Understanding Search Engines
Why do I need to understand world search engines?
Marketers need to become familiar with search engines used around the world if they want to successfully market and advertise their client’s product, service or cause to potential customers in world regions where local preferred search engines or languages have a significant market share and value.
If you plan to grow overseas and enter new markets, it is important to realize that Google is not the only search engine in the world. Though Google is available in most countries, there are local, preferred search engines in many regions and you must become familiar with these search engines to successfully market to customers in these areas.
8 important search engines globally:
Google – Google is the most used search engine in the world with over 3.5 billion daily searches and a powerful presence in many countries around the world. Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, Google dominates the market with more than 92% of search engine traffic. Google is powered by search algorithms and customized results tailored to queries and offers other popular products such as Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube.
Ecosia – Ecosia is a German-based search engine which focuses on reforestation projects in Latin America. With every search, it plants a tree. The search engine has around 15 million users and ⅔ of them are located in France and Germany between the ages of 20 and 30 that are living in large cities and all share an interest for environmental topics – so a company in the sustainability sector may want to advertise here for better results than Google.
AOL – AOL may not have 92% of the market share, but its 6 million people who use the AOL search engine every month across countries around the world may bring better ROI if the company’s objective is to target AOL’s demographic.
Yahoo! Japan – Founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994, Yahoo has an estimated 3% share of the search engine traffic; however, on a more localized understanding, it is the 3rd most visited website in Japan after Google and YouTube. With an impressive 106 million monthly active users, Yahoo! Japan offers news, auctions and shopping to a large, engaged and bilingual speaking audience, as it is offered in both English and Japanese versions and can be a great option for companies wanting to explore a new kind of client.
Baidu – Baidu was founded by Robin Li in 2000 and holds a market share of 1.52% of the global search engine traffic, but it is the most popular search engine in China, and China is a large country. Baidu punishes harshly for duplicate content, even more so than Google, and has a strong preference for simplified Chinese characters over traditional characters or romanized words. Baidu ranks content based on quality, and working with a native speaker will be necessary for most brands to avoid word-usage errors. It is also important to note that Baidu is not just a search engine, it also offers Baidu Government Information Search and Baidu Games, which may be a good option if someone is working in the gaming industry.
Naver – Naver is the number one search engine in South Korea with a leading reputation for innovation. Naver was built around the Korean language and culture and US-based websites should develop a version of their website catering to this culture, rather than just translating the text. Naver emphasizes heavily around user-generated content in their Knowledge IN area and from the social community Cafe. A company looking to expand in South Korea will need to be familiar with this search engine.
Yandex – Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia. It offers many similar services as Google but there are many key differences such as Yandex does not index pages as fast, forcing brands to focus more on long-term success with this search engine, rather than immediate results.
Seznam – Seznam is a powerful Czech search engine, created in 1996 by the visionary tech entrepreneur Ivo Lukačovič and used by millions of people in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Eastern Europe. Along with offering localized services, the platform is widely considered to have the most reliable and accurate search engine algorithm in the Czech Republic, ensuring the best search results possible, which is great when considering local targeting.
Being familiar with other world search engines can help brands that want to expand their offerings overseas or capture a new type of client. While Google has a firm hold on search in the United States, and most of the world, in some other countries native search engines or new interest-based search engines take priority. Trying to use Google to target your audience demographically may not always be the best option available, and its good to work with a professional marketing and advertising firm to help you navigate this area of your business.
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