Web Google fires back at Mozilla, urges Firefox users to switch to Chrome

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,316   +120
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google firefox users results-page plea mozilla firefox yahoo chrome search web browser web search

Mozilla’s decision to drop Google as the default search provider in Firefox last December appears to have had more of an impact than either company could have imagined. As a result, the search giant’s share of the US search market dropped to its lowest level since 2008 but it seems as though Google may get the last laugh after all.

Call it being extremely competitive or outright vindictive, but Google recently modified its search results page to promote its Chrome web browser. Such actions wouldn’t typically be newsworthy but with the move, Google is going directly after Mozilla.

When a Firefox user performs a Google search, they’ll see a huge notice above the results asking if they want to switch their default search engine to Google. There’s a blue box beneath that provides more information on how to go about the switch alongside a grey box to decline the offer.

google firefox users results-page plea mozilla firefox yahoo chrome search web browser web search

Out of curiosity, I tried a Google search using Internet Explorer but came up empty-handed. I did, however, see a smaller notice on Google’s initial page but nothing even close to the in-your-face plea that Firefox users will see.

As previously mentioned, Mozilla announced plans to drop Google as its default search provider in Firefox late last year in favor of Yahoo. The change took place on December 1 with the launch of Firefox 34, kicking off a new five-year strategic partnership with Yahoo.

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Isn't the headline misleading?

From the example, Google is asking Firefox users to change their default search engine to Google. This has nothing to do with Chrome.

But having said that, encouraging users to dump Firefox altogether and install the Chrome browser seems like a good (and more aggressive) idea.


Posts: 5,265   +3,365
I don't know why everyone is all bent out of shape about this. You have always been able to set your own search engine in Firefox. I have been using Firefox for years, and have had a default search engine set that is different from either Yahoo or the Great God Google during all that time. Though I am on Firefox 36, at no time was my default search engine switched to Yahoo when Firefox 34 came out. I take that as meaning that if a user had Google set as their default search engine, then it would still be Google even if they had installed FF 34 or beyond. For new installations, I would expect that FF 34 or beyond would set Yahoo as the default search engine, and for anyone wanting to change, it is not that hard to do.

What I suspect is going on here is that the Great God Google's search engine's use is declining, and that Google is blaming this on FF switching to Yahoo as a default search engine on new installations. I would also suspect that new installations represent a smaller percentage of overall FF installations, which, to me anyway, makes me think that the Great God Google should be looking elsewhere for the cause of the drop in its search engine usage.

As I see it, almost every search engine these days is almost entirely useless because of the crap results they return. Searches are by default "or" searches on a few engines which while they give you lots of results, those results often have no relation whatsoever to what one is searching for.

So, instead of $hitting on FF for dumping them as the default search engine for new installations, the Great God Google ought to look squarely at the crap results their engine returns. I think therein would lie the answer to the decreased usage of the Great God Google as a search engine. Then, of course, there are all the privacy concerns of letting the Great God Google track your searches...


Posts: 12,342   +5,743
This would have been news if the service/app had not been an in-house service from Google. It is no shocker that a company will use any reason to advertise their products.


Posts: 13,868   +1,756
Hmm; with prior ff.34 and now with ff.36.01, I've never seen this.
I DO explicitly config all my browsers to default to Google Search and delete all others. Who knowns.


Posts: 37   +4
Maybe it's because I'm using Debian's iceweasel, but I don't get this message even if I change my default search engine. Even if I turn off Adblock Edge I don't see it. But, truth be told, I don't really care for Google these days. Half of the time, the search engine practically insults me by basically telling me I'm searching for something other than what I'm actually looking for. It goes as far as to not actually return any relevant results and instead completely change them without necessarily having the option of "actually search for what I said, you piece of ****." The algorithm is trying way too hard to be smart and thus devalues itself. I really don't see much of a reason for them to actually remain as the number one search engine out there at this point.
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I also use duckduckgo.
and I also say screw google. and as for Yahoo.... it might have been the search engine before google, but today does anyone take them seriously? and for Bing, ha ha ha, microsoft ****!


Firefox user pretty much since day one here. No message when I search either on win7. As for using chrome, not a f-ing chance, ever!!
I dislike anything google ever since I was one of the first to notice they were sending my search data back to ip addresses that were nothing to do with my search. This was back in googles early years when everyone else was sleeping and before this became common knowledge.
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I find that yahoo search is just horrid. Google search is great, and Bing is so similar to Google that I don't mind which one I use. I mainly use yahoo for their poorly written, sometimes hilariously amusing news articles.