On Wednesday, Mozilla Corp. CEO Chris Beard announced a historical change to take place inside the Mozilla Firefox browser: Google will no longer represent the default global search experience, but it will get replaced by Yahoo. After a decade, Mozilla ditches Google as the default search option, motivating the choice by the need to go local, instead of global. In the words of Chris Beard,
“Today we are announcing a change to our strategy for Firefox search partnerships. We are ending our practice of having a single global default search provider. We are adopting a more local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web, with new and expanded search partnerships by country.”
What does it mean that Google gets replaced by Yahoo? First and foremost, this change represents the end of a ten years-long beneficial partnership between the two companies, and also an opportunity for Yahoo to get back in the game. Once upon a time, Yahoo was a very popular browser, yet with the rise of its competitors, it slowly lost its ground. But now that Google gets replaced by Yahoo, the latter has a chance to prove it can still be a global tech force.
The contract between Google and Mozilla is due to expire at the end of this month, although friction among the two goes a long way back. In 2008, Google released Chrome, as a strong competitor for Firefox, and by now the Chrome browser managed to account for 67% of searches on US desktops. Yahoo was waiting for this opportunity to jump in and take Google’s place, calling the future five – years partnership with Mozilla as “the most significant partnership since forging the Microsoft deal in 2009.”
How does this development change the users’ search experience on Mozilla Firefox? When you enter a topic in the search bar, you will be automatically redirected to Yahoo’s website instead of Google’s. However, Google will still be a built – in search option in Mozilla. Since Mozilla insisted on going locally, it also announced that its China customers would be redirected towards Baidu, while the Russia customers would be redirected to Yandex.
Yahoo also made some interesting promises in the light of this partnership: the company will unveil a modern, clean, dynamic search engine interface on Firefox. They will also release the same upgraded version on their website early next year. Other modifications also include some upgrades in the way Yahoo displays the results.
Now that Google gets replaced by Yahoo, what is the search engine giant’s attitude? Google seems to be cool and calm, as it still accounts for around 90% of the global online search market. Moreover, last month, Google named Amazon as the fiercest search competitor they have, and not other browsers, such as Yahoo or Mozilla.