The latest search engine ranking report from comScore was released last week. A lot of it is the usual more of the same, Google beats everybody story, but there are some details that interesting to marketers and for Google itself. The latest comScore report on US search engine rankings show that Google still dominates but also, that the search giant may have reached their peak market share in the U.S.
In August, 68.6 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google, which is pretty much the same as last month, though down a tenth of a percentage point. Bing, on the other hand,accounted for 27.5 percent of searches in the U.S., but this only represents a tenth of a percentage point increase for Bing’s ranking from July. Google has hovered around two-thirds market share for much of the past year.
The other major search engines, Yahoo, Ask.com, and AOL, each maintained their positions as third, fourth and fifth, respectively. They didn’t see any significant change in their market shares during the last month. This is actually good news for Yahoo, who had seen their market share fall below 10 percent earlier. The fact that Yahoo is holding at 10 percent suggests the declines were reversible and that Yahoo is capable of maintaining the gains it makes in market share.
When discussing search engines in terms of rankings and percentage points, it’s easy to forget that all of these engines are receiving a large amount of traffic from these searches. According to comScore, 18 billion explicit core searches were conducted in August. When considered with the market share data we see that Google powered 12.1 billion searches in one month. Sites running Bing accounted for 3.5 billion searches, followed by Yahoo Sites with 1.8 billion, Ask Network with 360 million and AOL, Inc. with 231 million.
Even if Google dominates search in the U.S., the other search engines do get a piece of the pie, and it’s a pretty large pie. For internet marketers, the rankings are a reminder that there is a value to advertising on the ad networks for these search engines. Even if people don’t go to Ask.com as much as they used to, the search engine’s algorithms are being used to power searches on individual sites. The same is true for last place AOL. As was mentioned in a recent article, AOL has some very large sites in it’s ad network, so it’s worth it for marketers to give them a look.
The comScore rankings are watched closely because they have done often and consistently for years, making them good benchmarks for search engine rankings. However, the comScore rankings don’t include mobile search. As mobile becomes more important, not including mobile search in the rankings skews the rankings against Google. According to the most recent data from StatCounter, Google accounts for more than 80 percent of mobile search.
Even without mobile search included, the rankings from StatCounter look different. According to the most recent StatCounter data, Google’s U.S. desktop market share is 10 percent higher, at 76.4 percent. Bing drops to 13 percent and Yahoo is still below 10 percent.
Though Google will continute to dominate the search headlines for the near future, the latest rankings are reminder that the other search engines are still around and relevant in their own way. For more research that shows the value of the other search platforms, read these articles with stats on Yahoo and AOL.