Yahoo has been locked in a battle to take and retain share of search volume from Google for many years. It got a big boost in November when Yahoo became the default search engine for Firefox. The deal gave Yahoo an immediate boost. According to StatCounter, the company’s search share grew from 8.6 in November to 10.1 percent in December and grew again in January reaching 10.68 percent. But it appears that growth has slowed and Yahoo has given back some of the gains. Numbers in February show Yahoo’s search share dropped to 10.38 percent. Google and Bing both picked up the volume from Yahoo. Read more about of our SEO blog here.
The drop is likely due in part to an aggressive “switch back” campaign that Google has been waging against Yahoo. The latest iteration in the switch back effort happened recently. Google gave up a fairly substantial portion of its high-value search page real estate to ask people to “Switch your default search engine to Google”. The campaign does seem to be working a bit as Google was able to claw back a few share points. But, it has not created a mass movement back to Google.
The fight to become or remain the default search engine gets even more interesting when you look at the rumored fight to become Apple’s default in Safari. Some industry insiders are betting against Google which could further change the market share picture.
Yahoo’s share remains small overall, but the fact that Google is fighting so hard indicates that there is still a lot riding on it. It also serves as a reminder that Google is not the only fish in the sea and that your SEO efforts need to include Yahoo, Bing and others as well.