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Google's stranglehold on search is only going to grow

With mobile recently displacing desktop as the primary platform for internet search, Google's search dominance is only going to grow.

Published onNovember 19, 2016


I’m sure you’re aware of Google’s dominance in the internet search space and you likely know that Google Search tends to be more popular on mobile than it is on desktop. This is largely because Google Search appears on pretty much every mobile device. But with recent changes in internet usage, Google’s lead is only going to grow even further.

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When it comes to desktop search dominance, Google comfortably takes the number one spot in the U.S. with 81.42 percent of browser traffic. But on mobile, that lead jumps to a near ubiquitous 92.91 percent on mobile, helped in large part by making Google the default search engine on iPhones as well as Android.

Google represents over 90 percent of mobile search traffic

In fact, Google has represented over 90 percent of mobile search traffic all year.

Considering the attempt at a Google shut-out in countries like China and Russia, that’s very impressive.

In the desktop space however, Google isn’t quite as dominant (and it should be noted that the U.S. isn’t even in the top ten most Google-dependent countries where desktop usage is concerned).

With mobile internet access surpassing desktop for the first time ever, Google's dominance is only going to grow

But with a recent report noting that mobile internet access surpassed desktop usage for the first time ever and mobile predicted to represent 75 percent of global search traffic next year, Google’s cornering of the mobile market means its lead is only going to grow even larger.

The difference between 80 percent and 90 percent may not seem like much, but that’s the entire space in which Google’s search rivals exist.


As Google’s market share inevitably grows in the wake of the transition to mobile internet usage, it will put increasing pressure on competitors like Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and AskJeeves.

Eventually of course, there simply won’t be enough residual search traffic to share around and one or more of these alternative search providers will collapse. Google may be great at what it does, but competition is always good.

Eventually there won't be enough residual search traffic to share around and one or more alternative search providers will collapse

This monopolistic outcome is exactly why the EU Commission is always going after Google for anti-competitive behavior. While I can’t see Google dropping the ball on delivering the best search engine possible, regardless of how many competitors it has, an internet dominated by Google alone is a little worrying.

Do you use other search engines than Google? Are you OK with Google squeezing out competition?

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