March 2014 search engine market share

The search engine market in March 2014 is basically a tale of three companies - Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Our pie charts show the share of overall searches for each company, using figures from digital research provider StatCounter.

Google enjoys the bulk of the UK search engine market share, handling 89.22 per cent of all queries, light years ahead of Yahoo with 3.22 per cent and Microsoft with 5.93 per cent.

UK Search EngineMarch 2014 share (%)February 2014 share (%)Change
Google89.2288.6+0.62
Bing5.936.38-0.45
Yahoo3.223.44-0.22
Others1.631.58+0.05

Across the Atlantic, it's slightly more balanced. Google's US search engine market share is still very healthy at 61 per cent, but it's not completely out of sight for Yahoo with 17 per cent and Microsoft with 15 per cent.

Google - a winning formula

It has been a heady rise for Google. Many people struggle to believe that precocious students Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the company as recently as September 1998. Using a friend's garage as their base of operations, they only settled on a name after misspelling the maths term 'googol'. Despite such unpromising omens, Google's combination of clever algorithms, advanced search operators and sophisticated ad programs like AdWords quickly propelled it to the top of the search engine market. It has stayed there ever since.

Yahoo - a bleak decade

By contrast, Yahoo has endured a torrid time. It's astonishing to think this is the same company that cornered search in the late 90s. Nevertheless, the first decade of the 21st century has witnessed a steady and seemingly relentless drop in search engine market share. In July 2009, Yahoo even did the unthinkable and appointed Microsoft's Bing as its exclusive natural and paid search platform. Result? The former king of search is now reduced to showing results from Bing.

Microsoft - a fresh start

Microsoft has tried to muscle in on the search engine market for years with limited success. But Bing, the successor to MSN Live Search, could change all that. Launched in 2009 with a £60 million marketing budget, Bing quickly established itself as a serious rival to Google. Total searches on Microsoft were up 22 per cent in a single month shortly after launch, according to The Nielsen Company, and the Hitwise data confirms Bing is still steadily gaining audience share.

Conclusion

So this is the state of the search engine market in 2013 - Google is dominating, Yahoo is struggling and Microsoft is growing. Only time will tell if these trends continue.

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