On September 16, 2015, comScore released its monthly analysis of the U.S. search marketplace. As it has been the case for the better part of the last 15 years, Google remains the undisputed king with 64% market share. In fact, the popularity of Google is such that nobody “searches” online; they “Google” the information they’re looking for.
Similarly, SEO to improve rankings, drive traffic and increase awareness in search engines, evolved to mean “optimizing for Google”. The continued strength of Google as a search engine is based on a number of factors, the most obvious of which is successfully providing the results people are looking for in a timely, efficient and enjoyable way.
However Google is not the only serviceable search engine available. There are numerous others that provide unique features. The trick is to determine if the extra effort it takes to optimize for the other search engines is worth the additional online visibility? For example, Google retains over 60% of all searches but it also has a long history of making constant changes to its search algorithm while incoming traffic from Yahoo! and Bing is more consistent. It’s also worth noting that different search engines are used by different demographics. You need to be where your customers are.
So while Google is king for a reason, if you want to maximize web traffic to your site, you could split your efforts to optimize for the major commercial search engines and reach people looking for what you offer. Aside from Google, some of the most popular search engines include:
Previously known as Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search, Bing is a search engine by Microsoft launched on June 1, 2009. The key features of the search engine include Smart Search, People Suggestions and Bing Rewards. Bing Smart Search, for example, is a faster way for people to find what they are looking for and get things done without the need to open a browser.
Everyday millions of people around the world choose to make Yahoo! a part of their daily digital routines with its popular products such as Weather, Flickr, Tumblr and Sports, which is the world’s most visited sports site. Yahoo! is also one of the top three search engines, despite not producing its own organic results.
AOL is used by many people as a go-to destination for the latest stories impacting everyone including sports, entertainment, lifestyle, finance, weather and videos. It is one of the top 10 search engines with a market share close to 1.2%.
In the early days of the web, the question answering-focused search engine founded in 1995 was one of Google’s greatest competitors. Though not nearly as popular as it used to be before, ask.com is a remarkable question answering service that delivers the best answers from the web (and real people) in one place. One of the reasons for its persisting popularity is its accommodation of colloquial language but the results returned lack quality.
Lycos is a search engine established in 1994 and is a good source for all the Web has to offer. It offers a simple and yet powerful Internet experience to its users with tabs such as Mail, News, Entertainment and Life for the latest headlines. In effect, Lycos is a content hub so it can be a little distracting. The search engine is mostly used for its fun features such as Lycos 50 and Lycos Entertainment.
Excite is an online service offering a variety of content powered by InfoSpace’s Dogpile metasearch. It is one of the smaller search engines but it is known for providing sophisticated personalization and excellent results for popular queries while News search provides access to Web versions of newspapers and magazines.
7. Duck Duck Go
Duck Duck Go is the search engine that has everything you expect a search engine to have, including images, news and places but does not track you so that what you search for is your own business. The search engine is approachable, user-friendly and engaging. It also has a handy infinite scroll option, which reduces advertising spam.
Boardreader is a search engine for forums that allows users to search thousands of forums instantly. So if you want to participate in forums in your industry, use this search engine to find relevant conversations.
Last but not least, appropriately called Dogpile, this search engine fetches results from Google, Yahoo!, Yandex and many other popular search engines to make searching the web easy. Quite literally, it has all the best search engines piled into one, especially useful for people unsure of which search engine to use.