Today, a mention of the term search engine brings to mind giants such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, as well as smaller players such as DuckDuckGo and Yandex. Despite the rising popularity of alternative search tools in recent years - mainly due to concerns over data privacy - Google has remained the top player , holding roughly 90 percent of the industry share worldwide since 2010.

Skepticism towards search engines

Although search engines are now a part of daily life, consumers remain critical and trust in search results varies. According to a surey carried out in the UK, only around 20 percent believed in the validity of all displayed results . This skepticism against search engines does not come as a surprise, however, particularly in light of paid political advertising. Google for example, was particularly complicit in this during the 2019 European Parliament Elections. In 2020, in the United Kingdom alone, the search giant received almost two million euros for running political advertisements .


Machine learning and programmatic advertising has also enabled search engines to display suitable ads to audiences in real time. Additionally, top search engines like Google have also built up some of the largest consumer databases consisting of information such as purchase history and location. This, combined with the aforementioned technology creates a tool that far outstrips other advertising methods. In fact, search engine advertising brings in by and large the biggest share of digital advertising revenue in the United Kingdom, outstripping social media, banner, video and classifieds .

Search engine market shares in the UK

Second to Google in the United Kingdom is Microsoft’s Bing, with a 10 percent market share followed by Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo. Despite experiencing a large dip in market share twice since 2015 - instances that coincided with the European Union’s antitrust fines against the company - Google’s trajectory isn’t showing signs of slowing down . The Silicon Valley giant has also commanded over 90 percent of the mobile search industry since 2014. As of September 2021 this stood at a staggering 97.6 percent , a near total-market dominance.

Consumer search habits

So powerful is the influence of search engines that 64 percent of consumers in the United Kingdom rely on them when deciding which purchases to make . In contrast, only 42 percent rely on customer reviews. The most searched keyword on Google in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘airpods’.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 41 most important statistics relating to "Search engines in the UK".


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