Thursday, November 20, 2014

Google's not the default ... yahoo?

Mozilla announced today that they are no longer using Google as the search engine default, changing the agreement that's been in place since 2004, and switching to Bing Yahoo!. I've observed on this blog the conflict of interest that Mozilla has, receiving nearly 85% of their income from what is now their largest market competitor (Google, of course, offering Chrome), so this move really only makes sense. Google will still be available as an option, and you can make it your default like it was before, just not the default default. Erm, by default. In return, Mozilla gets the payola and a guarantee that Yahoo! will honour the Do-Not-Track header over their five year deal; we don't know how much payola, but Google paid Mozilla somewhere north of a $100 million a year, so we must assume it's in a similar ballpark to keep them solvent.

(Speaking of Bing, I've switched from Google Maps to Bing Maps. It's much faster because it's prerendered like Google Maps used to be. Also, in the not-so-coincidental category, Google's new Inbox service doesn't work on Firefox.)

This change is going down in December, probably for Fx35, but it's not clear if this will land on the 31ESR branch. That said, I have no good reason not to honour the change whether it lands on 31 or (from our perspective) 38; I don't get paid by either one of them and they don't care whether we use one or the other, so I've got no dog in this fight. If you don't like this, set your default appropriately. As always, if you want to donate, the best way is to click on the ads on this very blog and let Google pay me on your behalf.


  1. Maybe DuckDuckGo would be an alternative? It's getting better every day, and unlike Microsoft or Google, their business is not to harvest data on you...

    1. I agree with this recommendation. If you aren't getting any money from anyone, might as well make the default default the search engine that is specifically set up to not harvest user data.


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