|Confusing Market Share of Google|
|Lies, damned lies, and statistics |
If you are running an online business you want accurate data to make the smartest decisions for your business. What is Google's market share?
You might think that is a simple question but it is not. The market share numbers can change a lot based on:
- mobile vs desktop
- depending who's counting
- google.com vs powered by google
- other factors
What market share number do you think is most helpful?
To me it's only marginally helpful at all. I know it's "a lot" and that Bing and Yahoo and the others are "less" Beyond that, I'm not sure what good the actual numbers do me. I can estimate how to allocate my time and resources pretty much from that.
A figure of the market share from the usual assessors is usually helpful as a guide, knowing which search engine is growing/changing.
However, the true share I use is the quantity of quality of referrals, assuming similar positioning in Google and other search engines.
Some services send zero traffic, so it's useful to know where to point the marketing energy.
"Other factors" you mentioned are becoming of greater importance: Social media. Not one referral from that is via a search engine.
What is just as important is the type of search. Looking to buy a consumer product? Google is fine. Need in-depth research information about a product? Google won't provide it so searchers have to go elsewhere.
Therefore Google's proportion of purely commercial searches may be much higher than statistics suggest.
Looking at wikimedia's global stats is interesting.
See the "Requests with external origins" section.
A little quick and dirty math with their June 2014 numbers. Not perfect, as I only grabbed the top 6 search engines shown as referers. Also biased since google's KG specifically sends people to WikiPedia sites.
Google by referer: 8754M, 88%
Yahoo (incl yahoo.co.jp): 568M, 6%
Bing: 377M, 4%
Yandex: 156M, 2%
Baidu: 67.4 M, 1%
Ask.com: 27.1 M ( less than 1%)
If you would like to discuss creating an alternative to Google serps please go to google/4690250.htm [webmasterworld.com]
Let's keep this thread focused on market share and avoid off-topic discussions :)
[edited by: goodroi at 2:18 am (utc) on Jul 24, 2014]
What netmeg said. Still, if I were obsessed with exact numbers, I'd be wondering why the usual news stories about search engines' market share ignore searches from outside the U.S. and searches from mobile devices.
I watched a lot of the FCC hearings and that's where the mobile device market share number was talked about. Do you think that I can find transcripts, video or any snippets regarding that discussion? I haven't to this point but for the sake of this thread I will still try.
It's not hard to think about mobile device market share for Google is it? Android uses? Apple iPhones uses? We don't need to talk about Windows phones or Blackberry. Look at sales of those devices and even without the FCC discussion, I know that the search market share has to be 90% or higher.
Here is what my pea brain knows. If you dominate an industry to the 90% percentile, we all know what happens. Scrutiny. Laws. Accusations. Limitations. Nasty terms like monopoly. Fear. Most reporters must be ignorant on the subject. I wouldn't expect that here. The relevant detail is mobile and the market share of that. Desktop market share is fluff in terms of long term planning isn't it?
Right now in 2014, do people really care so much about desktop users and where that market share sits? That's like planning a business around sales of physical music cds. Desktop is shrinking quickly in relevance whereas mobile is not. So if that market share for Google in search keeps on rising, for me that just means more evidence that the model that I've been using (like wanting people to find my website just because) is all but dead. That is of course if everything continues as it is.
Answers, not websites. That's why market share to me is so critical to understand. If the giant of search want less links to sites but more answer boxes, then tell me something that's more of a death nail for organic traffic?
|Right now in 2014, do people really care so much about desktop users and where that market share sits? |
The term "desktop" is obsolete, IMHO.
Non-mobile audience = desktop, laptop, and most tablet users
Mobile audience = smartphone and some tablet users
For what it's worth, most of our affiliate revenue comes from desktop, laptop, and tablet users. YMMV.
|Answers, not websites. That's why market share to me is so critical to understand. If the giant of search want less links to sites but more answer boxes, then tell me something that's more of a death nail for organic traffic? |
Not all answers fit into "answer boxes." I'm not seeing any "death nail" for organic traffic, or any death knell, either. Quite the contrary. Again, YMMV.
Would you publicize the information if you were a monopoly? The sad part is Google controls the mobile search industry and a high percentage of the desktop and tablet market. What percentage of the online advertising market? Also they control the largest portion of the web browser market as well. Look up why A T & T was broke up. It was because they made the switching equipment if I recall. I would think that Google using Chrome they have created an almost identical situation. Just a matter of time.
Fact: They paid off (millions) an ad-blocking company to show Adsense regardless of a user's settings, so it shouldn't suprise anyone that the same thing might be occuring with regard to companies that report on search market share. (Keep it under the radar, will ya...) It's a deceitful company now overall. And that's why I don't think Matt Cutts will return.
|Non-mobile audience = desktop, laptop, and most tablet users |
Mobile audience = smartphone and some tablet users
Where do you get that from? Doesn't equate to my understanding at all.
I find it very worrying that one persons view of mobile / non-mobile is so different from mine. You may well be correct and I may be wrong but how can such a difference of opinion exist at this stage of the game?
|I find it very worrying that one persons view of mobile / non-mobile is so different from mine. |
It seems natural to me that we would have varying opinions. "Webmaster" isn't really a single profession. You can see that many here appear to have marketing expertise, others appear to be highly technical, etc.
I don't know that's there's really a fixed line in the sand for mobile vs non-mobile. Sure, there's screen size, typical bandwidth and response time, touch vs mouse, etc. But, many of these devices are hard to classify. Detachable keyboards, phones that are bigger than some tablets, etc...it's hard to put things in a nice box.
I made the mistake, initially, with my e-commerce sites, of forcing a responsive design on any device that responded to the meta viewport tag. Soon enough, I figured out that many people prefer to pinch/zoom with the desktop site. (Perhaps the history of the "mobile" site having a subset of the functionality of the "desktop" site?).
Anyhow, I added a "view full site" button that cleared the meta viewport tag, and set a cookie to make the choice persistent. I also added support for the "View Desktop Version" option on android phones. Not everyone uses it, but those that do now stay, instead of adding to my bounce rate.
Odd thing is that this approach is controversial. Most of the designers find it icky.
|Odd thing is that this approach is controversial. Most of the designers find it icky. |
They're probably the same designers who once put vertical lines on pages and told users: "Adjust your browser window to fit this space." :-)