Mozilla Firefox announced earlier this week that it will be replacing Google with Yahoo as its default search engine in the U.S. next month. The new partnership is part of a five-year contract between the web browser and search engine.
Google has been Firefox’s default search engine for the last 10 years, but after Google launched its own web browser in 2008 (Google Chrome), tensions between the two companies began to heat up. With the contract between Google and Firefox ending this November, Firefox took the opportunity to end its partnership with the competition.
Mozilla, Firefox’s parent company, is also making changes to its default search engines abroad. In China, Firefox’s default search engine will now be Baidu, and in Russia it will be Yandex.
Google Chrome was a hit soon after its inception and has now surpassed Firefox with its number of users. Google is now an obvious competitor of Firefox, but breaking off its deal with the search engine could serve as a blow to company profits. Nearly 90 percent of Firefox’s income came from Google in 2012, according to TechCrunch.
Despite the end of the contract, Firefox is well aware of the important role that search engines play in today’s digital landscape and had been exploring its options as its contract with Google neared its end. Approximately 93 percent of all Internet sessions begin with a search engine, and partnering with Yahoo will help continue the company’s success.
Likewise, Yahoo also has a lot to gain from the new partnership and has been hard at work to prepare for its grand entrance. As part of the transition, Yahoo is launching a new search experience for its Firefox users that will include a new, clean layout that changes the way search results are displayed.
“Search is an area of investment, opportunity and growth for us. This partnership helps to expand our reach in search and also gives us an opportunity to work closely with Mozilla to find ways to innovate more broadly in search, communications, and digital content,” said Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, according to TechCrunch.
While Firefox will default to Yahoo’s search engine starting in December, Internet users will still be able to opt for Google instead by simply opening a new tab.