Asa Dotzler on Mozilla’s Relationship With Google

Asa Dotzler, responding to Joe Wilcox’s piece arguing that Chrome spells trouble for Mozilla:

Mozilla isn’t dependent on Google search revenue. Mozilla is, (and it’s a bit concerning, but not terribly so,) dependent on the search advertising marketplace that most of the web is dependent upon.

Any search provider would, (and others besides Google do) pay for traffic that Firefox generates for them. Google is the lion’s share of Mozilla’s revenue not because they pay more to Mozilla for searches than the other providers, but because there are a whole lot more searches to pay for.

That’s because Google is the default. If, for example, Yahoo was the default, it would be the lion’s share of Mozilla’s revenue.

It’s undoubtedly true that Yahoo might be willing to pay top dollar today to replace Google as the default Firefox search engine. But will Yahoo be in a position to do this, say, five years from now? Who else other than Yahoo would pay as much as Google? Microsoft could, but would they?

Tuesday, 25 November 2008