Is Google the Only Search Engine to Invest in?
Google is usually top of mind for most small businesses and marketers when talking about search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). In 2017, approximately 3.5 million worldwide searches PER DAY were performed on Google alone. This means approximately 75% of searches are performed on Google (statistics from Netmarketshare). But what about the other 25% of searches? What role do other search engines play? Should you be investing all your time and resources on Google since it’s the biggest search engine? In this blog post, we review some key statistics about search engine market share in Canada and what these statistics mean when you are investing time and energy into SEO and SEM.
Search Engine Statistics – Google, Bing, and Yahoo
Although Google is the clear winner in search engine traffic, Bing and Yahoo, both owned by Microsoft, have a combined total of approximately 8% market share in Canada. As shown below, Google accounts for approximately 91% of searches. Meanwhile, Bing accounts for 5.5% of searches and Yahoo accounts for 2.6% of searches.
What the graph above doesn’t specify is whether the searches are performed on a desktop, tablet, or a mobile device. This information is important especially if we consider more recent data:
- For mobile vs. desktop searches, Google has the largest market share in Canada at a whopping 97%!
- For desktops and tablet searches, Google owns 85% of searches on desktop devices and 92.5% on tablets.
- Together, Yahoo and Bing own approximately 6% of searches on tablets and less than 2% on mobile devices.
So the statistics definitely support the idea that you need to invest your time and money into Google but do other search engines have anything to offer?
Investing in Bing and Yahoo
Although the majority of searches are on Google, our suggestion is that as a small business, you may not want to ignore Bing and Yahoo entirely.
Let’s say a small business has a keyword that usually gets 1,000 searches per month on Google. If we extrapolate based on the market share statistics above, where Google has 91% market share, we can estimate that a total of 1099 searches of your keyword will occur over one month. This means that 99 searches will be on another search engine, such as Bing and Yahoo. If the majority of your competition is investing their time and energy into Google, then investing in Bing and Yahoo might be useful for you to reach more potential clients.
Advantages of Bing and Yahoo
- Less competition: Since there’s less competition on these search engines, a potential customer may find you easier, especially if you run a pay per click ad on Bing or if you use Bing Places for Business.
- Higher ranking on search results: Your website may rank higher in organic search results on these search engines compared to Google since the search algorithms are different between Microsoft and Google. The best way to determine this is to do an SEO audit.
- Access desktop users: Investing in Bing and Yahoo means that you may reach more desktop users as well since Google only has 85% market share amongst desktop users.
- Minimal effort: Since Bing and Yahoo are both owned by Microsoft, any changes made on Bing also automatically applies to Yahoo.
- Minimal cost: Like Google, Bing/Yahoo offers free tools like Bing Places for Business and Bing Webmaster. Compared to other forms of advertising, a well thought out pay per click campaign can also generate leads at a relatively low cost.
Google, Bing, and Yahoo are all tools for you available to help you reach your target audience. Regardless of which one you choose to invest your time and money into, you need to understand your target audience, where they are (whether it’s a physical location or a digital location like Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and what their needs are before you spend money on converting them into your customers.
I’d like to hear your thoughts. Which search engine do you invest your time and energy into, and why? Is Google the only search engine to invest in? Comment below!