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October UK search market share: Google gain, Yahoo pain

October’s UK search market share saw contrasting fortunes for Google and Yahoo. The former enjoyed its highest share since June at 88.88 per cent, while the latter slipped to 3.82 per cent, coincidentally its smallest slice of the market since June.

It seems that any gains Yahoo took from Google during the summer and autumn were wiped out in October, while Bing remained relatively steady on 6.15 per cent. The ‘Others’ category containing the likes of Ask Jeeves, AOL and DuckDuckGo kept its September share of 1.15 per cent.

Google’s mobile search dominance continued, as it took a 93.62 per cent share compared to Yahoo’s 4.74 per cent and Bing’s 1.38 per cent.

October search news

From a search marketing perspective, it is obvious what October’s big story was. The long-awaited arrival of the Penguin 3.0 update sent site owners into a spin, as people rushed to check on the impact the update had had on their rankings.

Webmaster trends analyst John Mueller continues to be inundated with questions from those keen to know whether all their optimisation efforts over the last year will bear fruit, and most importantly when they can expect to see those improvements.

However, it was not all about Google, with Bing announcing a shift in strategy in an attempt to gain a wider share of the market, including changes to its paid ads.

October search trends

It should come as no surprise that Halloween figured highly in UK search traffic during October. With the event falling on the last day of the month, there was a slow increase in searches for terms such as ‘Halloween’ and ‘Halloween costumes’ throughout the month, with an expected spike during the final week.

People also took to Google for pumpkin-carving inspiration too, with five of the top six image searches around this topic.

As ever, celebrities attracted the interest of the public. October’s most searched name (and indeed the top search term overall) was F1 driver Jules Bianchi, who was involved in a 132mph crash during the Japanese Grand Prix, with search volume peaking on the day of the incident and seeing smaller peaks as subsequent updates on the Frenchman’s condition were released.

People also searched for actress Lynda Bellingham, who lost her high-profile battle with cancer, and Renée Zellweger, whose new look has caused widespread debate online.

In world news, the Ebola epidemic prompted many to seek assurances online, particularly as more and more countries reported isolated cases.

You can see the full UK search market share stats for October, as provided by StatCounter Global in the table below:

UK Search Engine October 2014 share (%) September 2014 share (%) Change
Google 88.88 88.75 +0.13
Bing 6.15 6.19 -0.04
Yahoo 3.82 3.92 -0.1
Others 1.15 1.15 0

Written by James Riches

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