Pop the Microsoft champagne!
Yahoo has slipped to third place in the search engine rankings, but it's not because it did anything wrong. It's because competitor Microsoft did a lot of things right.
After a year of consistent, albeit slow, growth, Microsoft's Bing search platform has taken over Yahoo as the second most valuable in the US. But it's still far away from the always domineering Google.
The latest numbers from Nielsen put Bing, along with Microsoft's other incidental search platforms, at a 13.9% market share. Yahoo is at 13.1%. A month ago, those numbers were around 13.6% and 14.6%, respectively.
When it launched Bing, Microsoft began a very aggressive effort to increase its flagging presence in the search market. Microsoft was tired of just rolling over after it once had a 90%+ monopoly in the search arena.
It appears to have paid off. Its numbers had been rising for months but given how fickle users are with their search preferences, it takes a mile to move an inch in this market.
Bing introduced a number of search enhancements, most recently the ability to stream movie/music/game content directly from the search results page without needing to open a separate website. It also decks out its visual presence with a constantly-changing backdrop. As such, Bing has become the bells-and-whistles alternative to Google's more simplistic approach.
Google, by the way, still powers 65% of all online search activity in the US, an area it has been sitting at comfortably for well over a year.