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Google’s Market Share Down

Search Engine Market Share 1

According to the latest search market share numbers released by ComScore on 14th August 2015, Google’s share of the US search market has dropped slightly. Before we all panic and predict the demise of the search giant though, I must qualify that statement by admitting that the fall is not significant; nevertheless, the latest figures do show a loss of ground on Google’s part, to the benefit of its two largest competitors, Bing and Yahoo.


So, let’s take a closer look at the most recent figures and statistics and see what they’re showing us about the performance of the largest search engines globally. 



US Search Engine Market Share     


First of all, here are the latest statistics just published by ComScore (and please forgive me if you’re not a fan of numbers and graphs; I will do my best not to bombard you and try to break everything down as simply as possible – although most of these images speak for themselves!);


comScore Explicit Core Search Query Report (Desktop Only)
 July 2015 vs. June 2015
 Total U.S. – Desktop Home & Work Locations
 Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search EntityExplicit Core Search Queries (MM)
Jun-15Jul-15Percent Change
Total Explicit Core Search17,46517,6541%
Google Sites11,18411,2931%
Microsoft Sites3,5533,5961%
Yahoo Sites2,2252,2461%
Ask Network3013134%
AOL, Inc.2022062%


This first table provides the actual numbers of search queries, in millions, carried out by each search engine in June and July of 2015. As you can see from the end column, it shows that all search engines increased their number of searches, with Google, Bing (Microsoft) and Yahoo each increasing their search queries by 1% month-on-month. The biggest winners, however, are Ask and AOL, increasing their numbers by 4% and 2% respectively.


comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report* (Desktop Only)
 July 2015 vs. June 2015
 Total U.S. – Desktop Home & Work Locations
 Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search EntityExplicit Core Search Share (%)
Jun-15Jul-15Point Change
Total Explicit Core Search100.0%100.0%N/A
Google Sites64.0%64.0%0.0
Microsoft Sites20.3%20.4%0.1
Yahoo Sites12.7%12.7%0.0
Ask Network1.7%1.8%0.1
AOL, Inc.1.2%1.2%0.0


This second table shows each search engine’s market share by a percentage in June and July of 2015 and it illustrates that, despite the increase in exact numbers, the true month-on-month share of the market doesn’t actually change at all for either Google, Yahoo or AOL and it only increases by 0.1% for Bing and Ask.


Hence, these figures would suggest that Google is holding its own in terms of its share of the US search engine market, however the interesting point comes when the numbers from July 2015 are compared with those from this time last year. In July 2014, Google held a 68.7% share of the US market, compared with 65% now, meaning that the world’s largest search engine has dropped its share of the US search engine market by 5.6% year-on-year.


By comparison, both Bing and Yahoo are each up slightly on their year-on-year performances, meaning that their market share is increasing whilst Google’s in decreasing. When you take into account the fact that at least 51% of Yahoo’s searches are ‘powered by’ Bing, Bing’s share of the market has actually increased by about 14% from this time last year, something that I imagine Microsoft will be keen to capitalise on.


This graph shows the performance of the leading 4 search engines over the last 6 years;


Search Engine Market Share 2


As you can see, however, whilst it may be true that Google have lost a bit of ground to Bing and Yahoo, the gap between Google at the top and its immediate competition is still vast and I can’t see the tables changing anytime soon.



UK Search Engine Market Share


Conversely, in the UK, Google’s year-on-year share of the search engine market is as strong as it ever has been. According to Statista’s latest results, Google had an 89.25% share in June 2014, which had risen slightly to an 89.43% share in June 2015, meaning that Google’s dominance of the market is still pretty secure here.


To give you an idea of just how big a margin Google has over the competition, this graph shows you the search engine market share in the UK;


Search Engine Market Share 3


You can see why we SEO Consultants use Google as a byword for search engine!



Worldwide Search Engine Market Share


If we widen the parameters to include worldwide, you can see that Google’s share of the world search engine market has hardly changed over the past 5 years. This graph speaks for itself;


Search Engine Market Share 4


Nevertheless, one of the biggest questions in search at the moment is how the changes in the smartphone search market will affect the overall position of the main search engines; Apple announced a while ago that the latest Siri updates for the iOS7 would make Bing the default search engine and SEOs are naturally keen to see to what degree this knocks Google’s market dominance.


The following two charts illustrate the market shares for desktop searches and then smartphone and tablet searches;


Search Engine Market Share 5


This picture of Google’s market dominance is as expected, with Baidu (the Chinese search engine) being its closest rival, followed by Bing and then Yahoo.


Search Engine Market Share 6


However, this picture of the smartphone and tablet market shows that Google’s market share is almost total, with Baidu’s being negligible and, surprisingly, Yahoo’s being bigger than Bing’s. This would indicate that Siri’s default use of Bing is not actually effecting the search market that much, however, only time will tell if this trend continues.


Naturally, GrowTraffic will keep a beady eye on proceedings and let you know if anything changes but, for now, as far as I’m concerned, it’s business as usual and Google continue to be the rulers of the universe!

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