If you’re trying to get found in the search engines, which engines should you worry about? Unless you’ve been under a rock, it won’t be a surprise to hear that Google’s still the 800 pound gorilla, by far.
Different rating services have different methodologies for determining the market share of the various search engines, so their numbers vary. By December 2008, for example, estimates of Google’s market share ranged among the top four rating services from 63% to 72%. But they all agreed that Google’s market share had increased over the year, from the 57% - 66% range in January 2008.
Yahoo’s market share, on the other hand, dropped. It began the year somewhere in the 19-23% range, but finished 2008 in the 17-21% range. Microsoft fared even worse, declining from 7-12% to 5-10%. (More details: http://searchengineland.com/search-market-share-2008-google-grew-yahoo-microsoft-dropped-stabilized-16310.)
In addition to looking at statistical trends such as this, it’s important for Georgia’s technology community to know that people in the tech field do tend to use Google disproportionately. That is, whether or not Yahoo and Microsoft combined currently have 22% of the total market or 31%, it almost doesn’t matter. The vast majority of business buyers of technology products and services are using Google.
Fortunately, best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) on Google are the same best practices for all search engines, so you really don’t have to sacrifice one engine for another in the SEO world. On the pay-per-click (PPC) side, however, if you have limited resources and can just focus on one search engine, obviously, Google should be your priority.