Mobile Browser Changes will hit Europe for all new Android devices recently after controversial rulings in the European Union. The EU stated that Google’s practice of setting Chrome up as the default search engine for Android devices was illegal under the EU’s antitrust rules. In addition to forcing changes on Android devices, Google was fined $5 billion dollars. Google doesn’t have to provide a date for these mobile browser changes, and the ruling only requires them to make changes in the EU marketplace. Google is under no legal obligation to do so in other markets and I don’t expect they will. It makes sense that Android, a Google Operating System, would leverage Google applications as it’s native default, but here we are today.
Mobile Browser Changes
If you don’t live in the EU it doesn’t mean you’ll likely see any changes to your next Android’s device setup or preferences. But if your clients are in the EU, you’ll want to adjust your online search engine strategy. While every search engine is different, most will leverage the same rules for search engine optimization including, linkbacks, authority, metadata, and readability. It’s how these engines do this and how well that’s the trick. I for one don’t believe DDG can replace Google in terms of query quality but I do think they are a viable alternative for the private, the paranoid, or the dark web searches.
How Much Can This Affect Google Use?
According to Duck Duck Go, roughly a quarter of their users would bail. DDG reported that 24% of Americans, 24% of the UK, and 17% of Australian users would switch from Google if they had a choice. This means that Google’s market share would drop similarly by 20%, 22%, and 16% in those respective markets. Currently, Google holds a 95% share in the US and 98% in the UK and Australia.
The change specifically will be implemented in the preferences menu, allowing users to choose which web browser would be their default. As expected, DDG is collecting more data and pressing more regulators for change. Android devices currently account for about 72% of mobile users in Europe. A significant blow to Google, indeed.
Should You Change Your SEO Strategies?
It’s unclear yet how much this will change and if the ruling will extend to other countries. For now, keep up your efforts and your Google listings. It will be a LONG time before those aren’t useful and that’s IF that day even comes. Your XML sitemap is to all search engines so it isn’t like you can’t show up on the search of another engine.