Yahoo will be Firefox’s Default Search Engine Starting December 2014
Mozilla and Google are not exactly on congenial terms, considering the release of Google Chrome in 2008 which later overtook Firefox. Despite this, Google signed another contract with Mozilla in 2011, extending the partnership for another three years. Upon the end of the contract, Mozilla said they “took [that] as an opportunity to review [their] competitive strategy and explore [their] options.”
With that, Marissa Mayer announced on November 19, 2014, that Yahoo would be the new default search engine of Mozilla Firefox after signing a five-year contract with the browser. [See Figure 1] According to the Yahoo CEO, it was “the most significant partnership for Yahoo in five years.”
Leaving Google might be a financial risk for Mozilla, considering the latter’s consistent position below Google Chrome in terms of market share. However, Yahoo explains that with the partnership, both Yahoo and Mozilla can work together to create more innovations in search, communications, and digital content. Mayer said the deal will enable her company to expand its reach in search, which will eventually improve the company’s crucial “area of investment and opportunity.”
This December, Yahoo will begin to appear in Firefox browsers as the default search engine in the U.S. It will feature a “clean, modern interface that brings the best of Web front and center,” as shown in Figures 2 and 3 below. The new Yahoo interface will soon be rolled out to all Yahoo users in early 2015.
Do Not Support (DNT) in Firefox will also be supported by Yahoo under the partnership, while Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Amazon, Twitter, and Wikipedia will remain as built-in alternate search options in Firefox.
Moreover, Google continues to be a pre-installed search option in all countries despite Firefox’s decision not to renew its agreement for global default placement. Firefox says they “will now focus on expanding [their] work with motivated partners to explore innovative new search interfaces, content experiences, and privacy enhancements across desktop and mobile.”
Yahoo also targets innovation through the long-term framework it has established with Mozilla. Mayer says she’s excited for “future product integrations and expansion into international markets.”
While Yahoo is positively affected by the partnership, the non-profit Mozilla might have to double its efforts to make the new search strategy an effective step towards its desired direction.
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