Yahoo Chooses Firefox To Replace Google

Yahoo Chooses Firefox To Replace
Google As Default Search Engine

Millions More Search Queries Per Month Expected

Yahoo Seach Engine

The Yahoo! search engine, along with Mozilla, the owner of Firefox, recently announced a new relationship spanning five years that now places Yahoo! as Firefox’s default search engine (in the U.S.) for both desktop computers and mobile units (cell phones, notebooks, notepads, etc.). Firefox and Yahoo! are also discussing future mutual working relationships looking forward to “future product integrations and distribution opportunities to other markets.” 

This major switch removes Google from the default Firefox search provider. For several years Firefox was the primary alternative to Internet Explorer as a popular web browser, however, Google’s browser, Chrome, has overtaken both IE and Firefox. As a result, Firefox has dropped to the number 3 spot for Internet browser popularity with approximately 16 percent market share. 

Firefox and Google last entered into their search relationship in 2011. However, Google now operates its own browser, Chrome, which has overtaken Firefox, as well as Internet Explorer, in popularity. Firefox apparently believes now is the time to severe ties with Google in order to regain market share. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer says this regarding the new partnership: 

At Yahoo, we believe deeply in search – it’s an area of investment and opportunity for us. It’s also a key growth area for us – we’ve now seen 11 consecutive quarters of growth in our search revenue on an ex-TAC basis. This partnership helps to expand our reach in search and gives us an opportunity to work even more closely with Mozilla to find ways to innovate in search, communications, and digital content. I’m also excited about the long-term framework we developed with Mozilla for future product integrations and expansion into international markets. 

This new Firefox and Yahoo! partnership will go live in December, 2014. Mayer states that the partnership will bring some user experience upgrades offering, “a clean, modern and immersive design that reflects input from the Mozilla team.” Previews of the new screens look very much like Google and the cleaner appearance might be a precursor to an improved search user interface for Yahoo!. 

The announcement has already lead to an implication, or at least speculation, that Yahoo! will be the search engine for the Firefox Operating System mobile devices worldwide, as well. These are newer devices, just now coming to the forefront in the marketplace. These Firefox devices face a tenuous future since Android is so strong in its target marketing in the smartphone marketplace. 

The question in the industry is . . . Can the deal with Yahoo! rally Firefox up from a rather low 16 percent to something more robust with its market? The window of opportunity is certainly wide open with the potential for millions of daily and monthly queries to elevate both clicks and income. 

The press release says this partnership is the most significant for Yahoo in the last five years. Though Firefox’s share is relatively small compared to Chrome and IE, the deal will still drive millions of queries to Yahoo each month and should help boost search-related ad revenue. 

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