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23 Search Engine Facts and Stats You Oughta Know

The search engines are changing all the time, but it’s not just the algorithms we need to consider. We also need to think about how people use the search engines and how their behavior has changed over the years.

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These facts and stats provide a brief look into the current state of search engine affairs, ranging from internet usage to how people are combining content, social, and paid strategies with their online marketing campaigns.

1.  The number of searches performed each year = At least 2 trillion but less than a quadrillion.

This number continues to grow as things like voice search and mobile search continue to impact online behavior.

2.  The number of searches per day continues to significantly favor Google.

The breakdown of searches by search engine looks like this:

Search Engine Searches per day
Google 4,464,000,000
Bing 873,964,000
Baidu 583,520,803
Yahoo 536,101,505
Other (AOL, Ask etc) 128,427,264

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3.  Mobile is the medium of choice for search.

Google officially announced that there are more Google searches taking place on mobile devices than on computers.

4.  Search engine traffic is huge for online shopping sites.

While traffic can come from a wide range of sources, search drives 10x more traffic to shopping sites than social media.

5.  Google still maintains an unbelievably lopsided market share.

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. But the current market share distribution looks something like this:

search engine market share.png

According to this data from Statista, the lowest point for Google was back in October 2013, when it dropped to a paltry 87% market share.

6.  The total number of search engine users is growing steadily on mobile and desktop.

  • Search engine users in the U.S. was estimated to be 213.6 million in 2014
    • This number is projected to reach 236.4 million by 2019
  • In that same time frame, mobile search users are projected to hit 216 million.

7.  Google also dominates the mobile search market share.

The mobile search share can be divided up thusly:

  • Google:53%
  • Yahoo!:07%
  • Bing:01%

8.  Phones and tablets produce a lot of clicks for businesses.

Overall, phones and tablets produced 53% of all paid search clicks in Q2 this year. This is up 12 points from the previous year.

9.  Spending on Google Shopping Ads is increasing.

Possibly due to some of the changes in the SERP presentation, the spending on Google Shopping Ads grew to 43%.

10.  The paid search landscape is changing things for organic.

The number of organic search visits dropped 7% year-over-year, despite an 11% growth the year before that. This is likely due to the increase in paid results above the fold pushing organic results down.

11.  Social media might contribute less than you think.

Social media sites accounted for 2.8% of site visits in the second quarter of 2016. Facebook, of course, is still the biggest contributor, delivering 63% of all social-driven site visits.

12.  SERP changes improved ad clicks.

The clickthrough rate on ads has increased after removing the right-hand-side ads.

13.  Mobile search is critical for local businesses.

When people search for something “near me,” 88% of them are doing it on mobile devices. Those local, mobile searches are growing at 146% year over year.

14.  Next year, total digital spend will surpass TV spend.

Estimates from eMarketer suggest that TV ad spending in 2017 will reach $72.01 billion (35.8% of total media ad spending in the U.S.) Total digital ad spending next year may hit $77.37 billion (38.4% of total ad spending).

15.  We may have hit “peak content.”

Content marketing is critical to online success, but there’s only so much content your audience can parse. The output of content per brand has increased 35% per channel, but content engagement has decreased 17%.

peak content.png

16.  Local searches lead to local purchases.

72% of consumers who performed some kind of locally focused search would then visit a store within five miles of their location.

17.  Voice search is natural on mobile devices.

20% of mobile queries are voice searches. If you get mathematical about what we know about the number of mobile searches, you could speculate that this means there are about 10 billion voice queries.

18.  Voice search is becoming more important overall.

The number of voice searches has doubled in the past year. This is potentially because the error rate of voice searching has dropped from around 25% to about 8% for both Google and Bing.

19.  The switch away from right-hand-side ads will help PPC.

The ads on the right side of the SERPs were removed this year. However, this is okay because the right side and bottom of SERP ads only accounted for about 14.6% of clicks.

20.  Backlinks are still critical.

The number and types of links pointing at your site remain important for SEO purposes. These are still a ranking factor, though it seems the number of domains linking to a page correlated with higher rankings more than other link characteristics.

21.  Speed is critical.

A single second delay in loading time on a web page can result in a 7% loss in conversions. It’s also important to note that 40% of internet users will bounce back out if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

22.  Title tags may be less important.

There seems to be a diminishing relationship between title tag keyword optimization and rankings. This could be related to the importance of voice and semantic search.

23.  Organic SEO is still a priority.

66% of marketers say that growing their organic presence by improving their SEO is their top online marketing priority.

What Does It All Mean to You?

There are some important statistics in here that exemplify how things are constantly changing and growing online, but does that really impact your everyday online marketing activities?

While it’s true that the number of people using Google or the number of searches performed each day may not really impact your marketing campaign, they do tie into other important elements, like exactly how likely all those users are to click on ads over organic results.

What statistics do you think are the most important? What would you have added to this list? (We will add any good suggestions (that have properly cited the source).

 

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Topics: SEO Content Marketing Social Media Conversion Optimization

Andy Eliason

Written by Andy Eliason

Andy Eliason has been writing in the SEO industry longer than is technically healthy. He once considered counting all the words he has written over the years, but decided that such an endeavor could only end in tears.

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