Mozilla evaluates the use of Firefox by changing the default search engine to Bing
In context: The search engine is an integral part of any browser. All browsers come with a default search engine, like Chrome with Google, where both are owned by the same company, or Mozilla Firefox, which uses an external engine. In the case of Firefox, it uses Google by default, but Mozilla is currently considering Bing as an alternative.
If you are using Firefox and your default search engine has changed, you may have been selected for Mozilla’s latest search engine study. Occasionally Mozilla runs studies to collect data in order to improve its user experience. The last one we learned about the default search engine changes from Google’s browser to Bing.
So far, this change has gone largely unnoticed, probably because it affected less than one percent of desktop Firefox users. The study is expected to run throughout 2022 and will allow Mozilla “to better understand metrics regarding whether and how Firefox use on the desktop changes when the default search engine changes.”
If you have changed your default search engine without your permission, you can revert to your previous preferences by going to “Settings” on the three bar icon located in the upper right corner. Then click on “Search” in the left column and find the “Default search engine” section. Once you’ve found it, select the search engine you want to use.
Firefox’s default search engines have mainly varied between Google and Yahoo. Prior to signing with Yahoo in 2014, Google was the default search engine. Yahoo’s deal with Mozilla was supposed to last until 2023, but when Verizon acquired the search engine, Mozilla found a chance to come back to Google.
It has never been confirmed which contract Mozilla has with Google, but reports Claim Firefox is linked to the search engine until 2023. The agreement between the two companies is estimated between 400 and 450 million dollars per year.
Image credit Nata Figueiredo