Breakdown of the number of internet users in the Middle East. [Source: Black Hat]
Broadband penetration rates [Source: Interactive ME, 2010]
Key Facts of Search Engine Marketing in the MENA Region
Overall market figures stated that across the MENA region, search is growing at around 25% each year.
[Source: Google, via The National, February 2012]
- Search engines are used most for research in relation to technology (67%) and travel (48%) products. [Source: Purchasing Behaviour Survey, via Google Agency Day, 2009]
- Google is the preferred search engine in the UAE with 58% preferring google.com and 38% preferring google.ae [Source: Purchasing Behaviour Survey, via Google Agency Day, 2009]
- In the UAE, English (76% of respondents) is by far the most popular ‘search’ language (likely to be related to the highly multinational nature of UAE society) vs. 23% preferring to search in Arabic. [Source: Purchasing Behaviour Survey, via Google Agency Day, 2009]
- Search engines are the most used source of online research information (81% of respondents). [Source: Purchasing Behaviour Survey, via Google Agency Day, 2009]
- Search engine marketing is also frequently used by marketers, with 56% of companies in the Middle East using SEO and just over a third (35%) using paid search or PPC. [Source: The ArabianBusiness.com, February 2012]
- There are 100m Google searches made across the MENA region each day and the biggest search category in the MENA region is news. [Source: Alexandra Tohme, via SlideShare, October 2011]
- Google is the most commonly used search engine in the region with 61% of consumers using the English version of the site. Over half (58%) are using the Arabic version of Google. [Source: Middle East and North Africa Digital Consumer Report, Econsultancy / Real Opinions, October 2011]
- A quarter of respondents (25%) use Yahoo! Maktoob in the Middle East. Bing is only used by 8% of consumers in the Middle East. Over a third of consumers (35%) search mainly in Arabic, while just under a quarter (24%) of respondents search mainly in English. Just under a fifth of consumers (19%) always search in English. Only 7% of respondents search in languages other than Arabic or English. (source: Real Opinions, October 2011)
- More than half of organisations (53%) say they use natural search or search engine optimization for marketing, and over a third (39%) are using paid search or pay-per-click advertising.
Social media and banking related searches dominated Google in the UAE during 2010.
[Source: Zawya, December 2010]
- 10% of search queries are coming from mobile in the MENA region. [Source: Wael Ghonim, via ArabCrunch, December 2010]
- YouTube and video-related searches made up 11% of top 10 searches for Arabs during 2010 while games followed closely with about 9% of all searched terms. [Source: The Next Web, December 2010]