Mozilla reported Wednesday that it is replacing Google with Yandex as the default search engine for Firefox in Turkey. The company will release the new Firefox version March 30. It may not sound like an important loss for Google, but this is the second time that Mozilla has chosen another search engine to replace Google. Yahoo became the default search engine for Mozilla in the United States last November.
Firefox's market share in Turkey isn't that big, but Turkey is the key market for the Russian search engine as it strives to become the dominant engine in the country. The country provides a bridge between Europe and Asia. Yandex holds about 4% search share in Turkey. That could change, according to a test the two companies did last month with more than 10,000 users. Mozilla released the Firefox browser with Yandex built in and found that the majority of users remained with the Yandex search engine, rather than switching back to Google.
Last year, Mozilla ended its practice of having one global default search provider and began the task of adopting a local approach to picking search partners. In November, Mozilla said they would change their search strategy from one engine to what the company deems the best for each country or region. While some countries do not have a clear strategy, Mozillia also picked Yandex to serve as the default Firefox search engine in Russia, and Baidu in China.
Internet access, searches and research come first. Ecommerce will follow. It may be years before consumers buy online in emerging markets such as Turkey, although reports suggest Turkey's emerging ecommerce and Internet market continues to grow with the economy. About 12,000 e-commerce Web sites operate in Turkey as of 2013, supporting about 10 million Internet users. "According to Focus of Digital Market: E-Commerce (Dijital Pazarn Odak Noktas: E-Ticaret), published by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSAD), the Turkish e-commerce market grew by 35.5% since 2008 and the market volume reached approximately TRY 14 billion in 2013." Experts expect the ecommerce market in the country to grow 15.8% by 2017.
Not everyone agrees that Turkey's financial future looks rosy. The New York Times reports brewing trouble in emerging markets could stifle growth. "In Turkey, the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has added to existing currency jitters by suggesting that the head of the Turkish central bank is beholden to foreign speculators because he has not lowered interest rates fast enough."