Yesterday, leading Internet analytics company comScore released its most recent annual assessment of the performance of leading search engines in the US. The assessment shows a rise of less than 1% for Google, though it retains a 49 point market lead. Bing has made minor gains since 2012, while Yahoo’s share of the market has slumped by a similar amount.
The comScore survey revealed that the total number of Internet searches made by US users in the last month, excluding those made using mobile devices, was 19.4 billion. Figures show that this number is continuing to increase steadily.
Since Bing passed Yahoo in the rankings at the end of 2011, it has continued to surge ahead of its rival and supposed partner. Both are doing considerably better, however, than their closest competitors, with Ask Network falling to just 2.7% and AOL struggling to stay above 1%.
Recent figures from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) show that consumer satisfaction with search engines is at its lowest since 2003, with Bing and Yahoo both faring particularly badly. Curiously, these results do not seem to tally with the patterns of usage revealed by comScore, suggesting that search engine choices are largely dependent on habit or convenience. Advertising seems to be the factor most likely to put users off, suggesting that a high natural search engine ranking is more likely to attract enthusiastic prospective customers than a more intrusive paid search engine ad.
Online Advertising on the Rise
Total online advertising spend has been increasing by around $5 billion per year for the past eight years, surpassing the rate of increase in search queries and suggesting that the average search engine user is now exposed to a larger amount of advertising per visit.
Some of this increase, however, can be accounted for by bidding patterns that have effectively increased the cost per ad. Between this increased cost and the increased competition, things are tough for small businesses trying to raise their profile.
As every search engine takes a slightly different approach to ranking sites, successful search engine optimization always requires an element of compromise, making it important for businesses to decide which search engines to prioritize.
Although the big search engines dominate the general search market, some businesses may benefit from tailoring their sites to suit specialist search engines focused on specific industries or local areas.
Xcellimark can provide helpful advice on how to approach this; call us at 888-318-3950 ext 211 to speak with an Internet marketing consultant today.