Hotel Marketers Must Look Beyond Google to Get Found in Search – The Drum

In the search marketing industry, we spend most of our time talking about Google due to its scale and level of business impact, but this creates an unhealthy perception that it’s the only search engine that matters. This couldn’t be further than the truth. Search engines are everywhere and, depending on the nature of your business and target audiences, you may need a strategy for at least several of them.

The search landscape is rapidly changing too, and marketers need to prepare for a future where Google may not be the market leader (in most countries) or even exist as we know it today. That may sound unlikely, but search engines are everywhere and Google is facing increasing competition and scrutiny over its market dominance.

People use more search engines than they realize

We may think of Google and Bing as the top two search engines and, in many regards, this is true in the UK. However, once you consider search engines that are built into other platforms, you realize how much of the web relies on search outside of Google.

Here’s a list of some of the most widely-used search engines that have no direct relation with Google:

  • Bing: Google’s biggest search rival has a significant 22% market share of desktop searches in the UK, with 407m searches performed every month in this country.

  • Spotify: The biggest name in music search and streaming, but by no means the only one.

  • Steam: The biggest search platform for PC gaming with over 120 million monthly active users.

  • Baidu: The biggest search engine in China.

  • Yandex: The biggest search engine in Russia.

  • Naver: The top search platform in South Korea.

  • DuckDuckGo: The first search engine to really take Google on as a privacy-centric alternative.

  • Brave Search: After taking on Google’s Chrome browser, Brave is now rolling out its own search engine that promises to protect users’ privacy.

  • On-site search: A huge number of sites and apps (think Airbnb, or Statista) implement search at the center of the user experience.

SEO is becoming increasingly platform independent

In many regards, Google’s market dominance is the biggest issue in search marketing because it encourages companies to – as the saying goes – put all their eggs in one basket. This is why a single algorithm update or related change can cause so much havoc, and markets hang on every word Google says about optimizing content and websites.

This is evolving, though. As we’ve already mentioned, Amazon has overtaken Google as the top product search engine and it’s the fastest-growing ad network in the business right now.

The phasing out of third-party cookies is driving further diversity in search and browsers while forcing Google to change the inner workings of its business model. This has created space for new browsers and other search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Brave, while Apple is reportedly building its own search engine to overcome its reliance on Google for Siri and iOS search.

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