If you’re new to the idea of search engine optimisation, there are no end of things lying in wait to confuse you. One of the smaller things that can be just as confusing as anything is the seeming interchangeable nature of the words ‘search engine’ and ‘Google.’ With a number of fairly prominent search engines out there, it’s strange that everyone in the SEO community is so obsessed with the G-word.
The reason is simple. For all practical purposes, the only search engine is Google. The search engine is a giant in the industry, a monster, having had a good 70% hold on the market for more than ten years. Although plenty of new search engines have tried to challenge Google’s supremacy, most of them didn’t manage to shift the giant of the industry by even half a point.
Google wasn’t always the front-runner in search, although it seems that way to the search engine optimisation industry. The company only had its beginnings in 1996, and it was close to the new millennium when they gained supremacy over then-favourite, Yahoo!. Many SEO pros were excited about the prospects presented by Microsoft’s release of re-vamped search engine Bing, which did manage to shift Google by a couple of points, but in all the search engine giant is still the giant – with a capital G.
This is actually good news for the average website. Optimising for more than one search engine is a difficult task, especially when search engines often look for opposing things, which is why most search engine optimisation companies don’t bother with the smaller search engines. Google’s supremacy has also meant that the smaller search engines have followed the company’s lead, meaning that if you’re top in Google, you won’t be that far off in Yahoo!.
This situation isn’t guaranteed to remain, however, so it is a good idea for any company or SEO agency to keep tabs on what all search engines are doing.