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SEO Basics: Search Engine Market Share

When it comes to running a website for your business, a major factor in traffic is the search engine your site visitors are using. You'll need to ensure your site is correctly optimized for that search engine. If it's not, you could be missing out on potential leads and sales. With this in mind, monitoring the current search engine market share is essential.

At StatCounter, we strive to provide insightful metrics to our valued members so they can effectively monitor their website traffic and take the necessary action to improve it. To help you keep your site optimized for the right search engine, such as Google or Bing, we offer the Search Engine Wars tool. Of course you can also make great use of our Global Stats website to gain insight into the search engines your site visitors are using. Let's take a deeper look into the current search engine market share.

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What is Search Engine Market Share?

Before we discuss the current search engine market share, let us explain exactly what it is and how it can affect your website. Simply put, search engine market share denotes which search engines are most widely used across the globe. Global Stats is updated regularly to show which search engines are being used, which you can then filter by country and even combine with the device type (computer or mobile) to further determine how to optimize your website.

Though it may be surprising for some, plenty of internet users type their searches in places other than Google. Bing, Yahoo!, and Baidu, to name a few, still used quite often across the globe. While Google has long been the leader (by a long shot), that's not to say all your site's traffic will derive from here.

So then, what is the current market share?

What is Search Engine Market Share?

As mentioned, Google has long been the leader of all search engines, but this year, Google actually suffered a small drop in the current share. While many would consider this to be concerning, some experts say it could be great for Google users, and even Google, as it may encourage Google to improve their algorithms and better match user search queries. Anyway, let's take a look at the current (2016) search engine market share, according to StatCounter Global Stats.

The graph, covering the year of 2016 at a global level for desktop use only, clearly shows Google as the leader, followed by Yahoo! and Bing. While these statistics vary depending on which tool you use, our Global Stats website tracks 15 billion page views per month recorded across more than 3 million websites around the world and provides the most accurate account of the current market share. Of course, our Search Engine Wars tool, along with our Browser Stats, will give you data specific to your website, displaying what search engine(s) your visitors are using.

Top Search Engines

Google, Bing, and Yahoo! consistently take the cake as the top search engines, with Google being the leader. Considering this, it's good practice to ensure your website is optimized for these search engines, yet a site optimized for Google will typically suffice.

Google

As the most used search engine worldwide, Google caters mostly to the user. In terms of major ranking factors, inbound links, quality content, and user intent should be heavily employed in your SEO efforts.

Yahoo!

For the most part, Yahoo! considers the same factors as Google when it comes to search results. However, the inbound links tend to work a bit differently as a ranking factor. Regardless, a strategy intended for Google will typically perform quite well with Yahoo, although some rankings may vary slightly.

Bing

Bing, the third most used search engine, considers similar factors to Google and Yahoo!, though this search engine seems to pay more mind to user engagement, click through rates, and social signals. So, users clicking through multiple pages on your site, as well as a strong social media presence, will ultimately affect your search result rankings on Bing. Internal links (links within content directing to other, relevant pages of your site) are a great way to improve your site's click through rate.

Why the Search Engine Matters

Gearing your SEO strategy toward specific search engines according to what your visitors use is essential. Otherwise, your SEO efforts could be in vain. Different search engines use different algorithms to determine what sites and pages will rank in their search results. While some tactics may perform well for those using Google, those same strategies may not be so effective in ranking on Bing's search results.

So, if you see a majority of your site visits stem from Google searches, you'll want to focus your strategy on such. In fact, there's a variety of SEO strategies specific to Google and its algorithms.To learn more about Google SEO, check out the pages below:

By The Numbers

Google Usage Statistics

  • Over 60,000 search queries are entered on Google every second
  • As of 2016, 2 trillion searches are performed on Google annually
  • Each month, over 1 billion unique searchers use Google
  • Over 60 trillion webpages have been indexed on Google

Which Search Engine are Your Visitors Using?

Now that you have a better understanding of search engine market share, it's time to determine which search engine your site visitors are using. While you can assume many will be using Google, it's not always a safe bet—so check your stats. If you find your visitors are using multiple search engines, you'll need to consider optimizing your site for such.

If you need any help getting setup with StatCounter and monitoring your traffic, or would like more information on SEO, feel free to contact support by filling out the form provided below.

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