Those of you who use Firefox might like to take a look at an “add-on,” as the extensions and plugins are now being called, that lets you customize your Google pages to some extent. CustomizeGoogle (what else would it be called?) boasts the following features:
Use Google Suggest (suggest words while you’re typing) Add links to competitors Rewrite links to point straight to the images in Google Images Removes image copying restrictions in Google Book Search Secure Gmail and Google Calendar, switch to https Block Google Analytics cookies Hide the Gmail spam counter Make URL previews on sponsored links visible Add favicons in the web search result Remove ads Anonymize your Google userid Add a result counter in search result Filter spammy websites from search results Add links to WayBack Machine (webpage history) Remove click tracking Add links from Google to your bookmark manager Use a fixed font for Gmail mail bodies Stream Google search result pages
Not everything in this list would be useful to everyone, but you can pick and choose in the Preferences menu. I’ve turned off ads, added links to competitors, counted my results, added links to my bookmarks manager, and streamed my results. This last feature keeps the results coming (as in Googles AJAXified testbed, SearchMash: when I get close to the bottom of my (100) results the next batch comes pouring in without my having to click anywhere. One neat thing about this is that I then have as many results on a page as I wish and can search within that one page using my broswer search.