Editor’s Note: This post was originally written in August 2010. Back then it did look like Bing and Yahoo had an opportunity to gain appreciable market share away from Google. The results of the past decade told a different story. We have updated the article to reflect the current circumstances.
On a daily basis we get calls from businesses looking for help with their digital marketing, and without fail at some point in the conversation they say, “I want to be found on Google.” It seems that Google has been a part of everyday life for so long now that many people feel that if they don’t get found on Google, their business won’t succeed. For some businesses this may be the case. But there are other ways to get found on and off the Internet besides search engines in order for a business to succeed. And this includes other search engines.
It starts with Yahoo! and Bing. While a decade ago it may have seemed that together they could compete head to head with Google for market share, they have plateaued at around 10% of the US search market (combined) for last few years (compare that to Google, who is approaching 90% of the US search market). But that 10% is still something, and some industries and segments of the population use Bing and Yahoo! more than others – meaning your market could rely on search engines other than Google. Ask you digital marketing team if they have data on your market to see if you should be allocating resources a bit differently.
Then there are some of the international search engines, such as Baidu in China and Yandex is Russia. Each has more than half the search market share in their respective country. If you are doing business in either one you should make sure to focus some of your resources to being found on these search engines. There are other search engines out there that have in roads in particular regions and countries across the world. Work with your search engine marketing team to make sure you are aware of the playing fields in the markets you serve.
As a business owner you also want to make sure that you are putting resources to getting found where your potential customers are. For some businesses that is not necessarily Google. Some audiences use other types of search more often (whether it be on Facebook, Yahoo! or Bing), or find businesses through social sites, directories and banner ads. Businesses should investigate where their best customers come from, and focus their efforts there. You may find that Google should be a major part of it, but you may also find there are other areas that could have a better return on investment (ROI).
Have you already been positioning your website for search engines other then Google? Has it impacted your business? Let us know what you are experiencing out there.