Google Still Rules

Google finished last year by maintaining its domination of the search markets in the UK and the US according to Hitwise and comScore. The search giant may have suffered a few setbacks over the course of 2010, but it still stands head and shoulders above all the other competitors.  Hitwise figures indicated that Google lost about 0.8% of its total market share to YaBing.  That’s significant when tiny movements  in market share can make a tremendous difference to income, but that still means Google has a whopping 90.83% of the UK search engine market.


The US has traditionally been a far more competitive arena than the UK, with Yahoo and Microsoft taking a fair slice of the action. Even So, comScore data indicates that Google held its own in 2010 and managed a 2.5 % growth spasm taking it to a 66.2% share of the US market in November 2010.   The biggest loser in the USA was Yahoo, surrendering 1.9% of its overall share while AOL and Microsoft both dropped by 0.3%.

However, according to comScore  rival Compete,  Bing’s market share is actually larger than the 11.8% claimed. It reckons that the combined market share of the YaBing powered  search engines rose to a healthy 29% in November 2010.   The Kantar Media company using a panel of Internet users  says Bing-powered search engines grew 4.3% in query volume, driving Bing’s total market share up by 1 percentage point. Compete also recently stated that saw the highest growth in the number of unique visitors, with a month on month increase of 7.4%  (Yahoo’s number actually declined by 0.3% ).   According to Compete data, there’s only one search engine whose market share effectively declined during November 2010 - Google!


So, in spite of sometimes confused and often conflicting information the  ultimate end result seems to have been fairly predictable. Whilst both Bing and Yahoo saw decent early increases, neither was able to maintain any significant sustained improvement (unless you prefer the  Compete conclusions  on Bing rather than comScore - which is the metric most US analysts seem to use).

What’s probably even more remarkable (or perhaps depressing for anyone in SEO?) is the fact that despite Google stepping on a few toes in 2010 by introducing a number of features (such as instant search, home page images and the places update) that received mixed reactions to say the very least, it continues to dominate the search engine market by a huge factor, even if it has or hasn't actually grown its search market share!  And when you are that far ahead in the race, do you really care that much about the scrapping for crumbs from the table?