As a user of Pale Moon you are probably aware that the team changed the default search engine used on the browser's start page to DuckDuckGo from Google Search.
The move made sense from a consistency point of view, considering that DuckDuckGo had been the default search engine for some time in Pale Moon.
That was not the only reason however why the team made the decision to switch the search engine of the browser's start page to DuckDuckgo.
According to the announcement, another reason for making the change was a conflict with Google over policy violations on the start page.
As you may know, the search engine traffic on that start page is a big portion of what gives me the income to make Pale Moon work at no cost to its users. Unfortunately Google has been pretty much cutting me off with claiming it is "invalid traffic" and that it would be a policy violation just because the browser is downloadable software.
Users who prefer Google over DuckDuckGo could switch to Google using the pulldown menu, or simply change the homepage of the browser to google.com as the new start page.
This was not the end of the story though for the Pale Moon team. Three days later, the team stated that it made the decision to remove Google Search completely from Pale Moon.
Further communication with Google's ad traffic quality team caused the issue to escalate.
As a follow-up to the problems indicated in our previous announcement, Google's "Ad Traffic Quality Team" has decided to interpret their policies that are geared to preventing toolbars and external programs from changing user settings for home pages and similar as "you may not have a Google Search box on the default home page", basically trying to determine for us what our out-of-the-box-experience (OOBE) should be.
Pale Moon's solution to Google trying to force them to modify the out of box experience is a complete removal of Google Search from the browser. This has not happened yet, and it is unclear how the removal will look like.
Pale Moon users may still go to Google and run searches manually there, or use the !g bang of DuckDuckGo to redirect searches to google.
We asked Moonchild, owner and lead developer of Pale Moon and will update the post as soon as we get an answer.
Update: Moonchild told us that users will still be able to add Google Search manually to the browser by adding it as a search plugin to Pale Moon. Also, users are free to set the home page to any address they want, including Google's.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.