Firefox ditches Google for Yahoo as default search engine

20/11/2014

Mozilla has selected Yahoo as the new search provider on its Firefox browser, ending a decade-long relationship with Google.

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The five-year alliance will see a “clean and modern” search engine on Firefox next month and roll out the new model on its own website early next year.

With 100 billion Web searches made by Firefox users every year, this is a significant deal for Yahoo. Marissa Mayer, the CEO installed in 2012 to restore the fortunes of the company, expressed her delight at the development in a release put out Wednesday.

“I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve entered into a five-year partnership with Mozilla to make Yahoo the default search experience on Firefox across mobile and desktop,” Mayer said. “This is the most significant partnership for Yahoo in five years and we’re so proud that Mozilla has chosen us as their long-term partner in search.”

Firefox has also lost ground to other browsers, according to NetMarketShare. In October, it held 14 percent of the global market, compared with 21 percent for Google’s Chrome and 58 percent for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

The tensions between Google and Mozilla had been rising since Google’s introduction of the Chrome browser in 2008 began to undercut Firefox. Google’s contract with Mozilla expires at the end of November.

Even though Chrome is now more widely used, Firefox still has a loyal audience that makes more than 100bn search requests annually worldwide.

Besides dropping Google in the US, Mozilla is also shifting Firefox to the Baidu search engine in China and to Yandex in Russia.

Firefox users still have the option to pull down a tab to pick Google and other search engines as their preferred way for looking up information online.

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