The Mozilla foundation is one of the most popular free software organizations. It is known for free applications FireFox and Thunderbird.
Google pays Mozilla an amount for each user that performs a Google search from Firefox. Exactly how much Google pays, we don’t know for sure but I’d wager that it’s somewhere in the range of 1 cent to 5 cents per click.
Mozilla then made Google as the default search engine on all Mozilla FireFox downloads. It is the default web page once you open up the browser. Since searching for information is one of the most common activities on the Internet, almost all FireFox would simply use the default search interface.
The latest browser share data looks even more promising for the foundation.
According to the latest statistics from w3counter.com, Firefox’s market share is going gangbusters with the open source browser capturing over 25 percent of the browser market.
According to the World Internet World stats website, there are 1.1 Billion internet users in the world. If 25% actually use Mozilla, then that would be around 275 Million Firefox users. If all those users searched using the FireFox search engine, then at 1 cent per click that’s potentially over a Million dollars for Mozilla this year.
It’s such an effective business model that many websites are now trying to emulate it. Using the Google Adsense for search bar on their websites, web business owners gain a bit of income as well.
The Mozilla business case is an example of what’s called ‘loss-leader’ economics. A loss leader is a concept (sales or economic) that means you give something away for free at a loss (in Mozilla’s case for free) with the hope that it will later lead to revenue. Through this method, Mozilla has not only entrenched both itself in Web browser community at large, but made a hefty income as well.