In a massive shift, Mozilla has signed a five-year partnership with Yahoo to be the default search provider for Firefox users in the U.S. The new agreement unseats Google as the default search provider for the first time since Mozilla began partnering with search engines in 2004.
This is indirectly good news for Microsoft, which is powering Yahoo’s search technology through an alliance forged by the two companies almost five years ago.
As a part of the partnership, Yahoo will support Firefox’s implementation of Do Not Track, which will allow users of the browser to opt out of being tracked by Yahoo’s ad technology.
It’s a big change for Firefox, which will now support different default search providers in different countries, rather than allowing Google to provide default services across the globe. Yandex will be in charge of default searches for Russian users, and Baidu will continue to be the default search provider in China. Other countries haven’t been assigned a default search provider yet.
Users who prefer another search engine can choose to switch to one of Firefox’s other search providers, which include Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo.
It’s unclear if this change will result in appreciable gains for Yahoo or any serious losses for Google. The search giant has become a major player in the web browser world through the popularity of Chrome.