Google.  It’s a search engine. It’s an operating system. It’s a verb. It’s a noun. It’s everywhere. And when people consider search engine optimization and paid search, often Google is the only site that comes to mind. However, according to Experian’s Benchmark and Trend Report, even though Google is still the dominant force in search, people have begun changing the way they look for information in 2 ways that will affect marketers in the next few years.

First, Google has been steadily losing share to both Bing and Yahoo for 2 years now. Even though Google still is still the biggest player, with an overwhelming  68% of the market, Bing and Yahoo have enough pull in the search engine market to make their platforms  an important consideration when running paid search and SEO programs.

Though the search engines do not disclose how they rank sites, it is apparent that each uses a slightly different method which causes rankings to vary across platforms. It is important to make sure that your site ranks highly for your selected keywords on all three sites and adjust your SEO efforts appropriately if it does not. Similarly, it may be worth looking at running your paid search campaigns across all platforms to ensure the greatest reach possible.

However, more important than shifting share within the search engine market, is the trend away from search engines as a whole. Instead of visiting Google to find information about the brands they’re interested in and to compare products, 17% of adults are going to social media sites such as Facebook to find this information.

There are several possible reasons for this. First, may be because many people are already going to Facebook to network, interact with their friends, and share their opinions and would rather stay within the site instead of navigating away to a brand’s website. Second, social sites frequently have comments and recommendations from other users, which, according to eConsultancy, 82% of people take into account before making a purchase.

Regardless of the reason, there are implications when you are setting up your Facebook page. While you should always use social media sites as an engagement tool and to foster community, you also should have the important information about your company and products easily accessible to users.

Make sure that your brand page is easily searchable and identifiable within Facebook by filling out as much information about your company as possible. Also, use the “about” section as well as custom tabs to feature products and promotions and always prominently feature links back to your website so consumers wanting more information can navigate there easily.

Google is one of the most successful companies in the marketplace today, and they are no doubt going to continue to dominate the digital space for years to come. However, it is important to realize how people are diversifying the way that they search for information about your industry, company and products. With the sources of information on the internet continuing to grow it is important to project a consistent and highly visible brand image across all of the platforms that people use to find out about your company.

Posted by Nicole Hall, Account Manager with Mobilize Worldwide. Mobilize Worldwide develops mobile apps, mobile ad campaigns, mobile websites and just about anything else related to mobile marketing for brands interested in growing their sales and revenue using this new and emerging medium.