Yahoo's Search Business Declines As The Company Switches Focus To Mobile And Social

Yahoo’s share of the PC-based search market in the U.S. is declining.

Once the second-largest search engine, in terms of the number of search queries it processed, Yahoo Search now lags significantly behind Microsoft’s Bing, according to recent comScore data.

  • Google still has a commanding lead as the U.S. search leader with 67% share of the market in August of this year.
  • Bing controlled an 18% share.
  • In August 2013, Yahoo accounted for just over 11% of the desktop search market in the U.S., compared to the 13% stake it had one year ago.
  • Two years before, in August 2011, Yahoo’s share of the desktop search market in the U.S. was over 16%.

Bing overtook Yahoo’s search engine in December 2011.

Note, again, that this data does not include search on mobile devices.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said Yahoo’s new strategy is to focus on mobile and personalisation. That strategy appears to be hitting a chord with users. Yahoo now has 350 million monthly active users on mobile, and more people in the U.S. are visiting Yahoo’s revamped desktop sites than Google desktop sites.

With such a large online audience, Yahoo has plenty of user data (especially now that it manages Tumblr). One way Yahoo could become more competitive in the search market is to customise its search experience with data collected from Tumblr, Flickr, and other popular Yahoo-owned properties.

Download the chart and data in Excel.

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