Yahoo (NASDAQ: YAHOO) and Mozilla announced Thursday that they had reached a deal that would place Yahoo as the default search engine inside Mozilla’s desktop and mobile browsers for the next five years.
“Google has been the Firefox global search default since 2004. Our agreement came up for renewal this year, and we took this as an opportunity to review our competitive strategy and explore our options,” Mozilla CEO Chris Beard said in a blog post. “In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence, and positions us to innovate and advance our mission in ways that best serve our users and the Web.”
It should be noted that this deal is only for the US, as Mozilla explained in a blog post.
“In most countries, including the UK, Firefox users will not see a change. In the US, Yahoo will become the default search, Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia,” a company spokesperson said.
Since the inception of the Firefox, Google has been the default browser of Firefox. This relationship has brought Mozilla the bulk of its revenue, accounting for nearly 84% of the Foundation’s income in 2010. As Google’s Chrome browser rose in prominence and popularity, the relationship between Google and Mozilla began to grow testy.
In 2011, as Google and Mozilla’s search engine deal was coming up for renewal, Google fired a number of volleys at Mozilla in the form of commissioned report outlining why Chrome was a much better browser platform. However, a rival report found that there were serious methodological errors in the report’s analysis.
“Accuvant disabled highly relevant portions of non-Google browsers’ protection without noting the impact on the overall results,” noted the report. “This error in testing resulted in an erroneously negative assessment of the browsers’ protection capabilities, since some browsers will only block malware during or after download and before execution.
Yahoo, which has struggled to grow in the shadow of Google, naturally welcomed the news.
“At Yahoo, we believe deeply in search,” said CEO Marissa Mayer in a blog post. “It’s an area of investment and opportunity for us. It’s also a key growth area for us”.