The latest comScore data following the Firefox switch to Yahoo as its default search provider shows that it was as impactful to Google’s search share has was believed. Google saw a 1.6% decrease in their overall search share while Yahoo jumped up by 1.6%.
It’s not a huge surprise, as many people didn’t realize that their search engine had changed from Google, especially since Yahoo search results look fairly similar to Google’s own results.
Firefox also has a tendency to switch back to yahoo as the default search engine, even after the user has specified Google as the default. Personally, I’ve seen it switch twice, most recently within the last week, were suddenly Google was gone as my default search provider and Yahoo was in its place again.
The 1.6% loss by Google is pretty close to the 2% previously reported by StatCounter earlier this month.
When it comes to the number of search queries performed, Yahoo jumped up by a huge 21% point change while Google only rose 2% and Bing rose 5%. The switch in the search share couldn’t attribute entirely to such a gain in search query, but does raise the question about whether users using Yahoo are doing more search queries because Yahoo isn’t serving concise enough search results.
When January’s search share is released in mid-February by comScore, that will really tell the tale of the impact of the Firefox default search engine change, as it may take a couple of weeks for some users to make the change back – or even realize it had been changed.
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