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Digital inspiration

tech reviews Updated: Jun 02, 2008 20:24 IST
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

If you use Firefox and Google, here is something for you that will make your favourite search engine all the more useful - it's called Customize Google - a free Firefox extension.

As the name sug gests, the extension can really customise and improve your Google experience. Let's look at some very unique things you can do with Google and Firefox once you have installed Customize Google:

1 Remove specific websites from Google Search results: Don't like to see web pages in Google results from specific domains or websites? Specify a list to Customize Google and it will automatically filter all websites from Google that match your rules. For example, you could specify *.ru and none of the Russia-based sites will appear in your Google Pages.

2 Keep your Gmail account safe:If you are accessing Gmail over a wi-fi connection, it is always advisable to use the secure https:// protocol instead of the default http:// protocol. If you can't remember typing that additional "s" in the Gmail URL, just outsource the job to Customize Google and it will automatically switch you to a more secure https: login screen. This works with all Google services including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader, Google Calendar and your Google Web History .

3 Stop Google from tracking your clicks: If you look at the Google search pages carefully, you'll see that each search result includes some tracking code. This helps Google learn about pages that users find most useful.

While I am not really worried about Google tracking this data, CG gives you an option to remove this click tracking from search results.

4 Search other search engines from Google: Customize Google adds links to other search engines in Google pages like Yahoo, Ask.com, etc. This is such a time saver, though you would realise it only when you actually start using this feature. If you are not happy with Google search results, click the link to Yahoo! to see what that engine has to offer.

Similarly if you are looking for pictures on Google Images, you will also see links to Yahoo! Image Search and Flickr - no need to type the query again.

Amit writes a technology blog at www.labnol.org .

You can mail him at amit@labnol.org

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