Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) seems to be finding its way in the U.S in terms of search business market share, despite being the subject of increased criticism in the recent past. According to data from independent website analytics provider, StatCounter, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) increased its search market share in January at the expense of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Highest Mark in Five Years

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) market share for January clocked a high of 10.9% the highest in five years but still a shadow of Google’s 74.8%. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), on the other hand, seems to be closing in on Bing, which comes in second with 12.4% market share. It was also the first time that Google’s market share dropped below 75% and the third consecutive month that the company has experienced decline in its market share.

The increase comes as a surprise as many people expected Firefox users to switch their allegiance to Google in the wake of Yahoo being given the mantle of becoming Firefox default search engine. The gains are still minute for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), which has been trying to reinvent itself amidst stiff competition in the search engine business as the company seeks to increase its revenue from online and mobile advertising.

Yahoo-Apple Deal

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) being selected to become the default search engine for Firefox also seems to be panning out well for the company, seen by users in Firefox increasing from 9.95% in November to 28.3% in January. Google users on Firefox on the other hand dropped from 81.9% to 63.95. StaCounter attributes the gains that Yahoo achieved in the search engine business to its deal with Firefox.

It will be interesting to watch if Firefox will propel Yahoo to further gains in the search business an achievement that will be great especially for attracting advertisers on the platform. Yahoo is also looking forward to taking over as the default for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s browser, Safari, on the expiration of Google’s contract with the giant hardware company.

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