Citing a new search strategy of “promoting choice and innovation”, Firefox’ parent company Mozilla has announced a strategic partnership that will see Yahoo become the browser’s new default search engine in the United States.
Google had previously been Firefox’ default search engine since 2004. When their agreement came up for renewal this year, Mozilla states they took it as an “opportunity to review our competitive strategy and explore our options.”
In addition introducing a new default search engine for US users, another major change the company is making is ending its practice of having one single global search provider as its default.
Yahoo search will become the default Firefox search engine in the United States for at least the next five years, which is how long their partnership is for. This will begin in December, when Firefox plans to roll out an enhanced Yahoo search experience that’s said to feature a clean, modern interface.
In Russia, Yandex will become the default search engine for Firefox. In China, Baidu will become the default. For all other countries, the choice is essentially up to the user, as Firefox will offer 61 pre-installed search engines in 88 languages.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took to the Yahoo blog today to express her enthusiasm over her company’s partnership with Firefox:
Today, 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. Mozilla is an inspirational industry leader who puts users first and focuses on building forward-leaning, compelling experiences. 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.
Mayer also announced the new look for Yahoo search that’s being brought to Firefox will be rolled out to all Yahoo users in early 2015. The new look is about more than just aesthetics, as its said to better leverage Yahoo’s content and personalization strategies.
With this partnership Yahoo has the potential increase its share of the search market, which has been sitting at around 10% according to comScore’s most recent numbers, while Google and Bing hold 67% and 19.5% respectively.
If you’re a Firefox user who prefers to use Google, don’t worry, it will still be a pre-installed search option.