Search Engines – Pieces of the Pie

Search Engines – Pieces of the Pie
By: Halstatt Pires

Advertisers and search engine optimization campaigns are focused on getting the most bang for the buck. To organize your effort, you need to know which search engines have the biggest pieces of the traffic pie.

Subjective Numbers

Ask anyone in the Internet game and they will definitively tell you which search engine is the best. Of course, this often correlates to the actual search engine they use. I once had a person present me with a long winded, yet passionate, diatribe about why was better than Google, MSN and…Yahoo! If I only had a brain, I would surely see that would become the dominant search engine. This I was told with great conviction and more than a few people nodded their heads around us.

Since I was in a particularly bad mood that evening, I hipped the person into the fact that Yahoo provides all the search results on! I even had to pull the site up and show my “teacher” the truth of the matter. So much for making friends!

Many people fall in love with a particular search engine, which is fine. I do it myself. That doesn’t mean the search engine in question is the biggest, baddest or best! Subjective views are, well, subjective. Follow them in lieu of objective facts and you run the risk of making huge mistakes.

Objective Numbers

There are two types of results you can look at when calculating search engine traffic percentages. The first represents the total traffic covered by a search engine across all sites it provides results to. The second, which we cover here, refers to only the percentage of searches actually on the engine itself. For instance, Google provides results for AOL. In these figures, the AOL searches are NOT included in Google’s totals.

For the first half of 2005, the objective numbers were:

1. Google: 47 percent

2. Yahoo: 22 percent

3. MSN: 12 percent

4. AOL: 5 percent

5. Others: 14 percent

Short, sweet and to the point. Google is clearly eating the biggest piece of the pie. If Google buys AOL, it will grow even more. Conversely, if MSN buys AOL, it will move closer to Yahoo.

When it comes to your marketing, Google is clearly the beast you should focus on. It controls more traffic than Yahoo and MSN combined.

Halstatt Pires is with the Internet marketing firm - a San Diego Internet marketing and advertising company providing search engine optimization services. Read more Internet marketing articles.

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