In the world of search engines, there truly is no bigger name than Google.
If you think you might have the flu and want a list of the symptoms, you Google it. You don’t Bing it, and you certainly don’t Yahoo! it, despite what these company’s advertising campaigns might suggest. No other search engine has become a household name — not to mention a whole new verb entirely — quite like Google has.
That’s why it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that Google currently holds 67.3% of the entire market share for search engines. According to a recent report from the research firm comScore, Google’s market share jumped up nearly 0.6 percentage points from its 66.7% standing in November. Bing and Yahoo!, on the other hand, didn’t see quite as much growth.
But don’t write Bing off just yet. The November comScore numbers showed Bing at 18.1%, and the newest data puts them at 18.2%. Though it might appear slight, it’s important to note this increase because it’s the latest in a trend of steadily climbing percentage points for the Microsoft-owned company. Though still far, far behind in Google’s rearview mirror, Bing is showing slow-but-steady growth that could potentially mean more fierce competition with Google down the road, even if it’s a few years before the two can truly spar.
Yahoo! hasn’t been so lucky. Though older than Google, Yahoo! has seen its market share continue to slip in the past few years, currently standing at only 10.8%. In October 2012, Yahoo! was all the way up at 12.2%. This latest drop shows what appears to be Yahoo! trading places with Bing to become the new bottom rung on the search engine ladder. Well, above Ask and AOL, anyway.
But what accounts for Google’s most recent spike in terms of market share? One has to look no further than the term “innovation” to see what’s beginning to happen in the industry. Google isn’t just a search engine — or an email provider, or an aspiring social network, or a complete office aide — anymore.
Apple, though historically the leader in advanced, cutting-edge products and ideas, has spent the better part of four years, since the iPad was launched, in a bit of a dry spell. Instead of regularly churning out revolutionary new products, Apple has taken to refurbishing its already existing ones — the aforementioned iPad and especially the iPhone. That’s left a bit of a blind spot in the market, which Google has gladly stepped in to fill.
As Fool.com points out, Apple’s new product launches tend to be swamped with rumors about new colors, shapes and sizes. Google’s, on the other hand, involve talk of researching artificial intelligence, cars that can operate themselves and, of course, Google Glass. That’s all in addition to its Android smartphone and tablet game, which has been quite strong, finishing up 2013 with an impressive 50.6% market share, compared to Apple’s iOS share of 43.9%.
Simply put, Google still lags behind Apple in terms of total market capitalization. But it’s a gap that might just be closing more quickly with each passing year.
A year ago, Google boasted $248 billion in total market cap, quite a bit lower than Apple’s dominating $430 billion. But in only 12 months, Google’s already risen to $375 billion, while Apple’s only up to $456 billion. Google also saw a 50% jump in its share prices in the past year, while Apple’s declined by 9%. It would appear that Google’s sights are set firmly on the future, and the company’s taking every small step it can to get there just a bit more quickly than the rest of us.
That is, of course, unless Bing gets there first.