There could be a significant shift in search engine popularity in 2011. That is when the contract expires between Mozilla’s Firefox and the search engine juggernaut, Google. This contract originally required the Firefox browser to set Google as its default home page. After this contract expires, if Google doesn’t renew it, the position of Mozilla’s default home page could belong to the highest bidder. This could have a huge impact on the search engine world.
If Google doesn’t renew, they could be missing out on almost 10% of their search volume. This fact was calculated from a study conducted by Chitika, who surveyed over 14 million impressions across their advertising network.
Firefox is the second largest contributor to Google’s search volume. It also was responsible for bringing Google 23% of its overall search traffic. 91.45% of Firefox users do their searching through Google, 39.87% of those users conducted a search straight from Mozilla Firefox’s initial homepage or from the Google task bar that is automatically implemented into the browser. Around 31% of all of internet users use Firefox as their preferred browser. Google could be missing out on being the first thing that over an estimated 270 million people see when they first go on the internet.
This is very exciting news for Google’s notable competitors, Yahoo and Bing.com. If Google fails to maintain its position as Firefox’s default referred search engine, whatever other search engine (or website) is going to pick up the traffic that Google is leaving behind. Unless an agreement is reached before the contract expires, there is expected to be a bidding war between some of the internet’s top players. More than likely, for user’s convenience, the default home page will be another search engine. This way, users can open up the browser and begin to search for what they are interested in with minimal complications. But either way, whoever is inheriting this spot is going to experience the fringe benefits of being the default home page to a popular web browser. Although this won’t completely diminish Google’s resources, it certainly will make an impact on the stronghold it has as the world’s most popularly used search engine.