Google is probably beginning to see the fruits of its efforts to lure Yahoo search engine users back to its fold. comScore’s February 2015 American search market figures have revealed that Yahoo has lost many users to Google.
From Steady Rise to Decline
Just a month ago, comScore’s report for January 2015 projected that Yahoo’s search volume and market share were increasing at the expense of Google. It was the latter’s second consecutive decline in the volume of search queries, and seen to be the result of Yahooâ€™s deal to make Firefox its default search engine. Since then, Google has been aggressively pursuing attempts to lure back users, including placing a message at the top of its SERP requesting users to switch to Google as their default search engine. And though these efforts have not resulted in a mass migration of Yahoo users towards Google, the latest comScore report seems to be indicating this is gradually happening.
Of the 17 billion core searches in February, Google Sites were the highest ranked with 11 billion. This was followed by Microsoft Sites at 3.4 billion and Yahoo Sites at 2.2 billion. comScore’s research states that Yahoo lost around 10% of its volume of search queries between the months of January and February 2015 when Google and Bing improved.
The Switchback Effect for Yahoo
This is the first time that Yahoo’s search share has dropped since its tie-up with Firefox. So will this trend continue? Some experts do think so. The peak of success from Yahoo’s partnership with Mozilla would have been reached, meaning there could not be further success coming its way.
In fact, experts predicted this even when reports were pouring in of Yahoo having eaten into Google’s share. The reason attributed to these predictions was the “switchback” phenomenon. Switchback, when applied here, means that people who were once attracted to the collaboration between Firefox and Yahoo and used Yahoo more because of their Firefox usage or Firefox more because of their Yahoo usage, would eventually turn away when nothing new is there to be offered by either of them. And with Google being the popular search engine it is, users turning away from Yahoo would only move toward the former. Meanwhile, Bing has also taken a little share of what Yahoo has lost.
Yahoo Nowhere in Mobile Search
When it comes to mobile search though, Google was in an even better position in January. StatCounter’s research reveals that Google enjoyed an 84.2% share in the mobile search market in the US as opposed to 9.6% for Yahoo and 5.5% for Bing. The combined desktop and mobile device search share reveals that Google did not lose much when Yahoo was increasing its share. This was because Yahoo has a negligible presence in mobile search. So those months have, by Google’s standards, not been much of a hitch.
Google itself will be waiting anxiously for the time when its deal with Appleâ€™s Safari expires. If Apple switches to Yahoo, Bing or its own Siri, then it would be Google’s turn to experience some losses.