Google, Bing and Moe: The Search Engines

uneven balance - search engine shareWe’ve beat the drum about a search duopoly since before the Yahoo-Microsoft search alliance was finalized. A duopoly is a market condition when there are two competitors serving many buyers.  Literalists will insist that Yahoo, Ask, AOL and meta search engines still receive a very large number of search requests. That’s true.

What you need to know as a small business leader is that comScore’s latest data shows that Google or Bing “powered” 93.8 percent of US search in December.   There is an awful lot of money to be made in the fringes that remaining 6 percent or so.

But in January 2011, make sure you understand that web search is a two player game. Yahoo! is reinventing itself into a content company as fast as it can.   AOL isn’t far behind.  And we’re not counting searches on entities like Facebook, Amazon or eBay.  One could argue that an Amazon search is in many ways a proxy for a commercial search–certainly among its core categories.

Your takeaway as a small business leader is to remember that even Google says search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing process and you have two different companies in which to position your company’s goods and services.   That’s the first, ultimate priority because you reach 94% of the United States that way.

Source:  “December 2010 Search Engine Rankings“, comScore, 1/14/2011

Image:  Balance by Stephen Stacey

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