Search Engine Market Share

Market shares are the data that portrays portions of a market that are controlled by a certain business, group or even product. Business owners may focus on their the market share of their industry and compare their own share to that of their competitors. But another market share that every business owner with a website should be aware of is the search engine market share.

How Does Search Engine Market Share Affect Me & My Website

Search engine market share shows us how the search engines are divided by their users. When a search engine gains more of the market share, it means that more people are using it to conduct a search query. There are a couple of ways that a dominating search engine can affect your online marketing campaign.

Optimize for the Leader of the Pack

Google is the leader for the global and U.S. search engine market shares. This means that it is the most-used search engine in the world and the United States. Without further information and data about your consumers, it’s safe to say that many of them might be using Google to visit your website or search for your business locations. At Online Potential, we often recommend that our clients optimize for Google in order to rank high in the search engine result page (SERP) rankings. By doing so, you can make sure that your business and website can be reached by millions of people.

Optimize for Your Audience’s Preference

Although Google is the leading search engine in the United States, your website visitors, consumers and audience may not collectively use Google. This is where analytics can help improve your online presence. If the majority of your website visitors are searching for your company via Bing, or are arriving at your website from Yahoo, then it may be to the advantage of your company to optimize for Bing or Yahoo. Although Google is the leader, you want to serve your existing and potential consumers.

Global Search Engine Market Shares

Google dominates the global search engine market share with 53.74 percent on desktops and 91.14 percent on mobile and tablet devices.

Desktop Market Share (global)

  • 53.74% Google
  • 31.32% Baidu
  • 10.81% Bing
  •   3.52% Yahoo
  •   0.39% Other
  •   0.15% AOL
  •   0.07% Ask

Mobile + Tablet Devices Market Share (global)

  • 91.14% Google
  •   4.86% Yahoo
  •   1.96% Baidu
  •   1.29% Bing
  •   0.57% Ask
  •   0.16% Other
  •   0.02% AOL
  •   0.01% Excite


For many website owners in the United States without ties to Asia, Baidu may be an unrecognizable name. But the company is often referred to as “China’s Google” because it has become so popular in a short period of time. When you consider that Google and Baidu alone make up more than 85 percent of the global market share, then optimization priorities might shift for businesses that want to rank well globally.

Again, it’s important to identify where your consumers are before tackling a full optimization project based on market shares. The location of your consumers may affect which search engine you choose, but it also might distort the availability of your business to new consumers. Imagine if a U.S.-based business only optimized for Baidu in order to increase their business in Asia, but still wanted to expand their business in the United States. Without appealing to Google, Bing or Yahoo, your websites probably won’t rank very well in the United States. You aren’t required to optimize for only one website, but it’s best left to the professionals if you choose to combine search engine optimization techniques in hopes to appeal to more than one search engine.

U.S. Search Engine Market Share

As of August 2014, Google leads the U.S. desktop market share with 67.3 percent. Microsoft sites rank second with 19.4 percent, and Yahoo Sites (powered by Bing) come in third with 10 percent. Ask Network has 2 percent of the market share, and AOL, Inc. trails with 1.3 percent. When we take a look at the mobile device market share for the United States, Google still ranks highly, but not as high as its global numbers.

  • 83.3% Google
  • 10.2% Yahoo
  •   6.1% Bing

The most noticeably difference is that in the U.S. market, on mobile devices, Yahoo outranks Bing. Further information about the demographics of users is not available, so it is impossible to speculate why people who use Bing on a desktop aren’t using the same search engine on a mobile.

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