The next big shift in the search engine wars may come in 2011, when Mozilla’s contract setting Google as the default browser in their popular Firefox browser comes to an end.  Based on a sample of over 14 million impressions across the Chitika advertising network, Firefox currently holds the keys to 9.17% of the search market – more than any one company except Google itself.

Looking strictly at search engines, Google’s dominance in Chitika’s network is obvious – 82% of impressions came from the search giant, followed by Bing at 8.56%, Yahoo! at 6.69%, AOL at 1.22% and Ask at 1.07%.  Firefox’s power over the search market is determined by the percentage of searches driven by the Firefox start page – a customized Google homepage – and the Google search bar embedded at the top of the browser itself.

Of the sample pulled by Chitika Research for the purposes of this study, Firefox drove 23% of all traffic to the network.  Of Firefox’s search traffic, 91.45% came from Google, and 39.87% specifically from the Firefox start page and embedded Google search bar.

With Firefox’s default browser sending 9.17% of all search traffic, a massive bidding war can be expected when Mozilla’s contract with Google gets closer to its end.  The new Microsoft/Yahoo! collaboration may see this as an opportunity to increase their combined market share by a whopping sixty percent.


Daniel Ruby
Research Director, Online Insights
Chitika, Inc.
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