Is Google the only Search Engine?
Google with its enviable 85% share of the search market is clearly the front runner and worth consideration by every PPC advertiser and every business that relies on search traffic for new business opportunities. However nobody in their right mind can afford to ignore the other 15%. This is exactly what happens when you rely on a single pay-per-click (PPC) advertising channel such as AdWords . Not a good strategy especially in tough economic times.
I suppose the question which must be asked is why would anyone use a search engine other than Google?
Here are some possible answers:
- Sometimes it simply comes down to personal taste regarding how an engine display search results and the ease, or otherwise, of advanced searching in an engine.
- There are times when the favoured search engine does not provide the anticipated results. In this situation, especially when the search is an important one, a change of engine may be successful and could even lead to a change in loyalty to the new search engine.
- When computers are delivered to the customer, they are preloaded with Windows OS and Internet Explorer preset as the default browser. IE is very helpful when it can't find the page you have requested (maybe just a simple "typo") and directs itself straight to MSN. We have found there are many users who do not know how to, or couldn't be bothered change the settings. It is our theory that users such as these would represent a huge percentage of MSN's share of the search market, but this is probably a topic for another day. This is an interesting theory for which we have absolutely no statistical proof whatsoever.
- Let's not forget the inverse-snobs - those who choose an underdog search engine simply because it doesn't have the market share of the others or because it isn't owned by some large corporate entity.
- Some people like the power of Meta Search Engines that concurrently perform the search in multiple search engines and then display the net results. This approach rarely includes AdWords sponsored links or the other engines' equivalent.
The simple fact is that there is no accounting for taste. Ignoring an element of the market by relying on PPC is simply "cutting off your nose to spite your face". You never know where your next customer will come from, so ignore the lesser engines and it could be a longer time between drinks, whatever the flavour.
As usual, if you have any questions on the issues raised on this or any of our pages or if you have any general SEO questions, please contact us and we'll try to help.