Any time the topic of top search engines is talked about; there are always hints of underhand tactics and lack of innovation involved. If it is not claims of Bing stealing from Google results, it is Yahoo sleeping on the job.
But it is understandable why these top search engines are fighting to claim a bigger piece of the cake. Research shows that on Google alone, over 4 billion searches are done daily. This is an indication that google generates lots of revenue through advertisements. In fact, 97% of Google’s revenue is from ads.
Just the other day google added yet another parameter to their algorithm known in the SEO circles as ad-to-content ratio or ads above the fold. Though the impact was not so big, Google did hit on sites with too many ads as compared to content.
To prove their dominance, there are webmasters who received emails telling them to add more google ads on their sites. Now you can see why top search engines would want to be perched at the summit. At the top the air is somewhat cooler, as for the money, you bet it is worth the fight.
1. Google commanding a 71% market share
2. Yahoo with 14% market share
3. Bing with 10% market share
4. ASK with 2.8% market share
5. AOL with 1.21% market share.
This has been the pecking order at the top for quite some time now, but if you didn’t know things have changed. Although it did not come as a surprise to many internet marketers, Bing is now the second most visited search engines in the world.
The once top search engine Yahoo which was toppled by Google comes in 3rd. Bing was launched by Microsoft back in mid 2009 and it caused quite a whirl wind in the online world. During that time, their market share shot to 8.4 percent. Right now Bing commands 15.1 % of all internet searches.
According to Comscore, which measures activities in the digital world, Yahoo now commands 14.5 percent of internet search. On the other hand, Google has dropped slightly but is still way ahead with about 70 %.
Bing seems to be doing something right seeing as its growth has been at the expense of other major search engines, that is, Yahoo, Ask, AOL and to some small extent Google. These figures are comparisons derived from the year 2010 to 2012.
On the top search engine front, things seem great for Bing. However, it is not so rosy when you look at their financial standing. Since its launch in June 3rd 2009, Bing has accrued over $5 billion in debt. According to SEO experts, this has been attributed to the lack of innovation.
For Google to be dethroned from being the top search engine, the rest of the companies need to start thinking outside the box. Drastic changes need to be adopted now and not later.
Earlier we mentioned how internet marketers where not surprised when Yahoo was pushed to the number 3 spot. Yahoo has been considered by most web marketers as a weak competitor. This has been demonstrated by their administration structures.
Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo finally bowed down and resigned from his position as a board of director. For a long time, Yahoo had lacked teeth to bite by sticking to old strategies that do not seem to work. Share holders actually blamed this on Jerry claiming he lacked the vision to revive Yahoo.
But the share holders have a reason to smile with the new appointment of Scott Thompson as CEO. From Scott’s track record, share holders at Yahoo hope he will breathe new life to the once top search engine company.
If you think the story ends there, you are wrong, after a short while 4 other top board members have also succumbed to the pressure and called it quits. According to the Huffing Post, one of the 4 is the chairman of the board directors Mr. Roy Bostock.
All these individuals are said to have contributed to the poor performance of the once top search engine. Share holders believe that the same people have made Yahoo’s stock price to drop. If you thought that the share holders were wrong, read what Alexander of istockresearch.com wrote in his article titled, ‘Yahoo is in trouble’.
While Google is doing all it can to remain at the top, Yahoo seems to be doing the exact opposite. It is easy to understand why Google will for a long time remain perched at the top if status quo is maintained.
Search results at google are undeniably the best and it does not stop there. Every month Google seeks to upgrade their algorithm to better improve user experience. Even though web marketers are complaining of how results are been affected by the constant algorithm change, at least Google is trying to do something new.
As for Yahoo, they have put more emphasis on expanding the company rather than come up with new and better ideas. It is true the size of the company will give them leverage as far as bargaining power is concerned, but the question is, for how long?
The good thing about Yahoo is that some of their products and services are in high demand. The problem is that the people at the helm are doing nothing to encourage innovation. It is a high time Yahoo embraced new ideas by offering incentives to their staff so that they can come up with new creations and to be motivated to work towards improving the exciting services.
Towards the end of 2011, Yahoo used to experience glitches to some of their service especially when searching the net. This is not good considering the name Yahoo has built for itself over the years. It is an indication that they are slow when it gets to improving their products and services.
Google is not a friend to many but I admire the fact that they are more about pleasing their users than making webmasters and bloggers happy. The cyberspace is so dynamic and things keep changing very quickly. If Yahoo doesn’t watch out, other top search engines like Ask and AOL will surpass them as well.
Experts believe that Yahoo had a good chance some years back but that opportunity has long slipped through their fingers. They focused more on generating revenue through online advertisement that they forgot how to be innovative.
Today, other giants rule the world of online advertisement. People are now placing their ads on sites like Twitter, Facebook, google and Bing leaving yahoo in the cold.
But the good thing about life is that it offers one a second chance. The hope of most shareholders in Yahoo is that the new CEO will inject new blood into the company. Yahoo needs to hire people with talent and offer them incentives to improve exciting services and come up with new and innovative ideas.
My call to Scott is to turn the company around by creating new policies that will provide an atmosphere of progress and innovation. If not, very soon Yahoo will become irrelevant considering the fast changing internet world.
Bing vs Goliath
So much about Yahoo and its woes, now let us have a look at the new number two in top search engines, Bing. Google the other day said that Bing is using underhand tactics in their search results. Google claims that Bing results are as a result of analyzing Google result listing.
On Bing’s defense, Harry Shum, Corporate Vice President of Bing Development said that they do not use any Google parameters to improve their search listings. However, Harry says Bing spiders uses search signals to gather information on search activities conducted on the web.
Click here to read more on what Harry Shum said about Google’s accusation.
Whether this is true or not, let us leave it for the two top search engines to fight it out. But the more a search engine offers better and relevant results, the higher the number of searchers will become.
Summary: The race to be the top search engine is not bound to end soon. Today, it is google at the top, tomorrow maybe another search engine, new in the market, might be in the lead. That was the case in the year 1999, when a tiny search engine, called google, was launched at Stanford University. It later became the top search engine that we all envy.
The horizon looks promising for the Microsoft search engine called Bing. My hope is that they do what Yahoo failed to do. That is, improve their products and look into the future to see what people will need and offer solutions before demand arises.
Let us not forget how history keeps repeating itself. As people are busy spectating how the top search engines are fighting, there probably is a small search engine taking advantage of all the commotion. In the online business arena nothing can be left to chance. It only takes one bright mind and you see another major search engine join in the race to the top.
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Author: Stephen Kavita