Google Losing Market Share in Search Engine Wars
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by Roger Janik
June 23, 2011
For those SEO and SEM Professionals, it's not time to panic- far from it, however it is time to take note of the up and comers in Search. Bing, Microsoft's search engine property which has been around for a couple of years in its latest incarnation has actually been winning over some long time Google users. Bing has been quite competitive when it comes to its implementation of its features, as well as branding and deal making. This has made it the biggest gainer in market share- compared to Google- who has lost quite a lot over the last year.
How Much Market Share Did Google Lose Last Year?
The big news is that Google's market share continues to drop, but for naysayers that think Google's reign has ended, Google still continues to grab close to 2/3 of the search market. According to Compete Pulse, from May of 2010 to May of 2011, Google lost 16 percent of its market share. It dropped from 73.9 percent last year to just shy of 64 percent. Bing on the other hand grew handsomely. In fact, Bing grew its market share a whopping 75% to 17 percent of the search engine market from 9.7 percent last May 2010.
While many might first think that a lot of Bing's growth might have come from the other search engines such as Yahoo, AOL and ask.com, think again. All three of these search engines actually grew slightly cumulatively last year. This means that Bing's growth came on the back of Google.
Is it Time to Head for the Exits?
Not exactly. Many analysts still firmly believe that Google is and will continue to be the heavy weight in Search. Google might have been caught off guard with the amount of innovations being released last year from Bing and as always, Google not only focuses on search, but quite a lot of products including Chrome, Android, etc ad infinitum. These extra products sometimes turn into blockbusters such as Android, but most often turn the way of the dodo bird possibly taking extra resources and focus away from their main product.
Tips for SEO and SEM Professionals
So what is a web develop or SEO/SEM professional to do with this data? Personally, competition is always good; it innovates and cuts a lot of dead weight. Generally speaking, when you optimize your web site with quality content, highly focused keywords and back it up with good link building, you optimize not just for Google, but for all search engines.
Another beneficial aspect of having a second, competent search engine is that if your site is unable to crack the top 10 of Big G's SERP's, you have a chance to maybe make some progress on Bing.
Having a qualified competitor in the Search industry and doing well in their rankings may help to alleviate the pressure and annoyance from clients of not being on the first page of Google. I can see a realistic conversation where you can tell a client that while it may take time to build traction for a tough keyword to show up on the first page of Google, we already have the top spot in Bing.