In mid-November 2014, Mozilla announced that Yahoo would become the new default search engine for Firefox. This change took place as part of a new five-year partnership, replacing Google as the incumbent search engine.
This shake-up created quite the buzz in the search world as SEO and PPC professionals watched to see what kind of shift in traffic was to come, both for organic traffic and paid. Although Firefox trails behind Chrome and IE in search market share, the 3rd-largest browser drives millions of queries a month and a shift in providers would likely impact the search market share between Google and Microsoft/Yahoo.
What’s At Stake? Firefox reportedly held approximately 16% of the desktop search market share in 2014 (according to NetMarketShare). By replacing Google with Yahoo, Firefox users were automatically switched over to using Yahoo, unless they so choose to manually switchback their default search engine.
What This Means For PPC. Current investment in Yahoo/Bing needs to be reevaluated.
Investment in both percentage of time spent managing and optimizing and percentage of media budget currently allocated to Yahoo/Bing needs to be reconsidered as shifts in traffic volume and performance take place. Google has been the 800-pound gorilla in search for several years, compelling the lion’s share of media budget and optimizations, while Yahoo/Bing regularly came in 2nd. With market share potentially shifting to Yahoo, search professionals need to monitor their campaigns to see impacts to performance, and start to consider if Yahoo/Bing now requires more management hours and budget, to support the shift.
Key Considerations. Yahoo/Bing is typically the lower volume, more efficient performing search engine. With some traffic shifting away from Google to Yahoo, Yahoo volume will likely pick up requiring more budget and more management and optimization, as it may become less efficient with the increased traffic.