Google and Search Share

January 8, 2015

I like this headline: “Google Loses Most US Search Share since 2009 While Yahoo Gains.” Maybe the sky is falling? Maybe Yahoo search is just so darned great?

The write up says:

Google’s slice of the U.S. search market fell to 75.2 percent in December from 79.3 percent a year ago, while Yahoo jumped to 10.4 percent from 7.4 percent, according to analytics firm StatCounter. That put Google at its smallest share of the U.S. Web search market since at least 2008, when StatCounter first started tracking the numbers, and the highest share for Yahoo since 2009.

The reason for the decline is that Firefox uses Yahoo as its default search provider. The article even references a search engine optimization expert.

Now, from my vantage point in rural Kentucky, there are several factors at play:

First, counting traffic is a slippery business. I view most counts as suspicious.

Second, search is not the go to solution for locating content that it was five years ago. Watch a teen look for information. How often does that future hope run a keyword query compared to getting links or information in other ways.

Third, Google has a problem, but it is not traffic yet. The company is vulnerable to the behavior of users. Mobile, which Google seems to dominate, is a bit of a challenge for the 40 somethings in Mountain View.

Exciting times.

Stephen E Arnold, January 8, 2015


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