Given the strong reliance internet users have on search engines to find all types of content, it’s important for marketers and techies to be well-versed in the search engine market’s nuances. To help, we’ve put together all the important search engine statistics you need in 2021 for a comprehensive understanding of how this critical component of the internet functions.
These statistics cover information on everything, including the leading search engines’ market shares, user behavior, and internet search trends, as well as click-through and conversion rates and search engine optimization. Since Google accounts for the greatest share of the search engine market by far, a large portion of these statistics covers aspects of the Google search ecosystem. However, as you’ll realize while going through these data points, the other players in the search business shouldn’t be ignored if you want to target different types of customers.
Google’s share in desktop searches globally has hovered between 74% and 78% since September 2018. In the 2018–2019 period, Bing has moved from the third to the second position, accounting for nearly 9.41% of the market. Baidu is marginally behind with 9.34%, thanks mainly to its popularity in China, where internet usage has really taken off in the last few years. Yahoo statistics show that it has moved to the fourth position, with its market share hovering around 3% in 2019. Yandex is the fifth most widely used search engine, with a share of 1.23% of the world’s search traffic.
As per the latest mobile search figures, Baidu is in the second position with 10.86% of the worldwide traffic. The Yahoo market share in mobile search traffic is 1.19%, while the figures for Bing and Yandex are at 0.88% and 0.44%, respectively. Interestingly, over the last year, Google’s share has moved up from 76%, while Baidu’s has gone down from 21%.
The figures for the same period for Microsoft Sites and Verizon Media (formerly Yahoo and Oath) are 24.8% and 11.6%, respectively. In terms of the actual number of queries, this translates to 9.57 billion search queries in one month for Google.
SEO specialists should also know that Google’s share was even higher for mobile search engine traffic, at 95%. Among the other top search engines—Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo—the corresponding organic search traffic shares were 4% and 2%, 3% and 2%, and 0.6% and 0.6%, for overall and mobile search respectively.
It’s not surprising that the largest number of visitors (27%) to Google are from the United States. The next highest number comes from India, at 8.7%. Some locations like China and Russia have local players that take away a substantial chunk of the Google search engine market share. Despite that, visitors from China account for the fourth-highest proportion of all visitors (3.6%) after Japan (4.6%).
While Google is certainly the primary search engine in the US, it also has a strong presence worldwide. It typically accounts for more than 80% of all desktop search traffic in most markets—for example, its market share in the US is 83.48%. On the other hand, the overall Google market share in Russia is just 42.84%, and it’s even lower in China, at 8.04%.
Bing currently occupies the second spot in the global search engine rankings. One of its more attractive features is its rewards program, which gives points to users for searching or shopping on the engine. Apart from the US, Bing is also quite popular in other locations, such as the UK (with a 23%–25% market share) and Taiwan (a 24%–26% market share).
The Yahoo search engine market share continues to have some relevance, with one billion total users still relying on this Bing-powered engine. Since 2016, its share of desktop traffic has decreased by 67%, and of mobile traffic, by 53%. Apart from the US, Yahoo’s search is also popular in the UK and Taiwan.
One of the beneficiaries of Yahoo’s user base decline seems to be Baidu, China’s most popular search engine—so much so that now different sets of data show either Baidu or Yahoo as the third most popular search engine worldwide. Baidu’s mobile search engine market share has seen particularly strong improvement, with 31% more traffic than it had in 2016. Although more than 95% of Baidu’s users are based in mainland China, it also has significant numbers of users in the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea.
If you’re interested in targeting the Russian market, Yandex is the best option. The search engine is available in English and Cyrillic, and it offers a helpful cloud storage service that allows you to search for files from the Yandex search bar. While Yandex ranks at the top among Russia’s most popular search engines—getting over 92% of its monthly users from Russia alone—it’s also popular in Ukraine, China, Belarus, and Germany.
Formerly known as Ask Jeeves, Ask.com is one of the oldest search engines around and has found a niche because of its unique question-answer format. Its algorithm favors expertise on a topic over popularity, making its search results significantly different from Google and Bing. Apart from the US, it also gets substantial traffic from Japan, Brazil, India, and Germany. However, it lost mobile search traffic to other search engines between 2016 and 2019, and the desktop traffic has barely managed to hold steady.
The engine handled more than 31 million daily queries in August 2019. The key reason for the rapid growth in DuckDuckGo’s popularity is the growing obsession with online privacy. With its privacy features, clean interface, and easy navigation, it’s the player to look out for in the search engine market. DuckDuckGo is the seventh most popular search engine worldwide, followed by Naver, AOL Search, and Dogpile.
Google doesn’t share its research volume data. However, based on internet live stats, it’s estimated that it handles 70,000 search queries on average per second. This translates to 5.8 billion searches per day and nearly 2 trillion searches in a year. For comparison, this figure was a little over 1.2 trillion searches per year in 2012.
According to Google search engine stats, 15% of the searches made by users on a daily basis have never been seen before. While this ensures that the search engine keeps receiving new types of information about its users every day, it also means that there’s always work to do to present people with the best, most reliable answers to their queries.
An additional interesting search engine fact is that all this is accomplished in a fraction of a second. The aspects considered by Google include domain factors, page-level factors, site-level factors, backlink factors, etc. Of course, since Google doesn’t release detailed information regarding these factors, much of this has been figured out through third-party research and, sometimes, simple speculation.
While Google’s share of organic mobile search engine traffic is the highest in the market, DuckDuckGo statistics show that this new player is only slightly behind Google in this department, at 62%. The figures from the second quarter of 2019 show that 52% of Yahoo’s US organic search traffic originated from mobile devices, with the number at 23% for Bing. Google has also seen the greatest increase since the fourth quarter of 2013, when the share of mobile devices was at just 34%.
The corresponding Bing market share was 34%. Among mobile devices, 63% of Google’s paid click share was accounted for by phones, and 6% by tablets. The figures for Microsoft Advertising or Bing were 27% for phones and 7% for tablets.
This activity benefited millions of businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits. Each month, Google drives over a billion connections for businesses countrywide while also connecting businesses with overseas customers. In fact, search engine traffic statistics show more than 35% of clicks for US business advertising via Google in 2018 came from outside the US.
This figure comes from a conservative calculation based on two fundamental assumptions. One, businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. Two, businesses overall receive an average of five clicks on their search results for every one click on their ads.
For Google, the market cap we’re talking about is of the listed parent company, Alphabet Inc. This number places it among the corporations with the largest market cap in the world, a list that includes other tech giants like Microsoft, Apple Inc., Amazon.com, and Facebook.
Google’s dominance in internet search also means that its ad revenue has increased steadily over the years. Since 2017, Google’s ad revenue jumped by more than 20%, which is line with its growth rate since its services began. Moreover, advertising was responsible for more than 85% of Google’s total revenue in 2018.
This makes understanding how to rank well on search engines absolutely essential if you want to be relevant in the online world. It also demonstrates why search engine optimization continues to be the buzzword—it’s the leading driver for organic search ranking performance on a search engine results page (SERP).
This has been a widely quoted figure in the tech world over the last few years. Search engine usage stats already show that more than 20% of Google’s searches come from voice, and 31% of smartphone users worldwide use voice search at least once a week. All things considered, the 50% mark doesn’t seem as fantastic as it might have some time back.
Interestingly, another study found that only 15% of US users conduct one or more searches per day, with the overall average being brought up by some heavy users. This indicates that there’s still a massive amount of search growth opportunity, not just for Google but also for the second best search engines.
Interestingly, the difference in the number of words used in search queries by desktop and mobile users isn’t significant. Desktop users only have a slightly higher query length on average, with 16% of desktop users going for 6 words or more in their queries compared to 14% mobile users. Data also shows that 8% of all search queries are phrased as questions.
Search engine stats also show that Google Images made up 22.6% of all searches and Google Maps accounted for 1.3%. Given the high amount of traffic on Google Images, it’s important for content creators to invest in visual content that can perform there and appear in web searches. Faced with the growth in traffic on Google and related services, YouTube (4.3%), Facebook (1.4%), Amazon (2.3%), and Twitter (0.4%) have managed to keep their shares surprisingly stable.
One of the more pertinent takeaways from these Google search engine statistics is that a local SEO strategy is essential for most businesses. HubSpot also reports that 88% of customers who do a local search on their phones visit or call a store within 24 hours, meaning that the conversion rates are much higher with local searches. In fact, 18% of these local searches lead to a purchase, compared to 7% of non-local searches.
Your Google My Business listing is one of the first things people see when they look at Google search results—not claiming it means you’re losing out on substantial business. Even more surprising is the data point that 82% of businesses haven’t yet claimed their Bing listing. Given the high Bing search engine market share, it’s important for businesses to expand outside Google.
Queries incorporating the top 10 million keywords account for 45% of all searches, and the top 1 billion keywords account for close to 90%. The distribution shows that a huge amount of search volume takes place in keywords beyond the top 10 million most-searched-for queries.
With search engine user statistics showing a high percentage of search queries seemingly not eliciting the needed answer, Google has made related searches a big part of its results in recent years. This kind of behavior takes place when a user searches using one particular query but doesn’t find any useful results. Then they either change the terms of the original query or click on one of Google’s “Searches related to…” options at the bottom of the page.
This happens either when the user opens up multiple tabs when searching or when the user clicks on one result, clicks back, and then clicks on another result. Search engine traffic stats show that the latter behavior, known as pogo-sticking, accounts for 8% of Google’s search results. With time, Google is likely to use this data to reward pages that don’t experience this behavior and push down those that do.
There’s been concern among many that search and SEO are becoming winner-take-all markets, with Google possibly directing the bulk of the traffic to the top-ranked domains. The actual figures belie this concern. As many as 87.4% of the post-search clicks on non-Google properties go to domains outside the top 100.
The average CTR for the second position is almost half, at 10.57%. Meanwhile, 75% of all searchers don’t go beyond the first page of their search results. No surprise, then, that websites try so hard to rank at the very top. For the same reason, the rank tracking software market has seen a tremendous growth. The average CTR for the first position is also higher on desktop than it is on mobile. Moreover, branded searches have higher CTRs on the first half of Google’s first page.
This number is four times higher than it is on any other search engine. The corresponding rates for other sites are 15% for Amazon, 9% for YouTube, and 6% for Bing. This makes it clear why Google promises a better return for businesses on searches. The same study also points out that 55% of people clicking on Google search ads prefer these ads to be text-based.
Google is trying to solve as many search queries as possible without the user having to click. Based on search engine optimization statistics, 34% of distinct search queries are not followed by clicks. However, if we look at all search queries (and not just the distinct ones), the figure moves up to 40%.
Stats show that for desktop devices, 2.8% of searches result in a paid click, with 35% of searches requiring no click. For mobile devices, 2% led to a paid click and 57.1% had no click. This illustrates the significant opportunity still available in SEO in comparison to PPC. SEO has nearly 20 times more traffic opportunity than PPC on both mobile and desktop.
When it comes to all search queries, the figure drops further to 2.6%. Thus, the search engine trends show that Google makes a massive amount of money on a small fraction of the searches that go through its engine. This may explain why they’re getting creative in hiding their ad indicator in the SERPs.
For all searches, this figure is slightly lower at 8.4%. Google properties in this case include YouTube (1.8%), Google Maps (0.9%), Gmail (0.16%), and Google Shopping (0.55%). Google continues to increase the amount of search traffic it takes to its own properties, but the overall click rates remain fairly low and present a significant opportunity for further growth.
While YouTube gets 1.8% of clicks, search engine statistics show that the actual share of videos in the results is much higher. YouTube still dominates the video results in Google searches, with other sources like Vimeo rarely appearing in Google’s SERPs directly.
This somewhat high rate is because people are naturally drawn to images. In addition, Google specifically shows images that are likely to earn the most engagement. If your own images aren’t ranking well in Google Images, the most likely reason—based on search engine usage statistics—is they aren’t drawing viewers as effectively as other images in the same category.
The corresponding figure for display is 0.46%. Of course, across specific industries, these figures can vary quite a bit. For example, the average CTR for Dating & Personals is quite high at 6.05%, while on the other end, we have 2.09% for Technology and 2.41% for B2B and Consumer Services.
As per the Google search engine stats, the corresponding figure for display is $0.63. Again, the costs can vary a fair bit across industries. Legal has a CPC (for search) of $6.75, and Consumer Services is close behind at $6.40. Among the lowest costs are $1.16 for E-commerce and $1.43 for Advocacy.
The search conversion rates saw a slight increase recently, while display conversion rates have fallen slightly. For display, remember that placement and audience optimization need to be considered carefully. Once again, the highest conversion rates are seen in Dating & Personals (9.64%), while the lowest are in Advocacy (1.96%) and Real Estate (2.47%).
Even though search engine optimization stats show that SEO techniques tend to be more profitable than PPC, it seems that relying completely on just one of these is not as beneficial as using a combination of both. As PPC ads are displayed to those who will find them the most useful, combining your investment in both should get you notably better customer interaction.
The use of video or image content continues to be a good way to optimize your site for different search engines. Of course, such heavy content shouldn’t affect the loading time of your page so much that it ends up increasing the bounce rate. Similarly, marketers also need to make full use of their meta details to stand out in the crowd. And don’t forget about the text, either—Google’s first-page results contain an average of 1,890 words. The full character limit of your pages should be used to provide visitors with as much information as possible while making sure that the keywords are used properly.
While Google continues to lead the search market overwhelmingly, search engines like Bing, Baidu, and DuckDuckGo have maintained their relevance.
Internet search on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon has also maintained its growth in the face of the increasing dominance of Google’s properties.
Google search trends show significant opportunities for marketers to improve their CTRs and conversion rates.
At the same time, ignoring other internet search engines can prove perilous for businesses, whether they’re targeting a general customer base or niche audiences.