Your browser is the software that you use to access websites. Back in the day, Internet Explorer was one of the very few browsers in use.
Today, Explorer has less than 10% of global users, while the newer Google Chrome has somewhere upwards of 40%. Apple’s Safari, preloaded on all iPhones, has about 30%. Firefox comes in third, with about 18%.
There are pros and cons with each browser, but they basically all do the same thing. How they work though, is a bit different, so when we develop new websites, we test the site using all of the top three, and make any adjustments necessary to make sure that your site will appear properly.
A search engine is an entirely different thing, but is so well integrated with browsers that it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. While a browser alone will take you to a website if you have the address, it’s the search engine that helps you find the site if you don’t.
Google is, by far, the most popular search engine worldwide, although Yahoo is still around, and the newer Bing, also has its share of users.
If you market to a global audience though, you may want to look beyond Google for your search advertising. Yandex, for example, is the most used search engine in Russia, with an estimated 55% of users. If you’re marketing in China, the search engine Baidu has 302 million monthly active users.
Beyond those mentioned, there are many, many, other browsers and search engines available. Some are focused on privacy. Some are needed to get you into the “deep” or “dark” web. There’s even a search engine built specifically for finding suppliers of illegal drugs. What’s interesting about this is that the internet sites that show up in a Google search, for example, makes up a very small percentage of what’s actually online.