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Search Engine Market

The UK search engine market share on desktops for November 2015


UK Search Engine Nov 2015 desktop share (%) Oct 2015 desktop share (%) Change
Google 88.09 88.35 -0.26
Bing 7.25 6.98 0.27
Yahoo 3.48 3.51 -0.03
Others 1.18 1.16 0.02


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 on desktops, handling 88.09% of all queries, comfortably ahead of Bing with 7.25% and Yahoo with 3.48%.

What about mobile?

UK mobile search market share for November 2015

UK Search Engine Nov 2015 mobile share (%) Oct 2015 mobile share (%) Change
Google 94.38 93.7 0.68
Yahoo 3.24 3.37 -0.13
Bing 2.06 2.62 -0.56
Others 0.32 0.31 0.01


It’s a similar story with mobile, as Google took 94.38% of the UK search market last month. We can see that Bing is suffering when it comes to mobile search, failing to take as large a slice of the market and even dropping behind Yahoo.

Google is very dominant in the UK mobile search market, and neither Bing nor Yahoo has figured out how to seriously challenge them. This makes it all the more important for sites targeting a UK audience to do all they can to optimise their site for mobile visitors according to Google’s guidelines.

How does the UK compare with the US?

Across the Atlantic, Google’s share is slightly smaller. As of November 2015, its US desktop search engine market share is still very healthy at 78.16%, but Bing (11.32%) and Yahoo (8.57%) fare better than they do in the United Kingdom.

As far as mobile search goes, Google’s 77.91% share is substantially less than it enjoys in the UK. Meanwhile, Bing (11.38%) has avoided the mobile struggle it has so far failed to overcome on our shores, while Yahoo (8.65%) also has a much larger share in the US.

That said, while Bing and Yahoo perform much better in the US, Google still holds over three quarters of the market, with no sign of being knocked off its perch any time soon.

The search landscape in 2015

Google – a winning formula

There seems to be no stopping Google. Many people struggle to believe that precocious students Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the company as recently as September 1998, but they quickly propelled themselves to the top of the search engine market and have stayed there ever since.

These days it’s commonplace for any webmaster worth their salt to keep on eye on a site’s Google performance, with fundamental changes such as Hummingbird and 2015’s mobile algorithm keeping us all on our toes.

Bing – a faltering 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% in a single month shortly after launch.

However, it has failed to maintain this challenge, taking just a small share of UK desktop market share and performing poorly when it comes to mobile.

Yahoo – a fallen giant

It’s astonishing to think Yahoo is the same company that cornered search in the late 90s. Nevertheless, the first decade of the 21st century saw a steady decline in search engine market share that it is yet to recover from.

A small saving grace is that it is currently managing to outperform Bing in the UK mobile search market, but a quick look at the equivalent US stats reveal that to be scant consolation.

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