When anybody hears the term ‘search engine,’ the very first thing that pops into most heads is Google. This may be, in part, because Google has surpassed Apple as the most valuable brand in the world. Most people don’t know realize, however, that Google does not own 100% of the search engine market and they do have relevant competitors.
The Biggest Players
Currently Google commands control of a whopping two thirds of the global market, leaving its competitors to fight for the remaining third. The other 33% of the market is seeing fierce competition among 6 other contenders. The following is a list of the largest players and the percent of the market they control:
- Baidu – 18.6%
- Bing – 8.7%
- Yahoo – 7.8%
- AOL - .36%
- Ask - .19%
- Excite - .01%
Unbeknown to many Americans, Google’s largest competitor (in the search engine market) is Baidu. Currently Baidu is outperforming Google in overseas markets. In fact, they currently control about 80% of Chinese search engine market. This may not be entirely attributed to product quality and innovation, though. Due to political situations in China and strict laws that affect censorship, China has been known to have completely blocked access to Google Search and YouTube in the past.
Just about all of the rest of Google’s competition is domestic. Bing and Yahoo carry the most weight in the market after Google and Baidu, but together they only account for approximately 16 percent of the market. Yet these competitors are still fierce, and recently a large contract is up for grabs that could mean larger market shares for Google’s competition.
Interestingly enough, a large contract between Google and Apple is almost over, and the competition is heating up between Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Currently, Google is the default search engine for Apple’s Safari web browser, and other companies are jumping at the chance to become the new default. Becoming the default search engine for Apple’s web browser is a big deal, and I’ll tell you why. Apple is still one of the most valuable brands in the world, and millions of people use their Safari web browser. If Google’s competition could obtain a new contract with Apple, they would own a larger chunk of the market.
Google Takeover: Is It Possible or Even Plausible?
However, I would be surprised if Apple decides to sign a contract with any of Google’s competitors. Still, it isn’t impossible and the opportunity has Yahoo and Bing scrambling to get their foot in the door. Even if Yahoo or Bing are able to secure a contract with Apple, it still would not be enough to dethrone Google as the world’s number one search engine, domestically or globally. However, having said that, let’s not forget that Bing is owned and run by Microsoft, which is a tech giant in its own respect. Additionally, Yahoo is not out of the picture either. They have been gaining more momentum since they were made the default search engine for Firefox. If you’re an Apple user, you’ll just have to wait and see!