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Search Engine Market Share: February 2017

The players in the search engine industry make a huge difference in your law firm’s online marketing efforts. After all, the whole point of marketing you firm online is to attract new clients, so not catering your marketing strategy to the powers that be would be unwise.

Unfortunately, those powers change. And in the past year, one of those powers, Yahoo!, has been in its death throes. The result has been a significant change in the market share of the search engine world, which should alter how you go about marketing your firm, online.

Yahoo! Search’s Long, Slow Demise

Yahoo!’s search engine, Yahoo! Search, has been limping along for over a year. Back in February, 2016, we covered Yahoo!’s struggles in our blog. There, we detailed how Bing was surging ahead of Yahoo! in the search engine world, and how this was making Yahoo! start to make cuts to save money.

This cost-cutting strategy was not just limited to its search engine, though. Instead, it was a company-wide move that turned out to be a precursor to the sale of Yahoo! to Verizon. This sale, however, got complicated when massive data breaches – impacting about half of Yahoo!’s 500 million accounts – were discovered.

Verizon Continues to Lose Ground

Since acquiring Yahoo! Search, Verizon has found it difficult to get the platform back into the search engine game. The result has been a slow but steady loss of market share in the industry. According to Net Market Share, Yahoo! Search now only accounts for 5.55% of the global market.

Google Surges Ahead

Yahoo!’s loss, however, has not spread evenly among the other players. Google has benefitted the most from Yahoo!’s losses, and now accounts for more than 80% of searches across the globe. Bing has remained more or less stagnant since Yahoo!’s troubles began, accounting for about 7%.

How This Impacts Your Firm

These are big picture developments that should only lightly touch your law firm’s marketing strategy. However, they should influence your marketing decisions, regardless of your geographical location or practice area.

First, changes like these should influence how, or whether, you buy pay-per-click ads (PPCs). Buying PPC space on Yahoo! will only put your firm in front of a little over 5% of the searches. While this is far less exposure than a PPC ad in Google, it should also be far less expensive. Of course, you should also keep in mind that PPCs are notoriously bad at converting clients.

Second, Yahoo!’s decline and Google’s growth should make you reevaluate any PPC ads that you already have. PPCs on Google might have gotten more expensive. While this has come with increased exposure, it might be breaking your marketing budget. Meanwhile, Yahoo! PPCs might not be worth the effort, anymore.

Finally, while the algorithms of all search engines are more or less the same, each search engine has their own unique quirks in the details. These can make your rank in Google different than in Yahoo!. With Yahoo!’s loss of market share, though, it might not be worth paying as much attention to where you rank in their results. With four out of every five searches happening on Google, that’s where to focus your attention.

Professional Legal Blogging at Myers Freelance

These macro changes don’t influence anyone very much. However, they hit everyone. Having professional legal bloggers, like those at Myers Freelance, maintaining your law firm’s blog means you’re not caught by surprise when these changes happen. Contact us online to tap into our marketing and writing expertise.