International marketing

International Search Engines to Optimize for in 2024

International Search Engines to Optimize for in 2024
Merve Alsan
Written by
Merve Alsan
Merve Alsan
Written by
Merve Alsan
Merve Alsan
Reviewed by
Updated on
May 21, 2024

While Google is a popular search engine, it isn’t the only one in the global market. There are other international search engines that no doubt have a smaller slice of the online search pie, but still, pull in a respectable number of monthly searches. Some of these search engines also enjoy more usage in certain countries than Google!

If you were to overlook these international search engines, you could potentially miss out on a lot of organic traffic to your website – and accordingly, a lot of revenue. Optimizing your website for as many of these search engines as possible should therefore be part of your global search engine optimization (SEO) strategy if you want to expand your international customer base. There are also ways to see what the Google search results look like for a different country, which could provide valuable insight into your strategy.

So what are these search engines? Keep reading as we share the top international search engines in 2024 and how you can optimize your website for them.

Why Optimize Your Website for International Search Engines?

What would you do if you have a question on something but don’t know who to ask? You’d fire up your favorite search engine to look up the answer online.

And this demonstrates the role that search engines can play in any business’s marketing strategy. These web portals act as gateways, connecting searchers to businesses that can supply the information, products, or services they’re looking for.

In particular, international search engines are search engines that serve users in multiple geographical regions and countries. They offer localized results based on the user’s location, language settings, and possibly even past search history.

For example, if an internet user in Paris, France, were to do a web search for “cafés near me,” an international search engine would display a list of cafés in Paris. In contrast, an internet user in New York in the United States who does the same search would likely get a list of cafés in New York instead.

Businesses that maintain a strong presence on the international search engine results pages (SERPs) can pull in website visitors from not just their main country of operation, but from all over the world! Optimizing your website for international search engines can hence help you increase international awareness of your brand, grow your global customer base, and ultimately gain more sales.

Which are The Top Search Engines in the World and How Can You Optimize Your Website for Them?

You can’t optimize your website for international search engines if you don’t know what these are. So here’s a list of the best search engines in the world and website optimization tips for each of them:


You’re probably familiar with Google, but we’ll still cover it for completeness. What started as a Stanford University research project has now evolved into the world’s largest search engine, capturing an incredible 81.95% of worldwide desktop market share as of January 2024. Alphabet – the company that owns the Google search engine – also regularly makes improvements to help Google deliver the most relevant search results to users.

From your search keyword, for example, Google will determine the best type of content to show you – be it a link to a website article, a video tutorial, an image, or a map location, to name a few. The search engine giant can also help provide its own answers to certain queries relating to currency conversions, environmental temperatures, and math calculations, among other topics.

The Google search algorithm uses over 200 ranking factors to determine how to rank web pages for various search keywords. These include:

  • Page experience: All else being equal, a web page that provides a good page experience is likely to rank higher than one that doesn’t. Things that contribute to a good page experience include the mobile-friendliness of a web page, page load speeds, and whether there are intrusive interstitials (i.e., pop-ups that obstruct the content on the page).
  • Keyword usage: Google considers the keywords you’ve used on your web pages to decide which keywords to rank your web pages for.
  • Backlinks: The more websites that have linked to your website, the more authoritative your website may appear to Google – which may then boost your rankings.
  • HTTPS encryption: For ranking purposes, Google favors websites that use strong HTTPS encryption over those that don’t. HTTPS is also a signal that contributes toward page experience.

Keep these ranking factors in mind as you optimize your web pages for the highest possible Google rankings.

However, in 2023 and the beginning of 2024, Google unveiled new changes to search that could transform the way your audience finds you. Here are some of them:

Search Generative Experience

Google made its smart search even better by expanding it to over 120 new countries and territories and adding 4 more languages. The biggest change here: it integrated AI to offer users the most helpful, relevant information when searching, and was thus renamed to Search Generative Experience.

What this means exactly is that Google now prioritizes showing links while diversifying the type of sources shown on the search results page. This will change the game for SEO, as this hugely benefits new content, giving them a higher chance of more visibility.

Through this same feature, Google is also testing ways for users to ask follow-up questions right from the search results. It will also present suggested questions while keeping your previously asked questions and search results visible, giving you a trail to follow as you explore a topic more.

Google's Search Generative Experience in action
Option to ask a follow up question when using SGE
Asking a follow up question on Google's SGE
What it looks like when you ask a follow up question

That’s not all: when using generative AI in Search to translate sentences, it will underline words that may have more than one meaning to offer you more clarity. Even better, it’ll tell you if you need to specify the word’s gender, giving you higher-quality translations from the get-go. This will definitely come in handy when you’re exploring content localization!

Circle to Search

Google has undoubtedly been trying to make search as seamless as possible, and that’s clearer than ever with Circle to Search. Through this feature, you can search what’s on your screen whenever you want, even when you’re texting, scrolling through social media, or watching videos.

Circle to Search in action

To do this, make a simple gesture, and you’ll select videos, images, or text in the way that feels most natural to you–whether this is highlighting, tapping, scribbling, or circling. The information will pop right up without you needing to leave your screen.

AI-Powered Visual Search

Google first launched a powerful way to search visually in 2022 through multisearch in Lens, allowing users to search with both text and images. Initially, it was ideal for improving visual queries, like searching for a photo of a black coat with Lens and adding the word “grey” to look for a similar one in this particular color.

However, Google has now powered it with AI. When you point your camera or upload a photo or screenshot on the Google app and ask a question with it, multisearch will present you with results refined by AI that offer more than just similar visual matches. Instead, you’ll have the option to ask more complex questions about what you see, and Google will supply you with the information it believes is most relevant.

For example, let’s say you’re at a hardware store and you have no idea what the tool you’re looking at is. Pull up Google, take a picture of the tool, and ask your question - “What tool is this?” and the search engine will give you an AI-powered summary, offering supporting information such as relevant links to give you the information you need.

Emphasis on Comparison Sites

To comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, Google has begun emphasizing comparison sites in search to help level the playing field in the digital economy. This update will give more visibility to other smaller businesses and prevent bigger players that the EU classifies as “gatekeepers” (of which Google is one) from unfairly dominating the market.

That way, users have more high-quality services to choose from, along with more flexibility to switch between providers.

Microsoft Bing

Having 10.51% of worldwide desktop market share, Microsoft Bing – or just “Bing” for short – is the most popular search engine after Google. Developed by Microsoft, Bing is naturally the default search engine for Microsoft Edge, which is the company’s proprietary web browser. Bing also helps power other search engines such as Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo (more about these search engines later).

Microsoft has published a set of Bing Webmaster Guidelines to help website owners optimize their websites for Bing. Factors you’ll want to pay attention to include:

  • Sitemap availability: Submitting your website’s sitemap to Bing can help the search engine’s web crawlers understand your website structure and files, and hence how to best rank your website for various search terms.
  • Content value: Create content for humans, not search engines. Among other things, Microsoft recommends making your content easy to navigate, unique instead of being copied from other sources, and useful for users.
  • Use of HTML tags: The accurate use of title, link, meta description, and other HTML tags can help Bing learn the structure of your web pages.
  • Freshness: Bing prioritizes serving content that is up to date and relevant to searchers. Accordingly, you’ll want to keep your web pages “fresh” with the latest information.

Like other search engines and software, Bing added AI to many of its features in 2023 and 2024. Note that some of these features may not yet be available to you as they’re still being rolled out.

Deep Search

Microsoft added Deep Search to its search engine towards the end of 2023. It’s an optional generative AI feature that helps users navigate complex searches by offering to refine your search through suggestions. They’re still in the process of rolling it out, as not all users (such as us) can access this feature.

Photo taken from Search Engine Land, as we currently cannot access this feature.

Powered by GPT-4, the option appears to the right of the search bar. Clicking on it brings up a small window to the right that says “Taking a second look at your search…” then offers related searches for you to narrow your search.

Sometimes, it won’t be able to find further results for you. But other times, when it can, it might even propose the AI chat version of your search results. The search aims to figure out your intent and present you the desired results using some of these factors:

  • Relevancy of the topic
  • How much traffic the topic gets
  • How detailed the topic is
  • Trustworthiness and authority of the source
  • How recently it was published or updated

AI-Generated Captions

Bing also introduced AI-Generated Captions. It works by using GPT-4 to analyze the user’s search query and uses it to select the most appropriate insights from websites. Then, it transforms it into a snippet to give an overview of what that page offers.

However, Bing clarified that “Generative Captions are tailored to each unique search query and may generate different snippets for different queries.” It also warned that these captions may not exactly match the original wording on the webpage, but it uses different signals to ensure the caption’s accuracy and quality.

If you don’t want Bing to generate AI captions for your webpages, though, you can use the NOCACHE and NOARCHIVE tags. Additionally, you can include MAXSNIPPET and NOSNIPPET metatags to prevent Bing from altering the description in a way that may impact your click-through rates.

Visual Search in Bing Chat

You can now take a picture or upload a photo on Bing Chat to go along with your query, and the platform will respond to you based on these visuals.

Visual Search has been a huge trend in search engines in recent years, with Google also rolling it out in Bard in 2023. Through this feature, you can ask Bing Chat for more information about the image you’re curious about.

AI-Powered Shopping Tools

Powered by Bing and Bing Chat, users will now see price match monitors that will display a product’s price after it’s purchased. That way, users can ask the store for a pricing match should the price change once it’s ordered.

This feature also allows you to see the price history over time. Users can toggle alerts so that they’re informed when the price drops.

Bing now generates buying guides using AI based on the product or the overall category of products you’re looking into. These guides will include product suggestions, inform you of these products’ specifications next to each other, and may even present you with AI-generated comparisons to help you make a sound decision.

Lastly, if you’re tired of piecing together product reviews from different parts of the web, you can now ask Bing to give you review summaries through Bing Chat or the Edge sidebar. These summaries will extract insights from reviews online about the specific product you’re searching. It will also procide you with AI-powered insights and opinions about the produc to make the buying process more informed and efficient.

This will definitely change the game for ecommerce websites, so these updates are something to keep in mind when optimizing your product listings and checkout processes.


While popular in the 1990s, the Yahoo! search engine has largely fallen out of favor since. It commands a worldwide desktop market share of about 2.67%, and has a presence in countries such as Australia, France, Ireland, Mexico, the United States, and Vietnam.

Yahoo Inc., which maintains the Yahoo! search engine, doesn’t operate its own web crawlers – instead, it outsources the work to other companies. It’s a bit of a long story, but Yahoo Inc. has worked with Microsoft to have Bing power its search engine before briefly switching allegiances to display Google search results. Since then, however, Yahoo Inc. has gone back to having its search engine powered by Bing—but this is expected to change very soon, with Yahoo announcing a comeback to search in 2023 by “making search cool again”, and we’re expecting this to happen in 2024.

With this in mind, you’re automatically optimizing your website for Yahoo! if you’re optimizing it for Bing. But Yahoo Inc. has also shared some best practices for ranking on its SERPs, such as:

  • Making your URLs readable: In other words, your URLs should be descriptive of their web pages. Avoid using gibberish-looking URL slugs like “”
  • Adding alt text to images: Such text helps Yahoo! understand your images and thus rank them more appropriately for image search queries.
  • Using accurate page titles: Your web pages’ titles should be relevant to their contents. These titles should also be optimized to match the search terms that people are using.

While Yahoo planned their search engine comeback in early 2024, we have yet to see them roll it out. At the moment, its search is still powered by Bing, but we’re keeping our eyes out for exciting announcements from them!


This search engine may have a more unusual name, but don’t disregard it for this reason. User privacy is its main selling point, where DuckDuckGo does not monitor users’ search histories as they use its search engine. (Some search engines track search histories to determine which search results to display to users, or to serve them targeted ads later on.) The company claims that all searches and browsing histories generated through its search engine are completely anonymous.

Launched in 2008 and with a desktop market share of 0.69%, DuckDuckGo has steadily been gaining users since. According to the official DuckDuckGo website, the company clocks an average of six million desktop and mobile device downloads, and processes over three billion user searches, every month. DuckDuckGo is also a built-in search engine option in Safari (from iOS 8 onward) and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

DuckDuckGo relies on Bing to power a portion of its search results, so the guidelines on optimizing for Bing also apply here. However, DuckDuckGo also has its own web crawlers. To enhance your website’s visibility on its search engine, it can help to:

  • Optimize for Instant Answers: These are snippets of information that DuckDuckGo generates to provide users with answers directly on the SERPs. Instant Answers are open source and the company welcomes developers to contribute to them.
  • Raise your journalistic standards: If you run a news website, you’ll want to pay special attention to this ranking factor. DuckDuckGo assesses a website’s history of journalistic standards when deciding how high to rank it for news-related searches. A website proven to have “extremely low” journalistic standards, and that publishes clickbaity or spammy content, is likely to get marked down.

Like the other search engines in this guide, however, DuckDuckGo has also integrated AI into its search. Powered by ChatGPT, this new feature—called DuckAssist—creates natural language responses to search queries by drawing answers from Wikipedia’s rich database and summarizing them.

The company reported that this feature will be the first step in introducing more AI-powered search functions in its browsing apps and browser extensions.

While they cautioned users not to expect to see DuckAssistant on all their searches, it’s expected to roll out and evolve with more updates and upgrades.

Geographical Region-Specific Search Engines to Pay Attention To

So far, we’ve explored the leading search engines that enjoy global popularity. Next, we’ll share some search engines that are especially well used in specific countries.

Despite their more modest user bases, these alternative search engines are also worth optimizing your website for – particularly if your business operates in the countries in which they enjoy more usage:


With China’s massive population, serving the Chinese market can significantly boost your customer base. If you have such aspirations, take steps to optimize your website for Baidu, the leading search engine in China.

Naturally, you’ll want to make your website content available in Chinese if it isn’t already. (Your content should also be in Simplified Chinese, by the way – not Traditional Chinese.) Other things you should do when optimizing your website for Baidu searches include:

  • Use descriptive subheadings that inform readers what the following paragraphs of information are about.
  • Embed high-quality images that are pleasing to the eye, even if they have been processed with filters and text.
  • Submit your links to the Baidu search engine (although submission does not guarantee that your links will be indexed).

Baidu also provides pointers on what not to do, such as:

  • Producing low-quality content that offers little value to the reader.
  • Displaying outdated content, including store pages promoting out-of-stock products.
  • Retaining broken links in web pages that direct users to 404 error pages or similar.


Businesses targeting the Russian market will want to optimize their websites for Yandex. Although Yandex has only about 2.42% worldwide desktop market share, it is one of Russia’s most popular search engines. For a website to rank well on this Russian search engine, it should abide by guidelines such as:

  • Setting up a sitemap for Yandex’s robots to learn your website’s structure and contents, and then crawl these appropriately.
  • Enforcing strong website security for visitors, as Yandex may deprioritize the ranking of websites on which it has detected security threats.
  • Publishing useful content, where website owners can use Yandex’s Yandex. Metrica tool to gauge how visitors will behave on their web pages and hence identify areas for improvement.
  • Using good content presentation like displaying text neatly and splitting it into multiple paragraphs.
  • Obtaining quality backlinks such as links from reputable websites. Yandex may not place much weight on links from spammy-looking web directories. Where possible, anchor texts for links should also be descriptive.


Google dominates in most of the world, but not South Korea – where it is the Naver search engine that comes in first place. 61.2% of monthly active users in South Korea use it for their searches, giving it the highest search engine market share in the country.

Apart from its standard search engine functionality, it also has other services such as Knowledge iN, where anyone can post questions and have them answered by others. Meanwhile, Naver Encyclopedia allows users to browse encyclopedia entries created by experts.

Ways of optimizing your website for Naver include:

  • Registering the website with Naver, verifying your ownership of the website, and submitting your website’s sitemap to Naver’s Webmaster Tools.
  • Adding relevant keywords to your content while taking care to avoid keyword stuffing, i.e., overusing keywords such that your content sounds unnatural when read.
  • Displaying text on web pages themselves instead of embedding them in images. This is because Naver’s search crawlers have trouble recognizing text in images. If your images do need to contain text, Naver recommends using concise alt text that states what such text is.
  • Creating original website content rather than copying content created by others.

Get Started With International Search Engines

Whether you intend to optimize your website for Google, DuckDuckGo, Naver, or any of the other international search engines we’ve shared here, certain best practices generally apply across the board. These include:

  • Creating valuable content and building high-quality backlinks to them: Cultivate relationships with bloggers or other website owners in your industry, then work with them to have them link to your website. The more helpful your content is, the more likely others will want to link to it.
  • Using proper website structure and design: Not only will doing so help search engines better crawl your content, but you’ll also entice users to stay on your website for longer. For example, tap on visual hierarchy rules to emphasize certain content, and design your website for right-to-left languages if it is meant for visitors who read such languages.
  • Incorporating a mobile-first design: With people conducting more online searches through their mobile phones, search engines have begun prioritizing the indexing of websites’ mobile versions over their desktop equivalents. You should therefore design your web pages with mobile users in mind.
  • Reducing your page load times: The quicker your pages load, the better the user experience you provide. Search engines may then reward you by ranking you higher in the SERPs. Methods of helping your pages load faster include setting up browser caching and using a content delivery network.

And if you intend to reach users in certain countries through online searches or other means, it also pays to translate your website content and keywords! When you do so, website visitors in these countries can better understand your business and what you’re selling. It’s only with such knowledge that they can engage with your business, such as ordering your products or hiring your services. Using advanced machine learning technology, the Weglot website translation solution instantly translates and localizes web pages with a high degree of accuracy. It supports the translation of over 110 languages and also works seamlessly with leading website builders such as WordPress, Webflow, and Shopify.

Sign up for free here to try Weglot on your website.

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