The expansion of Google from its beginnings as a simple search index has led the company to shape the structure of the internet worldwide, earning 132.22 billion dollars in revenue in 2019 and being the search market leader in many different online markets. However, regional differences in terms of search engine popularity can be noted. In Russia, local internet company Yandex is the market leader, while in China, Baidu takes the largest share in the search engine market.
Companies make use of search engines to connect with audiences and increase sales by maximizing their exposure in the results page. This is done through search engine optimization (SEO), a vital marketing tactic that allows brands to drive web traffic, thus increasing the chances of reaching their target consumers. On a global level, the paid search advertising is constantly growing and expenditures within this segment are set to be worth over 122.61 billion U.S. dollars by 2021.
In an increasingly mobile-first world, mobile search has also gained immense relevance. More consumers are opting to take advantage of the features on their mobile devices to conduct searches relevant to their local area. In 2018, over 80 percent of users in the United States have used their smartphones for “near me” searches. Another accelerating trend is voice search, be it by smartphone or through smart speaker devices. In a survey conducted in the same year, it was found that over half of consumers have used voice search to find information about local businesses.