Search market share facts and figures 2008

Posted by on October 15, 2008 in Search Engine Marketing

I have my moments when i end up on a hunt, trawling through the SERPS to find figures or statistics on search engine market shares or even research completed on how search user behaviour has changed. 2008 has seen alot of changes compared to previous years, we know Big G leads the pack, and others follow suit, however it’s been a very interesting hunt the last week or 2, surprised that you cannot find some of the information i stumbled upon in 1 central point, post, article or whitepaper online.

Google UK

Google dominates within the UK market, by March 2008 Google was leading with 74% market share, which has climbed since last year up from over 65%. Now currently close to almost 80% of the market share within the UK.

Search Engine Market Share March 2008

That’s a fairly large increase to say the least, especially when looking at numbers of searches done within the UK market.

Google US

Not surprisingly enough, the Google US market share has also increased since last to 69% by March 2008, which wouldn’t surprise me seeing as Google Maps are more widely used within the US than anywhere else, among other little surprises they has released and updated over the past year.

US Search Market Share March 2008

How many searches go past the first page results?

In a post earlier this year from WebProNews, a user patience study completed by Yahoo!, IProspect and JupiterResearch revealed that over 40% of users look no further than the first page of results from a search query, users patience is lessening over the years. We all know first page is the prime real estate for any website, but in the past this has never been the be all and end all for a website. With that in mind, the potential for possible entry points to a website has widened since search engines offered “blended results“, video, images, blogs and news have opened opportunities for websites to grab that much needed traffic. Rankings are of course no the be all and end all for any website, as seen within the screenshot below, the potential for traffic is not solely dependant on a first page results for primary keywords.

User Patience Study completed by Yahoo!, IProspect and Jupiter research

“Pages from” versus “World Wide” results

Another interesting bit of information i came across was a small study done on the use of “world wide” or “pages from” within Google UK. Something i have been fairly intrigued to find out about, especially here in the local South African market. How Many people realise they can refine their searches to be country specific? As per the Hitwise study, the UK market shows their trust in the results for any searches done within Google UK (That the best results for their search will be delivered), as seen in the screenshot below, however when comparing this to the South African market the results would be slightly different. Due to the searches defaulting to the “world wide” results option, the increased number of international listings for local SA searches still dominates the results in some cases. For any South African, the use of “pages from” is more widely used than within the UK, as the results would be tailored to specifically SA, removing the tough international competition.

Hitwise ran a study during March 2008 for 4 weeks to find out just that for the UK market and as you would have guessed, the answer is just what you would expect.

Hitwise Study on Google UK March 2008 - Pages from VS WorldWide Option

Now having a study like the above for the South African market would be great, to officially reference on occasion, although i’m sure some of us know with our local clients and analytics, Google does bring in the highest percentage of traffic monthly, in some of industries even more than 70%.

Golden Triangle for Search

While at the SMX London expo last year, i had the priviledge of sitting in on a Gord Hotchkiss presentation, was an eye opener for me. During 1 of them, he referenced the heatmap we SEO’s so proudly put in front of clients, Gord discussed what he coined the Golden Triangle, while this was not the topic of discussion, it was mentioned to provide insight into why having a first page organic listing and top ad spot in paid search improved conversions by roughly 8%. This is definitely 1 area that every search marketer should be aware of when looking at the SERP landscape. While this has changed how traffic is driven to websites from organic searches, universal search has it’s own “triangle” and search behaviour to some degree.

Eye tracking Studies done by Enquiro reveal "Golden Triangle"

For search statistics regarding the Job search market share and online job search statistics, i’ve covered that in a related post here Online Job Search Market Statistics. Feedback on these statistics is always appreciated :)

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