417 Marketing Blog

Google Still Dominates Search (but don’t sleep on Bing)

comScore just released their August 2012 U.S. search engine rankings. You can read their press release here. Google is still the clear market leader with a 66.4% share of the total search market, followed by Bing with 15.9%.

While Google is still the clear market leader, it did see a 0.4% drop from July 2012 (66.8% to 66.4%). Their month-over-month trend may be negative, but the growth over the past 12 months has been positive. They experienced a 1.8% increase in market share from August 2011 to August 2012.

Another thing that stands out in their report is the continued decline of Yahoo. Over the past 12 months (August 2011 to August 2012), they have lost 3.5% of their market share, declining from 16.3% to 12.8%. One wonders if new CEO Marissa Mayer can right the ship at Yahoo when it comes to search.

For a more in-depth breakdown of these numbers, click here.

What This Means for Bing

As I said earlier, Bing has clearly positioned itself as the #2 search engine of choice. I believe that Bing has a solid search engine, but they aren’t going to pass Google any time soon. It would take years for them to become #1. Instead, I think they should be focusing on a strategy of differentiation and innovation. If they try to out-Google Google, it won’t work. They need to focus on coming up with search innovations that attack Google’s weaknesses, and then communicate these innovations to the public in ways they can understand. Links have been the ballot-box of search since 1998. Many feel that system is broken. If that is true, why is Bing following Google’s lead on using links to judge the authority of a website? It makes me wonder why Bing doesn’t decide to shake things up in the world of search by making links a much smaller part of their algorithm. Many have speculated that Google is working towards that end. I wonder if Bing could shock the search world by beating them to the punch? Hmmm…

What This Means For Google

Google is obviously in great shape when it comes to search market share. But some have speculated that they may willing to go the way of the nuclear option when it comes to fighting the SEO community for online advertising dollars. For more information on Google’s war on SEO, click here. Would they be willing to risk it all in an attempt to get rid of the SEO industry and clear the way for significantly higher AdWords revenues? Who knows. I doubt it, but I guess we’ll see!

What do you think? Should Bing risk their position as the #2 search engine and shake things up? Is that an opportunity for them? Are they agile enough to pull it off and do it well? Would Google risk it all in an effort to make more money from AdWords? What should Yahoo do about search? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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