Yahoo begins secure search rollout

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Yahoo searches go secure

Yahoo is moving to ensure that all search terms entered by users of the service are kept secure, following in the footsteps of Google and its switch to (not provided).

However, there is set to be a major difference in the way that Yahoo and Google will report on search data. While Google searches will show up with (not provided) in analytics, Yahoo will not offer any indication as to the origin of the visitor. This means that it will appear to webmasters that the user had visited their website directly, rather than through search.

By taking away this data, Yahoo could appear to suffer a significant drop in usage, with the December search engine market share showing they currently hold 3.29 per cent of the market, in third place behind Bing and Google.

Dramatic start to 2014 continues

It has been an eventful start to the year for Yahoo, with revenues lower than expected and chief operating officer Henrique de Castro stepping down unexpectedly, following a rumoured falling out with CEO Marissa Mayer.

Some industry experts believe that Yahoo is looking to recapture some of its popularity from the early days of the company, by capitalising on the increased public interest in internet security that has emerged in recent months. Mayer has frequently stated her disappointment at the current performance of the company, with this perhaps the latest tactic to combat the slide.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, commented: "Yahoo has often been a forgotten figure in the battle for search engine supremacy, with Bing and Google left to fight it out on this front. While it remains to be seen whether the popularity of Yahoo can be saved, an increased focus on security could certainly be a contributing factor".

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