Google announces results of Android search engine ballot

Posted on January 13, 2020


Google has revealed which alternative search engines it will begin to offer to Android users in each EU country following its ballot.

From the beginning of March, citizens of the EU setting up a new Android-powered device will be given a choice of four different search engines to set as the default browser. Whichever the chosen provider, this will become the default for searches conducted in Chrome, as well as for those made through the search box appearing on the Android home screen. Furthermore, a dedicated app for that particular provider will be installed onto the device.

Google is introducing this selection following an antitrust ruling from the EU in March last year. As part of this, Google was given a record fine of $5bn (£3.8m) by European regulators who stated that the search firm had to cease illegally tying its search engine to the operating system.

The search engines that will be offered to users will vary for different EU countries, with this selection being decided through an auction system. As part of this, each provider informs Google of how much it would be willing to pay the company for each user that selects its product as their default setting. The three providers with the highest bids will then be offered to the users. This auction process will be conducted every quarter.

As it is an auction process, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these are the most popular search engines in a specific country, but indicates how much the provider is willing to pay to have users from that nation.

The results showed that DuckDuckGo was the most selected, being the number one bidder for every nation bar one, in which it was the second highest bidder. Bing only chose to appear as a choice for the UK – where it took the top bidder spot – since it is more likely to generate revenue from search ads in this country than in nations with lower GDPs.

Google’s auction process was announced in August, and a number of search providers were not happy with it, with Qwant stating that this move was Google abusing its dominant position. Environmentally conscious search engine Ecosia, meanwhile, decided to boycott this system altogether and raise concerns with what it saw as monopolistic actions from Google.

While Google continues to dominate the search engine market, developments like this show that other search engines shouldn’t be ignored. To help your site rank highly in all of them, speak to us at Engage Web.

Operations Manager at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Operations Manager.
Alan Littler
  • […] in the month, Google revealed which search engines it would be using as part of the default search engine options for Android users. After successfully bidding to be one of the options for each country currently in the EU, […]

  • […] or three alternatives as their default, with alternative providers being determined based on an auction of competitors, which DuckDuckGo, among others, was critical of. Other competitors also voiced their concerns, […]

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