There were more than 16 billion searches in the month of June 2010 in the US alone. In the era of social media, search engines are still alive and well. Five companies share these searches, and the revenue associated with them. Google is still far and away the leader, and Microsoft and Yahoo continue to chip away slowly.
The first thing is the vast number of searches, up about 3% from May. 16.4 billion searches in a single month is a massive number which simply means that any marketing plan for any company should include Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing as a critical component.
Google is #1
When optimizing your website for organic searches, Google is still far and away the most important. Getting an article on the front page of Google is absolutely essential for organic traffic. They still dominate the market contrary to press out of Redmond Washington.
Don't ignore Ask and AOL
At 2.2% AOL's market share may seem miniscule, however 2.2% means that 360 million searches are still done on AOL sites. There is still massive potential for organic and paid search listings on Ask and AOL. For the small marketeer you may be able to buy pay per click advertising at lower bid prices on these tier three search engines. For the large brand marketer, it's still essential to create a presence on all five search engines. Make sure one of your competitors isn't stealing your brand on tier 2 and 3 searches.
Do we ignore everyone else?
I get promotions daily from organizations claiming they can give me prominent placement on lesser search engines. The fact is that outside of these five less than 0.005% of searches conducted in the US use all other search engines combined. If your primary market is US customers you are safe to ignore everyone except the big five. Even for brand marketers these alternative search engines are useless in terms of time and money expenditures.