Google’s share of the UK search market has fallen to its lowest level in five years, as users move to Bing and Yahoo. In December 2012 Google’s share of the market stood at 88.35%. December 2011 was considerably higher at 91.15%. In the same time period Bing enjoyed a 1.15% increase in its share of the market to 4.99%. Yahoo also rose 0.86%.
One thing that the figures clarify is that Google is still very much the dominant force in the search UK market, receiving 7 times more searches than all other engines combined. However it is significant for Google as it enforces the negative trend of users moving to alternative search engines.
Google needs to take action in order to buck the trend and maintain its position of control.They certainly aren’t in trouble and they still completely dominate, but its a worrying sign. They have to ask themselves why they are losing ground and how to retain users. Being such a strong position can lead to complacency, as proved by Myspace and Microsoft to name just two of a long list. Search results pages are slowly being taken over by paid for ads, not natural results. This may be one reason for users turning their backs on Google.
Another possible reason for more heading over to Bing is its availability on Microsoft devices, as well as its relationship with Facebook. Bing’s partnership with Facebook could prove to be extremely lucrative, especially when the new Graph Search function is fully rolled out. This is because less people will leave Facebook to conduct searches on Google. Instead they will remain on Facebook to search.
Google have also lost ground in the US search market in recent months. Their US share is considerably less than that of the UK, at just over 65%.
Maybe they should be concentrating more on their core products and less on their follies like the car that drives itself and Google Glass.