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Written by Sam Yadegar on Oct 14 , 2021

While undeniably dominant and powerful, Google isn’t the only game in town. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • Reasons to explore non-Google search engines
  • A rundown of the top non-Google engines
  • Info about the leading international search engines
  • The latest search engine stats

Google is so popular that it’s officially a verb in the dictionary. That’s an achievement few other brands can boast.

But it’s still worth noting that plenty of other big names in tech — from Microsoft to Yahoo — have search engines of their own. These alternative search platforms could very well have users that aren’t on Google. Thus, they’re worth a look.

Ignoring other search engines could hurt your SEM campaign by leaving out a substantial part of your target audience.

Exploring non-Google search engines can offer a slew of advantages like improving your marketing efforts, widening your company’s reach, and providing valuable insight into your campaign. 

Here’s a closer look at what other search engines have to offer.

person looking at google homepage on laptop

Experimenting with additional search engines may bring you surprising results. (Image via Unsplash)

Why you should care about non-Google search engines

While Google is the bona fide leader in search with more than 86% of the market share, it’s hardly alone on the market. 

Consumers take advantage of other search engines for a number of reasons, from research and comparative shopping to the type of results they get and how they’re tracked.

Besides extending the reach of your marketing campaign, it’s wise to optimize for other search engines for these reasons:

  • While currently dominant, Google’s market share is steadily declining. Back in 2010, it was about 91%.
  • Google isn’t always the most popular search engine for visual and product searches.
  • Many companies ignore non-Google search engines, making the competition less intense.
  • Paid advertising is often less expensive on non-Google search engines.

Sure, Google should still probably get the majority of your attention for marketing purposes. But experimenting with additional search engines may bring you surprising results.

bing homepage

1. Bing

When it comes to market share, Bing is the proud owner of the second spot.

  • The number of monthly visitors on Bing is over 1 billion.
  • The largest age group on Bing is 45-54 years old.
  • 55% of Microsoft Network users (which includes Bing) have graduated college.
  • 42% of Bing users have a household income in the top 25%.
  • 87% of Bing users come from Internet Explorer, a browser with significant market share (more than Firefox and Opera and a little less than Safari). 

When it comes to paid advertising, Bing Ads have their own unique advantages.

When you use them, you’re putting your ads out on the Microsoft Network (Bing, Yahoo, and AOL). Plus, the cost per click (CPC) on Bing is significantly lower than on Google.

duckduckgo homepage

2. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is popular among users who are concerned about privacy. It positions itself as a search engine that doesn’t track or personalize search results. 

Between 2019 and 2021, the market share of this U.S. engine went from about 1.3% to 2.5%.

Today, about 80 million people use DuckDuckGo, with a daily average of about 97 million searches. While the reach of DuckDuckGo is narrower than that of Google or Bing, the number of users is growing steadily. 

Pro tip: The paid advertising on DuckDuckGo is done through Bing Ads. 

yandex homepage

3. Yandex

If a part of your target audience is located in Russia, you want to pay special attention to Yandex. In this country, Yandex is the leading search engine with almost 60% of the market share.  

  • Yandex dominates among non-urban dwelling users while urban users take advantage of both Google and Yandex.
  • Yandex Display ads reach 47% of the Russian internet users.

When using Yandex for advertising, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Russian web privacy laws. (General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, isn’t active in Russia.)

While the global market share of Yandex is just 0.35%, it’s one of the top 4 search engines in the world.

baidu homepage

4. Baidu

Marketers who work with the Chinese audience may want to pay special attention to Baidu. 

Since Google is banned in mainland China, Baidu is the best alternative, with about 75% of the market share. The second place belongs to Sogou (which boasts around 14% of the market share).

Advertising on Baidu can be tricky since Chinese laws are strict about advertising. To start using Baidu Ads, you need to provide a significant amount of paperwork.

When advertising on this search engine, you also have to work with a local manager who makes sure that you aren’t marketing anything that can be considered “sensitive,” according to Chinese laws.

Struggling to get your brand on the search engine results page? We can help.

ecosia homepage

5. Ecosia

No matter your target audience, there’s likely a significant portion that cares about sustainability. For brands looking to connect with an environmentally conscious audience, take some time to dig into Ecosia. 

This search engine promises users to spend the money it earns through advertising on planting trees.

  • Ecosia reports that it has more than 15 million active users.
  • Ecosia’s global market share is 0.11%.
  • This search engine is especially popular among German and French users in particular.

With environmental concerns growing steadily, Ecosia’s popularity is likely to grow as well. And since advertising on this search engine is less expensive than on Google, it may make sense to spend some of your marketing budget there.

Ecosia’s search results and ads are powered by Microsoft Bing. However, the search engine says that it enhances ads with its own algorithms.

swisscows homepage

6. Swisscows

Just like DuckDuckGo, Swisscows focuses on user privacy. Since launching in 2014, it claims not to store any data, positioning itself as a private alternative to Google. It also claims to be “family-friendly” by not surfacing results that could be deemed explicit.

The majority of traffic to Swisscows comes from searchers in Switzerland. However, more than 22% of its visitors come from the United States.

The search engine gets about 9 million users monthly. Swisscows works with Microsoft Bing for advertising.

The takeaway

There’s no denying Google’s power when it comes to online search. 

However, as more alternative engines grow in popularity for any number of reasons, there’s plenty of value in at least knowing what else is out there — particularly when your competitors could be doing the same thing.

By focusing your attention on other search engines, you’re also widening your reach and potentially increasing your marketing ROI.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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