First published on March 11th, 2016
Firstly, I don’t endorse Google, I’m not a fanboy. I do however appreciate some of the products they offer and the marketing options they provide. I think it is amazing how they have grown in the last two decades to become the giant they are now.
Not everything that Google does is good and there are some fundamental business and ethical issues I believe they have crossed the line on. As seen here.
If you are looking for search engines that offer better privacy or even different search results, I have you covered. I mention other great search engine alternatives further down the post that are worth trying.
This post is simply my opinion on why businesses should use Google and their search products to be found online.
What Is the Best Search Engine?
Most of us don’t even think about choosing a search engine to use. We simply “Google it.” Google is the most popular search engine in the U.S. and for good reason. They have spent a fortune trying to create a popular search engine that supplies the best search results, quickly.
As a business operating in the digital age, it is important for you to understand how Search Engines (specifically, Google) collect and distribute information that it finds across the world wide web. We should all be asking, “is Google the best search engine?” Or is there an alternative search engine that is better?
For September 2018, SparkToro estimated that to see of all the major online platforms how much search market share they own in the US. Below is the search engine market data they discovered.
Digital media is only progressing and it would be smart to grow and develop along with the industry leader. Join me as I look at the reasons why Google is the people’s choice when searching the web.
Humble Beginning: Who and When
Google was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page when they were just students studying at Stanford University. Google was a thesis the pair worked on for their Ph.D. program. According to their thesis, Google (known as Backrub back then) was different from other search engines because it focused on the relationships between websites (primarily links). Focusing on links was a significant change compared to other search engines, where the approach to ranking information was based on how often particular search terms appeared in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This concept revolutionized how online search would operate from then on.
When Was Google Founded?
Google was officially launched in 1996 and quickly made a name for itself as the search engine with a weird name. The company received its initial cash-flow from investors such as Jeff Bezos of Amazon as well as other internet entrepreneurs. In 2004, Google officially went public.
What It Takes To Be The Best
Google has the capability to calculate a site’s relevance according to the number of pages and links pointing back to the original site. The success of Google has led to it being the most-used search engine in the U.S. market, managing over 3 billion pages a day.
So, what about other search engines? Where do they stack up against Google in terms of search market share? Stat Counter collected data from 2015 to 2018, which highlighted the fact that Google properties own almost 90% of all searches.
As you can see, Google is a clear favorite in terms of usage, but why? What has lead to Google being the go-to choice of users? Here are some of the reasons why we believe Google is the leading/largest search engine.
User-First Mentality: Get Me What I Want, Now!
It’s believed that Google’s success came from its desire and ability to provide higher-quality results for each user. Understanding search intent and finding the most accurate and relevant websites that match each query have allowed Google to stand out from the competition. Online satisfaction is a major part of their core business model.
Google provides simple, better results. If users like the search results they find, based on the search queries, then the user will be happy. Happy users turn into repeat users. Repeat users become loyal to the platform.
Developing Strong Trust Through Better Results
Providing better, more relevant results have allowed Google to be considered a trustworthy resource for finding information on the web. As a result, users started to leave MSN, Yahoo, Alta Vista, and other platforms to enjoy a search engine that offered relevant search results quickly.
Google’s trust has continued to increase over the years by:
- Constantly updating their search algorithms (technology and process for collecting relevant information)
- Focusing on the user, their intent, and their satisfaction
As a result of the above, Google has become a household name that everyone is aware of. Now, most people won’t go a day without Googling at least one thing.
Local Search: Matching Proximity to User Search Intent
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and Google took advantage of this information. They combined search capabilities with proximity and Geo-location targeting to create custom, local results for users.
Local search opened up the competitive playing field for all businesses, as they were able to be found for their products or services based on how far away they were from the user. Google provided users with better results based on both search intent and Geo-proximity of where the search actually took place. These custom results have led Google to become the go-to medium for local searches.
Once accomplishing this, Google took it a step further by marrying local search results with the Google Maps platform. This allowed users to navigate and explore local businesses with their smartphones. With this, Google was and still is able to help users navigate their way to any location
Constantly Testing and Improving: Algorithms and AI
Google is constantly testing its search results in order to change and adapt as users’ habits change. Google’s algorithm is a hidden secret that is constantly being developed using human analysis and machine learning. As always, the end goal is to create better search results.
Many SEOs have tried gaming the system in order to get around Google’s algorithm and rank higher in the SERPs. While this might work in the short term, Google almost always catches on and penalizes websites that proactively use black-hat techniques. This is Google’s way of making sure results are not skewed and that users keep trusting them to provide the best results.
Creating the Best Video Search Engine
YouTube, which is owned by Google, is another major medium where users can search for videos. Similar to television, online videos have more sensory impact on users. Video allows users to see and hear, but, unlike television, online videos are more accessible and interactive.
As technology such as WiFi, cameras, and mobile devices continue to advance, the ability to upload, download, and watch videos will increase. As this trend grows, having a search engine that can accurately find and produce what users are searching for amongst the masses of video files will become a necessity. This is something that YouTube has excelled at.
Producing an Image Search Engine
The Google Images search engine was created due to the overwhelming number of users searching for Jennifer Lopez wearing a Versace dress (back in 2001). Google’s search engine was not able to manage all the demand, and as a result, they developed the image search engine. You can read more about that here.
Google’s image search is a massive library that is able to retrieve image content. More than that, these pictures are relevant based on the user’s search query. Using complex algorithms, Google is able to find, interpret, and assign images based on search queries.
How Businesses Should Harness the Power of Google
With Google being the dominant search engine, catering to billions of users each day, it only makes sense that businesses use this platform to reach their target audiences. Never before has there been an opportunity to market so specifically or globally to an audience who you can track and understand.
The Internet is constantly growing as more and more people and businesses create websites. Google has simplified the web by creating an outstanding search engine that people trust. As a business, there are a few things you should take advantage of, even if you are not a marketer.
Rand Fishkin of SparkToro presented findings showing where web users search the most. The data is staggering as you see just how dominant Google and its affiliates are.
Applying SEO Best Practices
While it’s great that more businesses have websites, it is not enough. Just because you have a website for your business, does not mean users will be able to find your website. Google has outlined details on what makes a quality website and how websites should be structured. Following these guidelines helps Google to better understand your business information and rank it in the SERPs. You can view the Google quality guidelines here.
Need Your Business to Rank Higher? There are masses of content online addressing SEO and how to rank better on Google. We have even written our fair share on SEO tips such as:
- How to Be Found: A Guide to Google SERP Features and
- “5 SEO Writing Tips That Will Make Your Content Better
Every business should apply SEO best practices to their website. This is an investment that will help Google navigate better quality traffic to your business.
Consider Using Google Ads
Google allows businesses to advertise on their search engine. However, not everyone has a marketing team to help implement SEO best practices. And while SEO can be timely, it does not create instant results. This is where Google Ads can come into play. Google Ads allows businesses to create text ads quickly and publish them on Google’s partner of networks. These ads use keywords (similar to SEO) that attract potential users to related ads and guide them to your business page. While it may be costly if you are not targeting based on user intent, this method does quickly help generate traffic to your site. To get started with Google Ads, we suggest AdEspresso’s guide!
Become Familiar with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free resource provided by Google that allows you to view data about the visitors that come to your website. It is a great tool for understanding areas of your site that attract users. It’s also a useful tool if you’re creating a profile of your ideal customer. Armed with this information, you can create better content and optimize your site so that it can rank better. While Google Analytics can be overwhelming, there are free resources to help you become better acquainted with the program. Some of our favorites include:
Be Local, Think Local
As mentioned earlier, one of Google’s biggest successes came from focusing on local search. This has given small businesses a chance to rank better because of location-based searches.
As a small business, you now can rank higher than national companies that have more links and content.Local search provides a huge opportunity that every business should take advantage of. Google offers free resources to help local businesses rank better based on their location.
For e.g A search Local contractors in Lancaster will show results for Lancaster, Pennsylvania, not Lancaster California (due to my location). One of the tools provided is Google My Business. Businesses can simply add their information to help Google direct more relevant traffic to their sites. It can also assist users who are looking for your physical address.
In addition to Google My Business, we suggest using Google Search Console. It allows you to view health problems or issues that Google sees with your website.
We suggest also using Google Search Console, which will allow you to see health problems or issues that Google sees with your website.
Make Sure Google Knows Your Business Exists
Google is a great platform, but even they realize that they are not able to crawl the whole web. However, you’ll want to make sure they can crawl your business’s website when they do get to your territory.
By understanding what is important to Google and applying those best practices, you can help your business rank better. Knowing that Google cares about delivering the most relevant content on the web to its users, businesses can optimize their websites based on the client they wish to attract. The reward is that Google will display those businesses’ information in search results.
This chart below from SparkToro shows how much market share Google has. It is evident that if businesses want to reach their audience, they need to use Google (because that is where the audience is).
Best Search Engine Alternatives to Google
While Google is the biggest and most dominant search engine, there are plenty of other platforms that are made to suit different user needs. Here are the top search engine alternatives!
Best Search Engine for Privacy
Known as “the search engine that doesn’t track you,” DuckDuckGo is a search engine that focuses on safeguarding searchers’ privacy and avoiding personalized search results, which are based on user profiling and history.
If you’re looking for more privacy on the web, it’s the best search engine to use. However, because you won’t be tracked, you’ll also probably see ads that aren’t as relevant to you. It’s also possible that you get lower-quality search results with queries.
In February 2019, DuckDuckGo had an average of 35 million daily searches.
Best Search Engine Alternatives to Google in the U.S.
Bing is owned by Microsoft and is the second-largest non-Google search engine after all other Google properties in the US.
Remember these guys? Back in the mid-to-early 90s, Yahoo was the most-used search engine. Not anymore. While Yahoo! does provide search results, they are powered using Bing’s engine.
Yahoo! Has transitioned from being a search engine to providing web services such as mail, answer forums, and financial assets.
Best Search Engine Alternatives to Google in the World
Baidu is a search engine that’s predominantly used by Asian countries. Baidu is recognized as being the second largest search engine in the world (after Google).
Yandex is a Russian search engine provider that is mostly used in Russia and other eastern European countries. It is recognized as the fifth largest search engine after Bing and Yahoo!
Charles W. Gill says
Strangest thing, I’m still looking for a search engine that gives relevant results. On a typical search I try dozens of combinations of words with and without “…” “and” “or,” you name it. Some 90% of the time, when finished I go to Facebook and post my questions hoping someone on Facebook has the information I’m looking for.
When are we going to get a search engine that gives relevant results?
Mike Shaw says
I agree search engines are far from perfect in terms of providing relevant results. I assume A.I. (such as Google RankBrain) and semantic search along with Schema mark-up will help search engines determine better results.
There is so much trash out on the web that and it is only growing larger. Along with black-hat marketing techniques and other noise, I believe this just makes the job of search engines only harder (no excuses though).
Ahrefs just announced that they would be creating their own search engine. Hopefully, that will be offering you more relevant results.
You didn’t answer his question. In fact, I feel like you avoided it completely and gave a lawyer/politician type response, trying to steering the topic to something other than the issue, which is google.
Google WAS our first choice BECAUSE it gave RELEVANT answers!!!
A few years ago, I could change 1 or 2 words in my search and get a COMPLETELY different result. Now I can reword the entire search and still get the same results. I’ve tried…
Have you not heard the saying about assuming? If not then no matter, I’m sure you can google it ;-).
Besides, you say you agree. Search engines are far from perfect but you then go on to talk about ALL search engines having trouble finding relevant results. All that being said, the question originally only pertains to GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS. Which used to provide amazing results until a couple years ago.
There has been a ton of trash online since the internet was made public! Do you remember the internet in the 90s? You could find so many crazy things and search results (although limited because of the age of the internet) were good across the board.
Google needs to step up or shut up.
Per Medium.com you only have two viable choices for browser engines on most platforms: Firefox, with its Gecko engine, and everything else, based on Blink. Mac users have the option to use Safari as well, based on Webkit. That’s right, every other browser out there depends on Blink (most of the time being based on Chromium, the open source version of Chrome). Opera ? Ditched its own engine ages ago. Vivaldi ? Same. Brave browser ? Blink.
no name says
curiously enough, I got here looking for alternatives to Google (though searching in Google). The Google business is not to give search results; is to generate clicks, and that means not to give the exact answer, but the popular one. If you are looking for something that has an exact match somewhere around, it does not matter as long as other people are looking for something else; then good luck, there is no way you will get what you are looking for because other people are not looking for that. Google is one of the worst options right now if you are looking for information
Jose Ole says
Similar situation here. Was looking for a search engine that gave exact search results only and not what they think you were trying to search for. Google hasn’t been useful for me since 2010, and with each year that passes it seems to get worse. The biggest issue is the search cherry picking only some of the words I type in, rather than making sure all are present in the result. I’ve added an extension that only allows ‘verbatim’ search, but the problem persists even in this mode. I understand that every year there are more and more websites, top 10 articles for clickbait ‘news sites’, and crap like pinterest clogging up the results (thank god this has been reduced a bit since 2012, there’s no reason google should be trying to show pinterest posts, especially when pinterest has its own internal search).
Maybe an option to turn off certain search results via it’s type (ie have toggles for whether to include news outlets, social media, video sites, tmz/buzzfeed crap, wikis, etc), that way a search could be customized a bit further without typing “-site:website.com” for every irrelevant result thrown at you. Honestly, google’s best feature is being a spellchecker anymore (and please don’t knock google’s spellchecker quality based on my post, I still misspell a lot of words anyway, ha ha). The algorithms have taken over, and have decided to give us garbage, just look at the youtube sidebar recommendations for further confirmation.
No name says
Why Google is the best search engine? Not anymore! The revision is terrible for actual searchers.
What a laod of tripe. It is the worst. Increaslingly useless and irrelevant search results. This article is by someone who has evidently already been herded by the great Google; thinking that most views or visitors somehow demonstrates quality. Anyone with experience of what internet search results used to be knows exactly about that screwdriver beeing jabbed into your brain every time you hit that search button today… WTF.
Nothing is “the best” when you’re PAID to write about it!!! There are numerous results about how bad google search results have become. If you doubt me then “google it.” And/or be a real journalist and talk about the facts. If not, you could talk about selling out.
IF, google is the “best” option, it’s only because it’s taking advantage of the people using it and killing any real competition. I mean come on… Corporations are people right?
Wouldn’t that make google a stalker?
I’m sure it would if I was doing what google does but to people in real life. I’d be in prison right now, convicted as a stalker along with the those (other companies) involved.
Who, am I kidding though? Google would just pay lots of money and get off scott free.
That being said, my point is clear. Would you want google (and unknown 3rd party sites) or any other person to know as much about the child (or any loved one) as google does?!
Of course not!!!
This is from 2012 and I have a feeling it’s only gotten worse… hopefully you’re not a parent or one that cares at least. Otherwise this may upset you to watch.
If not, just keep getting biased money and be happy adding to the problems of the modern world for self interest.
google 2010 was better than google 2020.
Tower Marketing says
What did you like more about Google 2010 compared to Google 2020?
before 2010 i searched and got results on what i searched for and lots of results now i get didnt you mean ______? i get trending topics with 1 or 2 words and lots of results explaining the complete opposite of what i ask and there is always a few religious posts thrown in with to rhyme or reason google is close to worthless to search anything but mainstream topics and even then if its controversial at all results are manipulated
Mike Shaw says
I’m glad the tech companies are wanting to help. I am nervous about the privacy contract tracing will infringe upon.
I still think that amongst all this, that the truly beautiful thing to take from all this is that J-Lo is officially the only thing to have broken Google Search.
Mike Shaw says
Haha, I still get a good chuckle out of that little tid-bit of history! Glad you thought it was funny too.
Bob Bengtson says
Was this drunk when he wrote this garbage or is just really stupid. Or maybe he is being paid big $s by google to write. google is the most useless search engine ever. I was trying to look up some information for modern Greek grammar. I included the word ‘modern’ in the search to make sure it would know what I mean. What does google show me? Info on ancient Greek, biblibcal greek and Byzantine Greek. And the best one of them all??? Irish grammar. I had no idea that modern Greek and Irish are the same language. Time to ditch google search for good and in the process getting rid of all the other google services.
Mike Shaw says
Drunk? No. Stupid? Maybe.
Thank you for the information. I really liked Duckduckgo
Isabella Manson says
Thanks for sharing information in your blog
jane sloan says
Thank you for sharing this information
UAE Legal Translation Services says
I really appreciate your piece of work, Great post.
Shamsher Khan says
I have come to know some unique point with the help of your blog. Great write up! Every one loves google its easy to use and give provide the answer of every question comes in my mind.
joseph dunne says
I am over 77 yrs old… i know hardly anything about google or computers I mainly use my computer to chat to others receive emails, and to listen to audio books. google was fine for me, as i am hopeless in rembering pass words etc.Then i try to open my mail, and find out of the blue google wants me to give a password or change my email gawd save us i am lost
Doesn’t matter the internet is made up of nothing blogs , affiliated bs site , spam alert blogs . This page here is actually 100 percent better than most of the other garbage where if you want to read it they force you to sign up or yell about your cookies not displaying correctly
They’ve done an excellent job of managing our expectations and adjusting our changing needs and objectives.
Codeaxia Digital Solutions says
thank you very much for the content It help me a lot …
Sid “the genius” says
GOOGLE is a SHITTY search engine…
Just try this query and see how many millions of irrelevant sites it brings up for you:
“10 inch table saw” -mini
This SHOULD return ONLY sites with the exact words ‘10 inch table saw’ in that EXACT ORDER and EXCLUDE any sites with the word ‘mini’… but, as ALWAYS, GOOGLE engine FAILS MISERABLY!!!
Whoever wrote this flagrant advertisement for GOOGLE doesn’t know their ass from their nose.
Mike Shaw says
Maybe it is just you.
google is a joke. make any search with yandex and the same with google. yandex gives you real results for what you ask google gives you some adds, some bs that has nothing to do with what i asked, and then that ever so helpful didnt you mean section. its not just google its any mainstream us search bing, duck duck go, yahoo all the same shit but yandex works makes me wonder what filters are they running and do they just assume most americans are to dumb to use a russian search haha