When it comes to search engines, we’ve all heard of Google, Yahoo and probably even Bing. But, have you ever heard of Blekko, Yandex, or Duck Duck Go? You probably realize there are other search engines out there, but did you know that there are actually thousands of search engines being used on the Internet?!

Each one of these search engines acts as a gateway to “getting found” on the Internet. As a business owner with a web presence, the question becomes apparent: Do I need to consider all of these search engines when optimizing your website? The answer is no!

The reality is that 95% of all search engine traffic is generated by a very small number of search engines, about 100 actually. So should you be concerned about 100 search engines? No! The majority of search engine traffic actually works off only 3 unique databases.

You guessed it! Google, Bing & Yahoo! are the 3 unique databases that feed 95% of all search engine queries. The remaining 5% of traffic coming from largely unknown search engines still accounts for a significant amount of users and daily searches, collectively. Individually, however, they should not form part of your Internet marketing strategy.

By far, Google Search is the most-used search engine on the Internet representing almost 89% of all searches.

The number of searches conducted on a daily basis equals several hundred million queries. To accommodate the high volume of daily searches, Google has developed a process of returning sites that were considered the most relevant to the search term used. By delivering the most relevant sites back to the user, this will ensure the user is getting back what they are looking for, and in the end, facilitate a good experience with their search. If the user is happy, then Google has done their job right! And the statistics show they are doing their job overwhelmingly well to have 88.8% of Internet users on their site.

But what about Bing & Yahoo!? Compared to Google, they are not doing as well as Google, with 4.2% and 2.4% respectively. That may seem like a small slice of the market share pie, but the sheer volume of daily searches means 12,600,000 daily searches for Bing, and 7,200,000 for Yahoo!

Since the introduction of Bing by Microsoft in 2009, Google now has real competition for search engine usage. Google is still number one, but Bing’s popularity is definitely on the rise. Some experts agree this will become a two horse race in the world of search engines.

Essentially they both operate in the same manner. They both utilize software programs designed to ‘crawl’ the Internet, follow the links, and add the site to its database. There really is no need for a company to submit their site to Google or Bing. Over time, your site will be found and added to the database all on its own. There are a few differences in Google & Bing’s approach to ranking web sites. Much of those differences are very technical, and best understood by your web master.

There is no doubt that Bing has made large inroads into cyber space navigation and that its popularity is continuing to increase, but is Bing going to replace Google as the number one search engine? Not likely, at least not for a (long) while.

Google still has the huge advantage of “time”, over Bing. Considering that Google has been operating since 1998 and Bing only since 2009, Google has 11 years of additional experience with billions to trillions of keyword search experience to develop word associations and nuances that Bing still lacks. However, in the U.S. (sorry, not available in Canada – yet), Bing has leveraged its Facebook partnership and includes it as a feature on the search engine results page – the Facebook Sidebar.

Based on the search query, Bing will populate the sidebar with Facebook information such as “Friends who might know” or “People who might know”, as well as, provide the option to “Ask friends”. Basically Bing hooks you up with your Facebook feed, all the “likes” and other information from your Friends that may be relevant to your search query. This sidebar also provides feeds to the other major social media platforms. So not only does Bing search the Internet for you, it also helps you to expand your search to your “Friends” through the massive reach of social media. Time will tell if the Facebook Sidebar will drive up Bing’s popularity at the expense of Google.

What search engine is best depends on how you plan to use it. While Google’s search may be best for gathering information about your favorite sports team or a famous author, Bing may have the search giant beat in the realm of social and local knowledge.