Google Market Share: Why They Didn't Experience a 10% Drop!

According to Statcounter statistics, Google's market share significantly dropped in April. But we should question those stats.

Written by
Daniel Højris Bæk
Calendar Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
May 3, 2024

Today, I observed several SEO industry veterans, who are typically well-informed about the latest trends, sharing updates on LinkedIn about a significant decrease in Google's market share in April.

Their post was based on search market share statistics from Statcounter that indicates a dramatic shift in the search engine landscape: Google's market share has plummeted to 86.99%, a record low since the company began monitoring in 2009.

10% Market Share Drop in US

This downturn, exceeding 4% from the previous month, is the most significant single-month decline documented to date.

In the United States, Google's stronghold, the impact is even more pronounced. The tech giant's share of searches across all devices has tumbled by nearly 10%, settling at 77.52%.

As Google's numbers drops, its competitors are experiencing a surge.

Google Market Share Data in 2023 vs 2024

Microsoft Bing has ascended to a 13% market share in the U.S. and 5.8% globally, a peak since its inception. Meanwhile, Yahoo Search's global share has almost tripled to 3.06%, a high not observed since July 2015.

The search quality of Google has come under scrutiny by many industry experts - and I have earlier covered this in my post “Are Google Search Results Getting Worse Due to SEO? (2024 Study)”.

Post the latest update, a segment of the SEO community and average internet users alike have been vocal about their dissatisfaction with Google's search results, suggesting a possible correlation with the company's declining market share.

I do not believe the drop (as significant) have happened

In contrast, SimilarWeb's analysis casts doubt on the alarming reports of Google's market share decline (aligned with the comments I see from many SEOs across the different social channels).

Their data for the U.S. in March 2024 suggests that the decrease may not be as severe as some sources have indicated.

I also feel this makes more sense.

The notion that users in those magnitudes (we have to keep in mind that Google has 8,5 billion searches per day!) have so rapidly migrated from one platform to another seems far-fetched.

Such a significant shift in user behavior is an extraordinary occurrence, particularly when considering the magnitude implied by recent reports.

If that would have been true, I also feel the stock market would already have picked up on this.

The stock price of Google / Alphabet just keeps climbing

Moreover, SimilarWeb's categorization of Yahoo as a News and Media entity rather than a direct search engine competitor adds complexity to the market share narrative, indicating that the competitive dynamics may be more intricate than they appear.

Also Statcounter's methodology for gathering data, which relies on a small sample size from sites with its tracking code, further undermines the credibility of its market share figures.

With such a limited dataset, any minor fluctuation can appear disproportionately large, leading to potentially misleading conclusions about search engine trends. This is compounded by the fact that we are entering a cookieless era, which will increasingly impact data accuracy.

Given these factors, it is important for marketeers to approach Statcounter's data with skepticism.

An example of one of the many SEOs being skeptical about the alleged drop in market share.

If the shift was as dramatic as the Statcounter data suggest, we would also be able to see it in the sources sending traffic to sites through site analytics (like Google Analytics etc).

And we are not.

While there may be a downward trend in Google's market share currently (it IS also crazy have managed to be in the +90 for decades), it is likely not as dramatic as reported.

It's interesting to see if their roll-out of AI as core part of their search experience (also coined SGE at some point) can stop the tide and get some of those users back.

Market Share Data from Netmarketshare does not have April 2024 data yet either

And we will just have to await data from other parties tracking the Search Market Shares (like Statista) to be updated - currently they are only tracking up until March - to verify how big a drop Google is actually experiencing.

--- The interactive version of the graph above ---

Google Market Share: Why They Didn't Experience a 10% Drop!

This is an article written by:

+20 years of experience from various digital agencies. Passionate about AI (artificial intelligence) and the superpowers it can unlock. I had my first experience with SEO back in 2001, working at a Danish web agency.