When Google Fails, Yahoo & Ask.com Win: Study

With Google owning the search landscape, the best other search engines can hope for these days is to be a searcher’s second-favorite option — the place we go when Google doesn’t help us find what we’re looking for. According to a new report from Chitika, Google users go to Yahoo and even Ask.com much more often than Bing.


Chitika studied the search behavior of more than 39,000 users visiting sites across its online ad network — users who searched for the same exact word/phrase in a short period of time before hitting one of Chitika’s sites.

Users who first searched at Google chose Yahoo for the follow-up search almost 50% of the time, which is perhaps not much of a surprise. But that Ask.com grabbed more than 30% of presumably unsuccessful Google searches is a surprise; that’s almost double Bing’s 16.4%.

What we don’t know from Chitika’s numbers is the trend: Is Bing’s 16.4% higher than it was, say, a year ago when the search engine first launched? (Probably.) Is Yahoo’s 50% lower than a year ago? (Could be.)

If nothing else, the study does suggest that Bing could grab 30% of Google’s unsatisfied users by buying Ask.com, which may or may not be for sale at this point.

Related Topics: Ask: Web Search | Channel: Strategy | Features: Analysis | Google: Web Search | Microsoft: Bing | Stats: Popularity | Stats: Search Behavior | Top News | Yahoo: Search


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://traffic-jockey.com/ mondex1

    I guess it’s very easy to understand that failure of one business is gain for their competitors. And every business should be very careful not to give an edge to their competitor

  • http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    Bing needs to be less demanding about what it includes in its index. People have sort of come to accept that from Ask but to compete with Google you have to provide comprehensive results. There are still many queries where notable Websites do not appear in Bing’s search results. They are unquestionably the pickiest search engine in the field right now.

  • dddmarketing

    I think this is a fascinating piece of research. While it’s obviously not going to make any sensible marketer immediately jump up and abandon Bing in favor of Ask, it does make me wonder, “When does it make more sense to use Ask?”

    I’ve written up my thoughts over on my site, but the basic summary is how do you identify your company / client as one of those hard to find ones that people won’t be able to easily find through Google? And given that people searching for your company often fail to find it on Google, how do you take advantage of this knowledge of Ask?

    I don’t have all the answers myself, but I think it is a very interesting question. Thanks to Chitika for the research.


    Data Driven Digital Marketing

  • http://ezinearticles.com/?Nitric-Oxide-Supplements---Build-More-Muscle-Faster-With-N02&id=443222 abbiwood

    Yahoo and Ask are good option when we not get right result of our search on Google search.I am not surprise if next 2 year if Yahoo and Ask take over Google because they update its self very fast.

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