Everybody in the computer/internet industry has different preferences regarding what sites to visit, which search engine to use and what social network is the best for advertising business. Search engines and social media sites have been competing with each other for years now, and 2009 is sure to be exciting with millions more people getting in on the internet action, especially with sites like Twitter hitting the scene. I would like to cover which sites are the real big boys and which ones have still got a long way to go.
Ok, let us start with the leading search engines. Everyone automatically thinks of Google at the words “leading search engine”, and of course everyone is correct. So far this year, Google has displayed total domination in the search engine world, as its share of the search market has increased every month. The only other search engine that has consistently increased over the first 3 months of 2009 is Ask.com. Google started the year with 63% of the search market, which increased to 63.3% in February. When checking the search volumes for all engines over the last 4 weeks in Hitwise(US), I saw that Google was sitting at 72% search volume compared to 2nd place Yahoo! at a mere 17%. Now, if that’s not total domination then I don’t know what is. The stats from the UK Hitwise were similar except that Google UK had the most search volume at 76% and Google.com was second with 13%, but still no competition from Yahoo! with a 3% search volume.
Stats from the UK:
Stats from the US:
In South Africa, the top search engine was, with no surprise, still Google. The stats for South Africa show that Google’s market share hasn’t drop beneath 90% since August last year. Yahoo! never made it past 5% market share during the same period of time. At the moment, Google owns 90.31% of the search market and Yahoo! only 1.58%. MSN is the second biggest search engine in S.A with 5.22% of the market. So far in 2009, Google is the leader and in my opinion I don’t think any search engine will overtake them.
Next are social media sites. Gone are the days of MySpace as the leader in social media and welcome Facebook and new-comer Twitter. Recent stats have shown that Facebook is currently the leading social media network by far in the UK. Of all the visitors to social media sites over the past 4 weeks, 41% went to Facebook. MySpace only captured 4% of that visitor percentage. Twitter is way behind with 1.13%.
In the US, however, MySpace is still the leader with 31.95% of social media visitors. Facebook and Twitter had 28.07% and 0.80% respectively. Twitter’s figures are bound to change as a result of the major buzz worldwide at the moment.
So, that’s how the industry currently looks as far as search engines and social media sites are concerned. From my side, I don’t see any major changes coming to the search engines soon. For social media sites, I think that Twitter is going to get big, very big, in the near future. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of changes are coming up in the industry.