Yahoo really wants its users to to “stay secure & protected across the web,” and thinks the best course of action for them to attain such security is to get Firefox. At least that’s the message the company is sending Yahoo Mail users:
As you can see, the message is strictly in the interest of users’ safety.
“Firefox is loaded with features that protect your personal information and keep you safe online,” it says.
Yahoo couldn’t possibly want you to use Firefox because it recently took over the default search experience in the web browser. Wonderful scare tactics, Yahoo.
Those who have been following the search industry closely know that Yahoo and Google have been battling for Firefox’ users preferences. Yahoo wants to make sure people use Firefox in the first place, and that when they do, they don’t switch back to Google. Google is desperately trying to get people to switch back.
In case you haven’t been following, the partnership between Yahoo and Mozilla began in November, and Yahoo saw some pretty positive early results in search market share as a direct result of that partnership, though things seem to have slowed down.
Since the beginning, Yahoo has included a link to get Firefox on the top of its homepage and other popular properties.
Eventually, Google started putting out messages and mini-tutorials like this:
This one's for all the Google Search-loving Firefox fans out there → http://t.co/c3C0D9SC8v pic.twitter.com/ocZAOWTrvf
— Google (@google) January 21, 2015
Google also started telling Firefox users who visited its homepage to set the default experience back to Google with a message saying, “Get to Google faster. Make Google your default search engine.”
Then, Google started showing big ad-like messages at the top of unrelated search results pages, telling users to switch search engines:
Users who click “learn how” are presented with this:
If you click “no thanks,” it just disappears. If you ignore Google’s prompt, it goes away after two or three searches.
Earlier this year, Google’s then-CFO Patrick Pichette was asked about Yahoo’s partnership with Mozilla on Google’s recent earnings call. He said:
You’ve all heard the announcements about Mozilla. And so when we don’t comment on the details of any of our partnerships that we have, having said that, we continue to do two things that really matter. One is our users continue to actually go in, if they love Google, they will continue to find Google, whichever platform, whichever browser, and that’s really what we’ve focused on doing.
And then the second piece is the way to win this in the long-term, right? It’s very simple. You just make wonderful products. And when you make wonderful products that are magical people will find them….partnerships matter. But at the core of it, you need partnership, because you have a phenomenal product. And that’s what we’re going to continue to build this amazing company.
I thought Google was going pretty far with the big ads on search results pages, but I think I have to declare Yahoo the frontrunner now for most intrusive browser begging.
Mozilla is reportedly ramping up its marketing efforts, so this may be related to that, but it does come with a big Yahoo logo on the top. The from line is also Yahoo.
Images via Yahoo, Google