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Google has become widely accepted as the search engine of choice. We talk about “Googling” something. We don’t tell people to “Bing it” and we aren’t “Yahooing” for anything. But is Google the right search engine to optimize for?

In October, comScore released data indicating Google has a 63.9% market share. Bing is a distant second with 20.7% and Yahoo holds steady in third place with 12.6%. Surely this indicates that Google is where you want to focus your optimization efforts, right?

Not necessarily.

Look at where your audience is performing their searches.

Referring site data will indicate where the searches that lead to your site are being conducted. You might find your audience isn’t “Googling” but are instead “Binging” to find you. Or, like Stephanie, they’re on a Windows Phone and “Bing it” by default.

Additionally, your investigation might indicate that customers aren’t even using a search engine, especially in the case of e-commerce. Some buyers search directly on Amazon or Ebay, bypassing the search engines completely.

To learn more about customer and buyer search methods, read Richard Stubbings post “Is Google the right search engine to optimize for.

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