US Web traffic tracking company comScore released numbers showing Google receives two-thirds of all search queries (in the USA).


It's only in 2007 that Google broke through the 50% US search queries mark. Which means that Google  has increased their search presence by 8.2% in 3 years time.

The difference between 2009 and 2010 is less than 1 percent: 0.9%. Statically not significant.

Whether it is the markets that have settled, shifting web usage trends (as Facebook has surpassed Google as the US' most visited web site) or simply stagnation in growth, Google's market mindshare seems to be flatlining a bit.

The Law of Big Numbers

If Google has 2/3 of the (US) search market it follows that others, whoever they are, have 1/3 of that (US) search market. With 16.4 billion searches performed in the month of December alone we're talking about more than 5 billion US searches done somewhere else than on a Google property.



Get It Where You Can

While your traffic reports will also reflect that Google is a major traffic driver – to make an understatement – your conversion reports may show that other sources provide more bang for their buck.

For example, Chitika's June 2010 study showed Bing users are more likely to click on an ad.

Ad Click by Search Engine - July 2010


It's in line with their 2009 stats which Techcrunch worded as Are Bing Users 50 Percent More Likely To Click On An Ad Than Google Users?



What This Means For You

Search engine optimization is non-exclusive. There is no choice to be made for Google, against Bing – or the other way around.

The differences between the search engines are for the most part not major enough to warrant search engine specific versions of your site or pages.

At the backend of your business you should look at the demographics of each traffic source; who are they, where do they come from, and what do they do.

In today's search tech these search share stats mean less than they used to. Business-wise the search share stats remain interesting academically; is the online economy served well with this market dominance? does Google provide users enough value that when they come to your site they feel it's a good match or are they irritated? (when) will Google be overtaken by something else?

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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6 Responses to “Google Captures Less Than 10% Additional Search In 3 Years”

  1. It is so interesting to know that Google only has 2/3's of the market share.

    Am I guessing correctly that the other 33% would be shared between Yahoo, Bing and other search engines?

    I would love to know the Global stats, aside from the US.

    Thanks for the great read.
    .-= Karn@SEO Business Box recently posted: SEO Business Box Review =-.

  2. Craig says:

    I tend to think it's a minor blip; caused by internet growth having peaked in most OECD countries over the past few years.

    Search engine traffic will always reign supreme, whether it be Google or other providors. The whole Facebook thing is just the latest, greatest thing.

  3. I guess at some point it becomes difficult to capture another 1% of the market.

    It is true that you can find better advertising deals on smaller search engines. Fewer people advertise there, so there is less competition. However, there are a few caveats.

    First, to justify the campaign administration overhead, you have to use more keywords, including the less targeted, more popular ones. This may not be for everyone.

    Second, click fraud detection may not be as effective as Google's, because of lower traffic, among other reasons. So you better have additional click fraud monitoring on your side.

    If your advertising budget and keywords range allow you to do that, then advertising on alternative search engines can indeed be very profitable.
    .-= Val @ Web Tracking Guide recently posted: How to Use Tracking to Get More Daily Readers =-.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Thanks for the comment, Val. Good points too.

      Also, the way users from a specific search engine interact with your site can be different at times. That can make it interesting to talk to those people more directly or to adapt your pages, on the fly, to their click patterns.