Getting new patients from search engines besides Google
During most SEO (search engine optimization) discussions, professionals in the industry tend to talk about “Google rankings”. It is understandable, considering the fact that Google has taken a leading position within search. At latest estimates, Google has a commanding market share of almost 68%. While this type of share is impressive, it is important to note that 1/3 of searches are coming from other search engines. Who are the other search engines and why is this important? We’ll discuss below.
Yahoo still gets over 10% of all searches on the internet, according to Search Engine Watch. While still a major player, the biggest concern is that their numbers are slipping rapidly. In April of 2013, they had over 12% of search traffic and by April 2014 that had dropped to 10%. In November of 2014, they signed an agreement with Mozilla to become the default search engine for the Firefox browser. This move should allow Yahoo to either regain or maintain search share.
Bing, created by Microsoft to compete with Google in search, is still in 2nd place at 18.7%. While they are in a distant second, they have been growing and taking market share from the other engines (mostly at the expense of Yahoo, Ask and AOL). In addition, Bing is currently the default search provider for Apple iPhone’s Siri feature. It is also the default provider for the Spotlight feature in iOS 8 and the new Mac OS X Yosemite operating system. Also of importance to hearing aid and audiology practices, Bing’s user demographics trend much older than Google’s.
The remaining engines are Ask.com and AOL and their market shares are at 2.4% and 1.3%, respectively. Both of their shares are falling and without significant changes, they will have little impact on search in the coming years. Not only are they not as popular as the other options, the results they return are less relevant than the other options, in our opinion.
Why is this important and what does this information mean for your audiology and/or hearing aid practice?
While it is understandable that we use the term “Google” as a synonym for “search”, we must not forget about rankings with other search engines. We have consulted with many practices that were surprised by how differently they were scored within the different engines. Either you or your internet marketing agency should be tracking (and reporting to you) your rankings on all of the relevant engines.