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Yahoo Becomes Default Search Provider for Firefox

Posted on

November 20, 2014

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In a move that may have widespread ramifications for the search market on an international level, Mozilla has announced that it has signed a five year deal with Yahoo that makes the company the default search provider for all versions of the company’s Firefox browser on mobile and desktop computers.

The commitment appears to have ambitions beyond search, as the announcement also made clear that they will be looking to explore “future product integrations and distribution opportunities to other markets.”

This means that Google will be replaced as the default search engine of a browser that is currently believed to be used by as many as 15% of all web users. While the browser has been replaced by Google Chrome as the main competition to Internet Explorer, it is still extremely popular amongst users. Despite this, the company has struggled to establish itself in the mobile market, with both Android and iOS using proprietary browsers instead.

It is believed that Mozilla may see an initial decline in profits due to moving away from Google’s system, however both Mozilla and Yahoo claim that the deal has plenty of potential for growth, with both companies appearing to commit to growing their presence in the search market as part of the new partnership.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer commented “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.”

The company’s recent trouble in the search engine market have been well-documented in recent years, with Yahoo going from the top search provider in the world back in the 1990s down to third behind both Google and Bing. It is likely that the company will be hoping that striking a deal with the largest browser provider to not have a proprietary search engine will help them to slowly begin to expand their portion of the market.

As part of the deal Yahoo will also be debuting a new user interface that will apparently feature “a clean, modern and immersive design that reflects input from the Mozilla team.”

More interestingly, Mozilla is currently in the process of bringing its own mobile devices onto the market. This deal would imply that Yahoo will also be the default search provider for these devices.

At this point in time it is only confirmed that the US version of the browser will see Yahoo made the default, with the future of the UK version still in speculation. Regardless, it is an extremely interesting development in the search market and, if Mozilla are able to make a success of their new mobile venture, it may have enormous ramifications for the search market over the next few years.

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