Last month, we posted our first blog covering the Firefox and Yahoo partnership, with an overview of the deal and the effect it has had on the search share since its inception. While in the first few months we saw Yahoo steadily gaining its percentage of the search share at Google’s expense, we’re now starting to see Yahoo lose some, as Firefox users are switching back to Google as their default search engine. In response, Yahoo started to ask Firefox users to switch back to YahooSearch as their default search engine.
To recap, in November of last year, Firefox and Yahoo announced a partnership where Yahoo Search would be the default search engine for Firefox users. Previously, Firefox was partnered with Google as their default search engine, but presumably as Google Chrome was in competition with Firefox as a popular internet browser, Firefox decided to switch things up and partner with Yahoo Search instead.
By January, Yahoo had already gained about 4.2% of the search share, mostly all at Google’s expense. However, as more time has passed and the initial bump of Firefox users being switched from Google to Yahoo has leveled out (about 16% of the browser market share!), we’re starting to see some users trickle back to Google as their default search engine.
For the first time since the partnership went live, we’re now seeing Yahoo’s search share begin to decline, as they’re now down 1%, Bing is down by 0.3% while Google has increased their share by 1.2%.
So why is this happening? Our best guess is that now that the deal has been live for a few months, the initial bump of users that would switch from Google to Firefox has leveled off, and we may now start to see some users move back to their previous search engine, Google. This dip in Yahoo’s search share also came at the same time as the launch of Google’s most aggressive negotiating maneuver yet, with this large plea for Firefox users to switch back to Google upon opening Google in a Firefox browser.
As expected, just as Google started campaigning for Firefox users to switch to Google upon loading Google’s search page, Yahoo then started to do the same, with this banner urging users to switch along with Firefox as having Yahoo Search as their default search engine provider.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this partnership as more time passes, and keep you updated on any more changes as the battle for search share rages on!