I knew I should have done something to trademark a saying I use all the time with SMB owners and marketers that “It’s a Google world and we’re just allowed to live in it.” Ad Age today echoes a similar sentiment in a headline about the fact that Google is not only a dominant player in the US but can be even more dominating around the world.
As we have noted recently, it’s not all of the world that has decided to bow at the feet of the search engine leader. China likes Google but nearly as much as Baidu. The chart below from comScore shows that if there is even a soft spot in the Google plot for world domination via search it is in some Asian countries. As for the rest of the planet well take a look.
While we tend to let our jaws drop at just how big of a spread there is between Google at number one in US search engine share the European numbers will stop you dead in your tracks.
So if you’re Google you’re thinking that this is lock, right? Unfortunately for them, the apparent crushing of the competition in the European search market could work against them as Micro- bing- ahoo seeks the blessing of the EC. You know the EC. They’re the folks who hate it when someone uses free market thinking to win in business. While Europeans may use Google in such large numbers because it is the best option for them (they can choose bing or Yahoo today for search couldn’t they?) one can be sure that the EC will view that reality as something sinister or even cry monopoly. This should make it real easy for the new hybrid on the block (Yah-soo-soft?) to get past the fine folks who know better than to let people make choices based on their own personal needs and tastes. Ad Age says it more succinctly
Google’s dominance in Europe will likely be a strong part of its case when Microsoft and Yahoo seek the blessing of competition officials in Brussels for the deal.
So here’s the real question for those of you reading in European markets. Do you find Google’s dominance offensive? Does Google have such a large share of the market because there are no competent competitors or because it prevents competition? If there was a better option than Google would you use it or would you feel like you couldn’t because Google was ‘in the way’? Does the EC actually speak for you individually or is it hampering your ability to choose what you want?