Most searches can be carried out through search engines and websites, so do web masters have to keep many masters happy or do they just need to follow Google’s strict rules?
If you want to search the web, you really have just two main choices – although lots of specialist search engines are out there.
Google and Bing are the big two – and Google is significantly largest of the two however you look at the rankings.
The tables below shows the top general search sites for the US in February 2013 and the number of searches made through each search site:
Some search engines have a group of sister sites too. Bing includes MSN.com, MSNBC.com, Microsoft.com, and so on.
Google provides its own search results but AOL does not. AOL gets them from Google, while Yahoo! gets results from Bing, thanks to a Yahoo!/Microsoft partnership which is known as the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance.
According to the tables, Google has a 67.5% share in the search world. However, Google also feeds AOL its results. So, if you add AOL’s searches to Google’s, you then have around 71% of all searches.
Microsoft feeds are often thought to be 16.7%, but when you add in the likes of Yahoo! searches, powered by Microsoft, the figure is actually more like the 28.5% mark.
Webmasters don’t need to worry about AOL.com. Yes, it’s one of the world’s top search sites, but AOL is fed its searches by Google, so if your web site ranks well with Google, the details should feedback through AOL if anyone searches your keywords there.
The same goes for Yahoo! and Bing.
These figures only relate to the US, but the trends follow quite closely through North America and Europe.
If your site has a profile in South America, Asia or China, then you should consider local search engines, like Baidoo in China and shaping your content to rank highly with them.