Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Search Engine Popularity

Today I submit an article from my search marketing guru. I'm not that smart so I surround myself with people that know their stuff, like Daryl. I stick to what I know (which is sales and freight brokering) and depend on them to help me with what I don't know.

Which search engines are most popular today.
by Daryl Clark

Originally, the Internet was designed as a way for university scholars and other researchers to share information and data. That activity, though still with us, now plays a minor role in the continuing development and further commercialization of the Internet.

Last year, Yahoo quietly celebrated its 10th anniversary. The understated publicity was notable, especially when contrasted with the ultra-brash proclamations from Internet companies prior to the bust of 2001. Many purists for whom academic research was the heart and soul of the early Internet are doubtless grinding their teeth over its galloping commercialization these last few years. Like it or not, however, commercialization of the Internet is here to stay.

Eleven years ago, the most popular search engine was AltaVista and the most popular directory was Yahoo. In the interim, some of the other popular search engines like MetaCrawler and Excite disappeared and/or were reborn. Just like any other relatively new industry, the search engine industry has experienced a tremendous amount of consolidation.

Yahoo now owns AltaVista, All the Web, and Overture, (renamed Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions). MSN was using Yahoo’s Search Marketing to provide their “sponsored” results but now they have their own pay per click division. Google has a pay-for-placement service, called AdWords. Which search engines are most popular today?

According to in June of 2007, the popularity break down for the top four search engines were as follows:

1. Google 63.92%
2. Yahoo 21.31.0%
3. MSN 7.73%
4. 3.42%

As you can see, more people use Google than any other search engine. In fact Google’s market share of search has grown 20% in the past two years. Lots of users evidently prefer Google because they consider Google’s results more relevant to their search objectives.

Each of the major search engines uses a pay-for-placement model along with a free (organic) search component. When your search yields items headed “Sponsored Results,” those are companies paying to be found under the search terms that you chose. Relevancy can be a matter of commercialization. As companies agree to pay more for top search results, the consumer’s typical search may turn up fewer and fewer companies to choose from, as a direct consequence of the expanding budgets going to pay-for-placement.

Regardless of which search engine you choose, your top concern as a consumer is to get the most relevant results. While continued commercialization of search engines is inevitable, ultimately it is the consumer who determines future trends. Your Internet search decisions today will ultimately anoint the search engine leader of tomorrow.

Moving forward

Jeff Roach

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