May 24th, 2012 by Alan Rabinowitz
Since my last post on search engine market shares in 2008, Google’s dominance in the U.S. and worldwide markets has only risen to even loftier heights. However, with signals in place that 2012 could see once vital Yahoo lose even more ground to Google and Bing, which didn’t yet exist in 2008, it’s worth a look to see how the search engine landscape has changed over the past few years.
2009: Replacing MSN Search, Live Search, and Windows Live Search, Microsoft launched Bing on June 3, 2009 amid much media fanfare. By the end of 2009, Microsoft/Bing’s market share was 10.7%, representing a growth of approximately 2.7% over the former Microsoft search engines it replaced.
With Google’s market share growing from 63% to 65.7% over the course of 2009, it became apparent that Bing was pulling users from other smaller search engines, most notably AOL which saw its market share drop a staggering 20% in that year. Yahoo, in comparison dropped less than two percentage points, but was still on the market share’s losing end.
2010: Looking back at 2010 Q4 market share statistics from around the world, the real runaway story of 2010 was Google which crossed 70% of worldwide searches in 2010 to end the year with a 71% market share. In the U.S., this figure was even higher. Bing held steady at 9.8% of global searches, again at the expense of smaller search engines. Smaller search engines shrank to less than 5% of all search traffic. Yahoo, showing the first signs of real trouble, dropped from a 20% market share to 14.5% to end the year on a disappointing note.
2011: In 2011, Google surged to an incredible 89.94% market share worldwide at one point, leaving very little of the pie left to its competitors to divide. According to Read Write Web, February 2011 marked the first time Bing overtook Yahoo. That month, Bing outranked Yahoo by a half percentage point. Of course, this seems like peanuts compared to Google, but is still significant.
2012: Is Yahoo over? The proof may really be in the market share data. Looking at a comparison just between December 2011 and January 2012 finds the once dominant search engine slipping more than 4% in its search share, dropping from 15% to 11% world wide. In comparison, Bing gained a .42% — small gain, but still better than losing a half point.
Future predictions are calling for the race for solid second place to really heat up this year between Yahoo and Bing. Yahoo currently uses the Bing results and has constantly changed search providers in the past they served Google results. AOL and Ask are both expected to further deteriorate.
What do you think the future holds for search engines? Will Google continue to reign supreme?
With Bing’s Social Integration into search paving a new frontier for the Search Engine landscape we will have to see if they can pull some search rank percentages from this new social feature. Considering thatonly searches Facebook profiles, it would be interesting to see if a union of Bing and Facebook with bring competitive market share to the table. Since Google seems to revamp social sites with social circles to try to cut into Facebook’s social share (adding rumors that Google + will help rankings to gain a user-base of marketers buzzing), it would be interesting to see Facebook strike back and enter the Search landscape by either integrating bing or buying a search application.
January 10th, 2009 by Alan Rabinowitz
This year makes 10 years that I personally have been optimizing sites. That being said it also marks a point where SEO is becoming a flooded market with every Joe Schmoe able to be an SEO professional and every large SEO firm hiring every Tom, Dick and Harry, not that I do not like large SEO firms, as SEO Image is on its way to being one. Nor does one need 10 years of experience, seeing as I had clients ranking in Top spots in 1999, however the SERPS were different then and so was SEO.
So here’s my recap and mini-trend info based on how I see it having 10 years of excessive hands-on experience (Yes, that means I still work on client sites) ranking clients for numerous extremely competitive terms.
SEO In The late 90′s
90% on-page SEO 10% link popularity, although most traffic in the 90′s came because we linked and traded links freely with related sites because that was a good percentage of the traffic most sites received then. Less can from search and banner ads were abundant.
SEO in the Early 2000′s
On Page SEO making 40% Link Popularity 60% probably more. The dawn of link popularity as being more important that on-page work, which included many sites interlinking and using subdomains. Large firms and companies that had all their client banned for creating interlinked networks that included hundreds of their clients. Also the dawn of shady SEO firms and tactics.
SEO in the Mid 2000′s
75% Link Popularity about 25% On-Page depending on the industry. The dawn of Social Media sites and people who seem to have endless time to socialize online. Search empowers more businesses and replaces the Yellow Pages in many households. Google triumphs over its competitors.
SEO In the Late 2000′s
80% link popularity, some cases 90%, about 20% on-page SEO dependent on the industry and the competition. SEO is mainstream and many sites are using it. Link building surges and links become a commodity and are brokered. The PageRank toolbar looses much of its value for ranking purposes but is still in existence for public viewing.
As social media sites get spammy and offer less original content, they may get devalued, after all, if you shopped online this past holiday season you probably found it hard to find retailers under the flood of price comparison sites and blogs that all review the same products. Regional control and browser based search results (via cookies) will all control the search results (see the next post). Link popularity will still be a heavy practice, but the valuation will make it even more complex as new algorithms and link determination factors will be utilized. On-Page will have more value and site size will be less important. Informational sites may loose value in comparison to exact match sites and sites that are NOT blogs with reviews of everything under the sun. Category (relationship) based search engine optimization will be integrated further and higher valued. Superior conversion based pay per click management will be more important.
August 19th, 2008 by Alan Rabinowitz
A report from Hitslink, an analytics firm, states that Google has close to 80% of worldwide search traffic and market share. Those numbers indicate the importance of marketing on Google and should make businesses consider BOTH SEO and PPC campaigns as viable marketing solutions.
With new search engines popping up and trying to compete, it seems unlikely that anyone could achieve dominance to this extent or even have a shot at competing with the Google Search World (which I now call the Internet).
Many businesses approach us looking to try to avoid the cost of PPC by developing a natural campaign. While we do believe it is extremely important to have a natural online presence, there is much to say for a properly managed advertising and Pay Per Click campaign. Many businesses can run successfully with PPC alone. Gaining a presence in both the natural and paid sectors will offer double the exposure. Cap that with strategic advertising on industry related portals and niche sites, and you can have an effective business.
April 21st, 2008 by Alan Rabinowitz
What if…the testing of Google Adwords on Yahoo is really something else? What if Yahoo is trying to help Google determine the value of Yahoo if adwords were to be part of Yahoo. Since Google’s main revenue is Google Adwords, it makes sense to devote multiple avenues to paid search. A Google buyout of Yahoo?
This would achieve 80% to 90% of all online natural and paid searches, is this really the reason? The control of the Search Industry to one single multiplied giant would almost be, if not, a monopoly on Search. Making a top 10 listing for both natural and paid search twice as valuable.
Since I read the press release for the new partnership, I have thought from a business perspective. Maybe I am just planting ideas here, but if I owned Google and wanted to monopolize the Search Industry what would I do? Glad I asked, its simple I would buy Yahoo!
Yahoo is worth more than just a Search Engine in many ways. They capitalize on buying and developing social sites like Yahoo Answers (which beat out Google Answers) and MyBlogLog. Yahoo also has a large email and portal user base to boot.
Think about it, it would be total domination of Search if Google bought Yahoo! Many people do not remember a few years back when Yahoo did in fact served Google natural results. That partnership however, did add more authority to Google’s leadership in search quality at that point in time when they were only starting to emerge as the leader.
Why wouldn’t they consider MSN ads if a potential MSN buyout is in the air? The timing does not make $ense. Perhaps there is another potential partnership under way.
Food for thought is it an SE Conspiracy? Potential new buyout? Marketing Strategy? Battle of the Big Brands?
March 1st, 2008 by Alan Rabinowitz
You better think before using popular applications meant for blogs as the core for your business. What happens when Google decides to remove access to your site from the results because your trendy and popular blog application (WordPress in our case) gets hacked without your knowledge.
Think about it, you invest thousands into marketing and promoting your site via a CMS and Blog application that is so popular, that it constantly needs security updates. Now, your busy managing your business and do not have the time to constantly manage and update the software of the blog, or do not want to because some of the plugins you use do not work on the new version.
Consider also, that if you are lucky enough to get an email from Google reporting the hack and that your site is blocked, you will be luckier still to get the barrier Google uses removed from your listings in Google in a timely manner. This can cause weeks of traffic lost for using a program. This is just plain old frustrating for any business owner.
Its common sense!
Is a popular application worth the risk of a potential and “Hopefully Temporary” loss of traffic? Can you live without Search Engine traffic for weeks, months or even years?
If you’ve never submitted a re-inclusion request with Google then you need to understand the process and the time line as you are likely one of hundreds of thousands of sites (I’m estimating numbers here, and yes, I do believe there are a lot of sites in the queue). A typical re-inclusion; you usually get no response other then a general email stating you will most likely not get a response. You are generally left in the dark for weeks, months and even years with no assistance or the luck of the draw someone fixes your problem, which may not have been a violation. You can be one of many left in the dust, while everyone else seems to do worse than you without any problem. You can go public and call out Matt Cutts and maybe, just maybe, he will be kind enough to respond and help as seen on many blogs that decide publicly screaming is the only way to get attention. I’m still waiting Matt! Please Help!
December 28th, 2007 by Alan Rabinowitz
Predictions, theories and controversies for 2008 in the Search and Social Media industries.
The real marketing behind Google will be deemed worthless since the last update to stop the buying and selling of PageRank. Unfortunately the prevention of it from becoming a commodity will decrease the marketing community from talking about it as valuable. This will cause a new algorithm to finally be considered.
MSN will buy more of the Search Market and Social Sites and try catch up. The world will take them more seriously for Search. Marketers will embrace the new changes.
Yahoo will advance their search algorithm better than anyone else, however, no one may notice if they do not buy more market share the way their competitors are and buzz their algo. Yahoo will continue to buy social sites, but fail to utilize them for search. Since Yahoo has always been very community oriented, this will still make their network a larger powerhouse. Once they figure out how to use them for search, they well gain more search market share.
Search Engine Optimization will be a web industry standard. More and more inexperienced SEO people will become prominent figures in the industry and still think they know what it is they are doing, despite never handling a single site. – Go Figure.
5. Link Popularity
Will be phased out and new relevancy factors will be added in efforts to increase actual relevancy.
6. SEO Conspiracies
Will become public and many private deals and moral and ethical issues will surface in the Search industry.
Will ban for link baiting tactics and call them “Spam” and try to control the entire world of advertising and branding causing the web to become “nofollow hell”.
8. Wikipedia, Amazon and BizRate
Wikipedia, Amazon and BizRate will be the only results in the top 10 of Google (or was that my prediction for last year?)
9. Social Media Sites
Social sites and forums will gain a larger percentage of searches and cause other older communities to fear them or buy them.
10. Link Baiting
Controversial posts and editorials will be part of SEO campaigns for link bait (Not like this one).
October 26th, 2007 by Alan Rabinowitz
It seems like a dogs age since Google updated the PageRank Toolbars. Making this the second PR update for the year. Many sites are reporting lowered PageRank, but some younger sites seem to have been given a nice boost when optimized from a link-baiting and content syndication methodology.
I now more than ever believe that these PageRank numbers are simply for show. With the recent penalties and changes to some sites, there seems to be NO EFFECT on rankings, so either we’re about to experience a new Google algorithm and see ranking updates, or we’re just being given evidence that the Google Toolbar is nothing more than really smart link-bait for the world of Search Giants.
So with this in mind, I’m gonna bet that Google is devaluing the power of any and every sitewide link. No doubt to kill the blog handshaking that has driven many popular blogs to extremely high PR. Also, they may be considering strategies to devalue blogs in general as bloggers keep criticizing Adsense claiming it pays very little. Google may feel that blogs only offer PageRank and that advertisers are trying to increase rankings and not traffic. – You decide!
Food for Thought…
[tags]pagerank, page rank, Google, Google PageRank Update[/tags]
September 15th, 2007 by Alan Rabinowitz
Following are recommendations for basic SEO Friendly WordPress blog posts and plugins. This is how some of SEO Image’s clients are set up – depending on the needs and goals some client structure, configurations, and plugins may differ.
We like things kept simple until the blogger gets more experience and can utilize additional methods and plugins. This is basic, but will keep the posts SEO friendly. There are other strategies.
« Read the rest of this SEO blog post »
August 25th, 2007 by Alan Rabinowitz
This is very unusual but it seems our Google Local listing is displaying someone else’s URLs, maybe our data was somehow misplaced, it also lists additional sites that are not ours, nor are they located in New York.
Anyone see this before? Is Google becoming an easy to hijack portal, or is one of its local suppliers having the wrong data? Their verification seems that it would make this hijack impossible, unless there are other underlying issues that we cannot see. Maybe we’re jumping the gun, but after what’s been going on with Google, this is likely to be a hijack issue as well, or a third party not properly validating Local Listings, Look at our URL and the other sites that are suppose to be located at our office. Odd…
August 23rd, 2007 by Alan Rabinowitz
Yahoo! Search, which currently has the most paid ads above the natural results with 4 ads, has decided to put some emphasis back to the natural by adding an arrow next to the first natural result.
Its pretty easy to see and does have impact (more so once its full size (my preview is a bit small) when there are ads for terms.
On the opposite end is MSN which seems to place the least emphasis on PPC ads, yet somehow has the highest amount of clickthroughs in relationship to natural clicks according to Enquiro & Marketing Sherpa, see our Search Visibility post.
According to this data, natural results on all engine account for more clickthroughs, so “naturally” this is a good move for Yahoo!
[tags]yahoo, yahoo search, msn, google, natural search[/tags]