Posted November 2, 2009 6:18 pm by with 6 comments

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ad-age-logoAd Age today summarize the state of the search engine marketing industry—and it’s largely good, including the fact that we’ve weathered the recession well so far, we’ve seen tremendous growth over our lifespan and most marketers are convinced of, interested in or doing SEM in some form.

Naturally, the report focuses on the elephant in the room—the biggest search engine in the world. Google dominates the search market in almost every country of the world—but there are a few places where competitors might be able to find a chink in Google’s armor.

Bingahoo is cited as one possible challenger, although by the measure Ad Age is using, a combined Yahoo/Bing share would be 26% to Google’s 65% of the market. However, Bing has shown notable success, including a report from Nielsen in July:

According to Nielsen data from July for the U.S., 27% of Google searchers also used Bing at least once that month, and 39% used Yahoo. Of course, the same holds true for Bing and Yahoo searchers — a majority of them also use Google.

We saw similar reports on low search-engine loyalty back in February as well, even before Bing and its marketing blitz. But the fact that people are at least trying Bing bodes well for Microsoft—since CEO Steve Ballmer pledged to spend up to 10% of MSFT’s operating income a year to pushing Bing to the top of the heap (up to $2b/yr).

The other major area is mobile search. While lots of people do turn to Google for their mobile search, just like they do with . . . “immobile” search—and Android is helping with that—Ad Age reports that the number of mobile Internet devices outweighs the number of computers—which means that lots of mobile Internet users don’t have a desktop habit of Googling. Instead, they may use whatever default their service provider or phone includes (again with the Android).

What do you think? Does it really matter if Google is so dominant in the search industry, or is fine and dandy (as long as they don’t penalize your site)? Can they be beaten?

  • It’s fine and dandy Jordan :), Google’s still search king. I think the interest in Bing is because it has been advertised as a different sort of search engine with more ‘relevant’ results grouped and people are just trying to see what it’s all about. Time will tell, but I prefer Google’s clutter-free interface to start with any of my searches. I’m not a landscape person..
    .-= David Walker´s last blog ..The Dust Has Settled, Fire Up Your Engines! =-.

  • I don’t think we’ll see a change very soon on this arena since the beauty in Google doesn’t lie just on its algorithm to find what you’re looking for, but in its simplicity. Have you seen their tests for the homepage by hiding the search button? When Bing and Yahoo understand this, then and only then will they have a chance to become better achievers. Thanks Jordan! –Paul
    .-= Paul L’Acosta´s last blog ..marketingfails: 5ft Shelf: If you don’t know what to read next, at least give this list a chance for some titles =-.

  • I’m completely over the fact that Google is so dominant. It used to bother me that they were so big and powerful (a bit like coca cola, microsoft,etc) but you know what? It doesn’t matter.

    They are good at what they do, they deliver what they promise and their searches are relevant so for me at least, it’s a case of just going with the flow and using whichever search engine suits my needs and right now, Google does just that.
    .-= mark harrison´s last blog ..No fee loans uk =-.

  • Phil Raynor

    Google is just fine by me: it seems to be mirroring Microsoft in the late nineties/ early noughties. Will they be knocked off their perch? Is this the end of their dominance? When they lost the competition lawsuits.

    Microsoft is still here and booming (even allowing for cloud computing) and I don’t mind at all: better the devil you know.

    From a lazy SEM point of view, it’s also nice to have only one over-arching strategy!

  • Tim

    A monopoly situation is never healthy. You may all be happy right now, but watch your backs for the knife that will come out of nowhere at any time and don’t moan when the elephant slaps you again. The sooner we see some real competition the better.

  • It seems there is a long way for bingahoo to catch up with Google. Anyway, I do wish anyone can challenge the leading position of Google in the search field. This should be more like a fair game.