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This month we’ve seen some really interesting movements in terms of market share for search engines on both sides of the Atlantic. In some instances it’s business as usual, but in the case of the UK markets, some search engines have thrown up a few surprises.
Starting here in the UK; the latest figures from Hitwise (accurate as of 12/05/2012) have shown that whilst Google have built on their impressive existing share of 90.44% with a 0.09% rise, taking their share to 90.53%, Bing and Yahoo have somewhat bucked the trend of recent monthly search figures with both recording significant losses; perhaps even more surprisingly, it was Ask that gained as a result.
As you can see from the table, Bing has taken a huge step back after such a promising start to the year. In recent months they’ve had back to back gains taking their share to 3.92% in April 2012. However, after relinquishing 0.11% of the market this month, their overall share for May is at 3.81%. With such optimism surrounding the search engine in terms of providing a stronger challenge to Google this year, this could be perceived as something of a setback.
However, it’s fairly early days to write of Microsoft’s search engine, especially considering that their latest dealings with Facebook data [See: Bing Incorporate Social Results to Improve Search], which could see more users take to the search engine as it provides competition to Google’s integration with its own social network Google Plus. On the contrary, such integration could prove to have a negative effect, particularly if users universally reject the social search function. So the fate of Bing will be interesting to keep an eye on in the coming months as their social search feature is rolled out across the UK and US.
Getting back on track, Yahoo has also provided a bit of a surprise. In recent months, they’ve slowly gained a small share of the market taking their overall share to 2.51% in April 2012. However, after surrendering a 0.07 loss, their total share of the market for May is back down to 2.44%. Now, you could argue that seeing Yahoo lose out in terms of search volume is hardly surprising, especially given what has been happening to the company behind the scenes. Coupled with this is the recent news that their latest SEO, Scott Thomson, has been shown the door [See: Will Yahoo! Ever Get Back on Track?], so whether things will get worse for Yahoo, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Another surprise this month in the UK search figures has been Ask. They’ve slowly gained a share of the market in recent months, but May has seen a fairly large gain of 0.08%, taking their share to 1.84% for May. Even the smallest of gains can amount to a huge increase of searches; this means a lot in terms of revenue, so seeing a relatively small player in the market doing so well is as refreshing as it is surprising.
Onto the US markets now and figures from comScore reveal that it’s business as usual across the Atlantic.
As you can see from the table both Google and Bing have seen small gains, whilst Yahoo, unsurprisingly, have seen another loss in market share. Google have taken their share from 66.40% to 66.50%, thanks to a 0.10% growth. With Bing mirroring this success, taking their share for April to 15.40%.
However the bad news continues at Yahoo! HQ as they’ve seen a 0.20% loss, taking their overall share to 13.50%. This is the eighth month in a row that Yahoo have seen search engine market share losses, and as previously mentioned, with the recent news of more unrest behind the scenes, this could be extended to a nine without growth come next month.
Search engine technology is evolving, and so is the digital marketing industry. The more experienced professionals amongst you may remember the days of gleefully stuffing keywords into your copy to boost your rankings, blindly spamming strangers to join your email lists and easily securing media coverage for your thinly veiled advertisements.
Site speed is an important area of website optimisation that people working in the world of Search Engine Optimisation are becoming increasingly concerned about.