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Google’s Surprising Competitors, and What They Mean for You

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To many people Google seems so dominant in online search, it’s as if they have no serious competitors. But a closer look shows that’s not really the case.

We tend to think of Google as a search engine, so much so that their brand name has made the iconic jump to a verb synonymous with searching. (e.g. “Google it.”).

But Google is more than just a search engine, and as the Internet continues to grow and change, Google is not just competing against other search engines but also against other ways of getting information, other platforms and other activities.

Eric Enge makes this point in a thought-provoking article on SearchEngineLand that I want to build on by discussing…

6 Surprising Google Competitors

1) Amazon – 33% of online users start their product searches on Amazon compared to 13% on Google. I was shocked by this stat. If you are selling products, are they listed in Amazon? Do they rank well in an Amazon search?

2) Apple – Google makes the Android mobile operating system which holds 85% of the mobile market, while Apple’s iOS is on 12% Apple is talking about including ad blocking features in iOS which would block Google ads. If you do marketing with Google ads, this could affect you.

3) Apps – It used to be that going online meant using the World Wide Web – browsing websites on a web browser. However, the percentage of time people spend using apps has been growing dramatically. Consider developing an app.

4) Facebook – Google the leading provider of mobile advertising at 33% of marketing share. Facebook is #2 at 19%. If you are considering marketing your product, service or organization through mobile ads, you might want to consider Facebook ads in addition to Google AdWords.

5) Facebook (part 2) – Most of us trust the recommendations of our friends. And while most of us still do online searches for the things we are looking for, it’s also very common to post to Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites asking our friends for recommendations… “Anyone know a good Mexican restaurant in Tampa?” “I need to replace our air conditioner, any recommendations?” “We’re moving to Hoboken, anyone know a good church there?”

To capitalize on this trend, of course its helpful to be active in social media. But even more than that… be awesome. Seriously. People don’t recommend mediocre organizations. People don’t recommend companies with average customer service. People don’t recommend poor websites.

6) Bing – While some people think Google is the only player in online search, the market share of search results provided is currently Google 64%, Bing 33%.  Yes, Google is still dominating, but Bing could provide more than 1/3 of your visitors if your site ranks well in its search results.

Bottom line: the Internet is becoming more diverse, and so should we.


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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.