For a decade, the default search engine for Firefox has been Google. While it allows you to choose which search engine you use, most people stick with the default, perhaps even unaware that there is a choice. From December, the default search for Firefox will change depending on your region.
Google wasn’t the default just by chance – it was a deal between Mozilla and the search giant, worth 88% of Mozilla’s income in 2012. Mozilla says this is changing, so Firefox has a “more local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web.” It may also be that the company decided it was dangerous to rely so heavily on income from Google.
In the US, Yahoo search will be the default for Firefox, and its a big enough deal that Yahoo is creating ‘a new enhanced Yahoo Search experience’ just for Firefox. See the images below. You’ll still be able to easily switch to Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Amazon, Twitter or Wikipedia.
In Russia, Firefox will offer Yandex search, while China will continue to use Baidu. So far, nothing has been said about Europe, but we have reached out for comment.
Update: Mozilla has responded to our question about Firefox in Europe. Most countries will not see any change in their default search engines, even while Mozilla’s deal with Google ends.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @jonathanriggall