Goodbye Google, and Aloha to independent web browsers: why marketers must adapt their search for EU customers

Independent web browsers are gaining ground as Europeans spread their online search further afield, opening up new opportunities for marketers….

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adapt search engines for EU customers

Independent web browsers are gaining ground as Europeans spread their online search further afield, opening up new opportunities for marketers.

In the first month since a major change in EU tech laws, there has been a spike in users switching from Google, Microsoft and Apple and turning to smaller tech companies for their web experience.[1]

Previously, European Android users had Google’s Chrome as their default option, whilst Apple had Safari as the go-to. In March this year, the EU’s Digital Markets Act took effect to remove unfair competition and offer mobile users a “choice screen” of web browsers to select from. Now, people setting up their iPhones in one of the EU’s 27 countries can pick from twelve web browsers.

The Norwegian browser Opera is “experiencing record user numbers in the EU right now,” says its vice president Jan Standal.[2] The Cypriot browser Aloha moved from the fourth most popular web browser in the EU to the second, claims its CEO Andrew Frost Moroz.[3] Other independent web browsers–including two US-based offerings, Brave and DuckDuckGo–have also seen significant new growth.

The data indicates that when presented with a choice, end users are willing to act upon it.

So, if your customers are searching for answers on smaller browsers, what does that mean for your marketing?

Refine your targeting strategies

Independent web browsers often include built-in features like ad blockers and enhanced tracking protection. For the user, this means less intrusive advertisements and unauthorised tracking of their online activities.

This presents you with an opportunity to refine targeting strategies and to deliver more relevant ads to users who have opted into receiving them. In doing so, you can expect higher engagement rates and an increased ROI on your advertising spend.

Tailor your messaging

Rather than just acting as an alternative to Google, some web browsers have unique USPs that cater to specific demographics and niche communities overlooked by the mainstream.

After learning to understand the unique characteristics and interests of users within these communities, you can leverage this opportunity to target specialised audiences more effectively, driving engagement and conversion by tailoring marketing messages to resonate with these groups.

Diversify your traffic

An overreliance on mainstream browsers for traffic can make marketing strategies vulnerable to changes in algorithms or policies implemented by browser providers.

Diversifying your traffic sources and targeting users across a variety of independent browsers will reduce dependency on any single platform and mitigate the risk of sudden fluctuations in website traffic or ad performance.

Three independent web browsers to consider


If sustainability is your thing, a web browser that ploughs its ad revenues into tree-planting could be a safe bet. The non-profit browser has pledged its commitment to helping to re-green Africa’s Sahel region and turn back the tide of desert sands.


At a time when hard-working creators are seeing their work shamelessly ripped off by big brands, this web browser helps users track down nearly any type of copyright-free content you can think of.


For those concerned about privacy and how their data is being used online, Startpage doesn’t track or store search history and, instead, fetches the top results from multiple search engines.







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