Mozilla, the company that is behind the browser Firefox, decided on November not to renew its relationship with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and decided to switch to a five-year deal with Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) as the default search engine in the browser which made Google suffer a great defeat, as reported in the Business Insider.
Since the no-renewal happened, the shares of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) in the search market have grown from 8.6% in November to 10.6% today. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has declined correspondingly. Just this February Google’s market share dropped below 75% for the first time ever since 2008.
Even though Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) clearly remains as the market leader and given that the company’s main income comes from search it’s a little bit awkward what’s been going on with the shares the company has been loosing to Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO). The dropping shares are painful or the company but the long-term effects will be limited since only 12% of Americans use Firefox.
Google’s discontent has become clear, the company has placed a big message requesting Firefox users to switch to Google as their default search engine as soon as they visit the site. This feature is happening only in Firefox when the default search engine is not Google, but it has not been happening in other browsers such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Safari even when the default search engine is Yahoo!. So this could be interpreted as a clear and direct response to the decline.
There has been strong rumors that Apple might be considering taking Google out as the default on the iPhone’s Safari browser. It has not been said what the company would use, either an in-house search engine or Yahoo! but if Apple decides to drop Google, that would be a significant loss for Google since there was a report that stated than more than half of all US mobile traffic came from Safari.
These rumors have precedent, in 2012 Apple replaced Google Maps with its own Apple Maps app and even though it came with a lot of bugs and it was terribly received by the users, the map data has been improving as the company has learned from its mistakes. But, if Apple decides to get rid of Google again, it has to ensure that the Maps fiasco won’t repeat and that it has a chance of really competing with Google’s search engine.
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