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Search Engine Market

The search engine market in 2015 remains 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.

Based on stats obtained last month, Google enjoys the bulk of the UK search engine market share, handling 88.38 per cent of all queries, light years ahead of Microsoft’s Bing with Yahoo with 6.63 per cent and Yahoo with 3.91 per cent.

UK Search Engine December 2014 share (%) November 2014 share (%) Change
Google 88.38 88.5 -0.12
Bing 6.63 6.5 0.13
Yahoo 3.91 3.85 0.06
Others 1.08 1.15 -0.07

 

Across the Atlantic, Google’s share is slightly smaller. Its US search engine market share is still very healthy at 75.24 per cent, but it’s not completely out of sight for Bing with 12.46 per cent and Yahoo with 10.37 per cent.

The search landscape in 2015

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.

Microsoft – a spirited challenger

Microsoft has tried to muscle in on the search engine market for years with limited success. It launched Bing in 2009 as the successor to MSN Live Search. Backed by a £60 million marketing budget, Bing quickly established itself as a serious rival to Google, with total searches on Microsoft up 22 per cent in a single month shortly after launch. Bing continues to be the biggest challenge to Google’s UK market share, with its ‘Bing it On’ campaigns attempting to highlight ways in which it offers a better service than its rival.

Yahoo – bleak fortunes continue

By contrast, Yahoo continues to endure 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 Bing as its exclusive natural and paid search platform. Result? The former king of search is now reduced to showing results from Bing.

Conclusion

So this is the state of the search engine market in 2014 – Google is dominating, Microsoft is growing and Yahoo is struggling. Only time will tell if these trends continue.

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