Google owns 91.56% of the search engine market share as of September 2023. In comparison, the second biggest competitor – Bing- only owns 3.03%.
While this is the global market share of search engines, things are slightly different at the country level. You might think Google overpowers other search engines in every region, but it has the least share in some.
As a search engine marketer, you should be up to date on how the country and language can make an impact on search behavior.
Let’s take a look at the biggest search engines in the world.
Global Search Engine Market Share
Google owns 90% of the search market share, receiving 9 billion queries per day. This means 9 out of every 10 internet user turns to Google whenever they have a question.
In contrast, Bing, Yandex, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and Baidu have to fight for the attention span of 1 user.
From Google’s birth in 1998 to 2004, it was already receiving 200 million questions per day. Come 2010, Google was already the #1 search engine in the world.
There was only one instance from 2010 to 2023 when Google’s share dropped below 90% in the world market. In 2014, Google had an 89.81% market share.
It is also the year Bing’s market share peaked at 3.63%. For some reason, people spent a lot of time searching about Kim Kardashian on Bing.
Bing Search Market Share
The closest rival to Google is Bing. But Bing’s search engine market share lags behind by at least 88.53%.
To put it into perspective, the market gap between Bing and Yandex is 1.22%. In some ways, Bing is better off focusing on staying ahead of its other rivals than trying to overtake Google.
Although, the closest Bing ever dreamt of it was with its release of Bing Chat, which is Bing’s version of an AI chatbot. It’s based on the ChatGPT-4 model.
Going forward with the collaboration, Bing also integrated into ChatGPT, which could help solidify its market share.
The current search share is only 3.03%. But, Bing powers multiple search engines, including Yahoo, Ecosia, DuckDuckGo, Web Crawler, and so on.
In some ways, Microsoft’s actual search market share is 4.85%.
It owns whatever of the market share is not owned by Google or country-specific search engines like Baidu.
It is unlikely the ChatGPT integration will help Bing become a proper Google rival, but it does ensure it stays in the second place.
Yahoo Search Market Share
Yandex is the search engine with the third-highest global search engine market share. But it is not Bing’s direct rival.
Bing’s direct competitor is Yahoo, ironically, as Bing powers Yahoo search. Ever noticed the similarities between the two interfaces despite being completely different companies?
Bing and Yahoo entered a ten-year deal in 2009. Which was interrupted by Google when Yahoo entered another deal with Google from October 2015 to 2018.
As such, Yahoo was powered by Google and Bing for a while.
As of 2019, Bing took over Yahoo’s search services again.
If we analyze on a Global level, most countries would choose Yahoo or Bing if Google went down all of a sudden. It won’t be Yandex, DuckDuckGo, or Baidu.
When it comes to global recognition, Yahoo is ahead of Yandex, even if it receives a lesser number of search queries. Most regions would have heard of Yahoo before they heard of Yandex.
Yet, Yahoo’s search market share numbers round up to a mere 1.24%.
Businesses also use Yahoo to stay updated on the stock market and financial news. If you deal with insurance, housing, banking, or the stock market, optimize for Yahoo along with Google.
Yandex Search Market Share
Yandex is the biggest search engine in Russia.
Despite holding only 1.81% of the search market globally, Yandex owns 64.14% of Russia’s search history.
- It owns 63.63% of Russia’s desktop search.
- 54.43% of Russia’s tablet searches.
- Yandex holds 64.83% of Russia’s mobile search.
Other than Russia, Yandex is also a popular search engine in Ukraine, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Belarus, etc.
It’s safe to say Yandex covers most of the northeast part of the world map.
Naturally, the most used language for search on Yandex is Russian. The search engine does support other languages, such as English, Ukrainian, Arabic, Tatar, etc.
But it is specifically designed for Russians. The search crawlers pay attention to Russian queries and answers first.
In fact, Yandex’s popularity came about in 2017, when Google was removed as a default search engine from Russian Android phones due to a government ruling.
Yandex is proof it is possible to compete with Google on home turf for countries, even when the platform is introduced late.
If your audience is Russian or located in a country adjacent to Russia, it makes sense to optimize for Yandex before Google.
DuckDuckgo Market share
Three types of people have heard of DuckDuckGo:
- Search engine marketers
- People highly concerned with privacy
- People navigating the dark web.
DuckDuckGo has 0.58% of the market share. If we assume all 5.3 billion internet users are also searchers, this would mean 307 million people use the search engine.
And the majority of them live in the West.
DuckDuckGo market share by Country
DuckDuckGo’s biggest traffic comes from the US at 49.65% and 5.6% of DuckDuckGo searches are from the UK, 5.17% is from Germany and 4.38% is from Canada. France owns 2.76% of DuckDuckGo’s market share and remaining 32.43% is distributed between all the other countries.
When it comes to global desktop and tablet search, DuckDuckGo also gets more market share than Baidu. It is 0.73% on desktop and 0.85% on tablet for DuckDuckGo, respectively.
So, what is so special about the search engine?
DuckDuckGo isn’t used because it’s marketed towards people who speak a certain language or is promoted heavily in a region.
DuckDuckGo is used because of its privacy-first feature.
DuckDuckGo offers the following facilities:
- Blocks cookies
- Prevents user data collection
- Email privacy
- Offers hybrid search results from other search crawlers and DuckDuckBot.
Those curious about the dark web also use a combination of the Tor browser and DuckDuckGo to browse for added privacy. You could access it as a mobile or desktop browser or use it as a browser extension.
Search Engine Market Share By Country
Things get particularly interesting when we analyze the search engine market share by country.
Search Engine Market Share By Major Counties
Google, the search engine we expect to own every country, actually has a lower percentage in some regions. Google only has a 4.47% search market share in China. In Russia, Google lost to Yandex, owning only 32.64% of the search share.
In Japan, Bing gets a 17.3% share of the search market, even if Google dominates by 73.17%. Yahoo gets another 8.47%. Google gets 70.41% of searches in South Korea. The second largest search engine is Naver, with 20.22%.
One thing these countries have in common is a predominant population of non-English speakers. While Google supports 149 languages, it does not understand the nuances in local languages.
For example, even until 2016, Naver was the most used search engine in South Korea.
Naver is made for Korean people. Things like the search button are in Korean. Koreans also have a tendency to form their versions of acronyms like LOL in Korean. This isn’t something Google is equipped to deal with.
Additionally, since Koreans have incorporated English words into their language over the years, Naver also makes concessions for it.
If it’s a Korean local, they will search Naver first when they want local information. Google seems to be their choice when they want to learn about information outside the country.
Since South Korea also got an influx of tourist in recent years, the higher Google search share also seems to be their contribution in part.
Comparatively, mobile users in Korea use Naver for 38.91% of their searches. So, when they are out and about and they have a question they want answers to, a good portion turns to Naver.
South Koreans also don’t seem to consider any other search engines at all. Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex all have less than 0.60% of mobile searches.
There’s Japan, where Yahoo! Japan was the most popular search engine for years. Again, it was because of the language ease.
Yahoo! Japan was made for Japanese people and understood the nuances of the Japanese language.
However, Google took over the position quickly, proving how much their crawlers have improved.
Search Engine Market Share in USA
Naturally, Google is the most used search engine in the USA by 88.46%.
It has pretty much owned more than 85% of the US search market share since its inception.
- Bing has 6.37% of US search queries as of September 2023.
- Yahoo controls 2.69%.
- DuckDuckGo is the fourth most popular search engine at 2%.
Yandex, despite being a Russia-specific search engine, actually owns 0.21% of US searches.
Ecosia gets another 0.08%. Small as the number may be, Ecosia’s rise to fame comes from the company’s promise to plant a tree for every search.
In the USA, search statistics change a lot depending on the device. Google owns 94.74% of searches in the US from mobile.
DuckDuckGo is actually the third-most preferred search engine on phones at 1.87%. Bing is a little behind at 1.14%, while Yahoo gets 1.92% of US mobile searches.
Clearly, when it comes to random queries, odd questions which pop up throughout the day, Americans prefer Google.
On the desktop, Google’s search share drops to 79.35%. Bing gets 13.86% of searches and Yahoo gets 3.94%.
Instead of Ecosia, AOL owns about 0.19% at the last place.
For Bing, 38.64% of its US search might come from console users, where Bing is the default Xbox search engine. Console users may not have the energy to change it or even want to.
Search Engine Market Share in China
Baidu is the search engine with the largest market share in China, with 67.46% of search market share. The next competitor – Bing- gets 13.64% of searches.
Up until 2020, Baidu had 80% of the market share. In the last three years, new competitors like Haosou and Sogou have started to take some of those search shares.
Haosou’s parent company manufactures antivirus while Sogou is owned by Tencent. Both explain why they managed to market their search engine enough to take some search queries from Baidu.
Similar to the case with South Korea, Baidu’s popularity comes from its better contextual understanding of culture and language.
Baidu prioritizes content from Chinese citizens. Google or Bing are more neutral, even if you use the Chinese version of the search engines.
This is even more obvious when you look at mobile searches in China, where Baidu still owns 80.61%. This proves locals use it for instant information.
- Instead of Bing, Sogou takes second place in mobile search share at 4.86%.
- Shenma, a search engine popular for its privacy features in China, has a mobile search share of 4.38%.
- Bing beats Haosou at 3.65%.
It’s curious how mobile search shares can be drastically different from overall or desktop shares in many countries.
However, there is a pattern of users searching Bing and Yahoo a bit more for desktop searches. It is not the search engine most remember when doing a mobile search.
Then, it’s either Google or any other search engine popular in the country.
For Yahoo and Bing, you can slack off a bit with mobile optimization.
However, if your target audience lies in a country with a prominent local language, you should optimize for mobile search for all search engines.
You should also make content in their native language for specific countries. Even outside of China and Russia, a good amount of people search in a language they speak daily, over English.
When they have a question, the first thing they will do is grab their mobile and do a search in a language they feel comfortable in.
Search Engine Usage Statistics
The average click-through rate (CTR) for the first answer on a Google search is 38.02%. 38 out of 100 people click on the first result.
Unfortunately, 77.2% of mobile users never get their answer without clicking on a website.
This is also true for Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex.
There aren’t any reports of Baidu having the same issue. However, since the rest of the world has to access Baidu with a VPN, it could simply be a lack of data.
Naver also doesn’t have anything like the featured snippet.
But what do people search for?
Well, the questions range from mundane “how to tie a tie” to “how to pay the mortgage.” In almost any country, financial queries are on the top. There is also a trend of searching for random things throughout the day.
From October to January, in most places, searches take on the spirit of the holiday.
There’s the excitement for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, lots of searches are about the dates for these two events.
There has been an increase of 15% in search volume every week for these two topics since mid-August.
People search for Halloween, gift ideas for Christmas, Diwali gifts, and so on.
According to Google, searches related to product reviews increased by 30% since September. In other words, people start planning gifts for others and themselves.
On Labor Day, 5 September 2022, the search volume for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Halloween, etc. increased by 35%.
But these are only holiday search statistics. How do people interact with search engines year-round?
- 46% of all Google searches are about a local topic.
- 98% of all internet user types in a query once every month.
- Yahoo search still gets 700 million users every month.
- Yandex has 90% of the Russian search traffic.
- DuckDuckGo receives over 106 million search queries per day. For a search engine popular in only the US and UK, this is impressive.
In fact, there is an increasing preference for DuckDuckGo in the US among Google users.
Anyone concerned with privacy would opt for it over Bing or Yahoo.
The introduction of chatbots like ChatGPT has also affected the search market this year.
Every search engine has lost some shares, except for Bing. As Bing integrated quickly with ChatGPT, it managed to gain more of a foothold in the desktop search market.
Right now, it remains to see what will happen once the novelty wears off.
Especially since all the search engines have started releasing their personal chatbots.
What is the world’s largest search engine?
Google is the largest search engine in the world. It’s not only big in terms of market share but also the number of queries it processes per minute. Google takes care of 600,000 per minute. In a year, it amounts to 3.2 trillion searches.
According to Google, their search index is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes. It has billions of web pages it has to crawl through. Frankly, if any other search engine had to process this amount of information, it would have frequent blackouts.
Even country-specific search engines such as Yandex and Baidu don’t take on so many queries from its people.
The market cap of these search engines might help you understand better.
- Google’s market value is $1.7 trillion. While it is all not from search, the Google suite of productivity tools and shopping facilities are related to search in some way.
- The market valuation of Yandex is $8.95 billion. Although, it is one of the two search engines in the world which is more popular in some regions than Google.
- Bing’s estimated value is $400 billion.
- Baidu sits at a comfortable $46.30 billion.
The surprising one is Naver, with a market value of $20.8 billion. But Naver is not only a search engine.
It is similar to Google in functionality. You can access apps, translation tools, webtoons, novels, games, maps, etc.
Naver is a part of South Korean’s daily life, rather than only being a search engine.
But none of these search markets come close to Google.
Even with Baidu’s monopoly over the present second-largest population in the world, it fails against Google’s capture of the world market.
If your target audience is not in Russia or China, you should always create content for Google.
It doesn’t mean you neglect Bing or Yahoo but adopt a Google-first approach. Unless you are in the finance sector and appealing to an American, Japanese, or Korean audience.
If your audience is multilingual, you have to provide a localized version of your website. People appreciate the information, but they also want it with ease and context.
And, of course, search is almost always conducted on mobile first.
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