The of idea of writing this piece came from talking to some SMEs, and the realisation that they weren’t necessarily aware of any other search engines beyond Google for potential advertising purposes.
Even without the advertising industry stats, from the experience of running ads on different search engines, we know that Google is the most dominant search engine in the west and across the world (88% of the global search market). Clients get more traffic and a higher volume of sales from Google compared to the other search engines. But, what if a mature strong brand would like to go beyond Google…
The next big search engine is Bing, powered by Microsoft. Their global market share is 6% and is the second most powerful search engine in the west. Digital media marketers see different results coming from Bing PPC ads in comparison to Google PPC ads, partly because of their user differences, and partly because of their traffic availability. If you are a Windows user, you are probably familiar with Cortona, Microsoft’s virtual assistant. You might also know that Cortona uses Bing search engine to perform tasks such as answering search questions, which is a way for Microsoft to increase their search engine’s available traffic.
A great opportunity, unique to Microsoft advertising, is LinkedIn Profile Targeting, which allows brands to tap into LinkedIn data outside the LinkedIn platform. So, advertisers can target users based on their professional profiles; a new audience segment helping with precise ads targeting which benefits both advertisers and users. (Remember, LinkedIn Profile Targeting does not target individuals via LinkedIn, but rather a group of people who meet the criteria. For example, the user must be on Bing and have a LinkedIn ID.)
Worldwide Desktop Market Share of Leading Search Engines
Another search engine to be aware of is Yahoo. When I first started working in PPC advertising, Yahoo used to be the third search engine we used for client’s PPC ads. However, the situation changed over the years, in particular Yahoo partnered with Microsoft so that by using Microsoft Search Ads platform brands could target Yahoo search engine users and expand their reach. This brought efficiency for digital media marketers too, as they were able to use one single PPC ads platform to manage ads across both Bing & Yahoo.
Advertisers interested in selling their products in the Chinese market need to use China’s biggest search engine, Baidu. In the three months prior to December 2020, Baidu.com received around 94% of its traffic from China. Baidu is often called China’s Google and there is a claim that it is the second largest search engine in the world; it dominates one huge market. In contrast Google has (almost) a global reach.
Known as the 5th largest search engine worldwide, Yandex.com, is based in Russia and suitable for those brands and advertisers requiring engagement with the Russian consumer market and the countries around it. Yandex supports searches in the Russian language, in English as well as a few other languages. As of November 2020, Yandex was the most visited online resource in Russia, reaching around 84 million users per month.