Google Search is a fully automated search engine that uses software known as web crawlers to regularly scan the web and add pages to its index. With an impressive 86% of the search market share, it's no surprise that Google tops any list of search engines. The great appeal of ranking in Google is the potential for massive traffic. The first video uploaded to YouTube, which has now been viewed over 41 million times, was a 19-second clip of co-founder Jawed Karim at the zoo.
It's easy to see why YouTube has become so popular, but it can also be difficult to stand out from the crowd with more than 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. Using YouTube as a traffic source can be incredibly effective if done right, but it can also be expensive to compete with Google Ads. However, if you can capture your target audience's attention with creative campaigns like Geiko or Blendtec, you can get great exposure at a low cost. Amazon was one of the first large companies to sell products online when it launched in 1995. Starting with books, they quickly expanded their offerings and in 1999 founder Jeff Bezos won the Time Person of the Year award for making online shopping popular and accessible.
Last year, almost half of all online shopping searches didn't start on Google (22%) but on Amazon (49%). The advantages of Amazon are clear: scale. If you sell blue widgets and want to be where people are looking for them, then you want to be on Amazon. It's too early to know how Alexa will affect searches and sales, but it's something to consider.
With over 1.62 billion monthly visitors, Facebook also provides companies and advertisers with incredible access to the market and tends to be where people are when they're not working. This means they may be more likely to follow their noses and get distracted by your offer if it interests them. Facebook offers a lot of flexibility in terms of organic reach, although it has declined significantly in recent years. Microsoft Bing has made a lot of progress in advertising since its launch in 2009 and now has a market share close to 25.7%.
They have added a number of features to Microsoft Ads in an effort to catch up with Google, although most systems are designed to align with Google's for ease of import and familiarity for administrators. Bing doesn't have Google's market share, but it is respectable in many markets including the US. Their algorithms are not as sophisticated as Google's, but they are making big investments in AI and expanding their core offerings like Google. With lower traffic comes fewer SEO professionals competing for the top 10 spots and studying algorithms that provide good ROI for those who do so.
On the advertising side, there are less sophisticated systems to work with and lower CPCs which can offset lower traffic volumes. Outside of China, Baidu has little influence but within the country it drives 3.3 billion searches per day. The downside is that it only gives access to one market - the upside is that this market is huge! Images, jargon and customs are completely different from other markets so Google Translate won't help you win customers here. To access the Chinese market through Baidu you need someone on staff who speaks the language and understands cultural marketing - not just someone who studied Mandarin for two years in high school! Organic algorithms are more simplistic than Google's and their payment systems may be easier once set up - although setting up these systems is more difficult if you live outside China.
Yandex was founded by two Russian developers in 1990 as a project to help classify patents under the company Arkadia and now drives about 42.35% of all searches in Russia. As with most smaller engines compared to Google there is less traffic on Yandex but competition is lower both organically and paid-wise. The algorithms used by Yandex are less sophisticated than those of Google making them easier to evaluate and optimize. The internet is constantly growing as more people and companies create websites - Google has simplified this process by creating an excellent search engine that people trust. As a company there are a few things you should take advantage of: use YouTube campaigns to capture your target audience's attention; consider Amazon for scale; use Facebook for organic reach; explore Microsoft Bing for lower competition; look into Baidu for access to the Chinese market; and take advantage of Yandex's simpler algorithms.