If you search the Internet often, the best search engine out there, as Linda
Johnson agrees in her Search
article this month, is Google.com.
Google has a free Toolbar that you can download. It's added to your browser
and helps you search even faster and more efficiently.
It's very easy to download and install. However, if you're not practiced in
downloading, you can learn how to do it by reading our TechTrax article, entitled:
Once installed, the next time you open your browser, you'll notice that you
have an additional toolbar—the Google Toolbar. In the image below, you
can see it installed on my browser.
I have my most used folders and sites listed on my customized Links toolbar,
a feature in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Under that, you can see the Google
Not only does it help me search for what I need, much faster; but the pop-up
blocker is worth its weight in gold! If you look closely, you can see that,
in the short time I've been using it (a couple months), it's already blocked
220 pop-ups and saved me from that annoyance!
Another cool feature is the Page Rank notation. When you visit
a site, you can instantly see how valuable a site is according to the Google
ranking. In the image above, you can see that MouseTrax.com
(the main home site for TechTrax)
is ranked 6/10. Not bad!
And if you visit a web site and appreciate their content, you can add to their
ranking on the spot by clicking the Smiley face on the toolbar. This
adds your positive vote to the site's ranking. So get out there and
click a Smiley for MouseTrax.com!<wink>
Then again, if you go to a site and realize you hate it...a click on the frown
face will add a negative vote and lower the site's rating.
By adding your vote to a site, you not only get an opportunity to voice your
opinion about a site you've found useful or one that annoys the heck out of
you, but you help add valuable information to the Google database so future
searchers can make a decision regarding which site to hit first by checking
the current ranking...thanks to your added vote, one way or the other.
Another cool feature is the Auto Fill. If you sign up for
a lot of stuff on the Internet or do a lot of shopping and need to fill out
forms often, you'll save time by clicking the Auto Fill icon. The web form will
instantly be completed with your personal data, saving you time from having
to manually tab through all the fields, entering that same old info, yet again.
You can learn more about the Google Toolbar by going to their Toolbar
FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. To download the toolbar, just hit
their toolbar page,
set your language and click the Download button.