With all the press coverage that Google, rightfully, receives in the SEO world, it’s easy to forget that the other major players in search are still around, and in some cases making gains on their larger-than-life rival. The most recent search engine rankings have shown that Yahoo has seen some small but impressive gains in the month since they became the default search on Mozilla’s Firefox.
Back in December, Firefox began making Yahoo the default search engine on its browser. It’s taken some time for the all the browsers to be updated and some users switched their search engine back to Google. Some preliminary numbers on the effect of the change showed some gains by Yahoo, but the most recent comScore report shows just how much of a difference there was between December and January.
In their latest desktop search rankings, comScore reported that Google Sites still led the U.S. explicit core search market in January, taking a 64.4 percent market share. Microsoft Sites remains in second with about a 20 percent share. And Yahoo Sites held a 13 percent share.
Though Yahoo is still in third, their share increased by 1 percentage point. Which is nearly a 10 percent increase from the December. Market shares among search engines normally change by tenths of a percentage per month. A one percent change is a noticeable improvement for Yahoo.
The report presented the information in another way that made the change more striking. When considering the actual number of searches performed, Yahoo saw amazing growth in January compared to December.
There were 18.8 billion explicit core searches (which excludes certain contextually driven searches) were conducted in January. About 12.1 billion of those searches happened on Google Sites. Microsoft Sites ranked second with 3.7 billion searches a 1 percent from December. And again, though Yahoo Sites ranked thirds with 2.4 billion, it was an increase of 11 percent over the previous month.
Though Google will continue to set the standard for SEO due to their large market share of searches, the rise of Yahoo does present marketers with new options to consider. As more people turn to Yahoo for search results, marketers should spend a little more of their money advertising on the Yahoo network. The amount of searches done on Yahoo is comparable to those on Bing, so if it’s worth advertising on the one platform, it’s probably worthwhile to use some budget on the other.
Similarly, the growth in Yahoo use presents opportunities for content distribution. Yahoo has Groups that can used to reach audiences. They also own Tumblr, which is popular platform with certain youth demographics.
The recent comScore rankings show that Yahoo is benefiting from their partnership with Firefox. Though they are a long way from challenging Google, they have seen tremendous gains in just a few months since becoming the default search on Firefox.
Though it may seem unimportant, the changes in the search market are things business owners and marketers should pay attention to. Taking advantage of a growing audience on Yahoo cost per click pricing is low presents or before platforms like Tumblr become filled with marketers, give business owners a chance to be one step ahead of the curve.
For more information on the platform, read this article with some other stats that show the enduring value of Yahoo.