By Mark Ballard
In late November of 2014, Yahoo and Mozilla announced that Yahoo would become the default search option for the Firefox browser in the United States, ending Google’s decade-long run in that position. Those plans went into effect at the beginning of December when Firefox 34 became available for download.
The paid search data since then has given marketers unique insight into the importance of default search status, and the results from Firefox could also serve as a helpful guidepost should a bigger search default upheaval come to pass down the road.
Importantly, the outcome of this type of deal-making and wrangling for search market share isn’t just fodder for the financial analysts trying to predict stock prices — it could have a material impact on the success of our paid search programs.
What The Firefox Data Tells Us So Far
Looking at the share of all U.S. Firefox paid search clicks generated by the new Firefox 34, we can see that although it was available at the beginning of December, Mozilla didn’t really ramp up pushing the upgrade out to existing users until the second week of the month.
Between December 8 and 15, Firefox 34’s share of all U.S. Firefox clicks jumped from about 9% to 67%. Over the second half of the month, that rate edged up much more slowly, and Firefox 34 accounted for about 76% of U.S. Firefox clicks at the end of the year.
With Yahoo being the search default for Firefox 34, we might expect that its share of overall Firefox traffic would follow a similar-looking curve as adoption of the new version took off.
While Yahoo.com has seen its share of U.S. Firefox traffic jump from about 12% at the beginning of December to …read more