Five stories that you might have missed this week

Your weekly round-up of the latest news, stats and opinions in the world of digital.

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Firefox cuts ties with Google, Twitter starts trawling your entire tweet history and the new version of Android experiences a sticky launch. This is your round-up of all the things that we didn’t have time to blog about!

Yahoo becomes Firefox’s default search engine.


Firefox has decided to drop Google as its official search engine partner in the US, agreeing a new five-year relationship with Yahoo.

Yahoo will replace Google as the default search engine for Firefox users in the United States at the end of the month, ending a relationship that goes back more than a decade.

The relationship between Mozilla and Google has been somewhat fractious since Google launched its Chrome browser in 2008. Although Chrome is the more popular browser, Firefox still retains a loyal following that is responsible for more than 100bn search requests a year worldwide.

The change only affects US users, with Mozilla maintaining its relationship with Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China. Firefox will also continue supporting Google search plugins, even without an official partnership.

Google starts linking to social networks that aren’t Google+


Google’s ‘knowledge graph’ is finally showing links to social networks that aren’t Google+.

The ‘knowledge graph’ is the panel that appears on the right hand side of search results pages relating to celebrities, brands or other high profile entities. Previously, the only social network displayed in this panel was Google+ but earlier this week, other social networks started to appear alongside Google+.

Social links to YouTube (also a Google property), Facebook, Twitter and Myspace have all started appearing in the knowledge graph this week.

The feature doesn’t appear to have rolled out universally for brands as of yet, with Search Engine Land reporting one example of a search for “Starbucks” only providing links to Google+ posts, but watch out for this feature becoming more widespread.

Android Lollipop isn’t so sweet.

android lollipop

If you are tempted to update to the latest Android operating system, Lollipop, hold on for a moment.

Users of Nexus 7 tablet devices, who received the Lollipop update this week, have reported a series of problems with the new OS, complaining that it has rendered their devises “unusable”.

The most commonly reported issues on social media include devices running incredibly slowly and crashing, whilst others claim that the update has removed applications built with Adobe Air from their devices. Other complaints suggest that the updated OS struggles to connect to WiFi.

Evidence from Google’s support forums suggest that users of the 2012 version of the Nexus 7 are having the biggest problems.

Google has said that it is looking into the matter. Adobe has said that it was not working with Google on a bug-fix, but confirmed that it would be escalating the issue to Google.

Your entire life on Twitter is now much easier to find.


Your old tweets are now much easier to find, after a new Twitter search tool was launched this week.

Twitter has made every single tweet publicly available since 2006, unless posted from a protected account, available through its search engine. This means that the very first tweet, probably when you said something like “Don’t know how this Twitter thing works”, is not available for anyone to find.

Twitter is selling this as a way to relive content from some of the world’s biggest historical events of the past eight years, from the London 2012 Olympics and the Royal Wedding, through to the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks and Iranian elections. However, any embarrassing tweets that you may have posted since 2006 will also be there for the world to see.

We create some debate on Econsultancy.


We created a spot of debate on the Econsultancy blog this week, discussing how much of a ranking factor HTTPS appeared to be.

Google confirmed back in August that HTTPS was a factor that could influence rankings, but data and analysis since then has been somewhat sparse. We tried to analyse just how much of an influence secure connections were having on search results in some key markets.

You can read our thoughts over on the Econsultancy blog.

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