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May UK search market share: Small gain for Google

The UK search stats for May, as provided by StatCounter Global Stats, tell a familiar story. Google has taken back another slice of the market, gaining 0.12% as Yahoo dropped 0.07% for the second consecutive month.

Google has previously enjoyed a desktop search share of over 90% in the UK, and the last few months suggest it may be gradually edging its way back to that figure.

Bing remained steady with a 6.7% market share, arresting a slide that began almost as soon as it surpassed the 7% mark back in February.

Google’s grip on mobile search is as strong as ever, with 94.3% of the UK market. Yahoo has 4.25%, while Bing is struggling on 1.16%. With 0.11%, DuckDuckGo is the most popular mobile search engine for UK mobile users outside the big 3.

May search news

Many webmasters have been keeping a keen eye on the impact of Google’s mobile algorithm, with plenty of analysis delving into the effect of the update – or lack thereof. There are also reports that Bing is set to release its own mobile algorithm update in the coming weeks.

The ever-increasing prominence of mobile search has become a hot topic, with focus also given to Google’s plans for a ‘Buy Now’ button on paid ads and improvements to voice search.

May search trends

Election fever

Google Trends data reveals the UK public took an interest in a diverse range of topics during the month. The General Election gained plenty of interest, with searches soaring in the run up to the vote on May 7.

Election-related search terms made up five of the top 10 web searches, including :

Prime Minister David Cameron was also one of the most searched-for news topics.

Naturally, there was a large spike on the Friday morning as the country awoke to news of a Conservative majority. Scottish interest was particularly high for certain terms (e.g. ‘General Election), as voters north of the border watched the SNP crush Labour and take all but three of the seats available.

Royal baby #2

Any other month, the arrival of a royal baby would probably top the search listings. However, baby Charlotte was somewhat eclipsed by the election and was only the 7th most searched term during May.

She was also a popular image search term as the public clamoured for a first glimpse of the potential future monarch. Prince George was the 8th most popular image search, with interested parties no doubt scanning his face for the first signs of sibling jealousy.

We still care about Eurovision

Despite what is fast becoming an annual tradition of underachievement, it seems the UK’s appetite for the Eurovision Song Contest remains as strong as ever.

Only the election proved a more popular search topic, with Eurovision taking two of the top 5 most searched terms.

The competition was won by Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw’s song ‘Heroes’, with Russia second and Italy third.

The United Kingdom entry, Electro Velvet, finished fourth from bottom with their song ‘Still In Love With You’. Only Malta (1), Ireland (1) and San Marino (3) contributed to a paltry points total of 5. San Marino was the only country to award points entirely based on a jury vote, with no input from the public.

Despite finishing above Austria, Germany and France, Electro Velvet scored the second-worst points total ever recorded by a UK Eurovision act. Only Jemini’s infamous ‘nul points’ performance in 2003 scored lower.

The ‘Fight of the Century’

The hotly anticipated bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao also featured among the most popular terms. Widely regarded as two of the best boxers in the world, the stars gained UK search attention both individually and as a pair. Sadly, many many punters were left disappointed with the fight itself, which was won by Mayweather.

In other sports news, the rapidly unfolding controversy at FIFA began to gather search momentum towards the end of the month, as its much-maligned president Sepp Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term. Expect football’s governing body to figure even more highly during June.

The UK search market share stats for May are detailed below:


UK Search Engine May 2015 share (%) April 2015 share (%) Change
Google 88.5 88.38 0.12
Bing 6.7 6.7 -0
Yahoo 3.47 3.54 -0.07
Others 1.33 1.38 -0.5



Written by JamesJames Riches


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