Google Search Share Drops After Firefox Switch

GoogleGOOGL +1.92% is already feeling the effects from the recent loss of a search deal, as a potentially larger deal looms.

Market researcher Statcounter says Google’s share of U.S. search traffic, excluding mobile devices, declined to 75.3% in December from 77.5% in November, after the maker of the Firefox browser made Yahoo the default search engine. YahooYHOO +0.18%’s share of search traffic excluding mobile devices grew to 10%, from 8%.

That’s a significant shift, given that Firefox accounted for roughly 14% of U.S. browsers in December, Statcounter says.

Google’s Chrome and Microsoft MSFT +1.87%’s Internet Explorer are the dominant browsers on personal computers, with average U.S. market shares of 37% and 34%, respectively, in 2014. Chrome’s share has quadrupled since 2010, helping Google to be less dependent on other browsers for search traffic.

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