Google loses market share to Yahoo, lowest since 2008

Posted at 9:00 PM, Jan 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-07 21:51:46-05

Victory is won in inches, but Yahoo has miles to go.

Google’s dominance took a hit in December, dropping from 77 percent of U.S. Internet searches down to 75 percent, according to StatCounter. That’s its lowest market share since tracking began in 2008.

Web pioneer Yahoo, still in the midst of a turnaround, rode a nearly 20 percent bump at the end of 2014. Its traffic increased from 8.6 percent of searches to 10.4 percent.

Rock bottom was almost a year ago, when Yahoo commanded just 5 percent of web searches in Feb. 2014.

StatCounter attributes the Yahoo bump to a new deal that makes Yahoo the default search engine on the Firefox web browser.

"The move by Mozilla has had a definite impact on US search," said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen, in a press release. "The question now is whether Firefox users switch back to Google."

Google's search engine has a built-in advantage. It's baked into the most popular web browser in the world, Chrome, which Google owns.

Google is also the default search on Apple devices – for now.

Apple’s deal to use Google on its devices expires in 2015. That triggered a race between Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing to replace it on the iPhone and on Mac computers.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk.