The online advertising and marketing universe may be larger than we realize.
Is Google Really the Only Game in Town?
Ask anyone which search engine rules the world and the answer you’re likely to receive is “Google.” And, to a large degree, that answer would be correct. But, while much evidence and general common wisdom suggests that Google is the big elephant in the room, there are different ways of looking at online marketing data that can reveal some surprising insights.
Search Engine Market Share
Google-related search domains have a global market share of about 67 percent according to NetMarketShare.com. However, other search engines dominate the market share in several countries (ex. China-Baidu, Japan-Yahoo, Czech Republic-Senzam) and each search engine has its own set of ranking factors and best practices.
So, for companies doing business in other countries, Google may not always be the go-to search engine for online advertising. In fact, because of the sheer volume of others using Google, some of the smaller, more geographically focused options may hold greater value. Depending on the type of audience you’re attempting to connect with, even in the United States, some of the lower trafficked, but potentially better niche-focused web sites (like Yahoo, Bing, etc.) might also be worth experimenting with. After all, volume isn’t the only outcome marketers are looking for; ultimately they need results!
Global Approach to Online Advertising
RSO Consulting is an online advertising and marketing firm that specializes in paid search management. We’re Google AdWords and Google Analytics Certified, and certainly turn to Google as an advertising outlet when we work with many clients. However, because we work with a number of global clients, we’ve also found great results with search engines that resonate in their markets. Our team of dedicated client managers and online marketing professionals speak many languages including Spanish, Chinese, French, Thai, Farsi, German and Korean.
For example, one of RSO Consulting’s clients is an international manufacturer of outdoor supplies and other consumer goods. They needed to increase sales and revenue online through both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising. For them, Google wasn’t the automatic, or only, search engine choice. “They helped us in driving traffic to the website,” the company’s Global Director of Innovation said of RSO. “Traffic has increased and they contributed to conversions as well.” In fact, mobile represents almost half of all traffic and has played an integral part in the company’s growth.
Mobile another Change Agent
Geography isn’t the only competitive impact facing Google these days. The mobile environment may be equally challenging and, in fact, new players are emerging to help mobile users find the information they need. Think about it—user activity is quite different on mobile that it has traditionally been in a laptop or desktop environment. Much of the information and data used and access doesn’t exist in the traditional “web” environment. Instead, it’s housed or accessed through various apps; information shared via mobile devices tend to be in the form of photos and videos, as well as interaction via various social media sites.
These changing behaviors puts Google in a somewhat awkward position as new players emerge with new technologies and new algorithms to challenge the behemoth. For instance, Relcy is an American firm that specializes in mobile search. They recently announced the introduction of a new mobile search engine that they proclaim is “the fastest way to find” the kind of information that mobile users tend to be looking for: movies, restaurants in your area, special offers and deals, songs, images, etc. As Jess Bolluyt wrote in an article for Gear & Style CheatSheet: “When you search for a movie on Relcy, the search engine returns a synopsis, a listing of cast members, and then links to movie apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, populated with pricing and subscription information. Depending on what you search for, the search engine could return results across several different apps, some which you might have forgotten you downloaded, or surface new, relevant apps that you haven’t downloaded yet.”
Will these upstarts upend Google? Only time will tell but Google is a big player in the market with their brand strength, money and technology resources. So, it’s unlikely that they’re going to be ignoring the same use trends that other organizations, like Relcy, are attempting to leverage.
At RSO Consulting we stay on top of the trends that impact SEO and online marketing for clients around the globe. It’s a quickly changing, technology-enabled environment; as trends and use patterns change, so do we.
There are other players in this field with different takes on mobile search such as Quixey, Expect Labs and Taptu. This is an area ripe for innovation so we should expect more development and players in the near future.