my favorites, recipes, if you type avocado recipe you'll get a list of recommendations for recipes with avocado as an ingredient. This also works with many other Instant Answers like movies and music.
- !Bangs: if you type !yt movie trailers it will take you to youtube and show you the results for "movie trailers", or if you type !a tv will search for Televisions in Amazon. These shortcuts are called !bangs and there are many, for example:
- Amazon: !a
- Google maps: !m
- Facebook: !fb
- Fully customizable; you can change the theme, search preference you can event turn off the few ads it shows.
- Google Analytics: Despite its odd name duckduckgo.com is a valid source and if you use Google Analytics, you only need to do some adjustments to move it to the right place.
- For users: duckduckgo.com is an excellent choice for those people that worry about their privacy or simply want a better-looking interface to spend your evening searches.
- For websites: To get your site indexed in duckduckgo you will need to send your sitemap to other search engines and eventually duckduckgo will crawl your site.