How do Dogpile and DuckDuckGo work

Metasearch engine

What is a metasearch engine?

Illustration: Meta search engine - Author: Seobility - License: CC BY-SA 4.0

A meta search engine combines the search results from other search engines on one SERP. It is also known as a search aggregator because it combines the various search results from the various search engines into a single list.

Although meta search engines used to be very popular for regular web searches, they are now more used for industry or product-specific searches, such as B. used to search for flights or trips.

SEO usually does not cover meta search engines, although some SEOs do an optimization for certain meta search engines, such as E.g. for DuckDuckGo and various niche-oriented options.

Screenshot of - a meta search engine that collects search results from Google, Bing, Yandex and many others and compresses them into a single results page.

How do meta search engines work?

Meta search engines search for a user's search term using various search engines and then compile the results on one page.

The searcher first enters a search term into the meta search engine. This then carries out the search in various search engines and compiles the results on a single page. This enables the user to search them all in one place.

In some cases there is a separate section on the search results page for each search engine used. However, this does not have to be the case and meta search engines often do not even show which search engine the individual results come from.

Since it is still their job to sort the search results obtained, meta search engines often have their own, quite complex sorting algorithm. This can sometimes contribute to a further improvement in the quality of the search results, for example by removing duplicates from the overview and only showing the most relevant results.

The history of the metasearch engines

In the early years of the Internet, search engines were not very advanced and so it often took a long time to find the information you were looking for. By providing results from various search engines, it became possible to find what you were looking for much faster. As a result, multiple search engines no longer had to be used, which in particular resulted in enormous time savings.

Eventually, as Google, Bing, and other major search engines improved their results, there was less and less need for meta search engines. So there was a transition from broad meta search engines that searched the entire web and used the major search engines available at the time, to meta search engines that focus on niche-specific topics such as flights and vacation destinations.

Since many websites have their own search engines for searching the pages, meta search engines have been able to summarize the results of various websites and thus offer users additional added value.


Although metasearch engines had many advantages, such as: For example, the ability to quickly search through other results and thus reduce the search time, many of these advantages are no longer relevant today. With Google and other major search engines already doing a good job finding the content you want, quality has become more important than quantity. This has led SEOs and marketers to focus on these platforms instead.

As before, one advantage of meta search engines is that users can remain anonymous there. Search engines like DuckDuckGo are classified as meta search engines. To get results, they use other search engines themselves. This makes it possible to get the same results without having to share your own data.

In addition, they enable a simultaneous search in different search engines and thus possibly also the discovery of content that would otherwise not be found.

There are also some advantages to the companies behind the meta search engines. Of great importance, for example, is the fact that the processes they implement are significantly less complex, as certain tasks such as crawling are carried out for them by other search engines.

Examples of meta search engines

  • DuckDuckGo: A meta search engine that focuses on privacy and security
  • DogPile: A traditional metasearch engine that has been around since 1996
  • Skyscanner: A metasearch engine that specializes in flights, hotels and car rentals

Effects on SEO

Metasearch engines used to have a huge impact on SEO. This still applies in some cases if the focus of optimization is on niche-specific search engines such as Skyscanner or data protection-oriented meta search engines such as DuckDuckGo.

Since meta search engines still need an algorithm to sort the results they get from search engines, there is still an opportunity for SEOs to optimize websites and directories for search engines.

Apart from that, meta search engines are hardly relevant for SEO compared to the past. The optimization for search engines, which are used by the meta search engines to search for results themselves, has a significantly greater influence on their own visibility.

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