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Yahoo’s November deal to become the default Firefox search engine cut off Google’s 10-year run as the presiding default. The deal made headlines, sparked a lot of “why advertisers should pay more attention to Yahoo/Bing” posts, and seemed destined to bolster Yahoo’s 2015 efforts to claw away at Google’s market share.

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But how is it really affecting the landscape?

We waited for the holiday rush to subside, then began collecting overall click data for three of our clients (representing B2B and ecommerce) for both Google and Yahoo (organic and paid) over consecutive two-week periods.

In comparing Jan. 10-25 to Jan. 26-Feb. 10, we found the following:

-In the later fortnight, Google organic clicks surged by 10.6%, slightly ahead of Bing’s 10.2% increase.

-Google’s paid clicks showed a similar trend, gaining by 10% in the latter two-week period. Over the same time period, Bing’s paid clicks jumped a whopping 19.1%.

 

So what can we draw from this? If we consider Google to be a control, the organic traffic growth looks to be more seasonal than anything, with the Google growth negating the theory of Firefox as a source of growth for Yahoo/Bing.

But the paid growth may prove to be a different story. Here, Bing’s increase of nearly 20%, with each of the clients studied showing significant gains, is hard to dismiss. The theory here is that Bing is indeed seeing a lift from Firefox, and that Firefox users are more apt to click on ads – which would help explain why organic is staying relatively flat while paid clicks rise.

That’s not exactly fodder for SEOs to consider shifting resources to Bing, but SEMs might want to keep a close eye on Bing over the next couple of months. If those paid trends continue, and Bing keeps rolling out improvements to its advertising interface, we may actually see Google get more of a run for its money.