The Wall Street Journal reports that the loss of two agreements with computer makers could cost Yahoo as much as 15% of its search traffic in the next 12-18 months.
Early this year, HP made Live Search the default search toolbar on its computers. And back in October, the WSJ says, Acer switched from Yahoo to Google as its primary search provider. The WSJ cites an unnamed industry insider who says this could cost Yahoo three percentage points of U.S. search market share, or about 15% of its search traffic. Yahoo currently has an estimated 15-20% of overall U.S. searches, depending on which measurement company’s stats you use.
Yahoo tells the WSJ that the three-point estimate is higher than its own forecasts.
Regardless, the loss of these distribution deals isn’t good news for Yahoo. Its stock is way down and revenues are flat; new CEO Carol Bartz is trying to reorganize the company while some employees leave and others were laid off; and questions continue to surround the long-running Yahoo-Microsoft merger talks.
It’ll take months for the impact of these toolbars losses to appear, but at this point, Yahoo needs all the friends and deals it can manage.