Friday, February 27, 2015

Is Yahoo's Rise in Search Share Going to End?

It appear that Yahoo has gained against Google for the past two months due to a deal between Yahoo and Firefox signed in November. The deal was to make Yahoo the default search engine for Firefox in the United States. Since Firefox has virtually no mobile share, the deal was most likely to produce desktop gains for Yahoo.

For December 2014, the first full month after the deal was signed, Yahoo saw a 1.6% increase in its search market share, all apparently taken directly from Google. In January 2015 Yahoo gained a further 1.2% share, almost all of which too seemed to come from Google’s loss.

Firefox users were now flipped over to using Yahoo instead of Google as Firefox’s built-in search provider.
But by January everyone who could have been switched to Yahoo had been switched, yet Yahoo's market share continued to rise, perhaps in part because Yahoo’s promotion of Firefox was working to help the browser grow share, which in turn means more people using Yahoo when they search through Firefox.

In January Google reacted to Yahoo’s gains with a campaign to encourage Firefox users to switch to Google. Yahoo’s real challenge however would be to keep growing if Firefox reaches a boundary in terms of how much Yahoo can boost its share.

At some point one would expect that all the visitors to Yahoo’s home page who are likely to change to Firefox will have been exposed to the promotion. In that case Yahoo should see its share leveling off.

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