Firefox To Partner With Yahoo!

Firefox To Partner With Yahoo!


Firefox is in a fight with Chrome

Firefox announced its decision to change its global search default to Yahoo!, ending its ten year agreement with Google. The new five year partnership will change the look of Firefox’s web searches starting at the end of 2014.

What If I Don’t Like Yahoo!?

If you’re a Firefox user and are not a big fan of Yahoo!, you’ll still have access to other search engines as built-in alternatives.

These include Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo to name a few. To use new Firefox features such as safe browsing and geolocation, Google will still be the main engine, which will leave current SEO practices unscathed. In addition to the new partnership, Firefox will improve other key functions including innovative new search interfaces, content experiences and privacy enhancements for both mobile and desktop.

Wise Decision?

More people use Google for their online searches than any other, which has turned “Googling” into a new word in the dictionary. It also means people are asking if Firefox made a sound business move based on the number of people using Firefox compared to Google Chrome.

While some are excited about the change, most searchers who invested in Google’s features are nervous about Firefox’s decision. Unless Firefox provides the same services or better, people will stay with Chrome so they can use features provided by Google like Hangouts, Docs, Gmail and Google Plus.

Over time, Chrome has continued to gain a larger share of the market while Firefox has declined. Google dominates the search space, of which it controls over 68%

How The World Has Changed

According to w3schools’ browser statistics of October 2014:

  • 60% use Chrome
  • 23% use Firefox
  • 10% use Internet Explorer

And back in 2008:

  • 3% used Chrome
  • 44% used Firefox
  • 46% used Internet Explorer



Internet Expl.





60.4 %

9.5 %

23.4 %

3.9 %

1.6 %


59.6 %

9.9 %

24.0 %

3.6 %

1.6 %


60.1 %

8.3 %

24.7 %

3.7 %

1.8 %


59.8 %

8.5 %

24.9 %

3.5 %

1.7 %


59.3 %

8.8 %

25.1 %

3.7 %

1.8 %


59.2 %

8.9 %

24.9 %

3.8 %

1.8 %


58.4 %

9.4 %

25.0 %

4.0 %

1.8 %

Looking at the numbers, it’s unlikely Firefox will ever claim the lead once again. It seems rather to be strengthening its second place. The decline of Firefox is generally due to its technical problems, which include memory leak, a failing mobile strategy and its lack of other productive features related to the browser.

What Does This Change Mean to Search Marketers?

Nothing, at least for now. Keep the same strategy and you should be able to rank for Yahoo! as well as other search engines as Google’s algorithms are far more advanced than any of its competitors. Currently, Yahoo! is not giving clear hints as to the future of its own algorithm.

Optimization Tips – Including Baidu and Yandex

Firefox is making Yahoo! its new default global search engine in America. Baidu will be Firefox’s default search engine in China, and Yandex its search engine in Russia. Because different places use different search engines, it is very important to pick a search engine based on your targeted audience.

  • For example, when you have a website dedicated to an audience in China, optimizing for Baidu is a great idea.
  • Optimizing for Yandex is great for an audience in Russia.
  • Yahoo! and Google will reach your global audience.

Regardless of Yahoo!’s change to Firefox, your audience is still the prime consideration.

By: Naima
  • Rebekah Faucette

    The idea of strengthening a second place ranking is really interesting, especially since fighting the “Google Gods” is often seen as a futile effort. Along with this new partnership with Firefox, Yahoo! has also recently purchased Tumblr and is rumored to be turning the platform towards a more video-focused format to compete with YouTube. With these moves in mind, there is a chance that Yahoo! is attempting to overtake the second place search engine, Bing.

    Also, I completely agree – your audience should always be your focus, no matter the changes that occur in the digital marketplace. Trends come and go, but serving the customer is always the top priority. Great article, Naima!

  • John

    The photo at the top is pretty excellent! Also, it’s interesting to see that firefox is the only browser to have declined significantly (relatively speaking) since April. Awesome job Naima!

  • Adam Baxter

    I wonder if this is more of a joint survival move for Yahoo! and Firefox, or if they intend to actually compete with Google and Bing.

  • Joshua Bains

    Between Chrome and Firefox, the latter is based on open source software, and is more interested in providing privacy for its users. It’s also primed for custom design and can support more tabs than Chrome. Downside is its security.

  • LilitM

    Couple of things in defense of Firefox… it is far more customizable; it has better extensions with more control; it offers better privacy. Although audience is in fact leaning towards Chrome, FIrefox isn’t going anywhere. I am looking forward to seeing what would happen after Yahoo! becomes its search engine. Very interesting.

  • Samantha Torres

    Excellent timing! Looks like yours and Rebekah’s predictions are spot on. Yahoo! just jumped to the #2 search engine. I’m interested to see if and how Google will respond to this.

  • Chuniq Inpower

    I’m a “Googler” and will always be the one to change their default browser to Google. All of the updates and feature on the other search engines are “nice”, but I’m completely satisfied with Google, its Knowledge Graph, its auxiliary products and products… No need for me to switch.

    However, would this cause marketers to diversify their SEO strategies if other sites are spreading out market share and use different algorithms to rank/score content on their sites? Would love to know how this will affect SEO practices and standards.