Yahoo Beats Out Google to Become Mozilla’s Default U.S. Search Engine

Big changes are coming to Mozilla, as Google will no longer be the global default search provider for the Firefox browser anymore. Instead, Yahoo will become the default U.S. search option in the browser for the next five years, under a new strategic partnership announced yesterday.

The switch is quite a shake-up for the Mozilla platform, as Google has been the Firefox global search default since 2004. The two companies then signed their first search royalty agreement in 2008. In 2010, Google contributed 84 percent of Mozilla’s $123 million revenue. And in 2011, Google and Mozilla renewed their search royalty deal for additional three years, despite the fact that Google’s own Chrome browser had become a significant competitor.

However, when the latest agreement with Google came up for renewal this year, Mozilla decided to end the partnership in favor of a more localized approach.

“We are ending our practice of having a single global default search provider,” Chris Beard, chief executive (CEO) of Mozilla, said in a statement. “We are adopting a more local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web, with new and expanded search partnerships by country.”

In the U.S., Yahoo will replace Google to become the new default search option in Firefox for the next five years. In Russia, Yandex Search will be the default search experience. And in China, Baidu will continue to be the default option.

Google and other local search options will be built in as alternate search options in these markets.

A Google representative declined to comment on the deal. But given that Firefox users alone search the Web more than 100 billion times per year, the partnership is sure to help Yahoo win more search market share in the future.

Image via Shutterstock

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