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This month has seen some interesting changes within the search engine market share. On the whole it’s business as usual, but there are some useful insights to be taken from the latest data.
In the US market, Google and Microsoft’s Bing have seen gains, whilst Yahoo and AOL actually saw a drop in their market share. The gap between Bing and Yahoo has widened, but by how much? In the UK, Google have seen a slight drop, with all other search engines benefiting. Does this show us the potential for a more competitive market? Here’s what we found this month.
Starting with the UK market, data from Hitwise (accurate as of 17/03/2012) reveals that Google still dominate the market, despite a small loss in search volume. Their share has gone from 90.98% last month to 90.68% this month, as the table shows, that’s a loss of 0.30%.
It’s small fry to Google, but in the grand scheme of things, it can help those smaller search engines dramatically. If you consider the sheer volume of people that use search engines, that’s billions of searches every day, then even the smallest percentage gain can result in thousands, even millions of additional users.
As a result, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and Other search engines have all seen increases this month. Notably, Bing’s share of the market has risen from 3.73% last month to 3.80% this month, a rise of 0.07%. Even better was Yahoo who saw a 0.13% rise, taking their share to 2.42%.
Google’s dominance isn’t going to change overnight, but it’s encouraging to see that other search engines are beginning to take more of the share, and for them, even the smallest proportion can have the most dramatic of effects. It might not result in a hugely competitive market come next month, but these are encouraging signs for other search engines.
Onto the US markets, and data from ComScore shows that Google and Bing are the big winners this month, gaining 0.20% and 0.10% of the market respectively. This takes their overall market shares to 66.40% and 15.30%. In this respect it’s pretty much business as usual as the graph and table indicates.
However, the subtext of Bing’s rise, is that as a result, it is Yahoo who are suffering. It’s interesting to see that Bing have continued their rise, whilst Yahoo slips further and further down the listings. This was largely to be as expected, as the turn of the year presented us with a landmark shift in search engine use, with Bing becoming the more favoured search engine over Yahoo; with their share now standing at 13.80%, that’s a 0.30% loss from last month.
It’s clear that this trend has continued, but how far the gap will widen is yet unknown. It’s already grown significantly as Bing now has 1.50% more of the market than Yahoo. We’ll keep a close eye on this trend, it could be highly significant.
In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.
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.