Grabbing the coveted spot as the default search engine on the Firefox browser was supposed to be the first step in Yahoo’s long trip back to the top of the search market.

But a funny thing happened on the way there; Firefox users decided they prefer Google after all.

According to, Yahoo’s February 2015 market share showed a loss of 0.3% after gaining nearly three percent of the market over the course of December and January.

A New Opportunity

Search engine market watchers were intrigued when Firefox struck the default search deal with Yahoo! last November.

On its face, the arrangement seemed like a good opportunity for the once-mighty search outfit to regain some desperately needed market share.

As of this writing, Yahoo! is the third-place search engine with about 10.4% of the market, Bing is in the number two spot with 12.6% and Google is on top with 74.9%.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Unfortunately for Yahoo!, that early boost they got from their default Firefox spot have started to evaporate.

None of this is particularly surprising to reporters who cover the search market on a daily basis. Many of these scribes, including Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineLand and Robert Hof at, called this phenomenon out from the beginning.

They predicted that Yahoo would ride an early wave of forced growth, but would lose a chunk of those end-users after a brief honeymoon period.

What’s Next for Yahoo!?

Yahoo! is entering a very challenging phase now that the Firefox effect is wearing off. The once-mighty search engine company is struggling for relevancy on an internet that seems pretty devoted to Google.

Google, as it turns out, may actually be the biggest winner in this deal.

Hof points out that Google’s biggest business worry is the threat of an anti-trust suit. The more market share competitors like Yahoo! can pick up and lose, the better off Google will be in the long run.



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