What is the most popular search engine in Japan?


As a digital marketer helping international companies in Japan, I am often asked this question from our clients.

If you search this term, you will get a very mixed result. Some sources might say that Yahoo is the most popular site.

For example, this source by nielsen indicates the monthly numbers of users as below.

Access from Desktop

  1. Yahoo Japan - 33.7 million / month
  2. Google - 23.9 million / month

Access from Smartphone

  1. Google - 60.5 million / month
  2. Yahoo Japan - 56.3 million / month

This data indicates that, Yahoo is more popular than Google in Japan.

On the other hand, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications indicates in this source that the search engine share in Japan as below.

Search Engine Share in Japan (As of August 2018)

  1. Google - 72%
  2. Yahoo - 23%
  3. Bing - 4%
  4. Others - 1%

Their research indicates that Google is way more popular than Yahoo. 

They both are very credible sources. Then, which one is more popular in Japan? From my experience, both of these sources are correct. 

How can it be? Let me clarify these 2 points.

  •    Yahoo is the MOST VISITED SITE in Japan.
  • Google is the MOST USED SEARCH ENGINE in Japan.

In Japan, Yahoo is one of the most used news media. In fact, Yahoo is the number 1 visited news site in Japan. It is especially popular among the users under the age of 30’s. 

Besides the news, Yahoo has popular contents such as finance, weather, and other over 100 services. These services as a whole makes Yahoo the MOST VISITED SITE in Japan.

Most users consume contents on Yahoo, but do not use Yahoo as a search engine. As the data indicates, 72% of the online users in Japan use Google as their main search engine.

I myself visit Yahoo Japan to check news at least once a day, but I cannot remember the last time that used Yahoo as a search engine.


Yahoo is the most visited website in Japan. Google is the most used search engine in Japan with the share of 72%. 

About the Author Shinsaku "Shin" Ohno

Shin is an entrepreneur with a diverse business background in marketing, sales, finance, accounting, and Digital Marketing. He has lived in the US for 12 years and spent 18 years in an international environment. In 2018, Shin joined Jeff and Founded Zo Digital Japan, a Digital Marketing Agency. Shin brings a strong understanding in both digital and traditional marketing activities. His strengths are bilingual search marketing in English and Japanese, Search Engine Optimization, as well as Pay-per-Click advertising on Google and Yahoo. Shin looks forward to taking international companies to the next level in Japan.

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