How a Bing-Firefox Deal Could Change the Search Landscape

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Google and Firefox have been playing buddy-buddy nearly since Mozzila brought their browser to the stage. The collaboration could come to an end this November, however, when the Google-Mozilla search contract is slated to lapse. This contract has Google set as the default browser in Firefox. In turn, Firefox gets a share of revenue generated with a searcher uses the Firefox toolbar to conduct a Google search. It’s possible that Firefox may turn to Bing after the contract lapses. The result would be a big change in the search battle.

Whoever Holds Firefox …

It’s unfair to say that Firefox is a trump card, but it also shouldn’t be discounted. Chilton Tippin at Signal News says that Firefox is “Google’s single largest driver of search traffic,” and puts Firefox’s user-base at 450 million surfers. Considering Bing’s history of spending – a lot – for increased visibility, a deal with Firefox could be a great opportunity. It’s entirely possible that Microsoft is already discussing possible partnerships with Mozilla.

Should Mozilla and Microsoft team up, there would be some hurdles. Users are accustomed to the search bar on Mozilla belonging to Google, and many frustrated users would likely change the default search right back to Google after noticing the change. Some users may complain. However, a strong cut of the Firefox population may wind up using Bing search if it conquers the default position.

We won’t know for sure until November, when Mozilla will either re-sign with Google or move on to different pastures. SEOs should already be optimizing for Bing, of course, but should Microsoft get the deal, focusing on improving your Bing rank will become substantially more important.

[Sources include: Signal News]

Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in... Read Full Bio
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  • tet

    If Mozilla partner with M$… I will say goodbye to Firefox forever.

  • john

    Yes that would be a great collaboration for bing and the main reason bing has grown more popular is because it has been able more likely due to low popularity than a special technique avoid being seo “optimized” to death meaning it has largely avoided filling it’s searches with junk. Once bing becomes more popular unless it finds a way to effectively reduce spam/crap searches it will be just as useless as google. Thank you cockroaches of the internet!

  • People will just switch to Chrome, if they haven’t done that already.

  • This is terrible. I love Firefox and i HATE, no i DESPISE Bing. Looks like i might have to get to know chrome better….. its the end of an era….. This is my initial reaction. And that makes me think that people like Firefox because it plays well with Google, and people like Google. If we start getting sent to Bing i feel that many users will not have it, and may stop using Firefox. I think you are right about a lot in this article, but i think what is missing is what happens to Firefox when people decide to they will use chrome so they can stay close to Google.

  • I I think it makes a lot of sense for Firefox to explore this move since Google has Chrome that they’ve been voncentrating on more. A bit of real competition could benefit all of us. And hopefully there would come a better desktop search application since Google Desktop is proving to be a dog.

  • No biggie.

    I’ve often userd several different browsers. And everytime there’s a new version to update, I make SURE that my preferred browser (Google) is the default I’m quite sure they’ve always prompted about that!!

    Similar to Adobe Flash updates – they keep wanting to install McAfee. I use Norton, so I have to remember to uncheck the McAfee download – or uninstall it after the Flash Player update is completely installed.

    IF MOZILLA SWITCHES TO BING, the only large group of users this may influence are those who are new to computers and/or searching. But they may switch later if they keep hearing people talking about “googling” things online. Ever hear someone telling you to “BING-IT”? I don’t think so…