Google have been at the forefront of everything that the Internet has done for so long that it might be surprising to see the super search engine struggling among its competitors. While Bing and Yahoo have risen to take an entire third of the PC search industry, Google has actually lost ground, so it might seem as though its feet are slipping on the greasy pole of success, while its rivals have found ways to reach higher and grasp a wider audience.
If Google starts to lose money in the search engine market, it might have a knock-on effect for users of its global workplace app, or those who have invested in Google advertising in order to promote their business.
Why Google Has Slipped
There are several reasons why Google has started to look shaky, and why its global reach is now falling.
Firstly is the change in the way that they perform searches, so that the engine will now search for common keywords which are close to the user’s input, rather than the specific words themselves. This can make finding things on Google harder for the average user.
Secondly, Google have been implicated in a number of tax and corruption investigations in the last 18 months, including revelations in the UK that Google was one of the number of ‘offshore’ giants who paid no tax but dominate the UK market, and the accusation from the EU that Google has been abusing its status as the search market giant.
Although the search engine percentages only relate to the US market so far, there are some investors in Europe who are feeling distinctly anxious.
What this means for Google users in Europe
At the moment, EU and UK Internet users will feel relatively safe in their use of Google. It still has at least 90% of the market. However, Amazon has started to use Bing as its search engine, which may increase its search engine market share in the next few years.
This is because the search engines rely upon volumes of data in order to become more prominent, and Amazon’s agreement will give this data volume to Bing in one easy move.
Microsoft’s deal with Yahoo in 2010 may also help to bring both companies to the fore in the future. This may lead to Goggle’s market shares falling even in a relatively stable area such as the European Union.
Why users of Google shouldn’t worry just yet
Investors and Google web users who are concerned about the rising influence of Yahoo and other search engines don’t need to start packing up their browsers just yet.
The fact is that Google is still the biggest search engine market shareholder in the US, and it might take another decade before Yahoo or Bing are in any position to challenge that dominance in a realistic way.
Google has not been idle while its competitors have been trying to make a mark on their shares, and has been investing in the one technology which has left the other search engines behind: Android mobile phones.
It is investment in mobile technology which may mean that Google will be able to dominate the market for decades to come. One of the reasons for their falling market shares is due to the changes they have made to their search engine: changes which have been designed to benefit mobile phone users.
Google’s investment in mobile technology is massively outpacing Microsoft’s, which means that Bing will probably not adapt in the foreseeable future. Experts have applauded Google’s changes, saying that it is clear that their move to increase mobile capabilities on their search engine is the best move, particularly in an age when mobile phones are becoming the main port for sales, for social interaction, and for businesses.
Google’s share of the mobile search engine market is 95% in the EU, and it is still at 85% in the US, meaning that, despite appearances, Google’s market share is not dwindling, and in fact its grasp of mobile search markets may be increasing.