Yahoo Wants Firefox Users To Switch

    December 21, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

One Firefox user visiting Yahoo’s home page was surprised to see Yahoo invite him to switch his default search option from Google to Yahoo in three easy steps.

The screenshot provided by a Digg user shows how Yahoo has begun suggesting users switch that default search in Firefox to Yahoo from Google.

I tried it in Firefox 1.5 and got the same result. The site doesn’t do this in Opera 8.51, which isn’t surprising since changing to a search engine not in Opera’s list means editing the search.ini file manually instead of simply choosing Yahoo from a dropdown list like Firefox provides.

It’s an interesting tactic, and one Google isn’t going to particularly enjoy. Google pays Mozilla $30 million a year for the privilege of being the default search option in Firefox. Google has a similar deal in place with Opera, but details of that arrangement are not known.

Give Yahoo credit for being clever enough to recognize that most people tend not to change defaults like the search field in Firefox. If they can prompt a few users to do so, they get the opportunity to deliver more advertising to those users and enhance the value of its Context Match search marketing product to advertisers.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.