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Google have relinquished a small proportion of their share, with both Bing and Yahoo being the main benefactors.
This is the second month in a row this has happened and the third month this year, which leaves us to suspect that Bing and Yahoo are indeed competing a lot harder to break down Google’s dominance of the UK market.
Let’s start by looking at the UK figures in a bit more detail. Hitwise’s data (accurate as of 07/04/2012) indicates that Google’s dominance is ever present, with a staggering 90.44% of the market. However, as the table shows, they’re down 0.24% from the previous month (90.68%), and in March they lost another 0.30% from an even larger 90.98% of the market in February.
So, it is Bing and Yahoo who have been the big winners in April’s UK search engine market share statistics. Bing have seen their share of 3.80% in March rise by 0.12% to 3.92% in April, and Yahoo have seen their share of 2.42% in March rise by 0.09% to 2.51% in April. Again, this has been something of an ongoing trend; with both Bing and Yahoo experiencing growth of 0.07% and 0.13% respectively, whilst Google losing out on 0.30% of the market share last month.
Is this the slippery slope for Google, or just the usual minor fluctuations in the search figures? Well common sense would suggest that it would be very difficult for either Bing or Yahoo to overhaul Google; the gap between them is just far too large. However, in terms of making the UK market a lot more competitive, more like in the US, then this may be a step in right direction. Yet, the big question is whether Bing and Yahoo can continue to build on what’s been a fairly successful start to 2012.
Moving onto the US search figures, Comscore’s data for March indicates very minimal change across the board. This can be seen in the below table. The only movements have been Yahoo losing 0.10% of their share with AOL the only benefactor as they experienced a 0.10% increase in their share.
The interesting thing here is that Yahoo continues to lose a proportion of their market share. This has been a growing trend since the last three months of 2011, and all four months of 2012. At the start of the year we saw Bing overtake Yahoo as the US’s second most used search engine, but since then Yahoo have fallen well off the pace.
It’s difficult to understand the stagnation in terms of the US search engine market share for March. Bing would no doubt want to see their slow rise continue and not taking any share of the market this month, may be considered as a bit of a setback. With their search engine powering Yahoo’s search results, seeing Yahoo lose out may be an added blow. For Google at least, they’re sitting pretty, as they have done for years.
So, whilst Bing and Yahoo have done pretty well in the UK market, they’ve had differing fortunes in the US market. Whether this continues, we’ll just wait and see next month.
For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored. Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.
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