Yahoos Marketshare -Lemme Axe You A Question

by Jeremy Schoemaker on August 11, 2007 · 94 comments

What if Firefox used Yahoo! instead of Google as the default homepage and search engine… Would people switch back to Google or would Yahoo! gain 30%+ more market share instantly & perminantly? Maybe Yahoo! should step up the “donations” to Firefox?

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Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

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1 Sami

I think would gain less then 30%, but a lot would switch back to google. I say this without researching first. But Google won me back in 1999. Internet was slow then, and google was the only search engine website that loaded fast.

2 Chris Bartow

Wouldn’t this be true for gaining market share?

Most people still use IE and it’s the default search engine there, yet it doesn’t seem to be gaining huge ground.

3 Tamish

Yahoo would prefer to tie up with another browser company or create one for itself .

Yahoo can preferably choose Opera !

4 Coin Counter

My guess is that because most Firefox are more “net savvy” than other browsers, they would switch back to the G if Yahoo was built-in/default search page as the search quality is much better.

If you take MSN which is built into new Dell PC’s even people with poor net skills type Google into MSN to get google as even they know it’s better.

Yahoo would have to do something about search quality first. Although, I accept your point that Firefox/Mozilla is probably just as cynical as anyone else when it comes to “donations”

5 PrintnPost

I think they would def win some market share…from the endless amount if people that have no clue how to switch the default page. i feel as though the only reason MSN even plays in the search engine arena is becuase its the default page.

6 browie

Ya that would be very interesting. Although I always felt that Microsoft coming with their internet options were stupid but I’m sure some folks buy a computer and then start clicking.

7 My Awesome Blog

I think some people would use Yahoo out of laziness, but most would change their settings so they can use Google.

I think one BIG problem with Yahoo is they are thick headed (maybe just dumb). A few months ago I tried to sign up for their publishing network but I never heard back from them. I might have considered switching to Yahoo if their ads paid more.

In my opinion, if they want to have any chance of surviving, they need an awesome advertising program like Google Adsense. They should be begging us to sign up.

Another idea for Yahoo is they should try to compete with But giving ideas to Yahoo is more than likely a complete waste of time.

8 Glen Allsopp

Wouldnt change much on the larger scale of things

9 Blackbeard

Here’s the problem. I don’t think Firefox has 30% of the market. I think it’s closer to 20%. Also, aren’t Google engineers working on Firefox. I don’t see Yahoo being able to buy their way into Firefox so easily since Google got there first.

If Yahoo did get it, I would say it’d be more like a 10-15% boost for them. Significant, but not enough to “turn the ship around” for Yahoo.

10 Theo

I don’t like their search results.

11 Jojo

Maybe they would gain a little bit, but how many are using the Firefox search box anyway? I use Firefox, but don´t use the search box. And Firefox users are mostly experienced internet and browser user. So many would probably change their standard search engine back to Google. And Firefox is in very successful in many European countries. Google is in most of this countries far ahead of Yahoo. Yahoo couldn´t monetize this traffic as good as Google. So Google can pay the Mozilla Foundation better than Yahoo.

12 Grivon

Yahoo traffic has ALWAYS been pitiful for me… maybe it takes a completely different approach to SEO… but then again, even hitting what I think to be “high traffic” keywords in yahoo only seem to bring in a trickle of users?!

Anyone else think yahoo should just giveup the search game and focus on everything else internet related like they seem to be doing anyways?!?!

13 Grivon

Sorry shoe.. didn’t really answer/pay attention to YOUR question :p Just saw yahoo and went nuts lol..

To answer it.. yes I think yahoo should try to get some traffic from non-conventional sources… it sure couldn’t hurt them any :S

14 Romit

Quite simple,

Google will add one small handy pop-up right under search box and you can click that sweet little button and … YO! you’r back on your google search box in ff.

(But yeah, best for Firefox, they’d still have that donation) :P

15 Sidelko, Sean

I would second that.

The % of people using Yahoo if that happened would go up, some, but not a whole lot.

It might go up more if FireFox was the default browser on Dell Computers or another brand in conjunction with Yahoo being the default search on FireFox. Then you would catch the people who didn’t know better or didn’t care what they searched with.

16 Travel Notebook

I think people would still use Google. I havent made a search on yahoo (besides to check my rankings) in years

17 BlueDevilMedia

That would be a step back for firefox.

18 nick

never made a search on yahoo in my life! I love google… if not google I would use askjeeves.

19 Stuart Hannig

Got to agree, Google gives better search results. But they might gain near 20%. Still have to think of the people who don’t know computers well and will use what they are given.

20 Stuart Hannig

Absolutely wrong, they already have the market share from IE users. If anything, Live would lose market share if IE switched search party’s.

21 Stuart Hannig

Yahoo should choose both actually.

22 Paul.

Yahoo doesn’t seem very proactive. What are they waiting for? Google has all the good ideas and Yahoo sits there like a bump on a log.

23 Stuart Hannig

I think it would influence people more though.

24 Stuart Hannig

Yes, but a large boost like that can help start a slippery slope to turn the ship around.

25 Stuart Hannig

As do I, I still only like Google for results. MSN 2nd, Yahoo is last IMHO

26 Stuart Hannig

Same here, I have only had luck with MSN and GOOGLE

27 Stuart Hannig

Haha funny, I used AskJeeves as well, until Google came around.

28 Stuart Hannig

They are still busy promoting their junk sites like on TV.

29 Matt Huggins

I for one would switch my browser back to Google. When I want to search for something, I “Google it”, I don’t “Yahoo it”.

30 Cristián

It would make an important difference in market share but I guess 70% or more would switch back to google.

At least in my country, google has more than 95% market share.

31 king jacob

Whats the current default homepage on opera?

32 king jacob

I would definently switch back to google because I use iGoogle as my homepage and its already set up. Yahoo would gain a marketshare but way less than 30% because of the typical FF user.

33 Leonid Shalimov

Since MSN is the home page on IE, that’s the only reason it even retained marketshare or alexa’s #2 rank.

34 Gary R. Hess

It is defined:

35 Gary R. Hess

It would definitely raise the amount of Yahoo users, but not by much. A lot of tech sites are saying Firefox shares are around 30%, but I believe it is closer to 15-20%. Anyway, even with the new IE7, I have noticed that non-internet-hogs tend to not even use the search bar, same with Fx. They just type in and do their work from there.

36 CPA Affiliates

I think the would gain a good bit by doing it…. so many people loas a program or it comes with default and never change it…. just think if YSM teamed up with firefox and dell the market share they could gain……

37 TeeCeo

I think it would be a great step in the right direction but, does yahoo even “Care” to gain share and give google a run? I say hell no, I mean, what have they done and are they doing to get closer to google’s search share????? exactly, nothing.

38 Ricky

I would still use Google. If they changed the search bar to use Yahoo, then I might accidentally use it, but other than that I would change my homepage to Google. But a lot of people would probably just use Yahoo.

39 Cristián

And you have to add type-ins that get redirected to msn

40 zayre

I would think that people would still stay with google because yahoo’s homepage is too cluttered and I like how simple google is and its very user friendly and I use gmail, google analytics, etc so it is easiest for me.

41 Asa Dotzler

Donations or other financial contributions and arrangements have nothing to do with why Google is the default search service in Firefox. Google is the default service (and was long before there was any money associated with it) in Firefox because our users tell us it’s the service they want.

Or to put it another way, Yahoo couldn’t buy the default slot in Firefox. No one could. Not even Google.

What Yahoo could do, something Google does, is to distribute a version of Firefox with Yahoo defaults. Mozilla has a broad partners program that allows for this and Yahoo could help Firefox and at the same time help themselves by participating.

- A

42 jim

yahoo just isn’t all that great, google is nice because it’s fast and accurate; not becuase it’s in firefox

43 DG

Last year Mozilla made over $100M from Google, so unless Yahoo! really, realy stepped-up the “donations” there is no change of Firefox changing anything.

44 Matthew

Mozilla makes millions and millions a year off the integrated search. If you use the integrated Firefox search, and click an ad, they see some money.

You can look up the figures in their financials–IIRC it was around 40 million.

45 BloggingDosh

I think this would annoy a lot of FireFox users. Yahoo search still doesn’t give results anywhere near as good as Google does. And its not about donations, Mozilla makes millions every year from Google advertising – something that Yahoo can’t offer.


Yeah, but people who don’t use computers much and simply use what they’re given won’t be using Firefox. I know that in my case I’d switch it back straightaway.


Opera doesn’t have the market penetration of Firefox, so tying that up wouldn’t do much.

48 Brent

I agree with Blackbeard. I don’t see Firefox with a 30% browser share.

Either way though Firefox is to Google, as IE is to Yahoo (and somtimes MSN). I see Firefox people as Google users since Google’s search is more ‘technical’ and so are FF users. Yahoo is for the more artsy-fartsy, non-technical population, and I really think their SERP’s are geared toward that. I see less than 5% of new FF downloads keeping a new Yahoo default search.

49 Viral Electronics

I think yahoo is probaly never going to gain the search game back. They need to focus on something different like news or such. Their main page is way to crowded to be considered a solid search choice, its just way to distracting. I think they should also work on their directory and make their directory more powerful. That is how they can influence google more than anything. If they strengthen their search directory and make it a bigger thing for sites to be listed then that could impact them more than anything else.

50 BlueDevilMedia

Remember lol

51 joe

I agree with Viral Electronics,i mean look at yahoo home page..whom goes there to read gossip or news?
Untill they wake up and do a simple home page with a search bar as Google does..forget it.The net is disracting enough is amazing a company like yahoo does not wake up to these things.If you cannot beat them..emulate them.

52 Amusis

It’s quite ovbious that peoples’ choice of search engine has nothing to do with their preferences for content, search relevance or brand identity, and everything to do with which browser they are using. Consider a career in consulting, won’t you?

53 John Hacking

Yes, a clean search bar would be nice. How about a random presentation of Google and Yahoo?

54 Mason

i just bought a new laptop and IE went to yahoo…. now that I think about it, does IE even goto live anymore? Most of em goto like for hp or or w/e …

55 Hip Hop News

real talk

56 AuctionAdsForums

i agree i think yahoo would make way more money also would make yahoo stock holders freak out haha

57 Guide Study

The people who know computers use Yahoo, Google is for beginners…

58 Study Guide

Good point; Microsoft finds so many ways to embed their SE into their applications.

59 TechZilo

Not much anyway – most folk are used to google now. THey dont even say search – they say “Google”.

60 Sweet

I agree. Yahoo! gives better search results nowadays.

61 Joeychgo

I dont think Mozilla does much in the general marketplace.

62 cooliojones

Stuart, I completely agree with you. Yahoo has to step their game up in a major way to be able to do anything about a behemoth like Google. There searches just aren’t relevant enough, period.

63 cooliojones

Choose Opera? That’s the blind leading the blind. Talking like that, you’d think Netscape was making a comeback.

64 cooliojones

Yahoo and all of them need to step up their customer service. I am almost willing to bet if Yahoo advertised that they give personal service to people instead of hiding behind e-mails, AND made their ads more relevant to the content, AdSense would lose some major ground.

65 cooliojones

I’d rather use Excite or Altavista. LOL

I think even Lycos is laughing @ Yahoo. The yellow pages are more relevant. :)

66 cooliojones

I guess we can say what we want about Yahoo, but the fact is they have a PR of 10, and are #1 on Alexa, so I don’t think they really care about relevance and all that jazz. They are the oldest search engine, and probably coined the term before it was even popular. It’s kinda like telling Microsoft to fix Windows. They aren’t going to do anything unless there rankings start to seriously slip, but you would hope that a Yahoo spider would find this page, dissect the comments and get it to their QA team so they could get to work on something to battle MSN and Google.


Are you serious?


Maybe they’re hoping to worm their way into NCSA Mosaic. ;)

69 eTown Landlord

that is an interesting comment. I would like to know why you feel that way? I have been using yahoo more since doing PPC campaigns but that’s the only real reason. I don’t get your logic on that one, could you clear it up please?

70 eTown Landlord

well it’s easier to get listed with yahoo so I wish people would use yahoo more… my traffic would increase, there’s no doubt in my mind. Does anybody know why it takes so damn log to get on the first page of google?


I would imagine that Google is a tougher sell *because* it’s more valuable. If Yahoo were the search engine of choice, everyone would be focused on unravelling how to rank high there. But it’s not.


Random, as in from search-to-search? Or from install-to-install? The former would drive me nuts. Besides, Google is a more useful search engine, so why not enable it by default? The majority of people want it anyways.

73 TechZilo

yahoo may not be close, but ms is getting closer…their growth rates are amazing.

also, looking through comments,people think google is giving money for nothing….
they’re giving a cut of the ad revenue from SERPs via google box in FF. search from FF and you’ll see a referal url part…firefox-a


How is that obvious? I actually toggle over to Yahoo every once in awhile in my search bar, and I always come running back to Google. Why? Because it’s better.

75 TechZilo

oops….that last sentence seems a bit long…


I know this isn’t a random sample, but my sites get 35-40% of their traffic from FireFox users.

77 TechZilo

shoe, just a hat tip,….you cuold edit top commetnators plugin to add a target=_blank so that you dont lose visitors, and your commentators gain some.

78 TechZilo

do you reveal your earnings from this blog? i’d be interested…

79 Ben

I definitely think firefox fueled my use of google +50% because the browser was good and it was always there Google just became like a third arm :P The only time I ever use Yahoo is when ive searched google about 50 times for something and am still struggling :P

80 jim

The people who know computers use Altavista. Don’t mess with Digital.

Okay, maybe just old people stubborn use Altavista.

81 Paul Bradish

They’d most likely be using IE6 or 7 and MSN or AOL

82 Modern Worker

This is true, in my experiences. A lot of people I know automatically go to yahoo for any and all searches. It’s crazy to see the listings yahoo has on 1st page results in comparison with Google (what I use). Yahoo has way crappier indexing.

83 Modern Worker

That’s ridiculous to say the browser determines the search engine.


I think we would see some changes, but not that much!

85 Mike Mothner

I really don’t think Yahoo has much of a chance at this point in becoming the search engine of choice. Even without the added bonus of its partnership with Firefox, Google seems to me to be a simply superior search engine. In my opinion, it’s more easily navigated and seems to generate better search results – two qualities that ultimately make it the preferred search engine.

86 Nathan H

nice idea, have too watch out for big businesses and payolla

87 stupid 3gp

I think if yahoo do that Mozilla will be not grown with the rate it did. Plus Yahoo has atleast 3% more market share via Mozilla.

88 Paul Bradish

I have had a little bit of luck with Yahoo but nothing compared to Google.

89 Joeychgo

dont forget, many people chase after PR – which is Google, not yahoo

90 Joeychgo

or merge with someone such as MSN.

91 Trevor McNotDonald

I know I would switch back to Google straight away as I love the search engine too much compared to Yahoo! Can’t stand all the advertisements and loading times etc.

92 Jo

I have just tried comparison searching on both Google and Yahoo, and I cannot understand how anyone finds anythihng on Yahoo! The results seem to feature ‘shopping directories’ so heavily on the first page that I almost convinced myself that maybe people did want to ‘compare prices for WORKING IN A COAL MINE’ rather than anything to do with the hugely popular song. This makes me wonder whether people chose a search engine based on how they search – maybe I am just so used to Google that without even realising it, I adapt my search terms to ensure correct results. Either way, I much prefer Google, as do most people I work with in SEO and marketing…

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