Content Marketing Blog

Will the Yahoo Firefox partnership affect search engine marketing?

It seems safe to say that Google has dominated the internet. It is the world’s most popular search engine and web browser, not to mention creator of leading products GMail, Google+ and owning the video-streaming site YouTube.

But the digital superpower suffered a small blow this week, with Yahoo obtaining the rights to be the default search provider to the Firefox browser, meaning Yahoo may soon take on a stronger position in your content marketing strategies.

Mozilla, the company that runs Firefox, has announced a change for its default search engine from Google to Yahoo Search (which, confusingly, is powered by Bing).

Google has been the browser’s default search engine since 2004, but this year the ten year contract came up for renewal and Mozilla instead signed a five year partnership with Yahoo.

The reasoning behind the decision was not financial, said Mozilla CEO Chris Beard, instead it was a strategic move.

“This is in parallel to us doing a deep strategic review and really looking at our competitive strategy and how we were going to move forward. And so we adopted this approach of really looking by country and region, what’s [sic] the best approach is.” Beard told Marketing Land.

This change only takes effect in the US, the Mozilla press release revealed. But in Russia an agreement was made with Yandex, and a partnership with search provider Baidu was made for China.

But for the rest of the world Mozilla has been suspiciously vague.

A Mozilla Spokesperson told Search Engine Land that no official arrangement had been arranged for countries beside the US, Russia and China, and the current contract expires in December. However, Google will still supposedly hold its place as the default search engine outside of these countries.

It seems like a wise move for Yahoo Search to not get mixed up in the hostile European search market at the moment, with the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ ruling, new copyright laws, as well as Google being sued by European publishers for lost profits.

Firefox amasses over 100 billion searches every year and is one of the leading browsers.

In Australia, Firefox is used by 13.45 percent of internet users while Google Chrome is the top browser at 39.03 percent, according to October statististics from StatCounter. Over in the US, Chrome occupies 35.22 percent of the search market, compared to the 14.08 percent who use Firefox.

Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Meyer was obviously pleased with the deal, explaining her hopeful, but realistic expectations from the partnership.

“… the whole thesis about partnership is that we wanted to ultimately gain search share against the broader ecosystem.” Meyer told Marketing Land, “It hasn’t really accomplished that. I think, however, this partnership does allow ideally Yahoo to grow its share and hopefully the collective search alliance to grow its share.”

Although this change may only have a small impact on search, it could potentially be the start of something big for Yahoo, and lead to a more diverse search engine make up.

Posted by Dylan Brown