Yahoo Search Partners With Mozilla Firefox in Asia

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Yahoo Search Partners With Mozilla Firefox in Asia

As Mozilla celebrates the 1st anniversary of Firefox (post beta) distribution with the release of Mozilla Firefox 1.5, Yahoo and Mozilla have announced an agreement which is sure to assist with the marketing of Mozilla Firefox in the Asian market while fortifying Yahoo’s strong grasp of search and portal users. Yahoo and Mozilla have announced that Yahoo will be the default search engine and power the default homepage for Mozilla Firefox browsers which are distributed throughout China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. From Yahoo : “Per the agreement, Yahoo! will now distribute Firefox 1.5 in those markets and will be the default search engine on Firefox 1.5 in each of those countries.

Although Google is Mozilla’s premier distribution and search partner in the US, Yahoo has made a strong play by partnering with Mozilla in the Asian market. While Google is hands down the most popular search engine in the US and the world, Yahoo enjoys a strong brand in the Pacific Rim, being the most popular web destination in Japan and equally well known throughout China, Korea, and Taiwan (I should have confirmation on the search popularity numbers after a meeting tomorrow with Yahoo Japan in Tokyo).

Kristen Wareham of Yahoo told the Search Engine Journal “This is particularly significant to us because we have successfully displaced Mozilla’s previous partner in those countries, demonstrating Yahoo!’s strength in greater China and other major markets in Asia. We see this as the beginning of a long, broad relationship with Mozilla and Firefox 1.5.”

This Mozilla deal helps to remind us of how competitive Yahoo is with its partnerships, especially in its own backyard. Just how popular is Yahoo in Asia. Let’s look at Yahoo Japan as an example:

Yahoo Japan and its “Social Media” search with integrated blogs and tagging is a way of life here in Japan, Yahoo is the Japanese Life Engine.

Why? For one reason Japan is crazy about blogging, with nearly 10 million blogs (9,437,813 at press time) indexed in Ask Jeeves Japan Bloglines search engine (again, I’ll have Yahoo’s blog stats tomorrow). Yahoo Blogs is the premier interface for bloggers in Japan, with most blogs being personal and a large percentage of the active bloggers are females (moms and housewives), connecting via the Yahoo Japan community.

If a Japanese user blogs on Yahoo Japan, shops on Yahoo Japan, bids on Yahoo Japan Auctions, and finds local shops via Yahoo Japan Local, roots for the Fukuoka Hawks baseball team which plays in the Yahoo Dome, and has Yahoo BB as their ISP, chances are they will highly enjoy having Yahoo Japan as their default search engine in the Firefox browser.

This is a smart move for both Yahoo and Mozilla, especially since Mozilla will be benefiting via searches and Overture revenue while Yahoo’s popularity in the Asian market will surely excel adaptation of the Firefox browser.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Omar Upegui R.

    I feel disappointed that Google was not selected as the default search engine in the Pacific Rim. For years Yahoo has looked at Firefox over the shoulder as a second rate Web browser. Their preference was obviously Internet Explorer. To this day, their radio channel LaunchCAST is not available to Firefox’s users.

    Is that what you call a fair relationship? Google, on the other hand, has always extended a helping hand to Firefox. Beware Mozilla, choosing your friends is a delicate business.

  • David Temple

    This is an excellent move by Yahoo. With the Asian search market heating up, any extra edge Yahoo can get is invaluable. Yahoo China, which took a pure search engine approach by losing the portal aspects in the recent relaunch, will certainly benefit from this relationship. Getting the influencers to use Firefox will be a good first step.

  • James Okelly

    We re-engineered our Easy Website Builder software to better serve FireFoxand Safari users. It is long due that these broswers get some respect from developers.

    Websites than run on our software now look as good as or better than in IE.

    All of our company computers now use FireFox as the default browser as well.

  • Chris Zaharias

    Is Yahoo stil the default search provider for Firefox in Asia?