In December, Yahoo replaced Google as the default search engine on the Firefox browser. The result: Yahoo's highest market share numbers in more than five years.
Still, Yahoo is still getting crushed in the search market. The numbers, tracked by Web analytics company StatCounter, show 10.9% of search referrals in the U.S. came from Yahoo in January. Google took the top spot with 74.8% of searches, and Bing came in second with 12.4%.
In a report focusing only on Yahoo-on-Firefox usage in the U.S., StatCounter found that Yahoo tripled its search referrals from 9.9% in November to 28.3% in January. Over the same period, Google-on-Firefox usage in the U.S. fell from 81.9% to 63.9%.
“When we removed Firefox usage from the U.S. search data, Yahoo’s gains and Google’s losses were erased,” said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen. “This highlights the importance of the default search option and the significance of the upcoming Safari search deal for the major players.”
Safari, Apple’s Web browser, currently uses Google as its default search engine. The company’s contract with Google expires in early 2015, which will leave the field open for competitors like Yahoo and Bing to make a play as the default search engine for the browser.