Experts say that fully one-third of all internet searches are performed outside of what are commonly referred to as the big five search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL and Ask.

Rob Griffin, writing for MediaPost, asserts that September 2009 saw 21 billion internet searches performed, but that only 14 billion of them were done using one of the aforementioned big five. Griffin says that this means that map searches, video searches, and local searches on services not owned by the big five search engines are the fastest-growing and least-appreciated sector of the search market, which could translate into big dividends for alert search engine optimization (SEO) professionals.

Griffin also says that searches on YouTube alone are up 41 percent in year over year figures, and suggests that search engine optimization (SEO) budgets in particular and search engine marketing budgets in general should be recalibrated to include an increased presence on the wildly popular video sharing site.

Recently released data from comScore indicate that little has changed within the big five search engines, however. Google still stands far above the other four, which combine to make up just one-third of the search numbers.