Mozilla tests Bing as default search engine for 1% of users

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“Mozilla is currently running an experiment on 1% of the Firefox desktop population, which sets the default search engine to Bing in the web browser”, says Martin Brinkmann for the assholes.

Research choice is an ongoing problem. We’ve written about search choice before, as it’s a topic of conversation even beyond the search community:

Google is the usual default. “Like all browsers, Mozilla Firefox automatically configures a browser to a default search engine to perform searches through the address bar”, writes Lawrence Abrams on BleepingComputer. Google obviously defaults to Chrome, but so does Brave and Firefox.

Last August, Google and Firefox reached an agreement whereby Google paid Mozilla “between $400 million and $450 million per year for the privilege of becoming the default search engine for the Firefox web browser in most regions.” said Brinkman.

The new test. “The study began on September 6 and will continue through early 2022, likely January 2022. Approximately 1% of desktop Firefox users may notice that the default search engine is changed when installing of Firefox is chosen for the experience,” Brinkmann explained. Why are they running this test with Bing? Mozilla didn’t reveal the reason, but most of its revenue comes from search engine offerings.

“Mozilla may want to have a backup plan when the search contract with Google expires in 2023. Google may be interested in extending the search agreement, but if the agreement fails, Microsoft would be one of the few remaining options for Mozilla,” says Brinkmann.

Why we care. Many SEOs often forgo Bing optimization in favor of their higher-traffic counterpart, but that’s another reason to diversify your target search engines. This is also another reason to potentially invest in Microsoft Advertising. While 1% of users isn’t much right now, if the Google deal goes down due to a Bing/Microsoft strategy, it may be beneficial if Mozilla makes it the default search engine.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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About the Author

Carolyn Lyden has served as director of search content for Search Engine Land and SMX. With expertise in SEO, content marketing, local search and analytics, she is focused on making it easier for marketers to work with important insights and educational content.


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