In the business of Search Engine Optimization, one of the key goals for those optimizing websites and advertisements are rankings. The order of display for these publications on specific search engines are considered the rankings, or to simplify, the “rank” of the optimized page. The popularity of the search engine makes the ranks more valuable to those implementing SEO.
Google has held the title of #1 search engine for decades and although other search engines are used, none come even close to the popularity and attention aimed at the Google platform. Experienced SEO specialists will usually optimize pages and try to rank them on as many relevant search engines as possible. However, there are hundreds of search engines out there. What is it exactly that makes a search engine “relevant”? Or, better yet, does Google have any serious competition?
What Other Search Engines?
Google launched in the 1990s and since then has grown to become the champion of Internet-related searches. Google has become so embedded into our lifestyles that the majority of us use the term as a verb to describe online searches (“I Googled myself.”).
Although Amazon and Facebook are a more threatening form of competition because of the innovative functionality of their search engines, the only direct competition, as far as market shares, comes from Microsoft’s “Bing” and “Yahoo” search. Almost half of PPC management ad spending is contributed to online search and while Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon, and Facebook all share a piece of that cake, they all look in envy at the ever-growing size of Google’s share.
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There are literally hundreds of search engines available on the “worldwide web”. So, shouldn’t that mean Google has hundreds of competitors? No, not at all. A lot of the smaller search engines are also called “specialized” search engines because they aren’t your typical search engines for day to day use.
For example, Ask.com (originally known as Ask Jeeves) is really just a question answering service focused on e-business. Ask finally submitted the battle in the search engine war in 2010 as it realized it would never best the current champion, Google.
Some of the others listed here, like AOL actually just license Google’s search engine & the 3rd highest percentage on the chart, Yahoo Search, is actually powered by Bing. Some of them serve a very specific cultural demographic, like Yandex, a Russian search engine. With the market for online searches representing around half of all online ad spending, Google is by far the most popular search engine.Google has held the title of #1 search engine for decades and although other search engines are used, none come even close to the popularity and attention aimed at the Google platform. Click To Tweet
Do Other Search Engines Stand a Chance?
Many up and coming search engines are starting to use the same innovative technology Google has and some actually boasts faster page load times for searches and even increased accuracy and relevancy when listing results.
However, because of the popularity, Google has grandfathered in, as long as it stays relevant and continues to implement the newest and best technology for accuracy and quickness, it has little chance to fall behind competitors. In 2018, one of these growing companies Google is keeping their eyes on is Amazon.
Amazon has become a search engine almost by mistake. As they add more and more products it increases the chance that someone will pull up an Amazon search engine to look for that product. Sometimes, however, it is hard to look at this as direct competition. In 2017, Amazon was listed as the biggest spender on Google search ads, and the same will most likely be true in 2018.
It’s Not All About Google’s Search Engine
Now, when we talk of Google’s competition, we can’t just think of Google overall, because if you think that way, no other company even comes close. So, we break Google down into its subcomponents. One of those is obviously search engines. Yet, another platform that Google has a strong presence in is ad marketing or as some say, “PPC” marketing. Google’s champion for this category is Adwords. Pay Per Click (PPC) is a form of online marketing where advertisers accrue costs when users click on their ads.
Advertisers bid on an estimated value of a click concerning the keywords, platforms, and audience type in which it was initiated. Google AdWords has been the leader in the PPC network for over 15 years because of the number of searches, sites on the GDN, and their continued leadership in the technological market. While, once again, Google doesn’t sit on this platform all alone, it is still by far the most popular choice for those setting up new PPC campaigns. Some of the competitors are:
- Bing Ads
- Yahoo Gemini
- Ad Roll
While some marketers will use multiple ad marketing campaigns on a few of these different platforms to “diversify the marketing mix’, many have found the success they desired using only the Google platform for search engine listing and ad marketing.
Which Search Engines Should You Choose?
From the user’s or “searcher’s” viewpoint, which search engine brings them to the result they desire will matter very little. As long as the SERPs load fast and they are relevant and accurate, users will rarely look at which brand name is on the most optimal search engine.
However, from a business owner’s standpoint choosing the correct search engine to list themselves upon can mean the difference between being found online or remaining hidden. Google uses algorithms that are constantly changing to keep a user’s online search as simple, quick, and accurate as possible.
So, business owners usually hire SEO services or employees to optimize their websites to fit the specifications of these algorithms. Yet the requirement’s to be listed on the SERPs of Google can range widely from the algorithm’s used by saying Bing or Yahoo search. So, for SEO specialists, the type of search engine the business is being optimized for is of great importance.
SEO companies that boast they can get you ranking #1 on 100’s of search engines either aren’t being honest or are ignorant of the impossibility of such a feat. Because optimizing for one search engine might become a penalty from the algorithms of another search engine.
When it comes to online advertising and search engine listings, Google does seem to have very little competition. While there are hundreds of search engine providers and quite a few online ad marketing platforms, statistics show Google is far ahead of the pack. Market shares, popularity, subscriptions, and overall users are all dominated by the marketing giant Google.
While some up and coming companies are thinking more innovatively and beginning to draw the curious eye of Google’s team, there is nothing to show that Google will not continue to hold its position in the foreseeable future. Check out this list of all Google’s acquisitions since 1998: Google Acquisitions. That’s 236 companies and they’re still buying! Google has the biggest market share because people need quick and correct information.
Due to strict Google Policies, they show the best results with regularly updated search algorithms generating the best solutions for searchers. Only something quicker and many times over more accurate, with a capital that can match Google’s innovative technology, can even have a chance to compare with Google. Yet, the amount of time, finances, and manpower that would require would give Google plenty of time to continue growing and pulling even farther ahead of the barely existent competition.