Why is my Tentaclii blog not indexed by the secondary search-engine DuckDuckGo? Apart from (oddly) two PDFs in the “Unknown Friends” series? It’s curious, because the content is there and Google Search is all over my blog. It even sometimes shows up on Google Scholar and Google Books.

Not that the absence from DuckDuckGo matters much, as all the evidence from my other blogs shows the only traffic source that matters in any real way is Google Search. But it is slightly annoying, especially when one sometimes hears people piously proclaiming that “I’m giving up Google”. They’ll do fine for basic “where is that big site’s main page” navigation searches. That’s what I use the Duck for, and the Duck’s Image Search is excellent. But for anything else, you’re using a third-rate service and badly crippling your online research capabilities.

Tentaclii‘s indexing problem here is not actually DuckDuckGo’s own indexing, but rather that their service is built mostly on Bing, with a bit of Yandex and a couple of others. Mostly they appear to rely on the world’s worst major search option… Microsoft Bing. Search for Tentaclii on Bing, and you can see how the results mimic almost exactly the search results for DuckDuckGo. So Bing is the culprit here.

Could I quickly submit my URL (web address)? No. Since September 2018 Bing no longer allows URL submissions to suggest new sites they should index. Nor does DuckDuckGo allow direct URL submissions. I did join Bing Webmaster programme to get a ‘site dashboard’, in order to submit URLs, which was total overkill and proved to be impossible anyway. After submitting your site you have to “verify” thus…

Which is totally impossible to do for a WordPress.com blog, because the author doesn’t have any control over such stuff. Thus basically Bing doesn’t allow WordPress.com blogs to submit their URL, in a way that their system can ever verify. Which means there’s no way to submit the URL for Tentaclii. Some might even see this as anti-competitive behaviour by Microsoft, blocking the services of other companies.

Like I said, it’s not that much bother… because Google Search is the only traffic source that matters. But it’s just annoying in a niggling way, especially when you hear people occasionally lauding Bing and DuckDuckGo as if they were as good or better than Google. I run JURN and have spent the last decade immersed in the academic side of search-indexing, and I can tell you they’re not.