Beyond Google: Search Engines Around the World and why you Should Know About Them
February 13th 2020 | By Emma Grant
It often comes as a surprise to many, but… Google isn’t the ONLY search engine. It’s true!
OK so Google is the most popular search engine globally. As of September 2019 it commanded a whopping 81.5–92.96 per cent market share according to netmarketshare, statista and statcounter. But the fact is that there are other search engines out there that people love to use too. And some of those people might even be your potential customers. Precisely why it’s important you don’t discount the other search engines when planning your SEO strategy.
So then, let’s take a look at the world’s top five alternative search engines and work out which of them might be good targets for your online marketing campaigns.
Bing market share is between 2.34 per cent and 5.2 per cent, ranking it as the best alternative search engine to Google.
Bing is operated by Microsoft and is the default search engine on Windows PCs. It replaced Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search.
Reasons to include Bing in your SEO strategy? There are a few.
Firstly, there is less competition for top ranking spots. Secondly, although Bing doesn’t bring as many leads as Google, it does offer a lower bounce rate, more page visits and more time on site. This is all because Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines command very precise results, which means users tend to get exactly what they want most of the time they search.
Bing is popular because it lets users save search results that they want to return to, and there’s a rewards feature that allows users to earn points by using Bing services which can be converted to buy various products or enjoy discounts.
Bing is known for delivering a greater return on SEO investment, plus it’s cheaper to advertise than on Google. It offers some really cool analysis tools too, for free, and it’s behind Siri and Yahoo search which broadens its reach.
Yahoo market share sits between 1.64% and 2.04%. As one of the most popular email providers, it holds third place in search.
Yahoo search was originally powered exclusively by Bing. From October 2015 to October 2018, it was also powered by Google, but from 2019 it returned exclusively to Bing.
As the default search engine for the Firefox browser in the USA, Yahoo is widely used and, according to Alexa, its web portal ranks in the 11 most visited websites on the internet.
Why target Yahoo for SEO?
Firstly, competition is lower. Say you are aiming to rank for red kitten heel boots. If the top ranking website on Google for that key phrase is focusing all its efforts into that search engine alone, it leaves the path open wide for you on Yahoo.
Secondly, Yahoo is way more straightforward than Google for SEO; there are fewer ranking factors to contend with and no constant algorithm updates to keep up to date with.
Next, Yahoo and Bing are very similar, which means if you’re optimising for Bing, you’ll tend to do well in Yahoo into the bargain. And lastly, Yahoo values inbound and backlinks more so than Google, so if your website has a large number of quality links, you could find yourself doing great on Yahoo.
If you’re marketing to a Chinese audience, Baidu is the search engine you need to be using. Its global market share is between 0.92% and 9.37%, but it is the most popular search engine in China.
China, the most populated country in the world, has over 600 million internet users. If you are prepared to put the effort in, then Baidu has the power to deliver excellent rewards. Effort is required however, because China is a unique and often challenging market to penetrate due to the numerous cultural, behavioural and language differences, not to mention Chinese government internet censorship.
Reasons to include Baidu in your SEO strategy?
With 3.3 billion queries handled per day, not that much less than Google’s 3.5 billion, it can be well worth the effort to get ranked in Baidu if you are marketing to a Chinese audience.
Yandex is to Russia what Baidu is to China. As Russia’s most popular search engine, its global market share is between 0.47 per cent and 0.83 per cent and, according to Alexa, it sits amongst the 30 most popular websites on the internet with 65 per cent market share in Russia.
Like Google and Baidu, Yandex is a notable technology company offering much more than just a search engine. Image hosting, video streaming, map services, paid ads, email, a web browser and a translation tool are all part of its catalogue which reaches out beyond Russia to Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine and Turkey.
The search engine is similar to Google; easy to use with helpful features. It also has various algorithms that ensure users are met with quality, useful content, matching their search intent, again similar to Google. Something though that does differ is local SEO. Due to the considerable size of Russia, localised search is more important, so from an SEO perspective it is important to focus on geo-targeting.
There are also other rules that need to be worked into the strategy, but it’s all worthwhile if your business is looking to reach out to Russia and surrounding countries.
DuckDuckGo market share is between 0.28% and 0.43%. According to the search engine’s traffic statistics, some 47 million searches per day are served.
DuckDuckGo is somewhat different to Google and Bing in that it doesn’t have its own search index. Instead it generates its search results using a variety of sources including crowd sourced sites like Wikipedia. It does return traditional links, sourced from multiple partners, but most commonly from Bing.
The aim of this search engine is to bring online information together into a ‘superior search experience’ based on its belief that what people are really looking for are answers rather than just links.
Whilst DuckDuckGo doesn’t work on algorithms like Google to determine the best results from all the websites out there on the internet, the good thing about it is that it is not cluttered with adverts, making it attractive to users who prefer a clean interface on which to search.
What’s more, unlike the other major search engines, DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect, store or share your personal data every time you search online. This makes it the search engine of choice for users who like to see their privacy protected.
Search engine optimisation – Google and beyond
What it all boils down to is the fact that firstly, Google isn’t the only search engine, and secondly, depending on your audience, it may actually be more lucrative to target alternatives. Remember, Search Engine Optimisation is always evolving and for this reason, your SEO agency needs to have knowledge beyond Google. Each search engine has its own ranking signals and individual nuances, meaning strategies need to be tweaked to suit.
If you are looking to promote your business online beyond Google, talk to Figment. Our expertise extends to all the top search engines and, once we understand your goals and determine your target audiences, we can make recommendations as to which of the search engines could deliver the best return on investment.