Yahoo will replace Google as the default search engine on the Firefox web browser in the US, a move that Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer said will help boost its flagging search market share. “The partnership is a revenue sharing agreement and includes certain guarantees” says CEO Marissa Meyer. Both Mozilla and Yahoo! will produce a “share gain” from the agreement. The financials of the deal haven’t been disclosed yet. By December, Firefox will switch its default search engine to a Bing-powered “clean, modern and immersive search experience” provided by Yahoo!
With Google’s introduction of the Chrome browser in 2008, tensions between Google and Mozilla began to rise and undercut Firefox. Even though Chrome is now more widely used, Firefox still has a loyal audience that makes more than 100 billion search requests annually worldwide.
In a blogpost, Chris Beard, the Mozilla chief executive, said the new deal offered “strong, improved economic terms” while allowing Mozilla “to innovate and advance our mission in ways that best serve our users and the web”. “When you have a partnership that has competitive aspect to it, it does require a lot of time and attention and focus,” Baker says. “We’re utterly confident in our stability and viability going forward.”
Yahoo’s share of the US search market on desktop PCs is currently about 10 percent, compared to Microsoft’s roughly 20 per cent and Google’s 67 per cent. It should be able to expand to a larger market because Firefox owns some 10 percent of the U.S. browser market share, although that figure has been declining.
Yahoo plans to unveil a “clean and modern” search engine on Firefox next month and roll out the new model on its own website early next year, according to its chief executive, Marissa Mayer. The Web search results will continue to be powered by Microsoft, in keeping with the 10-year partnership that Yahoo and Microsoft began in 2010.