Mozilla has announced on its blog today that its default search engine will be changing to Yahoo for US customers.
The company stated on its blog that “Google has been the Firefox global search default since 2004. Our agreement came up for renewal this year, and we took this as an opportunity to review our competitive strategy and explore our options.”
After evaluating partnerships, Mozilla said that one stood out from the rest: Yahoo.
Yahoo will become the default search engine for the US beginning in December, featuring an “enhanced Yahoo search experience.” In Russia, the default search engine will become Yandex and in China it will remain as Baidu.
Mozilla also noted that Yahoo will support “Do Not Track” preferences in Firefox, something the company had dropped support for earlier in the year.
On the choice of Yahoo, Mozilla simply said that the change marks the “ending our practice of having a single global default search provider” and the beginning of a “local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web.”
Marissa Mayer wrote on the Yahoo blog that the new partnership “helps to expand our reach in search and gives us an opportunity to work even more closely with Mozilla to find ways to innovate in search, communications, and digital content.” Mayer also indicated “future product integrations” could be in the pipeline.
Previously Google had been funding Mozilla in order to be the default search engine. Mozilla said that “while we have decided to not renew our agreement for global default placement, Google will continue to be a pre-installed search option.”
What’s not clear is if users with the default search engine selected will be automatically migrated to the new default of Yahoo, or prompted to make the choice.
The company also noted that Google will still power the Safe Browsing and Geolocation components of Firefox.
Mozilla said that the browser now features 61 search providers pre-installed with Firefox regardless of region.