Bold move: Yahoo will soon be Firefox's default search engine

Mozilla ditches Google and signs with Yahoo

There were a ton of fledgling search engines when the web was young - remember Ask Jeeves, or the one with the dog? - but over time Google emerged as the top choice for basically everyone.

(Except for Microsoft, although that's a different story.)

That does, however, include Mozilla, makers of Firefox, which has always used Google as its default search engine - until now, that is.

It turns out Mozilla and Yahoo have signed a deal that will see Yahoo's search engine replace Google by default in Firefox for at least the next five years.

Good for the goose

The switch goes into effect in December, according to the Mozilla Blog.

Firefox Yahoo Google

The new Yahoo search in Firefox: looks familiar

Mozilla CEO Chris Beard wrote proudly that the company popularized browser-integrated search and has offered a number of search options over the last decade, but this year Google's contract came up for renewal.

"In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence, and positions us to innovate and advance our mission in ways that best serve our users and the Web," Beard wrote. He added that Yahoo's strategy "stood out from the rest."

A shocking twist

Now Yahoo will be the default search engine in the US, while it will vary in other countries. Google remains a pre-installed alternative in the browser.

Yahoo search will have a new interface in Firefox (in a shocking twist, it looks exactly like Google), and will also support Do Not Track, Beard wrote.

That all sounds fine, but truthfully it remains to be seen whether this really helps Firefox users, or just Mozilla and Yahoo.