Over 2 Million People are Customizing Google

Story Text:

Over 2.25M people have downloaded the Customize Google Firefox extension since its launch in May this year, and still no comment from Google...

It's quite amazing when you think about it. Since Daniel launched his version of the "butler" greasemonkey script for adding other sources to Google, 2.25M people! have taken to getting Google the way they want it. The extension is simple, useful, and seriously popular, winning the "editors pick" status in July on addons.mozilla.org.

"Those of us who use Google on a day to day basis have probably noticed a few minor annoyances that we could happily live without, such as the ads next to our Gmail messages or the bombardment of search results from a worthless domain."

The extension has come a long way since it's humble(ish) beginnings, and now sports a serious feature set to get GOOG the way YOU want it:

  • Uses Google Suggest when you search
  • Adds links to competitors ("Try your search on Yahoo...")
  • Rewrites links to point straight to the images in Google Images
  • Removes image copying restrictions in Google Print
  • Secures Gmail, switches to https
  • Anonymize your Google userid (disabled by default)
  • Removes ads (disabled by default)
  • Adds a result counter in search result (disabled by default)
  • Filters spammy websites from search results
  • Add link to WayBack Machine (webpage history)
  • Remove click tracking
  • 15 locales: en-US, it-IT, sv-SE, de-DE, tr-TR, ja-JP, es-ES, es-AR, nl-NL, nl-BE, eu-ES, fr-FR,
    zh-CN, ca-AD, cs-CZ

Personally, ive forgotten what Google looks like for the most part, and i don't think i could live without it. Which is why im more than happy to give it yet another little plug at TW and offer congratulation to Daniel on it's success.

Nice job mate...


>>Filters spammy websites

>>Filters spammy websites from search results


I think it adds a "filter"

I think it adds a "filter" link beneath the results - so you can "ban" sites.

I thought it was a google feature, but just realized it's probably CG heh..

domain name

If you don't want to see a particular domain name in SERPS there's a box you can enter it into. So "spammy" is per your own definition :-)

Filter can do RegExps, even.


Upon reading about this and learning of the identity of the author behind it (I assume Daniel = Daniel Brandt?), my first visualization was of a fella in a shiny hat sitting in a room somewhere, repeatedly downloading the extension ("two million and one... two million and two... damn, are my fingers tired!")

But in fairness, I have to admit that some of the customize google features seem handy, and -- at least from what I can tell by reading the description -- not against Google's terms of service. Like with autolinks (ahem*), if someone wants to change the way they view a site, more power to 'em.

Over 2 mil, though? Color me amusedly skeptical, but I have trouble believing that 2.5 million unique folks have downloaded (much less installed) this extension.

* Re: autolinks... so tell me... is your take that both autolinks and the customize google extension are evil (if anything, the latter is much more injurious to the target site's revenues than the former), or you now believe they're both benign, or have you somehow engaged in some bushian twists of (or ignoring of) logic to insist that autolinks is still uniquely evil in this context?

>>(I assume Daniel = Daniel

>>(I assume Daniel = Daniel Brandt?


Needs a proxy option

Bah, humbug.

I think that Daniel Wieselberg should add a proxy option to Customize Google. Now that Mozilla has listed my Scroogle Scraper as a downloadable search-bar addition, maybe they'd even let Customize Google get away with this, and still list Customize Google the way they presently do.

(Pro: It makes Mozilla look independent. Con: Google could cut off Mozilla's revenue like they cut off CNET's access to comments. All it takes is for Eric, Sergey, or Larry to get mad.)

Now that Scroogle is at 10,000 scrapes a day, I'm not sure how long I could handle the extra traffic. But I'm willing to try.

-- The Original Daniel

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