UK Internet users made 2.7 billion visits to search engines in December 2012, up 400 million from the same period in 2011, Experian has found: a 17 per cent increase.
Google market share dropped below 90 per cent for the second month in a row to 88 per cent, its lowest in five years, with bing, Yahoo! and Ask all seeing an increased share.
James Murray, digital insight manager for Experian Marketing Services, said: “Clearly, Google still maintains a huge competitive edge over the other search engines in the UK market. There are seven times more searches conducted on Google Sites than on all the other search engines combined. However, this is encouraging news for Microsoft as bing once again starts to gain some momentum and traction in the UK search market.
“bing’s availability across multiple Microsoft devices and becoming the default search engine on sites such as Facebook has also contributed to an increase in market share as the way in which consumers use search engines continues to diversify.”
In total, Google Sites accounted for 88.35 per cent of all searches conducted in the UK in December 2012, down by 0.77 per cent from the previous month.
Microsoft Sites led by bing increased market share of searches for December, up by 0.19 per cent in comparison to November 2012 with an overall market share of 4.99 per cent. Yahoo! Sites increased market share by 0.08 per cent, while Ask Sites jumped 0.52 per cent.
Alex Wares, managing director at Mediarun, said: “As search behaviour among users and Google’s algorithm and interface continues to evolve, so does search marketing. During 2012 Google focused its attention more on search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics that fail to benefit user experience and it has forced SEO agencies to re-examine the way they achieve results for their clients.
“As a consequence link building and the general promotion of sites has come under intense scrutiny, leading to agencies employing practices which engage readers to a degree that has not been seen before. The industry was already aware that ’content is king’ but these latest changes have led to the realisation that the king also needs to be popular with the people.”