Google’s primary competitor on Search is Bing (Microsoft), the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK concluded last year. Yahoo Search, Ecosia and DuckDuckGo are also competitors, but they rely on Bing to display search results.
In 2018, Google accounted for more than 90% of all revenues earned from search advertising in the UK, with revenues of around £6 billion.
Search engines that rely on Bing to display results, are differentiating themselves with search features, being privacy focused, or having a social purpose, by spending their search advertising revenues on charitable causes. These search engines are called downstream search engines with syndication business.
The cost of indexing and crawling the web
The British watchdog says Google and Microsoft are the only two search engine providers that maintain at-scale English-language web indices, crawling the web. According to the numbers provided by both companies, Google’s index contains around 500 to 600 billion pages, and Microsoft’s index contains around 100 to 200 billion pages.
Google and Bing spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year crawling and indexing the web. DuckDuckGo said in the past that the cost is so high that even companies like Yahoo and Ask are giving up general crawling and indexing.
Other local competitors
Other local competitors include Yandex, Cliqz and Mojeek. Yandex is specialized in Russian and has more-than 50% share of search in Russia. Cliqz is a Germany-based search engine. Mojeek is an UK based search engine.
Competition comes also from specialised search platforms
According to the Online platforms and digital advertising market study, specialised search platforms are the remain competitors of Google. Platforms like Booking.com in travel, or Amazon on retail.
The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK labels Google, Bing, Yahoo Search, Ecosia, and DuckDuckGo as general search platforms. Booking.com, and Amazon are labeled as specialised search platforms.
There is a trend of specialized search platforms becoming more successful in generating their own traffic, and Google, in a response to the study, said that it expects this trend to continue.