Though Bing is up and coming as an important search engine (as we mentioned in past blog posts) – in fact, incorporating Bing into our overall strategy is one of the changes our SEO company will be making moving into 2012 – Google still maintains a seemingly inexorable majority of the search market share. This according to Experian Hitwise data released last week.
When it comes to volume of searches, Google was used for 61.71% of searches (this data reflects searches done during the 4 weeks leading up to 12/24/2011). Search.yahoo.com was used the second most, with 16.26% of search volume, and Bing came in a close third with 15.06% (ask.com and search.aol.com also took small percentages of search volume).
During the week ending on 12/24/11 (so, while people were doing some last minute holiday shopping…like, REALLY last minute), according to Experian Hitwise, Google received more than half of all searches within the industry:
This is the chart reflecting which search engines received the most searches during a prescribed period of time. The chart is courtesy of Experian Hitwise.
Also interestingly, the top Googled term during the 4 weeks leading up to 12/24 was “Facebook.com:”
This chart, also courtesy of Experian Hitwise, reflects the top search terms used in Google during those 4 weeks.
Speaking of Google…Huge Plus Growth Predicted for 2012
Google + is continuing to grow, according to multiple sources. Ancestry.com Paul Allen, who has made valid predictions before, claims that the current 62 million user base of Google’s social network will in fact grow exponentially. With the apparent growth of 625,000 users per day, by the end of 2012, (according to Allen) Google + will have close to 400 million users. That’s right: 400 million. While it seems like a lot when we think of Google + as it stands now, that’s only half of Facebook’s user base. And Facebook also started somewhere. So, no, it’s not crazy, especially not considering all of the benefits for brands and brand advocates (with hangouts, special deals, and more) to be on the social network right now. The benefits of being a Google + user will continue to grow, as will, apparently, the number of users taking advantage of them.
Here’s the data that Allen provides:
“July 13 – 10 million
August 1 – 20.5 million
September 1 – 24.7 million
October 1 – 38 million (Larry Page announced “more than 40m users” on Oct 13th)
November 1 – 43 million
December 1 – 50 million
December 27 – 62 million
January 1 – 65.8 million (forecast)
February 1 – 85.2 million (forecast)”
What’s responsible for this increase? Allen mentions Google’s commercials, Android 4, and word-of-mouth, among other possible contributing factors. I would add the addition of pages for brands. This has brought huge companies and their employees, as well as their customers, to Google+, and has done so quickly. Here’s a chart provided by Allen:
Summing Up + OUR Predictions
Google still maintains the greatest search market share, and will continue to dominate the search landscape for the foreseeable future. So, we move into 2012 with high expectations when it comes to Google. In addition to the growth and improvement of Google +, we will also be looking out for important algorithm changes. Though there will be no Panda-related activity before the new year, you can be sure things will continue to change as 2012 opens (remember, the Panda update occurred just after the beginning of 2011, in February).
To stay up to date with all algorithmic changes, as well as with all social network news, revisit our blog for regular updates about interactive marketing – from Google, to Facebook, to Bing and more. With questions that are more specific to your business, give us a call at 770-481-1766.