When people talk about search engine optimization, they are generally thinking about Google. But it's important to keep in mind that it's not the only search engine out there. A small number of searchers also use Bing, Ask, and others to find what they're looking for online. These customers could bring valuable business and shouldn't be overlooked.
First of all, there's rumors circulating that Google may be on the way out. Some analysts believe it may even disappear entirely within five to eight years (1). The reason? As mobile usage increases, Google hasn't been able to get companies to purchase mobile ads.
In addition, Yahoo! Search has been taking some traffic away from Google. A recent survey from comScore found that Yahoo queries were up 11 percent, while Google's were down 1 percent (2).
Then keep in mind that, especially if your customers are international, they may not use Google as their go-to search engine. But there's other things to think about as well. Bing-users may be less techy. About 87 percent of Bing users come through Internet Explorer, which means they automatically use the search engine that comes with the browser (3). Bing users might also be slightly older.
Up and comers
There will always be new players in the search engine space. Ever heard of DuckDuckGo? This search engine set itself apart with a promise not to track its users. As customers get increasingly annoyed at organizations collecting and mining personal information, anonymity could be a great benefit. Despite being a small startup, the search engine is rapidly growing in popularity.
All in all, Google still carries the bulk of all search queries, and it is still the major player in the search engine space. But depending on who your company is and who your customers are, it might be wise to take a look at the other offerings and keep an eye out for newcomers.
Be sure to keep track of where visitors to your site arrive so you can make more educated decisions about where to focus search engine optimization and marketing efforts. It may surprise you where customers are coming from, and you'll never know if you don't look.