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Mobile Internet Usage

Mobile internet usage has been steadily gaining ground for years, and just last month it hit another milestone. According to a press release issued yesterday from StatCounter, mobile and tablet internet usage has finally exceeded total desktop usage for the first time ever.

Last month, mobile and tablet devices made up 51.3% of total internet usage compared to 48.7% by desktop. This is the first time worldwide monthly mobile internet usage has overtaken desktop according to StatCounter’s measure.

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It is almost guaranteed this trend will continue in the long-term, but the short-term gains may not hold up. Mobile web usage has historically increased leading up to the holiday season and may deflate in the first part of next year. Even if this happens, the new milestone shows mobile usage is still consistently growing and will likely be the dominant way to access the web in the coming years.

Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, says the new numbers should show businesses how important it is to make mobile a priority now, rather than later:

“This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not.”

Of course, mobile usage varies by country. While major markets like the US and the UK still primarily rely on desktop computers. Emerging markets like India overwhelmingly use mobile devices for internet usage and show no signs of slowing down.

yahoo-search-appAccording to new data from web traffic analytics provider StatCounter, Yahoo has reached its highest share of the U.S. search market in more than five years thanks to a recent agreement with Mozilla.

In December, Yahoo’s search share jumped to 10.4 percent, up from 8.6 percent in November. The new share of the search market came at the expense of Google, who was previously the default search engine for Mozilla’s web browser Firefox.

In late November, Mozilla agreed to a five-year partnership with Yahoo, breaking a 10 year partnership with Google. December marked the first full month during which Yahoo was the primary search engine on Firefox.

The drop brought Google to its lowest share ever recorded by the analytics firm, falling from 77.3 percent to 75.2 percent.

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“The move by Mozilla has had a definite impact on U.S. search,” says Aodhan Cullen, chief executive at StatCounter. “The question now is whether Firefox users switch back to Google.”

Bing also saw an increase in their share of the search market last month, though not nearly as significant of an increase as Yahoo. From November to December, Bing’s share rose from 12.1 percent to 12.5 percent. The “other” category stayed practically the same, fluctuating from 2 percent to 1.9 percent.

Google has had a strong grip on the vast majority of web traffic, but a new report suggests they are losing their grasp. In just two weeks since Yahoo replaced Google as the default search engine in Firefox’s latest version, the search engine has experienced a 29.4 percent growth in usage, while Google has experienced a significant drop.

Analytics firm StatCounter said that “Yahoo search was used three times more on Firefox 34 than on Firefox 33.”

It should be noted, the user base of Firefox 24 is relatively low as many users haven’t upgraded yet and Firefox’s US market share overall is only about 15 percent. However, StatCounter still showed that Yahoo has benefited a fair amount from this deal, growing from 9.6 percent to 29.4 percent. In comparison, Google usage in the latest version of Firefox fell from 82.1 percent to 63.5 percent.

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In the big picture it is clear that Google still has a massive lead on other search engines, but that lead doesn’t seem near as solid as it once did. This report shows that “default” search engines still hold a lot of influence over how users interact with the web. With Google’s agreement with Safari also coming to an end in the near future, there is a large chance that Yahoo or Bing could continue to make significant gains.