Lies, damned lies, and Search Engine Market Share statistics…

…or “why are Yell.com trying to pull the wool over our eyes”

Lies, damned lies, and Search Engine Market Share statistics…

…or “why are Yell.com trying to pull the wool over our eyes”

I’ve just received an interesting email from Yell.com. Apparently, they now have a new partnership with Microsoft which means that your Yell.com entry will be used to populate Bing with data.

I have no problem with this for two reasons:

  1. There’s nothing wrong with adding your business to Yell.com* because it will help you be found by more people and can influence your search rankings positively
  2. Bing really needs all the help it can get

Here’s what I do have a problem with:


Quote:

“Bing is the default search engine for the Windows Operating System which has over 80% of the desktop market share in the UK”

Wow. Who knew Bing had suddenly become so big?

80% desktop market share, that’s impressive. But what we really need to do is split that sentence in two:

  1. Bing is the default search engine for the Windows Operating System
  2. The Windows Operating System has over 80% of the desktop market share in the UK

In my experience, a fraction of Windows users still use the default browser and of those a tinier fraction of those still use Bing. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

So what is Bing’s market share?

There’s a little asterisk at the end of the sentence in that email, which tells us this statistic is based on data from Statista, March 2018.

Putting a reference like that makes people more confident in the information they are reading. So, to show our confidence in Statista, that’s where I went to get the real answer.

If you go to https://www.statista.com/statistics/216573/worldwide-market-share-of-search-engines/ you will find that in July 2018, Bing’s desktop market share was…

6.55%

Wow. Who knew Bing had suddenly become so big?

Sarcasm. Lowest form of wit.

What about mobile?

We know that mobile devices now outstrip desktop for both search and general web traffic, so how does that affect Bing’s market share? After all, that mighty 6.55% is only for desktop.

Well, to find that, I had to go to a different source, but that’s ok, because for a while it made Bing look even better.

According to http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/desktop/worldwide in August 2018 their desktop share had rocketed to 6.57%

Across all platforms – http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share – Bing’s market share in August 2018 was…

3.18%

Thanks to a mobile market share of 0.74% (even Yahoo have 1.83%)

Not quite 80%

Whatever way you look at it, that’s nowhere near that 80% figure that was dropped in there to tempt us.

Rant Over

Personally, I hate the Bing user experience and have seen first-hand how bad its crawler works and how easily it is confused.

Yes, I guess it would do the market some good for Google to have better competition. After all, their search engine market share in August 2018 was 94%. Unlike some, I don’t lose sleep over it. (Almost) everybody uses Google because it just plain works.

*Important note regarding signing up to Yell.com

If you create a free listing on Yell.com you will need to be strong-willed.

You will get phone calls, you will get emails, you’ll probably even get good old-fashioned letters begging you to sign up for more services. Resist.

You must resist. If it helps, treat any information they give you with the same respect you now give their 80% claim.

However, if you still feel unable to resist the urge to throw thousands of pounds away, please get in touch and throw a few of them in our direction.

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