After more than a decade of Google being the default search provider for the popular and famed Firefox web browser, Mozilla has just signed a 5 year agreement with Yahoo that will boost the ailing search giant back onto the front lines of worldwide search, while kicking Google to the sidelines. Being as more than 100 million users search with Firefox every year, this is likely to be a serious game changer that's clearly not in Google's favor. For those who weren't aware, Firefox is partially responsible for the enormous growth Google has taken over the web since their first agreement back in 2004; encompassing a time when Yahoo ruled the internet.
Yahoo itself was once the world's largest search engine, only to take a back seat to Google thanks to Mozilla who plastered their logo across Firefox browsers for years on end. Yes, you can pretty much give Mozilla credit for helping Google to grow so big. At this point, there's no way around it, Yahoo is posed to grab a much larger share of the world's internet audience.
The Implications for Publishers:
Yahoo's renewed rise to power could spell trouble for publishers who currently rank with Google, since both search providers ranking algorithms vary in many ways. Those who rank today on Google will take the risk of not performing to the same degree on Yahoo, a definite cause for concern for bigger media publishers and bloggers alike. While Yahoo is unlikely to steal Google's spot as the number one search provider, they are likely to take a huge chunk of Google's audience away as time moves on.
The Implications for Google:
While the deal set between Mozilla and Yahoo's partnership isn't exactly in Google's favor, they still have Chrome, which is currently dominating the mobile web right now, and they've been grabbing an ever increasing share of desktop users as well. At present, Google's Chrome holds an astonishing 21.25% of market share for desktop search browsers, compared to Firefox's sluggishly declining 13.91%.
Likewise, Chrome holds 22.17% of the mobile browser market share, while Firefox holds a paltry 0.75%, as noted by Netmarketshare.
Google is likely to remain on top, being as Youtube, another Google product, is also the world's 2nd largest search engine; add in Google Plus and the long time king of the web is likely to remain in power. Youtube itself has over 1 billion active monthly users, and the Google Plus platform also houses well over a half billion members worldwide. https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html
Although Google is losing its default placement, it will still be available as an alternative search option when Mozilla's updates go live in December 2014. Google will however still continue to power Firefox's Safe Browsing and Geo Location features.
The Implications for Yahoo:
It's likely the deal is a long awaited sigh of relief for Yahoo, who has been struggling for years to retain its audience and place on the web, which it ultimately lost to Google and other search providers. When Yahoo teamed up with Microsoft's Bing, neither search engine found much benefit in terms of long term performance. Either way, this is Yahoo's chance to rise back to the top and dominate the web once again.
What to Expect:
Yahoo claims they will introduce an enhanced version of Yahoo search that will feature a "clean, modern interface", as noted by Yahoo's Marissa Mayer. Although the search provider has yet to explain what exactly those interface changes will consist of. I guess only time will tell.
By default, the new Yahoo search will support Do-Not-Track, a feature in Firefox that notifies websites and other web related resources that you'd like to opt out of third party tracking cookies that are often used by advertisers.
There's expected to be a total of 61 search providers for Firefox users to choose from upon its updated release.
You can refer to Chris Beard's announcement for additional info on the Yahoo and Firefox merger.