Shift in US Search Engine Market Share

In December 2014, a new deal between Mozilla Firefox and Yahoo aroused the interest of many US search engine advertisers. With Yahoo now being the default search engine in Mozilla’s web browser Firefox, Google has experienced a noticeable loss in market share. However, there are signals that users have started manually switching back to their accustomed search environment.

Offering Yahoo Service to more than 13% of US Internet Users

Despite Google’s dominant position in North America as well as in Europe, Yahoo was able to strike a significant deal with Mozilla becoming Firefox’s default search engine in the US. According to StatCounter, Firefox is currently used by about 13.5% of US internet users. Able to offer their services to such a great number of users, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer understandably described the deal as “the most significant partnership for Yahoo in many years”.


More than 13% of US internet users use Firefox

Gaining 1.6% in Desktop Search Engine Market Share

Yahoo’s increase in market share was a natural consequence of this new partnership. According to the latest comScore figures, Yahoo was able to gain 1.6% in market share whereas Google lost the exact same percentage. With more than 65% market share, Google is still the dominating search engine in the US. However, Bing and Yahoo now account for a total of more than 30% making them an ever so strong competitor in US online search.


Yahoo gained +1.6% Search Engine market share in the US

Yahoo’s increase in market share of 1.6% might not appear too impressive at first sight. However, businesses are advised to analyse their incoming traffic thoroughly.

“We saw enormous shifts in terms of revenue distribution with some of our clients in December 2014. Firstly, I’d recommend to define conversion goals that really add value to your business. Secondly, it’s important to fully understand which browsers and search engines generate the most valuable traffic to your site. Using web analytics data smartly will help businesses streamline their digital efforts most effectively.”

Paid Data Indicates Switchback to Google

The crucial question for Yahoo will be whether their gaining in market share can be maintained over a long-term period. Paid data suggests the contrary: Yahoo’s share of paid clicks peaked at 43% in early December – since then, there has been a gradual loss back to Google. In early January, Yahoo’s share of paid clicks had dropped to 34%.

“Paid data can provide strong indications for organic behaviour – at, we’ll continue to monitor the different data sources closely to advise our customers most effectively.”

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