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It's time to take Yahoo & Bing seriously

Following years of turmoil for Yahoo, things may be looking up. Since their market share was eclipsed by the emerging power of Google, their percentage share has decreased, eventually dropping to mere single figures. 

Now, upon the expiry of Mozilla's previous deal with Google, Yahoo has become the default search engine for version 34 of Firefox in the US, and search marketers may find themselves having to adjust their methods.

Within a day of release, the percentage of Firefox 34 users searching with Yahoo jumped to almost 30%, while fewer than 10% were doing so on the previous version, as this graph from StatCounter reveals. Google has suffered a decrease of a similar size as a result. 

Us Search Share

As well as the change to Yahoo in the US, Yandex became Firefox's default engine in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, also changing from Google. It is unknown whether Mozilla will make similar changes in the UK and other countries, but it is a real possibility. 

This poses the question: do search marketers need to take this into account?

In recent years, many marketers have focused solely on Google due to its dominance of the market. However, Yahoo and Bing now receive 30% of all searches made in the US. Considering that Bing power Yahoo's search function, optimising your pages for Bing should result in an improvement in rankings on Yahoo too, and doing so seems worthwhile.

The assumption that a page will rank well on Bing or Yahoo simply because it does so on Google is often incorrect. Bing and Yahoo favour pages with good social indicators and those with more content, while it gives less weight to the number of backlinks. These variations, amongst many others, mean that they often display different results on their first pages to Google. 

Fortunately, Bing makes things slightly easier for marketers than Google does, by offering a range of handy tools and resources to help you, including their Webmaster Tools, SEO Analyzer and SEO Tool Kit.

Nobody can be sure of what the future of search is, but it is apparent that Yahoo hasn't thrown in the towel, and could be getting a second wind. Those focusing entirely on Google risk being left behind; are you prepared?


Posted By Tom Offen Filed under on

About the author

Tom has a keen interest in online marketing, and particularly enjoys helping businesses manage and grow their online communities.  

A member of The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing and a fully qualified Google AdWords and Analytics individual, Tom can help your business find and engage with its target audience online.

Email [email protected] | Follow @tom_offen