Google Search Share Slides
While Google still maintains the lead as top search engine, its market share is slowly being chipped away at by Bing and Yahoo. Reuters

For the first time since 2008, Google’s share of the U.S. search market has dropped below 75 percent. While it continues to remain the dominant search engine for the U.S., its lead is slowly being chipped away at by Microsoft Bing and notably, Yahoo.

Google Share Jan 15
Google's US search share dipped below 75 percent for the first time since 2008, when StatCounter began global search statistics StatCounter GlobalStats

Between November and January, the Mountain View, California search giant saw its share slide 2.5 percent of the U.S. market with most of it being taken by Yahoo, who climbed from 8.6 percent to 10.9 percent, according to data from StatCounter Global Stats. But among Firefox users, Yahoo saw larger gains, now accounting for 28.3 percent of searches from the browser, up from 9.9 percent in November. That’s in part thanks to deal Yahoo struck with Mozilla in November, which made Yahoo’s search engine default on Firefox for the next five years.

Firefox Search Share Yahoo Google
Yahoo's deal with Mozilla contributed to it almost tripling its Firefox search share between November and January StatCounter GlobalStats

“Some analysts expected Yahoo to fall in January as a result of Firefox users switching back to Google. In fact Yahoo has increased US search share by half a percentage point," Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter CEO, said in a press release. "It will be fascinating to see if these gains continue."

Yahoo’s deal with Mozilla is only one of many factors affecting Google currently. Advertising revenue for the search engine was down 3 percent year-on-year, which appears to be in part due to the increased use of mobile search, where Google gets paid less than the desktop counterpart.

Mobile apps are also playing a role in its decline, with users spending more time on Facebook and other apps dedicated to specific services. Google is looking to reverse that trend by tapping into mobile via its latest Google Now update which adds the ability to deliver information from 40 third-party apps, while keeping users on Google’s own app.