Google is King, But Don’t Forget the Rest of the Court


Using other search engines may improve your overall SEO strategy.

As a powerhouse that owns 92% of search engine market share, Google is the number one search engine users turn to for information and shopping. As such, marketers and brands invest most of their time and money optimizing for Google search, but that may be a big miss for certain brands and industries. While Google is the undisputed market leader, not all search engines are created equal. Prominent non-Google search engines such as DuckDuckGo, Bing and Yahoo! present opportunities for brands to generate organic traffic. 

Not convinced? Here are four insights to consider before placing all of your eggs in the Google basket.  

  1. Google is not the most privacy-first platform. Owning 2.45% of the search engine market share, DuckDuckGo has become the second most popular search engine on mobile devices in the U.S. Positioned as the platform with “no tracking, no ad targeting, just searching,” DuckDuckGo offers a simple, unique user experience that is free from ads cluttering the results pages. While Google’s behavior-based tracking enables more precise search results and ad targeting, DuckDuckGo is better suited for users who don’t want their data to be collected. Brands targeting a privacy-conscious audience may reach a wider audience and earn better results on DuckDuckGo.
  2. Each platform has its own unique set of ranking factors. What Google deems important in ranking a website in organic search may not carry as much weight on other search engines. Take Bing for example. Holding 5.35% of U.S. search engine market share, Bing is the second most visited search engine after Google. Compared to Google’s many complicated site visibility guidelines, Bing offers transparent rankings factors that should be followed when optimizing a website for organic searches. Bing puts more weight in traditional organic search ranking factors, such as keywords in headings, page titles, descriptions and social media presence. While it’s important to follow general SEO best practices, understanding the intricacies of each platform can help brands make the most of their marketing resources.
  3. Understand where your audience is active. With search engines serving users billions of results every day, brands must know how, and more importantly, where their customer base is searching. Audience insights give brands an edge when determining how to prioritize the efforts required to reach new customers. For instance, Yahoo! is the most popular search engine for users aged 65 and older. Brands whose audience skews older may earn better results on Yahoo!. On the other hand, restaurants and retailers may want to prioritize Yelp, which has 178 million unique visitors who turn to the platform for food and shopping recommendations each month. A B2B manufacturer may uncover that searchers in the space are primarily PC users who use Bing. Understanding audience behavior empowers brands to optimize for the search engine that audiences are most likely using.
  4. Although unique, search engines share common components. Despite having differing ranking factors for organic search, all search engines are committed to providing the most useful and accurate search results. Each platform rewards SEO tactics such as consistent business information, generating positive reviews, and producing relevant and useful content. The most impactful tactic, however, is generating off-site authority. A link back to your website from a credible source shows search engines that your business has authority. More authority leads to improved visibility in search results across all platforms. Whether it be Google, Bing, or Yahoo!, prioritizing off-site recognition and authority boosts organic visibility and overall credibility for every brand.

For the foreseeable future, Google will remain a priority for online optimization. But that doesn’t mean other search engines should be ignored. Establishing expertise, authority and trust is critical for all search engines, and understanding where audiences are likely to be active and what factors influence visibility in those spaces can help brands optimize success. A successful marketing strategy will prioritize the platforms that support your goals and provide the best results for your industry and brand.