Mozilla ditches Google, signs five-year deal with Yahoo

For the past 10 years, Google has been the default search engine in Firefox—and the Mozilla Foundation has gotten financial support from the search giant for its trouble. Now, that relationship is set to end. Mozilla announced today that it’s said goodbye to Google and entered a five-year “strategic partnership” with Yahoo.

The partnership will see Yahoo become Firefox’s default search engine in the United States starting next month. Mozilla says users can look forward to a “new enhanced Yahoo Search experience that features a clean, modern interface that brings the best of the Web front and center.” Support for Firefox’s do-not-track mode will be built in, as well.

But the Yahoo deal won’t cover all countries. Baidu will be the default search engine in China, while Yandex will have that distinction in Russia. Mozilla also aims to offer “more choice in search provider than any other browser,” with 61 options in all. Google will be among them, as will Bing and DuckDuckGo.

Mozilla doesn’t get into specifics about the behind-the-scenes negotiations that spurred the change. However, the organization apparently got to choose between multiple partnership options, each with “strong, improved economic terms reflecting the significant value that Firefox brings to the ecosystem.” By the looks of it, it was Mozilla that kicked Google to the curb and not the other way around.

Comments closed
    • Shouefref
    • 5 years ago

    That’s odd, because if I select a word in my FF browser and right click on it, I had a pop up pane with ‘Search Yahoo for “xx” ‘.
    So, what’s that about that relation between G & M? I don’t think it’ was as strong as we often think.
    By the way: I almost never used that Yahoo search, probably for the reason destroy.all.monsters mentions, but also because I’m used to G Search and therefore my interpretation of those search results is better.

    • BenBasson
    • 5 years ago

    The people at Mozilla who are responsible for Firefox are, as far as I’m concerned, completely insane. The rapid releases and seemingly arbitrary interface decisions serve only to annoy.

    There’s been no sensible UI direction since Ben Goodger stopped being in charge. Whatever happened to him, anyway? Edit: Oh right, he’s leading on Chrome UX.

    • LASR
    • 5 years ago

    Yahoo is a piece of shit.

    Firefox is a piece of shit.

    Perfect union.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 5 years ago

      Open Source. Feel free to fork. I get your drift though, as it feels like Firefox has been slowly selling out for a while. I switched to pale moon from their last gui change. At this point, I don’t think they know wtf they’re doing. Too many cooks.

        • fhohj
        • 5 years ago

        Selling out, right.

        Because the other choices are the corporate-maintained browser or the other corporate-maintained browser!

        I hope all the Pale-Mooners would like their same aging version if the basis for it ever disappeared. It’s OK. Then Pale Moon could become Pale Chrome and be the cool Chrome! Until, you know, the multi-national corporation standing to have their brand and user retention messed with decided different.

        So children.

        Much zeitgeist.

        Many stupid.

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 5 years ago

          Not really. FF has been making a lot of unwanted changes, so of course it’s going to get opposed. Open Office forked to Libre Office. FF can be forked too, as long as enough people support it. Otherwise, FF needs to fix the stupid. We don’t want a bloated chrome clone with ads, we want a faster FF, with the classic ui.

    • colinstu12
    • 5 years ago

    gross.

      • captaintrav
      • 5 years ago

      I couldn’t come up with a better response with 1000 words.

    • Dieter
    • 5 years ago

    Be sure to run with Adblock installed if you keep that default. Yahoo’s adservers are great at serving up malware!

    The only malware I’ve seen on our networks the past 10 years have come from Yahoo directly.

      • crabjokeman
      • 5 years ago

      Adblock and Ghostery 🙂

    • Krogoth
    • 5 years ago

    Outside of web developers. Who honesty cares about web browsers? They are pretty much the same bloody thing outside of subtle differences in UI. They are all victims of homogenization and mono-culture. One web browser vendor implements a “new” feature and the others copy it in their next version. It has been this way since the 2000s.

    I have used all of the current breed of browsers out in the market and for the life of me. I do not understand why web browser fanboys still exist.

      • w76
      • 5 years ago

      I’ve never noticed them to be so nearly identical. In feature set, perhaps. But in reliability and real world function? No, at least not in my admittedly singular experience. (Based on forum rants over the years that I’ve seen, I’m not alone though)

      FF used to be an unrepentant memory-leaking/hogging whore, for example. Between that and easier to use sync functions, and some built-in things Google takes care of for me (flash, in-browser pdf viewing), it was an easy switch. I don’t know if the situation has improved, but at this point, like many Android or iOS users, I’m already somewhat invested in time and familiarity, so unless Chrome starts to likewise become buggy or nonperforming compared to its peers then I’m staying put.

      And IE? Are we really gonna suggest IE has feature parity with either of the other two? Nah. In fact, sort of like the lynx browser I recall from linux, IE is probably not even a fair part of the discussion, but it IS still a major player, which undermines your point.

      So to a degree, I disagree. Maybe your average person doesn’t care, but I’d wager most all power-users of technology have an informed opinion/preference.

        • Krogoth
        • 5 years ago

        Protip: All web browsers have memory leakers because of a certain few plugins. I had encounter the same problem on all mainstream units and they are connected to the same bloody plugins.

        Almost all of the bad flak that came from IE is from pre-IE8 era where IE was tightly integrated with the Windows GUI code (bad idea from a security stand-point). Microsoft finally separated the browser from OS codebase after IE8 and kept fixing it up. IE is now practically as good as Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

        The most of differences found in web browsers comes from the UI layout.

      • Zizy
      • 5 years ago

      I generally agree with your point. I would go even a step further – even web developers shouldn’t care about browsers. You just need to tell them – draw round corner and it is browser’s job to actually do it. In whatever order they seem fit and as fast as they can. If Flash didn’t have its “problems”, we would have had this glorious future for a while. With HTML5, it looks like it is a few years off… constantly.

      • funko
      • 5 years ago

      i can agree with this. working in an enterprise environment, as long as the organization is off XP, whether to network IT heads have chosen, IE 11, Safari, Chrome, FF, or Opera, as long as the browser is kept current, I wouldn’t feel like i am hurting. on a personal machine, i prefer chrome due to my primary smartphone, and home desktop (that is up 24/7) running chrome with my account logged in. but now with desktop and mobile OS’es maturing fairly well, its good to become browser/platform agnostic. (except linux…i’m lazy…. windows and osx is all i’m willing to learn on desktop)

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      This is, like, one of the few user-facing changes that makes everyone that use it care.

      • captaintrav
      • 5 years ago

      Don’t know why you’re getting downvoted. I can scarcely tell the difference between Chrome and Firefox nowadays.

      • Kougar
      • 5 years ago

      Most users seem to care, actually.

      While I fully agree the three main browsers are nearly identical in GUI layout and inability to customize much of anything about it, there are still exceptions. Opera v12 lets you fully customize the GUI and layout to your heart’s content. Want the tabs stacked vertically on the side of the screen? No problem. Shame that versions after Opera 12 dumped Presto for Webkit though, now new versions of Opera are just another cookie-cutter browser.

    • floodo1
    • 5 years ago

    Too bad I can’t get Chrome or any other browser setup to replicate the functionality of Firefox with 19 addons all configured just so (-:
    I’d love to use something else besides Firefox because they’ve been lame for years, but there simply is no real alternative. At least overall … I do use other browsers for various purposes but none of them can replace Firefox as my primary browser )-:

      • MEATLOAF2
      • 5 years ago

      I feel the same, I use firegestures, and I control most of the browser entirely with mouse gestures, and last time I checked (which is admittedly quite a while ago) I couldn’t find a suitable replacement on chrome. I also have firefox far too customized with other addons and whatnot that changing browsers is far too much work.

      I’m happy sticking with FF as long as it keeps doing what I need it to.

    • odizzido
    • 5 years ago

    Google filters out some pretty silly stuff these days, like mods for games, so I have been trying other search engines. Yahoo I was not impressed with at all, at least not in english. Search engines seem to depend on language quite a bit.

    • brucethemoose
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]five-year deal[/quote<] In five years, I picture Yahoo! turning into one of those zombie web portals while Firefox/Mozilla takes their first step into the browser graveyard. I don't want that to happen, as we really need the competition... But neither company has a lot of momentum atm.

      • kvndoom
      • 5 years ago

      Yahoo will be living high off its stake in Alibaba long after its web businesses have failed.

    • brucethemoose
    • 5 years ago

    YES, DOUBLE POST!

    • ThatStupidCat
    • 5 years ago

    Marissa Mayer is a hot hot cutie but I really like Google’s clean search interface. Willing to give Yahoo a try if it’s not cluttered. Isn’t Yahoo now powered by Bing?

      • Buzzard44
      • 5 years ago

      You’re right. From now on I’m only supporting companies with attractive CEOs.

      Also, a “hot hot cutie”? She’s attractive, but she’d just be another woman if she wasn’t CEO of a multi-billion dollar company.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        I think that’s where the second hot came from. lol

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      wtf does your attraction to some woman have to do with anything?

        • Choz
        • 5 years ago

        Because Marissa Mayer makes some people go “Yahoo” when they search her image.

        • Kretschmer
        • 5 years ago

        This? *This* is where you discard all-caps? This was meant to be your moment!

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE IS MY MOMENT.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          FWIW I have SSK figured out: if he’s posting in proper case (or lower case) he’s serious. If he’s posting in all caps, it’s downthumbable. 😉

      • ThatStupidCat
      • 5 years ago

      It seems I got the natives riled up with my usual short brisk manner. I’m a great fan of Marissa Mayer because I think she’s smart and beautiful especially in what would be considered a man’s world. However, I’m not necessarily a fan of Yahoo but I’m willing to give their search engine another try but I’m out if it becomes cluttered like Bing.

    • Voldenuit
    • 5 years ago

    Default search engine should be duckduckgo.

      • stdRaichu
      • 5 years ago

      [url=http://www.palemoon.org/<]Pale Moon[/url<] says hello! Disclaimer: fully fledged PM user having done a combo migration from FF and Opera 12.

        • ChronoReverse
        • 5 years ago

        I was pretty big on Pale Moon but recently they’ve been going in uncomfortable directions in terms of usability vs ideology to the point I just gave up and switched to Waterfox with extensions to do cover what I wanted.

        The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was certain animated images not displaying at all without any indication that they’re missing or why. The general attitude in their forums isn’t exactly friendly so I decided it was easier just to use another one of the myriad Firefox mods.

        As for Chrome, I have it installed but it really doesn’t offer me a better experience over Firefox (mods) whether it be responsiveness (there’s a very slight lag in certain UI interactions) or even simple things like having smooth scrolling.

          • Arbiter Odie
          • 5 years ago

          Uh oh. I’m using Pale Moon on all the machines I use, and don’t want it to go anywhere bad. But recently my Dad has been having trouble getting some pages using javascript heavily to even work. I’ve migrated stuff to chrome in case it gets worse.

          I’d like to get a feel for the situation– is there any specific forum thread over there that you’d point to as an example?

          • stdRaichu
          • 5 years ago

          Just out of interest, what images (or sort of images) weren’t displaying? Haven’t had any rendering problems myself but then I’m unlikely to frequent any sites with animated GIFs 😉

          My hatred of the australis UI notwithstanding, I find PM gives a much more responsive interface than FF and is [i<]way[/i<] less brittle and crash-prone once you start using gobs of RAM (and I'm stuck with the 32bit version at work due to plugin compatibility).

            • ChronoReverse
            • 5 years ago

            I only noticed it with the “stickers” in Facebook not showing up. I’m sure there are different scenarios where it can show up but I’m not skilled enough to figure out why it happens just that every other browser doesn’t have the same problem.

        • anshu87
        • 5 years ago

        Noobish query.How did u alter the link to “Pale Moon”? I dont know the correct terminology so cant google this. Any help from anyone will be appreciated.

          • way2strong
          • 5 years ago

          BBCode is what you would want to google. [url=https://techreport.com/forums/faq.php?mode=bbcode<]Here[/url<] is TR's formatting guide.

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, but they don’t pay sh*t

      • slowriot
      • 5 years ago

      I understand why people want to support DuckDuckGo but I can’t fathom it has anything to do with the quality of their search engine. When I’ve used DDG it’s been very rare I’m happy with the results.

        • DrCR
        • 5 years ago

        duckduckgo’s wildcards

        Half the time I use duckduckgo, I’m wildcarding to another website e.g. !w, !gm or the like, so for me it’s my ‘hub’ for search, not just a search engine.

        The other half of time time, I always find what I want, but I could say the same about google, bing, and yahoo, so maybe my searching needs are simplistic compared to others.

    • Wirko
    • 5 years ago

    I summon the don’t-be-evil by typing Ctrl+L, g, space, search term, Enter. No defaults for me, thank you.

      • ChronoReverse
      • 5 years ago

      Try the InstantFox addon and you don’t even need “g, space”. It’ll just be “search term” like with Chrome.

      I still prefer Firefox because it’s still more customizable than Chrome and IE despite the recent UI changes (for the worse IMO).

        • Wirko
        • 5 years ago

        I still need “g, space” but I get autocomplete. Thank you, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

        Tested it with “g wasson” and the first suggestion was “Wasson farm”. Didn’t check it out but it’s probably the new light bulb testing facility, right?

          • ChronoReverse
          • 5 years ago

          If you adjust the settings you can do search without the space =D

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 5 years ago

    I can’t for the life of me figure out why this is a good move. Yahoo’s search is terrible. I can’t imagine any amount of money that would help since this will do nothing positive for Mozilla’s reputation. Unless of course they’re desperate financially.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 5 years ago

      Google probably told them they were going to slowly phase out support of Firefox through money. Firefox realized the second Google makes that announcement, they’ll be less worth than if a company things they’ve “won” Firefox “over from” Google.

      So Firefox went out and let Microsoft and Yahoo get into a bidding war over them and got it locked in for five years to be sure the “winner” would have no option for backsies.

        • crystall
        • 5 years ago

        Quite the contrary, this was Mozilla’s decision. Pretty much every major search provider was bidding for this including Google.

        disclaimer: I work for Mozilla

      • brucethemoose
      • 5 years ago

      The Google homepage constantly reminds you to install Chrome… That might have something to do with it.

        • DeadOfKnight
        • 5 years ago

        Good point.

        • UnfriendlyFire
        • 5 years ago

        And they’ve been carpet bombing various free and paid software installations with “Install Chrome and make it as default browser!”

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 5 years ago

        That makes sense though I would have thought Google would want to keep them better financed in order to free themselves from any potential litigation vis a vis browser share/monopoly litigation.

        Unless they are looking to sue Google at some point and this is strategic positioning. /tinfoil hat

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      yahoo’s search is just bing. it’s exactly the same. that might not be your favorite, but yahoo doesn’t have it’s own search anymore.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 5 years ago

        Yahoo’s only saving grace in search was when they bought Altavista (which like everything else they sat on and let die -much like Compaq/HP). Anything other than DuckDuckGo and Google are sadly garbage. I’d like to see more competition in the space but Bing is a sad excuse for that in my opinion.

        Yahoo as a brand is not something thought of positively – and for good reason.

          • entropy13
          • 5 years ago

          [quote<]Yahoo as a brand is not something thought of positively - and for good reason.[/quote<] Have you [b<]significantly used[/b<] the following since the 1990s/2000s: - Yahoo! Messenger - Yahoo! Mail - Yahoo! Groups - The Yahoo! Homepage - Yahoo! Answers

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          Yahoo is HUGE in developing nations. Idky, but they are.

          Bing is solid, and I haven’t used google in years. I haven’t missed a thing.

            • entropy13
            • 5 years ago

            Asia in general.

            There’s a reason why the (Asian) country specific Yahoo!’s as well as Yahoo! Asia are one of its strongest ever since the 1990s.

      • crystall
      • 5 years ago

      Google had no interest in supporting Firefox, quite the contrary in fact they’ve been marketing Chrome aggressively and sometimes even disabled features via user-agent snooping (hello Maps!). Yahoo and the other providers that came on board now have all the incentive to push Firefox to its users. The fact that they’ll start respecting user wishes (e.g. honoring do-not-track requests) means that this also make them more aligned with Mozilla’s goals of preserving user privacy and choice. This is in contrast with Google continuously pursuing ways to snoop its users as well as pushing for more proprietary technology instead of open standards (hello Hangouts!).

      That being said this is just about the default search engine being changed. It takes two clicks to change it. I for once have been using DuckDuckGo lately and I’m quite satisfied with it.

      disclaimer: I work for Mozilla

        • DPete27
        • 5 years ago

        [quote<]It takes two clicks to change [the default search engine][/quote<] Exactly

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 5 years ago

        Thanks for this.

    • GasBandit
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve noticed the last few version patches making Firefox generally worse. I’ve already switched to chrome at home, and I’m considering having a migration there here in the office as well (as the head of the IT dept I pick the sanctioned browser for the company).

      • gecko575
      • 5 years ago

      Chrome has had issues playing Amazon prime instant video on and off for a while now for me. I used to run Chrome exclusively on my Win 7 machine at home, now I’m back to Firefox so the wife and kids can watch their tv shows without hiccups.

      • brucethemoose
      • 5 years ago

      Chrome uses ALOT of bandwidth when it’s just sitting there, idling on a webpage. I don’t know if it’s prefetching links on the page or what, but that’s something to consider.

      Since the UIs are so similar now, a browser switch shouldn’t be too hard for the employees.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 5 years ago

        Not for me. :/

        But yeah could be ads, could be prefetching.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 5 years ago

    And Bing powers Yahoo. Big win for Microsoft.

    • blastdoor
    • 5 years ago

    Does Yahoo have its own search engine or do they farm it out to Bing?

      • xeridea
      • 5 years ago

      They have the same data they work off of, but Yahoo has different algorithms.

    • albundy
    • 5 years ago

    sounds like its gonna have alot of wrappers on the install and everthing will be defaulted to yahoo, much like IE’s nonsense. good thing i can fall back on chrome.

      • Meadows
      • 5 years ago

      What stops you from setting something other than the default?

      • crystall
      • 5 years ago

      In a word: no. Only the default search engine in Firefox is changing, this won’t (and can’t) be a system-wide change à la Bing via Microsoft installers. It will apply to new installations and if you already changed your default search engine then it won’t be changed to Yahoo; your choice will be preserved. At Mozilla we care about preserving user choice, not forcing or tricking users into using something.

      disclaimer: I work for Mozilla

    • oldog
    • 5 years ago

    So how long before Marissa buys Firefox?

    My bet is in the next two years.

      • blastdoor
      • 5 years ago

      How do you buy a non-profit foundation?

        • oldog
        • 5 years ago

        I dunno many health insurers (like the Blues) went private. I don’t think it’s that hard to do.

        • NeelyCam
        • 5 years ago

        With money.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          Brazilliant.

        • Pwnstar
        • 5 years ago

        A non-profit corporation is still a corporation. They can be bought and sold.

          • just brew it!
          • 5 years ago
        • just brew it!
        • 5 years ago

        Isn’t Yahoo trending towards being a non-profit too? 😉

          • NeelyCam
          • 5 years ago

          At least Yahoo is minting money from Alibaba.. but Amazon should definitely file for a 503(c)(3) status

      • just brew it!
      • 5 years ago

      Better be sooner rather than later… when I asked the Magic 8 Ball whether they’d still have the cash to do that 2 years down the road, it said “Don’t count on it”.

        • w76
        • 5 years ago

        With that Alibaba stake, don’t count Yahoo out. (On the other hand, it’s a revealing thing to say that the ONLY exciting prospect for a company is a static asset over which they can take no credit except in having had the foresight to invest early. Companies are supposed to make money the old fashioned way, we have mutual funds and ETFs for buying and holding financial assets)

      • Goofus Maximus
      • 5 years ago

      I can actually imagine this happening, with Yahoo getting Firefox OS in the bargain, to bolster their presence in the growing Mobile sector… It’s not a good idea, but that just makes it more plausible, if all the accumulated past aquisitions are used as a baseline…

    • Laykun
    • 5 years ago

    So long as I can set the search engine back to Google then I’m fine. Otherwise it’s a 5 year death spiral. I still feel like that default is a bad choice though, it feels like a first time configuration nuisance.

      • fhohj
      • 5 years ago

      Being able to switch your search engine back to Google is what Firefox is all about.

      This makes me worried. Just because it’s gotten cool to use Chrome (cool to use a browser. wtf.) in recent times doesn’t mean it’s a good idea in the long-term. If it’s down to Chrome and IE the usual duopoly shit will form. Firefox was a force to keep the two giants honest. I can only hope that Firefox does well and gives rise to a resurgence for Yahoo. Google doesn’t need another piece of the Internet.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      You’re a first time configuration nuisance.

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