Firefox Drops Google For Yahoo Search - InformationWeek

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11/20/2014
08:38 AM
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Firefox Drops Google For Yahoo Search

Mozilla takes up with new Firefox search partners that it believes are better aligned with its values of choice and independence.

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Mozilla has bitten the hand that fed it. After a 10-year partnership, Google Search next year will no longer be the default search engine in Mozilla's Firefox browser.

Mozilla, which develops open-source software for the benefit of the public, has struck a five-year deal with Yahoo to make Yahoo Search the default search engine in Firefox. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, comes as Mozilla's three-year deal with Google is about to expire.

That arrangement, which made Google the default search engine in Firefox globally, is said to have been worth $300 million annually. Mozilla's deal with Yahoo, however, covers only Firefox in the US. Mozilla CEO Chris Beard said the company is ending its practice of having a single global default search provider.

"Our new search strategy doubles down on our commitment to make Firefox a browser for everyone," said Beard in a blog post. "We believe it will empower more people, in more places with more choice and opportunity to innovate and ultimately put even more people in control over their lives online."

[What is Yahoo's position on government surveillance? Read Tech Heavyweights Push For Surveillance Reform.]

Mozilla's declaration of independence comes six years after Google began competing with Firefox through its Chrome browser, which this year displaced Firefox as the second most popular desktop browser globally, according to NetApplications.

The search deal is non-exclusive. Firefox users will have the option to set Google as their default search engine, or to choose alternatives such as Amazon, Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Twitter, and Wikipedia. A Mozilla spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request to confirm whether the Yahoo partnership affects Firefox for Android, which defaults to Google Search. FirefoxOS, Mozilla's mobile operating system aimed at phones in emerging markets, defaults to Microsoft Bing for search.

Beard says Mozilla sought out partners that "aligned with our values of choice and independence." By implication, Google no longer fits that description.

Mozilla's strategy change could help the company in markets where regional Internet usage differs from the US or where nationalist politics demand a search engine other than Google. In Russia, Yandex will become Firefox's default search engine. In China, Baidu will continue being the default search engine. However, it's unclear whether joining up with search companies that operate under politically mandated censorship will advance choice and independence.

As if cozying up to Yahoo weren't enough of a repudiation of Google, Mozilla has managed to get Yahoo to agree to respect the Do Not Track setting, to the potential detriment of advertisers. But Yahoo is only extending this privacy protection to Firefox users.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer celebrated the partnership by noting that Yahoo's deal with Mozilla is its most significant in five years.

"At Yahoo, we believe deeply in search -- it’s an area of investment and opportunity for us," said Mayer in a blog post. "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."

A few years back, Yahoo didn't believe in its own search technology. In 2009, it struck a deal with Microsoft to utilize the infrastructure of Microsoft's Bing search engine, ditching its homegrown search system in the process.

Two decades ago, Microsoft's disinterest in Internet innovation and hostility toward Netscape was, incidentally, what gave rise to Mozilla and Firefox.

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Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 4:39:26 AM
Re: poll
@Mak63: that is a very valid question. I think many people will not have any idea on how to change the search engine back to Google. These will be the same people who didn't know how to install a different browser and kept on using the default windows browser. Some of them will eventually learn how to change the default browser but many of them will just not care.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2014 | 11:14:10 PM
Re: Teaming up on the bully
@Pedro, I agree with your statement about many people who love Chrome for the simple interface. I am one of those people. I also agree that Mozilla should explore browsers that can grow and mKe necessary advancers to better serve it's users. I tend to think Askjeeves.com is a prime example of a search engine that is in need of major improvement.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2014 | 11:07:25 PM
Re: Teaming up on the bully
@moarsauce123, That is interesting. When I see the advertisements on the Google search results, I do get annoyed. I despise advertisements in emails, on search engine results, magazines pages, ball parks, television commercials, radio commercials, Little League uniforms, billboards, etc. I am extra sensitive to advertisements, because I feel like we are overly bombarded by ads.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2014 | 11:02:38 PM
Re: Teaming up on the bully
@Brian, I did not know about that website. I will definitely try it out. Thanks!
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2014 | 10:56:10 PM
Re: poll
I will definitely exercise my right to set Google as my default search engine. Google is my favorite search engine and I am sure I'm not the only one. Google has spread like fire, just like the term, "Google it." Besides my preference for Google as my "go to" search engine, I am really surprised Firefox would drop Google despite their history. Again, the only good thing is that it is non-exclusive and you can set other search engines as your default.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2014 | 8:26:21 PM
poll
Discounting people here, I wonder, how many people will know how to revert to Google; as the default search engine. And most importantly, would they want/need to?
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2014 | 3:23:34 PM
Firefox is becoming MSIE
Given that Firefox has decided to forego everything it ever stood for -open source- by kowtowing to digital rights management from Adobe, I'd say that its mission statement really needs to be revamped to reflect its preference to dump privacy concerns and fair use rights by the wayside in favor of the very industry practices (such as DRM) it previously fought against.

Personally, I use DuckDuckGo dot com.  The search engine that doesn't track you. 
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2014 | 7:20:36 PM
Re: Teaming up on the bully
I think the ads only disappear if startpage is used with the TorBrowser. The TorBrowser seems like a proxy add-on for Firefox and its default search engine is startpage. Since, the browser does not allow cookies and tracking, etc., even Google's search pages is displayed without the old ads.

I also do not use the default search engines, out of habit I just type Google followed by Ctrl+Enter.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2014 | 7:07:45 PM
Re: Teaming up on the bully
There is a website by the name of searchboth.net. It searches both Google and Yahoo at the same time and displays a split screen view of the results. It requires text to be entered into a single field.

It would be nice if there was a way to securely search multiple search engines while being logged-in as a user. For example, the first 3 pages could be the 1st pages of different search engines.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2014 | 6:50:01 PM
Re: Firefox.needs to spruce.up its act first.
These search deals could be a good way to monetize a browser and increase the flow of revenue. Different locations of the world have different kinds of trends that take place. Google segments regions as well, by offering Google search local and Google search international. The interesting part will be to see where the new revenue is invested.
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
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