As you may know, Mozilla now sends users of its newest Firefox browser to Yahoo by default for search queries instead of to Google. If you're wondering how this shift might potentially affect your PPC campaigns this year, you're not alone. We've kept a close eye on search data and we'd like to fill you in on what we've learned.
Read Mark Ballard’s article on SearchEngineLand.com: Yahoo Search Losing Firefox Users Who “Switchback” To Google
Download the Q4 2014 Digital Marketing Report
Craig Zagurski: Today on the RKG blog we’re going to talk about Firefox’s recent switch to Yahoo as its default search engine and how this change could impact PPC campaigns moving forward.
On December 1, 2014 Firefox released browser version 34, which replaced Google with Yahoo as its default search engine in the U.S. Marketers have kept a close eye on search data to learn exactly what a major default-search-engine shakeup like this could mean for the paid search landscape, now and in the future. So far, here are some observations.
Mozilla's release on December 1 was a soft launch, for sure, as it's evident the push to upgrade really began a week later, when the new browser’s share of all Firefox clicks increased by close to 58%. For the rest of the month, however, those clicks grew only about another 9%.
Looking at Yahoo search data for the same time period, its share of total Firefox traffic jumped only 18% over the course of the month. And while Yahoo’s share of Firefox 34 clicks peaked at 43% on December 10, those clicks declined to 36% by the end of the year.
One reason for the falloff is that 9% of Firefox paid search clicks came from AdWords and Bing Ads search partners. But even more so, the majority of Firefox 34 users said “nuh, uh” to the switchover and promptly reverted their default search engine back to Google.
So, how will Firefox 34 affect paid search campaigns in 2015? Not very much. 2% or less of total paid search traffic will shift from Google over to Yahoo. But we may see more changes yet this year if rumors pan out about Safari making a similar default search change. Stay tuned.
Check out Mark Ballard’s article on SearchEngineLand.com (that link is just below) to learn more about why advertisers are sticking with Google search over Yahoo, as well as some predictions around the potential Safari shake-up.
Do you have any concerns about the direction of paid search? We’d love to hear about them in the comments. See you next time.