Firefox 34 shift sees Yahoo gain ground on Google

Mozilla’s default search engine switch from Google to Yahoo with its Firefox 34 browser saw a significant user swing last week, according to data collated by StatCounter Global Stats.

Last month, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer revealed a five-year agreement with Mozilla that brought an end to the browser’s 10-year association with Google. Many analysts have noted that the move makes sense for Mozilla, as they would not want to continue relying on the search engine run by its rival browser, Google Chrome.

Anyone using Firefox under its default search settings was automatically switched to Yahoo at the start of the month, which is likely to have accounted for much of the change in market share.

StatCounter analysed US search trends for December 2, just one day after the change was made, and noted vast differences in market share between the new Firefox 34 and its predecessor, Firefox 33.

Search engine Firefox 33 market share (%) Firefox 34 market share (%)
Google 82.14 63.46
Yahoo 9.64 29.4
Bing 6.45 5.81
Others 1.77 1.34

 

Google’s overall US market share remains strong, with 77.43 per cent of searches undertaken so far in December made there. With a total of 8.42 per cent, Yahoo remains behind Bing (12.36 per cent) in the total market share standings.

How will this affect the UK?

When the announcement was made, Mozilla was quick to point out that the changes would only initially affect the US, while Chinese users would see Baidu as their default search engine, and Russian searchers would be directed to Yandex.

European countries will not see their default Mozilla search engine changed, although Yahoo noted: “[The agreement] provides a framework for exploring future product integrations and distribution opportunities to other markets.”

Currently, Google’s market share is even greater here than across the pond, with November’s search stats showing it accounted for 88.5 per cent of searches, with Yahoo seeing a comparatively meagre 3.85 per cent.

It will be interesting to note whether this initial surge for Yahoo in the US can be maintained in the months to come. If the trend does continue, Yahoo may well seek to implement a similar switch in the UK in the not too distant future.

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