Search party

Get information about your search engine results with this helpful Firefox extension.

The great thing about search engines is that they can return pages and pages of results on just about any topic you can imagine. The bad thing, though, is that there's often no way to know anything about those results before you click on them. Are they legitimate, or are they spam, or even porn? BetterSearch is a Firefox extension that gives users more control over their search results by providing previews and other helpful features.

BetterSearch installs easily in Firefox and then integrates seamlessly with the search results of several major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The extension didn't seem to work with some of the sites mentioned in the publisher's description, including Ask.com, Delicious, and Simpy.com, but Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the most commonly used anyway. Once installed, BetterSearch displays a thumbnail of each search result to the left of the result's title, and to the right, there are several small icons. The first one lets users open the result in a new window, the second one takes users to the site's profile on Alexa.com, the third one provides a quick preview within the results page, and the fourth one takes users to the site's history on the Wayback Machine Web site. Users can turn off any of these features in the extension's Options menu, and individual search engines can be excluded as well. Overall, we think that BetterSearch is a useful, unobtrusive way to get more information about your search results.

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