Google dips below 90% in UK for first time in 5 years

07/11/2012

October proved to be scary month not just for Halloween but also for Google’s share of the UK search market. October figures suggest 89.33% of all web searches in the UK were made using Google. The findings, from Experian Hitwise, mark the first time in the last five years that Google has ever dropped below a 90% market share of UK search.

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As Google’s market share dropped it was a positive month for Microsoft, Yahoo!, Ask and the all Other search engines monitored by Experian Hitwise.

Microsoft Sites, led by the bing engine increased market share by 0.72% up to 4.71% of all searches. This was a 2012 peak for Microsoft which was also ahead by 0.86% year-on-year.
October saw the launch of Windows 8 with bing set as the default search engine which may have gone some way to increasing Microsoft’s market share.

Online searches for Windows 8 increased by 120% throughout October showing the increased online interest for Microsoft’s new operating system. As search continues to diversify however, the market is likely to continue to shift and change.

Clearly, Google still maintains a huge competitive edge over the other search engines in the UK market.

There are 18 times more searches conducted on Google Sites than on all the other search engines combined. However, this is encouraging news for Microsoft as bing once again starts to gain some momentum and traction in the UK search market.

Microsoft's recently launched Windows 8 operating system has Bing installed by default instead of Google.

Speaking to the BBC, Analyst Luca Paderni, from Forrester Research, said: "In the UK, Bing has been using very aggressive tactics of promotion for last few months, in preparation for the Christmas season. But Google is still dominant, and we would need to see a trend over more months to call it a consistent decline."

Although Google is the leading search engine in many places around the world, alternative search engines have managed to get ahead of it in their home markets.

In China, Baidu is number one, and in Russia, the leader is Yandex, with Google in second place.

In Europe, Google's competitors would need to concentrate on services other than general purpose search to improve their chances of rivalling the search giant, Paderni told the BBC.

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