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Google Sees Biggest Search Traffic Drop Since 2009 As Yahoo Gains Ground 155

helix2301 writes: Google's grip on the Internet search market loosened in December, as the search engine saw its largest drop since 2009. That loss was Yahoo's gain, as the Marissa Mayer-helmed company added almost 2% from November to December to bring its market share back into double digits. Google's lead remains overwhelming, with just more than three-quarters of search, according to SatCounter Global Stats. Microsoft's Bing gained some momentum to take 12.5% of the market. Yahoo now has 10.4%. All other search engines combined to take 1.9%.
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Google Sees Biggest Search Traffic Drop Since 2009 As Yahoo Gains Ground

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  • by DrunkenTerror ( 561616 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @09:36PM (#48778737) Homepage Journal

    Thank you Mozilla!

    • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @09:54PM (#48778821) Journal

      Thank them? They changed the default search provider on all my existing Firefox profiles without my permission during the last update. I have about twelve different Firefox profiles for different things (-no-remote is your friend) and I was quite annoyed to have to change it back to my preferred setting on every single one of them. I don't begrudge them for the search deal, it was bound to happen with Google pushing Chrome so heavily, but leave the existing people alone, mmm'kay?

      • by jopsen ( 885607 ) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Friday January 09, 2015 @10:11PM (#48778909) Homepage

        leave the existing people alone, mmm'kay?

        If you had chosen a search engine it would have... Only the default changed.
        IMO, I don't see a way to do this painlessly...

        Either way, I've actually started using yahoo in Firefox, and barely notice the difference.

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

          Ah...that's what happened. I wondered how it got screwed up. I noticed one day that my searches weren't working the way I expected and I noticed I was suddenly using yahoo. I couldn't figure what the hell had happened. I changed it back to google and it stayed there but I was wondering.

        • Either way, I've actually started using yahoo in Firefox, and barely notice the difference.

          If you're using Yahoo and barely noticing a difference, you should switch it to Bing.

          Bing powers Yahoo's search engine, and you get Bing Rewards points which you can redeem for real things. Bing has bought me $5 Starbucks cards at least once a month since I started using the rewards program.

          • "... Bing Rewards points ..."

            Microsoft pays people to use Bing!

            So, any supposed "popularity" of Bing (But It's Not Good) is at least partly due to the fact that Microsoft PAYS people to use it.

            To me, that's another example of Microsoft DIE, the Dastardly Inclusion of Evil.

            Bing Rewards FAQ [bing.com] quote: "I'm not a US resident, can I still join Bing Rewards? No, only U.S. residents (50 U.S. States and D.C.) are eligible to join Bing Rewards. Also, you can't earn or redeem credits when you're traveling outside of the US."
            • by davydagger ( 2566757 ) on Saturday January 10, 2015 @01:52PM (#48781829)
              Microsoft knows how to market to one type of person and one type of person only, the corporate purchasing manager. Both at OEMs, and at large corporations. Thats the only type of person who likes microsoft. Everyone else uses their products begrungingly. The word "Windows" in correlation to phone operating system is such a toxic brand name, I am damn supprised MS has continued to make windows phones. You couldn't put a gun to someone's head and make them use a windows phone, of which they had a 5 year head start on blackberry and apple, and still lost.

              The only brand MS has that people don't hate is X-Box, and thats runs a giant loss for the company.

        • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

          If you had chosen a search engine it would have... Only the default changed.
          IMO, I don't see a way to do this painlessly...

          Perhaps. But they were pretty sneaky about it, saying as how the new search box simply says 'Search' with an hourglass icon. I believe it used to show your selected search engine's icon there. So they were deliberately (or contractually) deceiving you about the switch, IMHO.

        • by eihab ( 823648 )

          A couple of my installations with Bing set as the default search engine got switched to Yahoo after the update.

          Could've been a fluke during the update. It didn't bother me, it was easy enough to switch back to Bing.

        • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

          When I realized the difference after I upgraded, I actually changed my search engine to DuckDuckGo because I wanted to give that a shot rather than defaulting back to Google. So even if people didn't stick with Yahoo, the change may have helped other search providers.

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        I don't begrudge them for the search deal, it was bound to happen with Google pushing Chrome so heavily, but leave the existing people alone, mmm'kay?

        While I don't condone changes without the user's permission (my install of Pale Moon recently replaced my Adblock Plus with Adblock Lattitude, which appears to be a fork, without my permission), making people change was probably something Mozilla would have had to do for the referral deal to begin with. Only having the search provider change apply to new installs wouldn't have made a big difference to Yahoo -- because Firefox is in decline and there aren't a lot of new users coming to it.

        • by Shakrai ( 717556 )

          It was a minor annoyance; I certainly understand it even though it annoyed the piss out of me for about two weeks. Probably wouldn't have cared but for my Rube Goldberg setup of different profiles for different sites that I only launch every few days, so I kept running into it again and again. :)

          I wish them luck, they're up against some powerful players. I use their mobile browser too FWIW; I find that it's better than Chrome on my Kitkat device, though of course Chrome is my fallback for the handful of

          • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

            It was a minor annoyance; I certainly understand it even though it annoyed the piss out of me for about two weeks. Probably wouldn't have cared but for my Rube Goldberg setup of different profiles for different sites that I only launch every few days, so I kept running into it again and again. :)

            Time to take more control over things. I've set up all my different website searches as Quick Search bookmarks in Firefox, and got rid of the search bar. So Mozilla changing their default provider didn't effect me one iota. Same as I don't pay attention to how much of a mess Yahoo/Google/Microsoft make of their webmail interfaces because I access all three from Thunderbird as IMAP accounts.

      • It was fortunate for me then; I have uninstalled Mozilla some time back due to both problems during the installation of Adblock plus and serious performance issues, especially on Google services that I use extensively... I realized that only thing that is not irreplaceable in Mozilla (aside from buggy sync of bookmarks) was GreaseMonkey, which was not vital...
      • Yeah but no one else is silly enough to have 12 profiles. Besides every one who doesn't use Google has to do switch. So I can't muster up any sympathy.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    clearly that 'default search provider' makes a big difference.

  • I thought they subcontracted through google such that a search in yahoo is ultimately queried by google? No?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I thought they subcontracted through google such that a search in yahoo is ultimately queried by google? No?

      Used to. Now they're subcontracted to Bing, I think.

      • Used to.

        No.

        • Yahoo has "Powered by Bing" at the bottom of all their searches. It's not that hard to check.
          • Yahoo has "Powered by Bing" at the bottom of all their searches. It's not that hard to check.

            So? The claim was that before the Bing switch, Yahoo used Google. That's false. Yahoo had their own search technology which they then licensed to Microsoft.

        • Yes. Yahoo search was powered by Google circa 2000. It then changed to Inktomi a few years after. I remember switching to Google from Yahoo back then since it cut back on ads, I didn't use the web directory feature anymore and Inktomi's results format wasn't to my liking. Bad move on the part of Yahoo at the time I think, they only realized too late they had given a taste of a simpler/less cluttered competitor to most of their users...
          • Yahoo search was powered by Google circa 2000.
            It then changed to Inktomi a few years after.

            Yahoo used Google in 2000 but bought them and Overture/Altavista in 2002.
            Yahoo did not switch from a Google back-end to Bing's.

  • I wonder how much of this is due to Firefox switching the default search engine. I figured it would only change for new machines, but it actually changed the search engine on existing installs, at least for my machines.
    • Yes, it is the cause (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Phil Urich ( 841393 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @10:05PM (#48778883) Journal

      TFA almost says as much, basically, with Google losing 2.1% share, Yahoo gaining 1.8%, Bing gaining 0.4% and all others combined losing 0.1%. It's a pretty dramatic win for Yahoo and considering it occurs right after Firefox switched, I think it's pretty clearly that.

      I had to help the non-technical staff around my office because they were utterly confused when suddenly they started getting Yahoo results rather than Google, and sites they used to find so easily weren't showing up in their searches. I too had thought it was only going to be for new installs; was a bit of a rude awakening.

      • Is it? How many people switched back after being switched without being asked?

        It might be but TFA is useless as far as details go.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        I had to help the non-technical staff around my office because they were utterly confused when suddenly they started getting Yahoo results rather than Google, and sites they used to find so easily weren't showing up in their searches.

        Sounds like they were in need to switch to another search engine. If you're going to a search engine to find a specific website, then you are doing it wrong.

        We have this feature called bookmarks for navigating to sites that you know about.

  • Soulskill hired by Yahoo.

    Now that that's out of the way I'll say it again, why does Yahoo still exist.

  • ... ever since the first search engine (altavista) appeared the search paradigm has essentially remained unchanged? ... and it's getting stale ...

    Can't the search engine companies, and I don't care if it's Bing, Google or Yahoo, come up with something new? Something that is disruptively simple and yet extra-ordinarily innovative?

    • by TheCycoONE ( 913189 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @09:57PM (#48778839)

      Just case sensitivity and the ability to include symbols would be sufficiently disruptive for me.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I would like Google and Bing to stop correcting me. And "correcting me". And +"correcting me" -"correction" me.

        Is it too much to search for what I explicitly ask for?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          YouTube is absolutely the worst about this. Sometimes I can't find any resemblance between the results and the search terms I used.

          Something else that annoys the hell out of me is when I'm searching for something that simply doesn't exist, yet rather than tell me that, the search engines waste my time for ten minutes by giving me results for something else.

          I imagine "______, a search engine for those who know how to search" would obtain 10% market share almost instantly.

    • Google Now (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Phil Urich ( 841393 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @09:58PM (#48778841) Journal
      Google is actually trying to do exactly this with Google Now; predictively presenting you with information you'd otherwise be searching for is simple yet fairly innovative, arguably, and they're positioning it as the next advance in search. One might argue about the philosophy or practicality of that, but they are at least explicitly trying to completely remake what a search engine/page is.

      It's certainly noticed that I go up to my local university campus in the afternoon on a specific day every week (although it doesn't know why...yet) and when I pop open the Search app it already shows at the top result, before I even have the chance to enter a search for bus and train schedules, a set of routes and times for transit up to campus. There as sense in which that's all just an obvious outgrowth of networked data, so perhaps calling it "extra-ordinarily innovative" is a stretch, but it's definitely something new for a search engine, and at least for me (again, your mileage may vary, especially vis-a-vis privacy concerns) is very convenient.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Google has been doing this for a while. For example, I travel to Chicago to DC a lot. The day before I leave, It shows my upcoming flight, gate information, when and if the flight gets delayed, weather in Chicago, suggests to me times when I should should leave my house to get to the airport on time based on traffic. When I land at my destination, it provides useful travel time and methods to get to the hotel it knows I have a reservation at, reminds me of the check in times AND also destinations in that

    • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @10:33PM (#48779009) Homepage Journal

      ... ever since the first search engine (altavista) appeared the search paradigm has essentially remained unchanged? ... and it's getting stale ...

      Can't the search engine companies, and I don't care if it's Bing, Google or Yahoo, come up with something new? Something that is disruptively simple and yet extra-ordinarily innovative?

      Nah; they can't do that. The reason is simple: They're now big, established companies, and big, established companies never, ever innovate. To them, "innovation" means making a few superficial tweaks to the product's appearance, while loudly proclaiming "New! Improved!". Any true change is a threat to the product that provides their current income.

      If you want something that actually works differently, you have to go with the experimental, upstart companies. Most of them will eventually fail, of course, or if they start to succeed, they'll be bought out by one of the big guys, who will quietly shut them down. Or maybe they'll be sued out of existence by all the big guys via their list of vague patents. But a few will become "the next Google" or whatever was the successful upstart 1was called 0 years ago in their field. Then they'll no longer innovate in any meaningful sense.

    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @11:07PM (#48779173)

      I couldn't disagree more. I remember pre-Google search days quite well, and it was awful. You ended up wading through page after page after page of irrelevant crap because those search engines simply ranked pages based only on their content, and it was stupidly easy to game. Tag clouds were a direct result of this. Google entered the field and made every other search engine obsolete almost overnight, because the damn thing actually worked. In fact, it worked so well that you were even pretty likely to get the result you wanted in the very first slot - thus, the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, which in other engines might as well have been labeled "I Feel Like I Might Have Won the Lottery".

      Even today, I use Google, because every time I experiment with another search engine, the results simply aren't as good. With Google search, I nearly always find what I'm looking for right at the top of my search. It's unbelievably rare that I have to traverse to a second page.

      BTW, in case you haven't noticed, Google search actually does a lot more than simply search now. It's allows you to find out a lot of basic facts without even leaving the search page. For instance, try typing in calories in an apple [google.com] or dollars to yen [google.com]. They even present those results to me before I finish typing.

      I'm sure that Google is working on new ways to improve search... after all, it's what drives eyeballs to their advertisements, so they have a huge incentive to make it work better, faster, and more intuitively than anyone else. My guess is that searches will continue to be able to answer more detailed and specific questions that people have rather than only point them to pages that have the answers. What other innovations, who can say? But I think we're past the big "disruptive" search breakthroughs - that happened once, and it was Google inventing search that actually worked.

      • Even today, I use Google, because every time I experiment with another search engine, the results simply aren't as good. With Google search, I nearly always find what I'm looking for right at the top of my search. It's unbelievably rare that I have to traverse to a second page.

        BTW, in case you haven't noticed, Google search actually does a lot more than simply search now.

        I have been using Bing for a over a year now and as long as I am searching in english the results aren't really that different from Googles. My chief complaints about Bing are that it sucks to varying degrees for searching in many languages other than english and that it does not offer the ability to time limit searches like Google does. Bing's image search also contains less noise than Google's and is IMHO it's a bit better. The trivia matches you mentioned are also a minor plus for Google, Bing also enabl

      • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

        With Google search, I nearly always find what I'm looking for right at the top of my search

        Good for you. With google, I normally find five paid ads at the top of my search that aren't relevant. I have to scroll down to see the surprisingly small number of non-ad results that fit on the first page. Then there are another two paid ads underneath them. Bing is typically no better.

  • Google Censorship (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday January 09, 2015 @09:46PM (#48778797)

    As a resident of Canada, I find that Google has put a search filter in place that I can't get around. Basically, it makes me type in specific words like "breasts" or "naked" if I want to see picture results including such things. I don't spend a lot of time looking for pornography, but I don't want to worry that 10% of the the Ontario Museum's art collection is off limits to me unless I specifically go on a search for boobies.

    No doubt this protects Miss Grundy and her fellow church ladies from the sight of the occasional naked breast, but I find it offensive and paternalistic, and as a result, I've cut back quite a lot on my use of Google.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Turn off safe search?
    • Re:Google Censorship (Score:4, Interesting)

      by quenda ( 644621 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @11:17PM (#48779213)

      Basically, it makes me type in specific words like "breasts" or "naked" if I want to see picture results including such things.

      I think your memory is faulty. Safe-search will block nudity (Google is American), but is not over-ridden by such keywords.
      Remember the internet is so full of porn that the problem is not so much finding it, as avoiding it when you don't want it.
      So google tries to filter out porn unless certain keywords are seen. "naked" [google.com] will disable the filter, but "breasts" [google.com] will not. Try doing an image search on each and see the difference.
      Or vulva [google.com] vs vulva nude [google.com] . In a google search, nude=porn.

              So how do we find "nude art" [google.com] - I see about 50% art, and a lot of non-medical vulva close-ups. Enabling safe-seach does not help as "nude" is removed from your search terms.
          Easy! Add -porn. https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

      Since google appears quite capable of separating nudes from porn, I don't see why they cannot offer it as an easy option in the search filter settings.
      It could even be made the default setting outside the US and middle east, where people (vocal minority?) are not too shocked at nudes when searching for gallery art or baby feeding :-)

      • by WinstonWolfIT ( 1550079 ) on Saturday January 10, 2015 @01:05AM (#48779597)

        Ah, I was wondering where Britney Spears disappeared to.

      • This person is incorrect and should be moderated down.

        Anyone on slashdot will know googles algorithm pretty well, it's very powerful and works exactly how most people would want a search to work, the use of quotation marks the use of the site:.com etc - it's robust and logical.

        When I search for a porn star INFAMOUS for a scene of having her ass gaped wide open by 3 black men and there's a famous shot of this, when I google her name the VERY FIRST RESULT in images, should be that image - and it used to be!
        I

        • It seems I'm saying "Thank You" a lot as a result of my comment. You definitely earned one. And thanks, too, for going the extra mile to provide an excellent example of the way their new, censorship-friendly search works.

          As I said, I don't spend a lot of time looking for porn. On the other hand, I don't like some search engine screwing with MY search results because they're intent on sucking up to religious types and parents who can't be bothered to actually parent their kids.

      • I think your grasp of this subject is flawed. The situation is exactly as I described it.

    • This person is correct, google fiddled with the adult search algorithm and broke it from standard 'google behaviour' the change is quite lame.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Old Google Image Search [mozilla.org] does not only give you back the old layout. It also gives you the old way of searching.

      Basically it adds &safe=off If you are able to edit your search enigine, you could do something like:
      http://images.google.co.uk/images?sout=1&tbs=isz:lt,islt:4mp,qdr:m&safe=off&q=tits
      This will search 4MegaPixel images in the last month with no filtering with the search "tits". Compare that with
      http://images.google.co.uk/images?sout=1&q=tits

      By adding stuff to the URL you can easi

  • Duck Duck Go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Friday January 09, 2015 @09:48PM (#48778799)
    I switched to ddg a year or two back because I thought google had too much information on me. Maybe 2-3 times a week I need to revert to a google search, but ddg is fine for 99% of my searches.
    • Doesn't everyone use DDG yet? Absolutely shocking! All my clients do and, they know why [adblockplus and scriptblock would be two of many reasons].
    • Same here, DDG more than covers what I need. There's few things I need google for and half the time it's that I'm just not happy with DDG's image results so I'll check google and unfortunately often google won't have what I want either.
    • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

      I did so in response to FireFox's default being changed to Yahoo!; I knew I didn't want Y!, but I didn't really want to go back to Google for the same reasons as you. DuckDuckGo was one of the other options immediately available (dunno if it came with it or I had installed that as an option years ago) and now I use that for my default.

      I miss some stuff about Google search--like the "instant facts" that often told me what I wanted to know, directly on the search results page--but I also find DDG to be compet

  • Good for them but I highly doubt the phrase "Yahoo it" will catch on.

  • I thought it was a mass revolt because of privacy issues. Silly me, no one cares about that.

    Just me and Kasabian [vimeo.com]...

  • by Nocturrne ( 912399 ) on Saturday January 10, 2015 @12:15AM (#48779439) Homepage
    Level playing field? I think not.
    • I'm a foreigner living in China right now, and you're right in that I tend to use Yahoo because it loads faster than Bing and I don't have to initialize a VPN to use it. However, the locals don't know how to use anything outside of Baidu, so I doubt that Chinese searches are significantly changing these statistics. There's only ~0.6 million foreigners in the country, and those in offices tend to have VPNs available, so I'm sure that they're still using Google on a regular basis.
    • Who uses google in China? They use their own homegrown search.
      • I've lived in China for most of the last 15yrs. Everyone used to use google until it was blocked. People in the tech/electronics industry still use it, with VPN, if they can. Baidu and other Chinese search engines are nothing in comparison to google - they are extremely limited and aggressively filtered and monitored. They think they are promoting the development of domestic Chinese tech companies, but all they are really doing is creating corrupt monopolies and isolating their own people from the rest
  • As much as MS and to a lessor extent partner Yahoo have ticked me off many times in the past, I still don't want a near monopoly in Search Land. Google is getting arrogant in some areas and they need to be kept in check.

  • by sgt scrub ( 869860 ) <saintium.yahoo@com> on Saturday January 10, 2015 @01:45AM (#48779689)

    Real masochists slam their keyboard into their face until the site they are trying to reach comes up.

  • 2009 Search: Blue tits = Cyanistes caeruleus
    2014 Search: Blue tits = girls of Avatar

  • I use DuckDuckGo for the most part now. It's imperfect but, like many UK people, I dislike the tax-avoidance [edging on tax evasion], the hyper-intrusion and the unhealthy dominance of Google [and Amazon]. Before anyone from the US jumps on me, I would do the same for a UK [or French etc. etc.] owned organisation that displayed the same 'symptoms'.

    However, when I do use Google, usually via DuckDuckGo with !g, I notice that the results seem to be less relevant each month. I know they play around constantl
  • Would this have anything to do with both Firefox and iExplorer now using Bing as the default search engine. Not to mention Windows apps that use Bing to do searches, which cannot be changed to any other search engine.
  • The default search engine on Chrome on the family computer used to be Google until it mysteriously switched to Yahoo. I switched it back a couple of times thinking that someone keeps installing something that does this, until once it switched back to Yahoo when no one other than me had used it. I fixed the issue by resetting Chrome's settings. Hmmm...

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