Western Europe is an area of total Google domination. If you are planning to market your products/services to customers in France or UK, you can stick to Google.
UK data is a bit outdated but you get the picture.
Source: 1ere Position (in French)
Although France does have a homegrown search engine in the top 3, Google domination is even greater in this country. Can you blame them for wanting to develop their own search engine?
Moving East – Behind the Iron Curtain
The “Curtain” disappeared almost 20 years ago and now Eastern Europe is growing with lightning speed. By 2010, online ad spending in Poland will reach $216 mil and Russian market will reach $156 mil. I was not able to find search engine market breakdown for Poland but here are the stats for Russia.
Source: LiveInternet.ru (in Russian)
Russians like the do things their own way. Search engine market is no different. Due to multiple factors, Google was not able to capture a signification market share, but it is growing. The most popular search engine in Russia is Yandex, with almost 50% of the market. Rambler and Mail.ru (equivalent of Hotmail or Yahoo Mail in US) are also important players.
Moving Further East – Breaching the Great Wall
China is hot but it’s not an easy market for US companies to enter. Just ask Google. Brin and Page are getting their behinds kicked by Chinese giant Baidu, with over 70% of the market.
Source: 50bang.com (in Chinese)
It should be obvious by now, that if you are serious about capitalizing on the growing markets worldwide, Google alone won’t take you there. And you don’t have to be a multinational corporation to translate your website into another language or two. We, as Americans, have been spoiled by the success of our economy. The rest of the world was forced to learn English and the ins and outs of American markets in order to survive. Now, with their local markets maturing, businesses worldwide might have an upper hand.