Why Google has been able to maintain its search market leadership



Google maintains it share in the U.S. core search market

Earlier in this series, we discussed how Google (GOOG)(GOOGL) has been able to maintain its leadership position in the digital advertising market. We also discussed how Facebook (FB) has become an emerging player in this market. But Facebook’s share of around 8% still lags a long way behind Google’s share of 31%. Google has maintained its leadership position in the overall digital advertising market mainly on the back of its dominance in the search advertising market.

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According to various monthly U.S. explicit core search reports from Comscore, Google has managed to maintain its share at around 67% in the U.S. search market over the last few years. Other prominent search engines—like Microsoft (MSFT) Bing, Yahoo (YHOO), and AOL (AOL)—are way behind Google in this market.

As the chart below shows, in the last year, the main change that has come to the U.S. search market is Microsoft gaining 1.5% market share at Yahoo’s expense.

Ad US search market share

Bing could become a bigger threat to Google’s supremacy

As the chart above shows, Microsoft’s Bing did gain some market share in the U.S. core search market. But this gain could be even greater in the future since Apple (AAPL) has started to use Bing as its default search engine in the redesigned Spotlight search feature for the recently released iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, potentially replacing Google as the default search engine. Last year, Apple also made Bing the default search engine for its Siri application.

Apple is the biggest smartphone player in the U.S. With the success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple could become an even stronger player. So Bing could leverage Apple’s strong presence to gain some more share in the core search market at Google’s expense.


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