Ever since search engine optimisation became an industry, and more and more businesses started showing an interest in their search marketing efforts and attaining high ranking in the search engines, Google has been considered the absolute king of the market. It has maintained the highest amount of market share in practically every English-speaking territory and has evolved to become an absolute monolith in the technology sector as a result.
All of that is still true of course, however, recent developments in the industry appear to demonstrate that the company’s stranglehold on the industry is starting to loosen, at least just a little bit. Perhaps the most important of these recent changes is the agreement forged between Mozilla and Yahoo, whereby the Yahoo search engine is automatically made the default on all new installations of Mozilla’s Firefox web browser.
While this has taken a demonstrable chunk of the market away from Google, it is only a small dent in the grand scheme of things. However, big changes start small and it looks like the trend for search is slowly starting to shift a little bit further as the months have progressed.
This has been more ably demonstrated in the last few months by the increasing popularity if Bing, which is Microsoft’s search engine, in the United States. Recently released figures have show that Bing has achieved a 20% share of the market in its native country throughout the course of March 2015, having previously hovered just underneath that figure in the months prior. If nothing else the data demonstrate that searchers are increasingly more likely to move away from Google if circumstances allow it, though it must also be pointed out that these figures relate the the US market, rather than the worldwide market.
It also has to be stated that Google is still the dominate force by some margin in its domestic market, as its reach still extends to the point where it controls more than 60% of other searches, plus the data also appears to show that much of Bing’s increased reach came at the expense of Yahoo, rather than Google.
Regardless, what the data does reveal is that it is becoming increasingly important to focus on other search engines outside of Google, even if Google still must remain the top priority. With windows-based mobile devices becoming increasingly popular it is likely that searches made using Bing are going to continue their slow upward trend, which in turn means it will become an increasingly viable option for targeted marketing campaigns.
Luckily, those who want to target searchers using Bing won’t need to adjust their strategies too much. At its core, the search engine still values many of the same metrics as its competitors, such as high quality content and good backlinks from reputable sources. However, the algorithm used by Microsoft is still slightly different to the one developed by Bing, which means that it places different priority on these factors. This means that companies may now need to start considering the balance of the search marketing efforts a little more closely, particularly in regards to how a change to benefit one could have knock-on effects with another.