Google Search is by far the most widely used search engine on desktop and mobile devices. With roughly 90% of the global market share for search across all devices in 2017, this makes Google’s algorithms (and the digital ads they display when you search for something) key deciders of what we see when we seek information on the Web.
In second place, is Microsoft’s Bing which is the default search engine on Windows computers and the browsers Edge and Internet Explorer. Bing also helps power the search results of Yahoo Search, Duck Duck Go and countless smaller and custom search engines. Yandex is primarily relevant in Russia, and Baidu is the biggest search engine in China. Several other top ranking search engines cater primarily to Asia.
Google Search is bolstered by its mobile operating system Android and browser Chrome, as well as through deals with other software providers, including Apple and Mozilla. Additionally, Google powers the search engines of countless websites and companies.
Because it can leverage its market dominance to advance its commercial strategy, Google often faces scrutiny over anti-competitive behavior. The company was fined a record $2.8 billion USD by the European Commission in 2017 for putting its own products ahead of a competitors’ in search results. The European Commission will soon also consider rules that would require that platform companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon be more transparent about their ranking and delisting practices, because changes can negatively affect businesses.
How consumers and governments hold a company with such power accountable, in matters of search, online advertising and other realms, is key to Internet health.
Search engine market share worldwide on desktop
Search engine market share worldwide on mobile
Data source: Search Engine Market Share Worldwide, StatCounter Global Stats, 2017