Knowing which search engines and browsers are popular is vital in allocating resource and budget to campaigns and checking sites function across browsers. But once you move outside of Western markets, the assumptions many campaigns are based on become invalid – regional search engines become important, Yahoo and Bing may disappear from the mix, and browsers like Opera move up the rankings.
Below are 13 sites that can provide you with the stats you need to understand each market and ensure your time and money is well spent. It’s worth noting that the methodologies used to gather data vary by site – so it is worth comparing sources and understanding how data is gathered.
Hitwise has grown to be one of the heavyweights of Internet statistics. They provide search engine data for free via their blogs and press releases. You can access all of their blogs here as well as selecting posts by region or topic. They summarise big trends in their press release in the U.S. and UK. The data center collates data about search engines and industries.
Hitwise sites for Australia, India, Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and France can be accessed via the drop-down in the top right of the site. The data comes from a variety of sources including ISPs.
Another stalwart of the research world, Nielsen also publish stats in their press releases and on their blogs. They are present in “100+ countries”, although the data available varies by country. You can access countries via this page. Their methodology includes panel and census data.
StatCounter is one of a number of analytics providers who publish data about search engine market shares using data from their customer base. The dedicated stats site is easy-to-use, covers search engines and browsers and allows you to download the data to a CSV.
It’s worth noting the accuracy of any analytics data like this needs to be assessed – a package might be popular and therefore accurate in one country, but in another where it has a small user base, the data is simply useless. Comparing two sources is always a good idea.
A similar site to StatCounter, NetMarketShare offers data from analytics covering search engines, browsers, ISPs and devices. As well as the data there are blog posts highlighting specific trends.
AT Internet has a dedicated research section drawn from their analytics customers. The focus is on the UK, France, Spain and Germany. Topics include search engines, browsers, connectivity devices, behaviour and a monthly “Search Engine Barometer.”
Well-known digital marketing site Econsultancy has a relentless blogging schedule, and they often analyse third party stats in their posts – one of the easiest ways to find stats is the tags list on the site.
When I first found Search Engine Market Share, it looked really promising – an easy way to browse stats per country on a Google Maps mash-up. It feels a little abandoned though – the data is from June, and their Twitter account stopped updating in December.
A crowd-sourced, public Google Docs file shows the market share of Google in multiple countries. Created and overseen by the independent Google OS blog.
A Wikipedia entry offers a summary of approaches to measuring browser market shares, historical and current data, and useful links.
You can get browser, OS, and screen and color statistics from W3Schools.com, a web development resources portal.
W3Techs Surveys features market share data across operating systems, site technologies, analytics packages and domain names.
There are of course plenty of other sites analysing search engine and browser market shares – including those I mentioned in an earlier article “How to Keep Up To Date in Search.”