Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s dominance as the default search engine of choice in the U.S. search market is now in danger, in a report released by StatCounter, an analytics company. The report, cited by Bloomberg, indicates that Yahoo’s share of the U.S. search market climbed from 7.4 percent to 10.4 percent, while that of Google fell from 79.3 percent in 2013 to 75.2 percent in December of last year. The surge in share is Yahoo!’s largest since 2009, while it marked the biggest slip ror rival Google.
The change is seen as an effect of a deal that Yahoo! struck with Mozilla Foundation earlier in November last year. Mozilla, who owns the Firefox browser, now have Yahoo as its default search engine in lieu of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), whose contract with the organization expired at the end of November 2014. Mozilla and Google had a rift when the latter started the Chrome browser, which directly competed with Firefox. Firefox, however, is estimated to receive over 100 billion global search queries yearly, despite the popularity being enjoyed by Chrome. As the new default search engine for Firefox, Yahoo! will enjoy a five year working relationship with Mozilla.
According to StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen, “The move by Mozilla has had a definite impact on US search.” He notes, however, that Firefox accounts for only 12 percent of U.S. internet users, and “the question now is whether Firefox users switch back to Google.” On the other hand, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have an easy access to web search traffic due to its ownership both of the Chrome browser and the Android operating system, which the tech giant can leverage to divert search traffic in favor of its search engine.
In an email to Bloomberg, Marketing Land & Search Engine Land founding editor Danny Sullivan said that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) had no cause for worry. “Unless Firefox suddenly grows share, everyone who likely could get switched has been now. And Google might claw back even the small share gone,” Sullivan said.
This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.