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Friday, February 03, 2006

Google Beta Version Toolbar

Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO: "Google has just opened the beta test of Toolbar version 4. Here’s my take on it:
- Suggestions as you type. You’ll either love this or it will leave you cold. As far as I can tell, it’s just some deep personality test, like whether you’re an Elvis person or a Beatles person. Personally, showing suggestions as you type tends to distract me. But then, I get distracted by shiny metal objects from time to time.
- Send web pages via email (or blog, or SMS). This is very useful. I often find myself wanted to email a snapshot of a whole web page, pictures and all, to someone. I even installed a third-party extension in Firefox to do something similar a while back. It didn’t work though.
- Server-side bookmarks. This is really handy. You can have the same set of bookmarks on your work computer, laptop, and home computer.
- Custom buttons. I have to admit, this is my favorite feature. It’s almost enough to pull me back to Internet Explorer.
So what’s a custom button? It’s a little piece of easy-to-write XML code that lets you quickly add a custom button to your toolbar. Imagine that you want a whois button, for example, that lets you select a domain name and click to run a Whois search on whois.sc.
Damn! Those fiends on the toolbar team have made it even easier to use! I was all excited reading through the API and dreaming about writing the definitive post on how to craft the XML for a toolbar button. But there’s a trick that makes it so you don’t even have to write any code!
Let’s take building a custom whois button for whois.sc as an example. Go to http://www.whois.sc and right-click on the search box, then select “Generate Custom Search…” Here’s what it looks like:



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