May 15, 2015

Will Search Market Competition Put Pressure on Google?

A smartphone screen depicting the Google Search main page.
Photo courtesy of Business News Daily
By Justin H.

Google is more than just the head honcho of the internet, so much so that “google,” or “googling” made it into the dictionary as a verb. That tells you all you really need to know about the company’s dominance in the search engine industry.

However, with great success often comes great vexation. The hot topic of late for Google has been the slew of antitrust lawsuits and their alleged monopolization of the industry.

On top of that, Google’s competition is still scratching and clawing like never before, hoping it can capitalize on the distracting lawsuits, which brings us to the million dollar question:

Is the competition going to outperform Google?

Bing is Entering “Mobilegeddon” Fires Right Alongside Google

For the first time ever, mobile search is outnumbering desktop. Search giants are continuing to react to this seismic shift by placing added emphasis on mobile-friendly sites.

“In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan,” said Google in a recent blog post.

Google’s new algorithm was aimed at favoring mobile-friendly sites, and now Bing is following suit by steadily rolling out changes of its own. Bing will still give top ranking to the best site even if it isn’t designed for mobile, so the changes won’t be going overboard.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a huge impact.

Bing’s US desktop share grew by over 10 percent over the past year. In March, it claimed one of every five US-based desktop searches, according to comScore. Since the Bing algorithm powers Yahoo!, together they collect one in every three desktop searches.

That’s certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Facebook Wants a Slice of the Page Time Pie

Everyone’s favorite social media outlet is testing its own search engine that will allow users to easily find and feature links in status updates.

The caveat? You can do it without ever visiting Google. All you have to do is enter a search term, and a list of links will drop down for you.

“We’re piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments,” Facebook recently told TechCrunch.

Many of the things Facebook does are geared toward preventing users from navigating elsewhere, and this update is a big plus in that department.

Could this result in Facebook boxing out Google from its own niche market?

"If you look at Facebook's progress over the last few years, the real growth has been in its mobile advertising revenue," Jack Kent, senior mobile analyst at IHS, told CNBC. "That means that Facebook's mobile advertising growth will put pressure on Google. And anything which keeps people inside Facebook with an experience that means that you don't need Google would put pressure on Google."

Ah ha! Factor that in with how 70 percent of Facebook’s total ad revenue comes from mobile and they could be onto something, given the search market’s shift toward mobile. That is surely one of their next steps, and plays right along with their hosted content project that will allow other news sources to display articles and videos organically inside Facebook newsfeeds.

So, Is Google Really in Trouble?


Bing is growing steadily, but it continues to follow in Google’s footsteps as opposed to blazing its own trail. Its noticeable growth in the desktop market is no small feat, but conquering a larger desktop share means much less than it did prior to Mobilegeddon.

What Facebook is attempting to do is very interesting. Their endeavors are still in developmental stages, but considering the site’s 1.4 billion users, it is still feasible that Facebook could carve out a niche for itself inside the search market industry.

However, it feels as if there is a cap on what Facebook could accomplish with its search feature. What if you want to search for something, but don’t want to post a status? If Facebook integrates organic news content from certain sources, will I get a more truncated version of my daily news? There are still some kinks to work out, but Facebook could prove a formidable opponent in the months to come.

The fact remains that when you need to find information, you google it. You don’t Facebook it…at least not until Facebook becomes a verb. Once your company name can stand alone in the dictionary, then maybe you can stand up to the search king.

What do you think about Bing and Facebook's improvements? Are they enough to make a dent in Google's plans? Let us know in the comment section below!

1 comment:

  1. Do you remember the phrase: "I used AltaVista." It could happen with Google too. I have been using Bing more and I have DuckDuckGo as a plugin on my Google Chrome browser on my Mac laptop! ;) Talking about Mac, rumors floating around about a Apple browser built on Spotlight (internal search engine on a Mac device).