Thanks to Mozilla making Bing/Yahoo the default search engine for users of its Firefox browser, the underdog search engine has seen an increase in market share, and consequently, advertising profitability. What does this mean for search engine marketers? All it really means, honestly, is that it’s time to take a closer look at paid advertising budgets.

While Google corners the market in this area, with the typical budget breakdown being at (roughly) 75% Google and 25% Bing/Yahoo, one SEM reports that following Mozilla and Bing/Yahoo’s move many SEMs have seen traffic from Bing Ads increasing in volume and quality. This has spurred a subsequent reallocation of budget to capitalize on that shift (about 6 percent in one study of 75 different agencies).

Google’s Take?

So what does Google have to say about all this?

Well, in short, Google isn’t worried. CEO, Larry Page, is calling Google’s marginal decline in market share small and temporary. Google’s search ads are still a profoundly lucrative source of revenue, despite, as Web analytics firm StatCounter reported, the fact that Google’s corner of the US search market dropped from 79.3% from a year ago, to 75.2 in December 2014. This shift coincided with Yahoo’s piece of the pie widening from 7.4% to 10.4%.

But despite not being worried, it’s not as though Google is doing nothing to address the issue. While Bing/Yahoo counts on most users not bothering to change their default browser back Google manually, Google’s social media marketing efforts are informing people on how to do this. Many people already have.

In terms of antitrust allegations that Google regularly deals with, losing market share to Bing and Yahoo is indicative of the fact that it doesn’t have a chokehold on the market and could prove to be a benefit.

It remains to be seen just how much it might affect Google’s and Bing/Yahoo’s market share as other companies switch their default browsers away from Google, for example Safari and Apple.

What do you think? Have you already addressed budget reallocation to Bing ads?


Freid, Justin. “Does Bing Deserve More of Your Money?” (February 5, 2015.)

Hof, Robert. “Why Google’s Search Market Share Loss To Yahoo Means Pretty Much Nothing.” (February 5, 2015.)