Search Engine Trends in 2008

In a recent post we reviewed web browser market share statistics gathered by HitsLink Market Share.  Slowly but surely the browser market is becoming more diversified. HitsLink Market Share also tracks market share statistics for search engines.  Have they seen similar trends in 2008? Not at all... In fact, the search engine market has seen a bigger share taken by one player, Google.

Google began the year as a dominating force carrying over 77% of the search engine market. At present this domination has risen to over 81%. The month to month share rose fairly consistently throughout the year. It is unclear when Google will reach its peak but at this rate it’s sure to have a significant impact on the other search engines.

When viewing Yahoo’s market share it’s hard to image that it ran head to head with Google just a few years ago.Yahoo began the year barely holding 12%. It has since fallen to 10.5%. It was a rough year for Yahoo as a company who rejected a bid from Microsoft and lost a deal with Google over antitrust concerns.

Both MSN and AOL have remained fairly steady at 3% and 2% respectively.

Microsoft Live Search and Ask
Both Live Search and Ask have experienced steady declines throughout the year.  Microsoft Live Search dropped from 2.59% to 1.56%. Although this number seems small it represents a 60% loss. Ask’s decline from 1.42% to 1.03% is nearly 40%.

Not only does this data clearly demonstrate that Google dominates the market it shows that it is the only search engine to gain market share in 2008. The future is very cloudy for ailing runner up Yahoo. There has been speculation of a second Microsoft offer but it would be significantly less than the original offer back in February. No matter what fate the other search engines suffer there is virtually nothing on the horizon to stop or even contend with Google. Since search engines are one of the key forces driving traffic to your site your best course of action is to learn the ins and outs of Google well.

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