If you’re an internet user, it’s unlikely that Google hasn’t touched your life in multiple ways. While its internet browser, video content platform, smart home devices, and many other offerings are used across the world, its most dominant presence remains in the search and advertising business. That’s why we compiled these Google Search statistics—to help you understand its dominant presence in greater detail.
The following statistics include data on the search engine’s market share and popularity, what factors you should optimize to help your site rank higher in search results, and the future tech trends hinted at by Google itself. Also included are some interesting statistics on the most-searched-for queries on Google and some lesser-known facts from the tech giant’s history. Thus, through these detailed statistics, we intend to cover all the important aspects of Google Search that any marketer, business owner, or tech enthusiast needs to know in 2020.
Google is the search engine of choice for nearly nine out of ten mobile internet users worldwide. Baidu, which has its largest user base in China, is currently in the second position, with a 1.36% share of the global mobile search traffic. Yahoo (0.9%), Bing (0.51%), and Yandex (0.43%) make up the rest of the top five.
The Google market share of the searches originating from desktops and laptops has been relatively constant. Bing is the second most widely used search engine, with a share of 5.53%, while Yahoo (2.83%), Yandex (0.76%), and Baidu (0.7%),follow it.
The shares of Google’s competitors were 6.07% for Bing, 3.94% for Yahoo, and 1.28% for DuckDuckGo. However, when it comes to explicit core search queries—queries that exclude contextually driven searches that don’t reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results—Google Search stats show that its 2019 US market share is 62.7%. For comparison, it’s 24.8% for Microsoft sites (including Bing) and 11.6% for Verizon media (including Yahoo and Oath).
Google doesn’t freely share information related to its total search queries. The next best option is to look at live stats and extrapolate the data. According to Internet Live Stats as of February 2020, the search engine handles around 80,731 queries per second. This translates to about 2.54 trillion searches a year.
Google search traffic data shows that about one out of every four Google visitors is from the US (or at least, using a VPN server based in the US). The second and third highest number of visitors to the site come from India (8.7%) and Japan (4.6%). Surprisingly, despite Baidu’s dominance in China, Chinese visitors account for the fourth-highest traffic to Google.com, with a 3.6% share.
Google is a truly global service, enjoying the top position in a number of countries outside the US. In this case, Google Search sees popularity that’s notably high in Brazil, where it has enjoyed a 95% share or higher for quite some time. In India, it has a 95.9% share of the search engine market. Even in Russia—where Google has to contend with Yandex, a major local player—its market share is 42.84%, while in China, its share is 8.04%.
It’s possible to get an idea of how many people use Google through its main products’ total active users. For example, in the last 12 months, Chrome, Google’s internet browser, had market shares of 68.78% and 61.77% on desktop and mobile, respectively.
Across all its properties—including Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, and Hangouts—Google Sites topped the ranking of the most popular multi-platform web properties in the US in July 2019 with more than 250.5 million unique visitors. The other properties in the top five are Facebook, Oath (which includes Yahoo), Amazon, and Microsoft.
While this may sound quite substantial for a search engine that already handles trillions of searches in a year, this growth rate is nothing compared to the rates experienced by Google in 1998 and the years immediately following it. Its search volume increased by 17,000% between 1998 and 1999; 1000% between 1999 and 2000; 200% between 2000 and 2001, and continued to increase by 40% to 60% until around 2010. Since then, it has steadied at the current, more modest rate.
Given that internet traffic is becoming increasingly mobile, it’s not surprising that well over half of Google’s site visits in the US take place on mobile devices. As per the Google search numbers, in 2013, the share of mobile devices accessing Google was just 34%. While the current share of mobile traffic for Yahoo and Bing is relatively lower at 52% and 23%, respectively, DuckDuckGo has figures close to Google’s, at 62%.
The share that mobile devices have in accessing different search engines is also reflected in click shares and could partially be a reflection of the age groups that use these sites. Younger users generally prefer Google and DuckDuckGo, and older users prefer Yahoo and Bing. Among clicks on Bing, mobile devices had a much lower share, at just 34%.
While Google keyword trends show that the actual figures can vary over a fairly vast range, according to calculations shared by Google, careful investment in SEO and PPC can earn businesses a substantial profit. These calculations are based on the evidence that businesses receive an average of five clicks on their search results for every one click on their ads.
Ads and search lead to clicks, and some clicks lead to business. This fundamental model has helped Google benefit all kinds of for-profit and nonprofit organizations. According to the Google Search facts in its annual Economic Impact reports, the company contributed $165 billion of economic activity to millions of organizations in the US in 2015, up from $131 billion in 2014. This value had more than doubled in three years.
Google doesn’t just drive over a billion connections for businesses within the US; Google Search statistics show that it also connects businesses to overseas customers. It’s believed that digitization will boost the US’s GDP by up to $2.2 trillion by 2025, and the cross-border connectivity provided by Google will have an important role to play in that.
This is another indirect way to figure out how many people use Google Search globally. With close to 7 billion searches handled on average by Google in a day, the number of people using Google on a daily basis comes to roughly 1.7 billion. Of course, not every person is as active with searches—another study reveals that only about 15% of users in the US conduct more than one search a day; therefore, it’s just a small number of users who bring up the overall average.
This is separate from the 62.6% of searches on Google Web Search. YouTube accounted for 4.3% of all searches, and Google Maps for 1.3%. The key takeaways from the Google Search data like this are one, given the high amount of traffic on Google Images, it becomes important for businesses to invest in visual content, and two, across all its properties, Google has been increasing its dominance in the internet search market.
Google Search trends often provide a strong indication of general user behavior on the internet as a whole. This only highlights how important it is for businesses to invest in a local SEO strategy. Given the high success rates of local searches, this becomes even more critical.
Google Search statistics by keyword show that the use of queries like “____ store open near me” and “____ on sale near me” has increased significantly in the last two years. As Google is used increasingly to search for local businesses, it’s important for these businesses to focus on local SEO.
Data from Google also throws light on the fast adoption of voice-enabled search. The share of voice in overall search is likely to continue rising—many experts believe that half of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020. Additional Google voice search statistics show an upward trend in usage because of the fast adoption of smart home assistants.
2018 has been a great year for voice-enabled smart devices. Google Home has an install base of around 43 million in the US and around 9 million in other Google Home markets, a substantial jump in a year, based on Google Search statistics from 2017. However, the market leader in this category is Amazon, which has a US penetration level of 31%, up from 21.5% in 2017. Apple’s HomePod lags far behind in popularity.
Users 45–64 years are more likely to prefer Bing—especially the 55–64 age group—while Yahoo! has more popularity among those 65+. Users aged between 25 and 34 are least likely to give Bing a try, while Google trends by age show that users aged 65+ are the least fond of Google.
This may be a surprise since we know that consumers 18–24 years old adapt to voice technology quickly. Nevertheless, they’re slightly less likely to use their voice assistants. The 25–49 age group is also more likely to use voice search more often, at an impressive rate of 65%. Surprisingly, users in the 50+ age group aren’t far behind, with 57% classified as heavy users.
Moreover, the number-one organic result in a Google search is ten times more likely to be clicked on compared to a page in the #10 spot. This is why website owners try so hard to ensure that their pages get ranked at the very top in Google’s search results—it makes an objective difference in how often your link gets clicked on. The same set of Google word search statistics also suggests that the top three search results get 75.1% of all clicks.
Of course, it depends on which level this movement occurs. Moving from the third spot to the second produces a massive boost in CTR, but upward movement in the lower levels doesn’t improve the chances of being clicked on all that much. In fact, research into the top Google searches shows that the organic CTR for positions 7–10 is virtually the same.
While being ranked low on the first page reduces the chances of your link being clicked on, it’s still far better than being on the second page, which most users don’t see at all. With less than 1% of searchers, on average, bothering to go beyond the first Google results page, the takeaway from these Google search-term statistics is that it’s critically important to use SEO tactics and the right keywords to ensure a first-page ranking.
Research shows that there are a number of ways to increase the probability of users clicking through your page in Google. For example, title tags that have between 15 and 40 characters have an 8.6% higher CTR compared to those outside that range.
According to the search statistics on Google, other ways to improve CTRs include using emotional titles and meta descriptions. Titles with clear positive or negative perspectives improve CTRs by approximately 7%. Pages with a meta description receive 5.8% more clicks than those without one. However, contrary to popular belief, titles with “power words” tend to have lower CTRs, by as much as 13.9%.
According to Google Search statistics by word, approximately 15% of the searches made every day have never been tried on the search engine before. This keeps the engine on its toes, trying to come up with the best answers to these original queries using different legitimate sources.
Therefore, every time a search query is entered by the user, Google doesn’t search through the entire internet; it searches its index of the internet. Thanks to this most basic of Google Search Engine facts—coupled with its many data centers located across the world, the hundreds of computers working simultaneously at these data centers, and Google’s other software-related features—Google can deliver millions of results to the searcher in a fraction of a second.
Despite how quickly Google can provide results for a search query, it takes a large number of factors—including those related to domain, page-level, site-level, backlinking, etc.—into account before presenting the millions of results.
Based on the Google Search Engine statistics, there’s no fixed time for Google to initially index a site. The time varies based on a number of factors, like the site’s popularity, how crawlable the content is, and the site’s structure. Google Support lists the most important factors that site owners should check to ensure the site is optimal for crawling and indexing.
When a searcher doesn’t find any useful results with one search query, they often run the search again using related keywords. This aspect of Google keyword search trends is the primary reason the search engine has made related searches (the options that turn up at the bottom of the search results page) a major part of its search offering in recent years.
While 63% of users show willingness to click on paid search ads on Google, the corresponding figures for other sites are 15% for Amazon, 9% for YouTube, and 6% for Bing. This high Google popularity factor is one of the reasons why the search engine ensures a much better return on your investment in paid search results.
Google users, in general, like comprehensive answers to their queries. Pages that are about 2,000 words in length tend to rank better than shorter pieces of content on the same subject. Another important tactic to optimize your site for Google, as indicated by the Google search term trends, is to make full use of meta details. Use the full character limit to provide visitors with clear information, making sure at the same time that keywords are used properly.
This behavior includes pogo-sticking, which refers to clicking on one result, going to that page, and then returning to the search results to opt for another page. Pogo-sticking accounts for about 8% of all Google searches, and when it happens too frequently, a site risks being pushed down by Google.
This isn’t a winner-take-all market where the top domains take away a disproportionately high amount of traffic. With more than four out of five clicks going to domains outside the top 100, there are enough opportunities for your site if it doesn’t rank among the domains with the most internet traffic.
More and more people turn to Google the moment they need even the most basic questions answered, demonstrating users’ increased dependence on this tool. The “what” questions searched at the highest frequency in 2018 were “What is Bitcoin?” and “What is racketeering?” Meanwhile, the most-asked “how” queries were “How to vote” and “How to register to vote.”
What are people searching for on Google? As it turns out, a little over 3 million people worldwide are just trying to find out their own IP address. This isn’t even counting other variations of the same question, like “What is my IP address?” Other particularly common question-based queries include “What time is it?” “How to register to vote,” “How to tie a tie,” and “Can you run it?”
The keyword has a global monthly search of 10 and a global cost-per-click of $615, according to the Google keywords search statistics. This means that whenever someone searches Google for this keyword and clicks on a PPC ad, Google charges the advertiser $615. The other most expensive keywords include “car accident attorney Long Beach,” with a CPC of $590, “personal injury lawyer in Colorado” ($585), and “accident attorney San Bernardino” ($536).
24% of keywords in the top 10000 use the word “insurance” in the phrase. Based on additional google keyword search statistics, other financial and legal terms like “loans,” “mortgage,” “attorney,” and “credit” have fairly high CPCs, ranging from $36 to $48 per click.
Based on six months of data, the top five most-searched terms on Google are all brands. After Facebook, the other words that make up the top five are YouTube, Google, Gmail, and Hotmail. If we discount all the brand names, the top four most-searched words on Google are “weather,” “maps,” “translate,” and “calculator.”
The Qur’an is the second most-searched book and has been at that position since 2005. However, from 1992 to 2002, the most-searched book on Google was Lolita, the controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov, which now sits at the number ten position. Because the Bible has been the most-searched book on Google since 2003, it’s also among the top Google searches of all time.
The topics or people being searched naturally depends on time and location. For 2018, the top search globally was the World Cup, followed by Avicii, Mac Miller, Stan Lee, and Black Panther. Among important personalities, Meghan Markle was searched the most, followed by Demi Lovato, Sylvester Stallone, Logan Paul, and Khloé Kardashian. The source for this data compiles information on the most-searched thing on Google in different categories for every year.
This fact, revealed by Google Marketing Live 2018, demonstrates just how research-obsessed today’s users are. They don’t merely want to know what options are the best for them, they also spend a lot of time figuring out what options they should avoid completely. This new level of thoroughness in Google search terms demands increased attention to detail from advertisers. Google has introduced new machine-learning-inspired features like Smart Shopping and Smart Campaigns to help advertisers with this.
This dispels the concern many people have that the most expensive keywords will end up taking a lion’s share of all searches on Google. Even the top 10 million keywords account for less than 50% of all searches, while 25% of all search volume happens outside the top 100 million keywords, according to the Google search word statistics.
This shows the importance of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are generally used by searchers who know exactly what they’re looking for, as reflected in the specificity of the query. Thus, if your SEO strategy doesn’t target these terms, you’re missing out on half of your potential leads. These keywords are also easier to rank for, making it all the more important to not ignore them.
Interestingly, before 2006, two other dates in September were celebrated as Google’s birthday. Nevertheless, neither of these dates is when the company was actually incorporated, which was on September 4, 1998. The most widely cited reason for celebrating it on September 27 is that Google’s first birthday Doodle was published on that day in 2002.
Tech companies regularly take the inorganic path to rapid growth, and a history of Google facts shows that the company has been particularly noteworthy in this area. In fact, there was a period around 2010 when it averaged two acquisitions per month. Some of Google’s most impressive and expensive acquisitions include Android ($50 million, 2005), YouTube ($1.65 billion, 2006), DoubleClick ($3.1 billion, 2007), Waze ($1.1 billion, 2013), and Nest ($3.2 billion, 2014).
This was an increase of about 23% from the company’s 2017 revenue and a far cry from the $19.1 million made by Google in 2000. Despite the vast range of Google products and services available today, one of the most striking facts about the Google Search Engine is that it remains the company’s primary revenue stream. Google’s search and advertising business had $116.3 billion in revenue in 2018. Its other revenues are generated via product licensing and digital content and mobile apps via the Google Play Store.
The hardware products offered by Google include Google Home, Pixel, Nest, and Chromecast. These products together are believed to have contributed $8.8 billion to the group’s overall revenue in 2018. With changing patterns in entertainment consumption and the increasing adoption of smart devices, Google Search statistics show that the company’s presence in the hardware side of technology is expected to become increasingly prominent.
This makes Alphabet the company with the fourth-largest market cap in the world, only behind Microsoft ($1.062 trillion), Apple Inc. ($1.012 trillion), and Amazon ($858.7 billion). Moreover, Alphabet’s share price has seen an almost consistent rise over the previous five-year period, with minor downward corrections in 2018 and the first half of 2019.
Although the company has regularly stated its commitment to promoting gender diversity throughout Google, the trends in data actually show that only 31.6% of its employees are women. In fact, this figure has remained almost constant since 2016, when the company started reporting on the diversity of its employees. Furthermore, as of 2019, women occupied only 26.1% of leadership positions and 22.9% of tech positions.
As of October 2019, Alphabet Inc. was trading at $1,211 a share. If you had invested $1000 in Google stock in 2004, your investment would be worth $28,494 today. Alphabet’s stock is one of the most profitable shares in the last fifteen years, surpassed only by companies like Amazon, Apple, and Netflix.
The Google employee facts show that the company has seen an almost consistent rise in its number of full-time employees in the last decade. These employees work not only for Google but also for other group entities like Calico, X, CapitalG, and Sidewalk Labs. These employees are based out of more than 70 offices spread across 50 countries around the globe. Google is also consistently rated among the most desirable places to work.
Another striking aspect of these Google employee facts is that, despite a stated commitment to ethnic diversity, only 3.3% of Google’s employees in the US are black, 5.7% are Latinx, and 0.8% are Native American. After white employees, the second largest ethnic group is Asian, at 39.8% of the overall employee base.
Among the leading tech companies, Alphabet ranks fourth in terms of revenue generated per employee. In 2018, the top position was held by Netflix, which earned $2.22 million per employee. The other two companies above Alphabet are Apple ($2.01 million per employee) and Facebook ($1.57 million).
According to the most recent Google Search statistics, Shoelace—a highly local network that helps users find other people to join them in activities of interest—is being tested by Google’s in-house incubator Area 120. This is a more modest attempt by Google at social networking after previous unsuccessful ventures, including Google Buzz (launched 2010, retired 2011), Google Friend Connect (launched 2008, retired 2012), Orkut (launched 2004, retired 2014), and Google+ (launched 2011, retired 2019).
Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithms every year, most of which don’t seriously change how sites are ranked. However, as we can see in the Google Search statistics from 2015, the search engine made a major change in April of that year when it came to how websites ranked in mobile searches. This change—dubbed Mobilegeddon—is reported to have resulted in a 21% decrease in non-mobile-friendly URLs on the first three pages of mobile search results.
One of the little-known facts about Google is that, in the face of growing scrutiny, like many other tech giants, it has ramped up its lobbying expenditures. Its lobbying spending in 2018 was the highest since 2012. Other tech companies with impressive expenditures in this area include Facebook ($12.62 million), Amazon ($14 million), and Microsoft ($9.52 million).
This fine, equivalent to $1.65 billion USD, wasn’t the first time Google had been charged with antitrust fines by the European Commission. Facts about Google from the past indicate that these antitrust fines include a €2.4 billion fine ($2.7 billion) in June 2017 and a €4.3 billion fine ($4.7 billion) in July 2018. These are some of the highest antitrust fines issued by the EC in its history.
We’ve provided a detailed journey showing how Google dominates the way hundreds of millions (if not billions) of people use the internet. While we tried to touch upon every single important aspect with these Google Search statistics, if there’s any bit that you’re still curious about, you know what to do. Yes, simply Google it!