Google and other search engines pay to become, or remain, the default search choice in the major independent browsers (Firefox, Safari, and Opera). The most lucrative agreement is that Google pays Apple about $1 billion per year to be the default search in Safari
, particularly because iOS is such a big deal in mobile (see Google Could Pay Apple $1 Billion Next Year To Remain Default Search Engine On iOS
) with affluent users. Interestingly, before the recent deal between Mozilla and Yahoo, Google was paying Mozilla only a fraction (about $260 million
) of that despite Firefox having very significant marketshare.
Google makes Chrome because it doesn’t have to pay anyone to be the default search in that
browser. (This is also a major reason Microsoft makes IE, with Bing being the free default there.) Furthermore if you pay attention to your network traffic when using Chrome, Google sends more tracking information about you back to their databases than do the makers of other browsers
. So they profit from keeping this data about what you do in Chrome, just as they do when you send an email in Gmail or search with Google (read the fineprint in the privacy statement for Chrome Browser
). They can then profit from this information when using it to pinpoint “better ads” for you on their vast network of sites.