Is Google’s stranglehold on the search engine market finally slipping?

Is Google’s stranglehold on the search engine market finally slipping?
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Since 2009, Google has been the search engine of choice for millions of internet users across the globe, hoarding an enviable slice of the search market. However, for the first time in almost five years, Google’s market share has hit an all-time low. It is thought the slump was caused by the recent partnership between Mozilla and Yahoo, which saw both companies unceremoniously cut their ties with the world’s most popular search engine.

Historically, Mozilla’s Firefox web browser has come packaged with Google as its default search engine. Although users could choose between various search engines, Google was the most popular choice among the browsing public. That partnership came to a close in November of last year, when Mozilla dropped Google in favour of Yahoo, committing to a five-year deal with the rival company. As a result, Google’s grip on the search market has slackened, dropping from 79.3% to 75.2%. In contrast, Yahoo’s share has seen a rise from 7.4% to 10.4%.


Is this a win for Yahoo?

According to the stat crunchers at Bloomberg, Google finds itself looking at its “smallest share of the US web search market since at least 2008.”

Although this is a definite win for Yahoo, Firefox is still one of the least popular browsers worldwide, used by just 12% of the internet-going public. In the US alone, 37% of people still use Google Chrome, with an additional 34% opting for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Still, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will no doubt consider this a valuable blow against Google, as well as another win in her ongoing battle to restore Yahoo to its former glory.


Could Safari be the downfall of Google?

Although it may sound hyperbolic, a handful of industry insiders are already warning that this could be the beginning of the end for Google, especially with Apple recently threatening to cut ties with the software giant. Google currently powers the iPhone’s Safari web browser’s search engine, and is used by millions of Apple fans everyday. It remains to be seen what Apple plans to put in the Google-shaped hole such a move will leave behind.

Regardless of whether Apple opt for Yahoo, Bing or their own, in-house solution, it’s sure to put a sizeable dent in Google’s market share. In December alone, more than fifty percent of all mobile traffic in the US originated from Safari.