Sean Donahue

Global Search: Google’s Domination Has Some Gaps

May 9th, 2008

Google’s hegemony over the worldwide search market is undeniable. Consider the recent report from comScore that estimated Google’s share of the European search market at 79.2%.  I think “dominant” is an apt description.

But the more interesting data point from this report is who came in third for European searches: Yandex, the Russian search portal. It bested Yahoo! and MSN to crack the top three, based on its strong pull in Russia and Eastern Europe, where English is less widely spoken than in other parts of Europe.

It’s a good reminder that even though Google is clearly the worldwide search leader, it’s not necessarily tops in every country. Baidu rules China; Naver is tops in South Korea; Yahoo! has the edge in Japan.

It also should remind marketers that regions such as Asia, Europe and South America are not monolithic markets. They are collections of individual countries, each with their own unique traits and characteristics that have to be factored into a marketing strategy.

So, when you’re planning an international search campaign — or any international campaign — remember to dig a little deeper than the top-line, regional analysis of users’ online habits. If you’re looking to boost business in Eastern Europe, or Korea, or China, simply defaulting to the worldwide leader might not deliver world-beating results.

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