The Next Firefox Default Search Engine: Yahoo Search and Others

Hopefully, this move will be helpful to both Mozilla and Yahoo; Yahoo’s share of the search engine market definitely isn’t what it used to be.

Google Search has been the default search engine of the browser for the past years with Google paying Mozilla money for that privilege. While Mozilla put the money from the deal to good use, it made it dependent on that money at the same time.

Ever since the deal was announced (first back in 2004) I had a major concern: that Mozilla became too dependent on Google and that Google would not renew the deal.

Mozilla announced a new strategic partnership with Yahoo Inc. that makes Yahoo Search the default search engine in the United States on mobile and desktop platforms.

We do know that the partnership will span the next five years and that it involves the US market for now with options to expand to other markets in the near future.

That’s however not the only big news in this regard. Instead of relying on a single worldwide partner, Mozilla decided to use a flexible system instead which allows for regional partnerships instead of a single global one.

As far as the deal with Yahoo is concerned, Yahoo plans to roll out a new “enhanced search experience” in December 2014 for Firefox users that features a “clean, modern and immersive design” that benefited from input from the Mozilla team.

Mozilla making Yahoo the default search engine of the browser is a major development for all parties. Google will lose access to the searches that Firefox users make, Yahoo will gain access to that, Firefox users get a different default search engine, and Mozilla a new partner.

Firefox users can change the default search engine of the browser easily.  The browser ships with a set of engines, Bing, Yahoo, Google, DuckDuckGo and several others, and offers options to add other search engines as well.

To change it simply click on the down arrow next to the search field and select another engine from the list.

firefox search engine

It is not clear yet if the deal will have an effect on existing Firefox installations that use the default search engine of the browser.

Now You: Why do you think Mozilla made the deal with Yahoo?

Update: Nicolas Nethercote shared additional details:

  1. All possible partners offered Mozilla improved economic terms.
  2. Mozilla had the option to continue its relationship with Google but decided to end it.
  3. Mozilla has agreements with Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China.

It seems that Mozilla decided to pick regional partners instead of a single worldwide partner.

Additional information are now available:

  1. Yahoo Search will support Do Not Track in Firefox.
  2. Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia remain search engine options in the US.
  3. Firefox to ship with 61 search providers pre-installed across 88 different language versions

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