In the months following Google’s fallout with Firefox as the browser’s default search engine, the search giant’s share of the desktop search market has been on the decline. January was no different, as Google’s desktop search market share dropped below 75% for the first time since July 2008, according to StatCounter.
Yahoo, on the other hand, has been seeing steady gains since becoming Firefox’s default search provider. When taking into account queries across all devices, Yahoo has overtaken Bing as the second largest search engine in the US.
Taking a look at the numbers you’ll see that Yahoo has nearly tripled its share of the search market on Firefox over the past several months. Yahoo now accounts for over 28% of all searches performed on Firefox, compared to under 10% in November 2014.
While everything is sounding good for Yahoo so far, when you look at the big picture Google is still far ahead of its competitors. For example, Firefox is the least popular of the major desktop browsers, ranking below Chrome, IE, and Safari respectively. So while Yahoo’s search share is growing in some respects, it has a long way to go before even coming close to Google or Bing.
It’s also important to point out that Google’s drop in search market share is only evident on desktop. When you take mobile search into account, Google is still standing strong at 78% market share.
Despite Google still being well ahead of its competitors, it was in reaction mode a few weeks ago with a campaign designed to get Firefox users to switch their default browser back to Google.
These new numbers suggest that as users upgrade to the new version of Firefox, most are content to stick with Yahoo as the default browser versus switching back to Google. According to StatCounter, the boost in Yahoo’s search market share is exclusively from Firefox users.
Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, comments on this:
“Some analysts expected Yahoo to fall in January as a result of Firefox users switching back to Google. In fact Yahoo has increased US search share by half a percentage point. It will be fascinating to see if these gains continue.”
Will Google be in reaction mode again now trying to get Firefox users to switch back? It will be interesting to see what reaction, if any, the search giant has to these numbers.