Posted February 10, 2009 11:47 am by with 6 comments

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It shouldn’t be news to anyone that Google is the most popular search engine in almost every market. But a recent study by Forrester Research found that searchers’ love of Google isn’t matched by exclusive loyalty to Google search.

While 20% of searchers do use Google exclusively, the vast majority (55%) use more than one search engine on a weekly basis. Other search engines fare far worse than Google, though, with Yahoo cornering only 8% of the exclusive market. The news might be worst for Microsoft/MSN/Live/whatever: in terms of exclusive use, they tie for last place among the search engines measured, after AOL (3%) and users’ ISP engines (2%), tying with at 1%.

forrester search engine exclusive shares

The study indicates that people turn to different search engines for different tasks.

However, as CNET reports, the news isn’t as grim for Google as it seems on the surface (or even Yahoo, though the news still isn’t good for MSFT): 69% use Google at least weekly, compared to 50% for Yahoo, 18% for AOL, and 14% for Microsoft.

Source: Forrester Research

CNET lists some more interesting findings from the study:

  • Google’s lead has grown from 41 percent three years ago to 59 percent.
  • Twenty-one percent of consumers use Yahoo as their primary search engine. But consider this: while 53 percent of consumers who set Yahoo as their home page most frequently select Yahoo for search, 91 percent of consumers who set Google as their home page most frequently use Google for search.
  • MSN remains a distant No. 3, with 3 percent of consumers using the service as their primary search engine.

According to Forrester analyst Shar VanBoskirk, the biggest take home point from this study should be that, while marketers often focus on just getting results in Google, and though Google is by far the market share leader, working for positioning on other search engines is still worth it.

What do you think: will you focus on results from non-Google search engines more? And do you use different search engines depending on what you’re doing?

  • I think this is very interesting… I think this might be because users want to have the best of both world, easy to use search, and news/mail/more right at their fingertips. I think Google has tried to meet the demands of both types of search engines, but hasn’t been able to fully follow through.

    James’s last blog post..My Story in the Sub-prime Industry

  • I am curiously aligned with James in his response. I use Google as my only search engine, with maybe 1% usage to Yahoo.

    I suppose I should check out more engines more frequently…

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..My 4,413 Bonds of Facebook Friendship

  • My positive takeaway is that the case is not yet closed on Google world domination. They’ve gotta watch their steps, because consumers/searchers are fickle beasts.

  • Google is still not in a position to deliver a knockout blow to the other search engines.

    The Forrester data provides a new and interesting perspective on the search market space but it’s just one more voice in a growing crowd.

    Google’s recent technical issues (including serious ongoing problems with Google Blogsearch since last Fall) and the rumor that they are now laying off engineers indicate that not everything is rosy. The rumor at least indicates someone on the inside is not happy, even if the rumor itself is untrue.

    Michael Martinez’s last blog post..SEO Practices and Techniques

  • despite the findings that searchers are not loyal to google, i still believe that google is the most trusted engine. moreover, even if searchers compare results on different search engines, still i believe that ultimate say is usually of

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