When you think of search, you probably think of Google. So synonymous is Google with search, in fact, that people usually say “Google it”, rather than “search for it”! But assuming that Google is the only search engine that matters could lead to you missing out on opportunities. After all, there are multiple countries where Google does not dominate the search engine market the way it does elsewhere. The infographic below lists six countries where Google has less than 90% of the search engine market share – do any of these countries surprise you?
In which countries is Google least popular?
The recently-published Webcertain search and social report 2023 looked at 57 countries around the world. Out of these 57 countries, Google had less than 90% of the search engine market share in six countries – in other words, just over 10% of the countries surveyed. As you can see in the infographic above, the six countries where Google fails to reach 90% of the search engine market share are:
- China: Google has just 2.53% of the search engine market share.
- South Korea: Google has 58.5% of the search engine market share.
- Japan: Google has 77.6% of the search engine market share.
- Turkey: Google has 78.7% of the search engine market share.
- Czech Republic: Google has 83.2% of the search engine market share.
- US: Google has 88.7% of the search engine market share.
If any of these results surprise you, you are not alone. We recently conducted a poll on Webcertain’s LinkedIn page, asking people to guess the country where Google had less than 90% of the search engine market share. Only 20% of respondents correctly identified the Czech Republic as one such country, with the other 80% of respondents guessing wrongly. This goes to show the importance of properly knowing the international markets you want to do business in – as pouring all your search marketing efforts into Google and not considering other search engines could lead to you missing out on a big audience (and less competition) by not understanding the full landscape.
Which search engines are people using instead?
So, if Google is failing to completely dominate these six markets, which search engines are users using instead? Or to put it another way, which search engines should you consider incorporating into your search marketing strategy, if you are targeting any of the countries listed above? Let’s go through them, one by one:
- China: The Chinese search engine landscape is totally different from anywhere else in the world. Google is blocked by the so-called Great Firewall of China, and instead the top three search engines are Baidu (which has 65.7% of the market share), Sogou (12.3%) and Bing (11.4%). Baidu should therefore be the focus of your SEO and PPC efforts.
- South Korea: The search engine landscape in South Korea is unique. According to StatCounter, Google has 58.5% of the market share, with the South Korean search engine Naver coming in second place with a sizeable 35.8%. However, these figures vary significantly depending on the data source, with many other sources, particularly those from South Korea, actually putting Naver as the leading search engine. Whatever the true break down, one thing is clear: if you are targeting South Korea, it is wise to include both Google and Naver in your SEO and PPC efforts.
- Japan: The search engine landscape looks rather different from most countries. Whilst Google is the most popular search engine, it does not totally dominate the market the way it does in many other countries, with just 77.6% of the market share. Second-place Yahoo Japan commands a respectable 14.6% of the market, with Bing making up another 7%. You should include both Google and Yahoo Japan in your search marketing efforts in Japan.
- Turkey: Whilst Google does come in first place with 78.7% of the search engine market share, competitor Yandex comes in a respectable second place with 17.2%. Yandex is a Russian-owned search engine that is most popular in its homeland but also has an increasing presence in other countries.
- Czech Republic: Whilst Google does come in first place with 83.2% of the search engine market share, the homegrown competitor Seznam comes in second place with 11.3%. Since Google is in first place, it should be the focus of your SEO and PPC efforts. But, with Seznam also accounting for a sizeable chunk of searches done in the country, it is also worth considering Seznam as part of your search marketing efforts.
- US: Bing is the second-most popular search engine in the US, with 6.6% of the market share. However, when looking specifically at desktop and tablet searches, Bing’s market share rises to about 13%. Given the large size of the American online population, that actually translates into a lot of searches, so it is worth considering Bing in your search marketing efforts in this country, alongside Google.
Want to learn more?
Were you aware of the sheer diversity that exists in the search engine landscape around the world? It goes to show the importance of relying on data, rather than assumptions, when creating your international digital marketing strategies. To learn more fascinating facts and stats about how digital marketing works in 57 different countries, check out the Webcertain search and social report 2023 by clicking the button below!
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